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Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

What is masculinity actually meant to be though? I think we have done some good work (which must continue!,) to gain understanding of what it should NOT be... but what SHOULD it be? Any opinions? (preferably from men/masc people, non-men welcome too). Asking *As A Men*.

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@restioson

The problem is that everything is so steeped in power relationships that it's hard to say anything positive about masculinity without sounding sexist. Like, because of binary oppositions, it sounds like anything good masculinity IS is something that femininity ISN'T.

Thus I don't know how to answer this question at all.

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@restioson
in the end "masculinity" is always going to mean what it has meant historically and culturally. But we can pick and choose the good parts of that to make it what we want it to be.

Being masculine means fulfilling a "protector" or "provider" role in relationships. It means being emotionally stable, having a strong moral compass, and not shying away from difficult things.

I think these are the positive traits from American masculinity.

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@restioson I don’t think you can really define what masculinity is without being stereotypical- because anything you describe for what being masc is, someone who isn’t masc can also embody that trait. But for me, a lot of how I want to embody masculinity can be summed up in Dorian Electras “man to man” which is a really good and inspirational song for me

Basically about how being masc should be about being forthright, direct, good communication, saying what you mean, being able to know when to be soft and when not to be, not being afraid of being your true self unapologetically, etc

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@FirstProgenitor @restioson this practice of putting some human actions in the category "masculine" and others in the category "feminine" seems extremely fucked up. "men" are "forthright" and "direct" (and implied here is that "women" aren't expected to exhibit those tendencies, even if this is a permissible transgression). fuck this whole thing

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@substack @FirstProgenitor @restioson I don't think the point is to say "this is what masculinity is in some unchangable permanent fashion" but to adapt cultural conceptions of masculinity to not be complete garbage. Like it or not, the concept of 'masculine' and 'feminine' are not going anywhere any time soon, even people who don't fit those molds or consciously reject them are in a culture which has them. We have to work with what we have.

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@popefucker @substack @restioson I also think it’s kinda shitty that fem people talk about fem stuff all the time but then masc people get asked what masc means to them and people get upset. I started this by saying that everybody acts every type of way under every label, I know that. Its about what masculinity means to ME, and what it means to other masc people

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+
@popefucker @restioson those are not positive traits, those are burdens

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@epicmorphism @restioson being a good person is a burden, and also a positive trait

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+
@popefucker @restioson gross. that’s why I hate men and being a man

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@epicmorphism @restioson then don't do it. You can be an unmasculine man or not even a man.

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+
@popefucker @restioson can I not be please

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@popefucker @FirstProgenitor @restioson i don't think it's possible to reform these concepts in a way that isn't oppressive. abolition or bust. everyone should be free to express themselves and their body in any way that they want without bullshit policing and norm-setting which is inherent to any project of gender category

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@restioson fuck if i know

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@substack @FirstProgenitor @restioson agreed, anyone should be able to express themselves however they want. Gender should be descriptive. But, the vast majority of people feel they fit in certain prescribed gender categories, which currently are awful things defined by advertising and religion, and if we just let those categories go to shit by leaving them to the advertisers and churches then they will just get worse and worse.

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@substack @FirstProgenitor @restioson it's only fd up if you demand/expect that all men may only possess masculine traits, and no feminine traits, and vice-versa for women, in my opinion ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@tethre @FirstProgenitor @restioson allowing for exceptions maintains the domination of the anchoring effect that the categories establish by incorporating deviance and variation into the logic of the core. otherwise those deviations could grow and challenge the gender concept to a point of rupture

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@epicmorphism @restioson @popefucker what are the positive traits of masculinity then, in your opinion?

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@substack @FirstProgenitor @restioson sorry, i can't follow 🤷

RE: masculinity discourse, bad dystopian economics, aggressive overflow of internet terminology, just rambling out the mind TBH, kinda conspiratorial, U can disregard this
@restioson
iunno lol
Dollar Shave Club advertisements and gay nationalist bodybuilding? competitive irony poisoning?
If masculinity is hierarchy by Natural Law™ and breadwinning for your nine kids and that 'Industrial+' capital and SCALE leads to societal flattening & economic inequality, what do?

