Singing the Masculinity Blues

menversuswomen Carl Jung believed that everybody came into the world with both masculine and feminine qualities. Men are the physical embodiment of the masculine, yet they all have the feminine archetype within them, known as the anima. And women are the physical embodiment of the feminine, yet they have the masculine archetype within them, called the animus. With these two forces at play within us, we all have the potential to be happy, balanced, and whole in our time on Earth.
Masculinity is not exclusive to men. We all carry its qualities. "Femininities" and "masculinities" describe gender identities. They describe socio-cultural categories in everyday language; these terms are used differently in biology. In any one culture, certain behaviors or practices may be widely recognized as “feminine” or “masculine,” irrespective of whether they are adopted by women or by men. Femininities and masculinities are not descriptors of sexual orientation. Messages about “feminine” and “masculine” behaviors are embedded in advertising, media, news, educational materials, and so forth. These messages are present in a range of environments, from the home to the workplace to public spaces Femininities and masculinities are learned..

 ” ‘Masculinities’ are not the same as ‘men’. To speak of masculinities is to speak about gender relations. Masculinities concern the position of men in a gender order. They can be defined as the patterns of practice by which people (both men and women, though predominantly men) engage that position.”( Raewyn Connell-University of Sydney)
It seems that the borders between genders have become more fluid and less defined. Individuals of today’s society are looking for ways to establish their identity and find their role in society, in other words, society has too many options and possibilities of ‘who you can be’ and ‘what you can do’. When roles are not pre-fixed from birth or given to you by society, it can cause confusion in individuals, as to what their right or appropriate role may be. Power relations have and are gradually changing, and women no longer depend on men for survival in the Westernised world. Equality between genders, and women becoming liberated, educated and financially independent , are all factors that have eliminated many of the former pre-determined male roles, such as being the sole provider, protector and head of the family. There has been much talk of a so called ‘masculinity crisis’ where some men are feeling unsure, lost, depressed and emasculated by the demands of post-modern society.
Masculinity theories do appear to be telling us something about a loss of power that matches their real condition. But it is wrong to see this loss of power as a loss in relation to women. Rather it is in relation to capital that men and women alike have lost authority.
If it does exist, then what does this crisis mean and entail?




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