Course: Men in Contemporary society
Student Name: Liane Halford
Student Number: 10322115
Word count: 1,017
Growing up masculine
“Growing up masculine”, this is not a term which can be described and understood in a few sentences. Masculinity is a term frequently used in today’s modern society but do we know it’s true meaning? Over the course of this paper we shall discuss what masculinity is and how it can affect the lives of boys as they mature and grow into men. The first issue that needs to be discussed is that of gender and what masculinity really means. When a person is born depending on whether they are male or female they will be influenced by the environment around them. For example a baby girl would be dressed in pink and given dolls to play with. But as the child grows they have the chose to play with any toy they wish, this means the girl may want to play with cars instead of dolls. This very simple example shows her role as a girl was not fixed she had the choice to play with any toy she wanted to. Connell described it best when she said “we cannot think of womanhood or manhood as fixed by nature. But neither should we think of them as simple imposed from outside, by social norms or pressure from authorities. People construct themselves as masculine or feminine.” (Gender, 2012,Page 6)
It is important at this point to make it clear that although we are all born to one sex or the other our gender roles are a choice. Even though they are heavily influenced by the societies we grow up in it actually a free choose for every man to make. Kimmel puts this into very simple terms where he says “ men are not born, growing from infants through boyhood to manhood, to follow a predetermined biological imperative encoded in their physical organization. To be a man is to participate in social life as a man, as a gendered being. Men are not born; they are made. And men make themselves, actively constructing their masculinities within a social and...