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#MasculinitySoFragile It Sparks a Whole New #Gender Row


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Twitter users everywhere are throwing in their two cents to a contentious debate on what it means to be a man. The hashtag #masculinitysofragile has been trending on Twitter, with users taking the opportunity to either defend or destroy the concept of 'toxic masculinity' - that is, the overt need of men to prove their 'manliness' in the form of physical strength, aggression, and lack of emotional expression. 

The idea of gender performativity is not a new one - Judith Butler has been harping on about it for years. Originally a term from feminist theory, some feminazis have misconstrued the meaning of so-called 'toxic masculinity'. This is not a term by definition that condemns all masculinity as toxic or malignant, but rather provides an invitation to challenge the socially-constructed negative patriarchy that culminates itself in attitudes such as homophobia or misogyny. Some have taken the debate more seriously than others: some related tweets are thought-provoking, some are humorous quips, and others are simply so ironic it hurts. Here are some of the latest:- 



Queue aforementioned ironic defence:-




The problem here is that the attack is not directed at men; it is the socially-conditioned gender role of the male that is being interrogated. Clearly some Twitterers cannot differentiate the two.

There is also a particular focus in the debate on the unnecessary gendering of products in order to reaffirm so-called 'manliness' and to retain the ego of male consumers ('manvertising', if you will). As part of our generation, there is certainly a rise in the number of those who are willing to embrace their 'metrosexuality' - however, some still feel the need to reaffirm the aforementioned character traits in order to avoid feeling emasculated.







The last image is a personal favourite.

But there is a serious underlying issue here. Due to the performative masculine role than men are expected to fulfil in society, people are suffering. Those who do not fit the standardised, heteronormative social construct such as homosexuals and transsexuals are being subjected to violence and condemnation as a result of toxic masculinity. Even women, who merely reject the advances of men, face both physical and verbal abuse as a result in some sort of thwarted assertion of male dominance. However, if this trend has proven anything, it is that hundreds, if not thousands, of people are seeking change. An issue like this garnering the opinions of so many is all about a raise in awareness, and awareness is undoubtedly the first step to change. I'm sure that the general consensus would agree that certain men need to realise that perceived threats to their identity aren't really threats at all - its not personal if we don't fancy you, we won't judge if The Notebook is your favourite movie, and we don't mind if you borrow our expensive face cream (within reason).



SMF rookie, fresh out of academia, looking forward to more creative ventures. With a love of current affairs, green tea and an ever insatiable wanderlust, Katie is ready to have her voice heard. Follow her @KatieAtSMF


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#MasculinitySoFragile It Sparks a Whole New #Gender Row Reviewed by Katie Gascoyne on Saturday, September 26, 2015 Rating: 5

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