What is modern masculinity?

Masculinity has evolved nowadays. Masculinity is not anymore about the old-fashioned, stereotypical definition. There is an ongoing change happening with how men govern their lives. The point of being a customized male is getting a boost, even among men alike. 

The modern man is no longer seen as generally domineering, cold-hearted, and aggressive.

Interestingly, a study by the Movember Foundation showed that 76 percent of men now accepted the idea that talking will positively impact mental health.

Man looking in the mirror

This development is one of the signs of modern masculinity. While society has a significant impact on how the male species keep their masculinity, the men nowadays are not entirely conforming to the pre-set standards.

For a start, Men’s Health magazine and Dove Men+Care have come up with new narratives of several men known in their respective crafts and professions and who have already ditched the negative meaning of masculinity.

And their stories continue to inspire others. This new breed of men dismissed the toxic myths unnecessarily attached to their masculinity, particularly on fatherhood, gender roles, and mental health.

Author Florence Evans wrote that the notions about masculinity had changed dramatically in just three generations.

Man with clenched fists

Citing a recent survey of UK YouGov, 56 percent of 65+ men looked at themselves as entirely masculine compared to only 2 percent of 18-24 years old males.

The divide shown in the survey resulted in a fluid idea of what defines masculinity, whether it is by cultural, social norms, or by biology. 

Evans cited psychologist Geert Hofstede who also looked at the values and culture of countries to the authoritarian traits of its people, whether masculine and feminine.

More masculine nations are very much inclined to have high ambition, wealth, and differentiated gender roles. The more feminine countries put a premium on specific values like quality of life, modesty, and overlapping gender roles.

While masculinity takes a modern form, it also varies in different countries. For example, machismo culture is more pervasive in Mexico than in South Korea, whose men can wear makeup or use skin care products as part of their everyday lives.

There was a 300 percent growth in male grooming sales in America compared to the previous 42 percent of men who were just stuck in house cleaning.

While more men have slowly shed off the solid image for sensitive or geeky traits, some males in other countries were still putting masks to hide their real inner emotions. 

This situation has resulted in depression and suicide as these males have to keep their feelings inside. In the UK, C.A.L.M. (Campaign Against Living Miserably) called this #Mandictionary campaign a “Camanflage: the happy front men wear in certain social situations”. 

The multinational company Unilever also launched #Unstereotype movement to free both men and women across the globe from the stereotypical meaning attached to their gender.

Pensive man on a couch

Indeed, news traits of manhood have already found their way everywhere in the globe. The internet amplified the advertisements of modern masculinity. 

The call to have a little softer, more multi-dimensional, and liberal masculinity in the current society is getting louder. From schools, workplaces, to homes, modern masculinity is getting more evident. 

Citing a recent survey from Mantorshift Institute, Mickey Feher, of Psychology Today, said the modern man is empathetic, inclusive, authentic, self-aware, and emotionally intelligent.

The survey has come up with 10 core behaviors for males to attain masculinity and a healthy personality.

These points are:

Allow yourself to listen to the opinions that are opposite from your own, particularly in art and media.

Hang around with people who have varied worldviews and political stands.

Find time to travel and expose yourself to different cultures around the world on many occasions. 

Always verify, cross-check the source of your information and develop independent thinking. 

Focus on what you can make out of your relationships and family, and find an opportunity to support women

Find time to seek the higher purpose in every event instead of looking at what separates it. Think about what unites people instead of divides.

Minimize political labels like conservative, liberal, left, or right. Instead, focus on what makes a healthy community or how to raise happier children, sustain mental health, create deeper relationships, and share more, especially the basic needs of others.

Find time to talk with your spouse or partner. Focus on shared goals, roles, and then discuss them regularly.

Continue to enhance your understanding of what constitutes masculinity and what it means to be a modern man.

Find opportunities to integrate the two sides of your being or the yin and yang so you will discover yourself how to be a complete human being, instead of merely following the dictates of your social or cultural norms.

Seek the help of others, especially therapists, professional coaches, and even men’s support groups.