Men use their masculinity in all its complexly nuanced forms to achieve their goals in ways rather different from the ways women achieve theirs. Masculinity is the articulation of dominance and male gender yet gender is nothing but the construction of difference. Society, media, and the way a person is raised or brought up are factors that affect people’s lives.
An example of this is when Susan Brownmiller writes, “As I passed through a stormy adolescence to a stormy maturity, femininity increasingly became an exasperation, a brilliant subtle esthetic that was bafflingly inconsistent at the same time that it was minutely, demandingly concrete, a rigid code of appearance and behavior defined a do’s and don’t-do’s that went against my rebellious grain.”
One’s gender identity as masculine or feminine is based on the meanings individuals have internalized from their association with the role of male or female in society. Society has played a key role by imposing limitations upon males and females. What this means is that society has a certain disposition toward the way men are supposed to act. Although society may have these implications, masculinity and femininity lie in both males and females.
One’s gender and one’s gender identity each result in different displays of behavior. For example, young men are often challenged by women in areas such as education, business, the workplace, and professions and often males may have a more feminine gender identity and vice versa.
People can choose to be masculine, feminine, or both which is known as androgynous. There are numerous attributes, attitudes, and behaviors that culturally distinguish men and women. Masculinity emphasizes characteristics such as aggressiveness, drive, strength, ambition, and self-reliance to justify the position of man over woman.
Media also plays a key role in helping to define masculinity and what it means to be a man. Most media portrayals show how men are...
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