Will power structures convert to decentralized micro-hierarchy? a structural embodiment of "guys being dudes"? or does the western world continue with draconian, arbitrary roles despite the differences being last left to genitalia? Or something equally dumb or tragically pedestrian?

My soul has been sliding on loose gravel for over a decade now, and "I still haven't found what I'm looking for." - bono
A screaming cat is being eaten …
sensitive media
A screaming cat is being eaten by a large, fake toy fish.

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+, a 'serious' post
@restioson
Boosting this post, for it is a challenge just to untangle the spaghetti of where the western 'canon' of masculinity went from the "rennaissance" period to the 20th century. Was never keyed in for historical social waves.
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Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@celesteh definitely

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@celesteh definitely. There's also the thing of like, if we want to abolish gender roles then what else do we leave in gender?

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@popefucker but then the issue is why does this have to be masculine exclusive?

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@restioson I never said it was

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@v0idifier this, honestly

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@popefucker by defining these things, don't we necessarily exclude it fromm being characteristics of other genders? Or? Cos that's kinda how it feels

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@restioson I don't know. There's no answer I can give that isn't in some way essentialist, so maybe there is no correct answer at all.

My own mascunity for me is just collectively everything I do that's kinda dorky, I guess.

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@starwall relate. I think I made a toot on here once which said that my masculinity was wearing boring shirts

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@restioson being masculine means that I think that having mustaches and sunglasses seems like a cool idea

@restioson well either a gentleman or good dad energies.

@oreolek well what is a gentleman then? What should a good father fee?

@oreolek well what is a gentleman then? What should a good father be?

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@restioson I wrote this about a year before realizing “oh shit I think I might *not* be A Man” so, uh, take it with a grain of salt:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?t=305&v=KgZgESwSa6Y

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@restioson
People like having genders, so gender roles will always exist. Our goal shouldn't be abolishment, but making them less restrictive and less binary

I also think it's an (completely understandable) error to view gender entirely in terms of power relationships. People don't transition in order to shift their positions within a power hierarchy. Some gender dysphoria is related more to social signalling than embodiment

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@mxsparks thanks, will watch when I have time later ☺

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@restioson In my book being a man is about strength and reliability. I don't know if it is what it should be for every man, I know that's what I'm working toward: being honest both in and out, being available for loved ones in need, standing for what I think is right, being someone people can count on.

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@restioson

So given that trans people exist, which demonstrates the existence and importance of gender outside of positions of relative power, how do we talk up masculinity without denigrating femininity?

I think the first step is to stop seeing them as polar opposites, like points along a one dimensional spectrum, but maybe more as perpendicular, as a two dimensional graph. They're certainly related, but they're different.

@restioson gentleman is a man who supports women around and a good father supports his family. It does tie into wealth because you can't support even yourself and be an individual when you're poor, you have to join some group and then it's what the group says.

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@restioson if masculinity is not three absence of femininity and it's not a power relationship, what is it?

The expression of masculinity is very much culturally encoded and contested. Sometimes it's seen as essentially authentic, unadorned and related to labor. Sometimes, it's seen as the exact opposite, as in portraits of French kings in tights and frills.

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@restioson
Masculinity also cannot be encoded within the body, or it would not be accessible to trans and gender non conforming people. On the other hand, there is some relationship to embodiment. Gender is a human universal (not the specific expressions of it, but there's no societies that don't have gender) and it's heavily influenced by cis people and cis bodies. So masculinity is not cock and balls, but is related to them

Masculinity discourse, cishet lewd

@restioson

With penetrative sex, a person with a penis enters triumphant, but exits deflated. A certain amount of identity seems to surround one's cock, but one has almost no control over it.

Cis hetero masculinity is a struggle towards inevitable defeat.

Masculinity discourse

@restioson

I think that within my culture, a defining factor in masculinity is struggle. Against oneself. Against society. Against each other in terms of social ranking. The last one is toxic, but the others need not be.

Defeat is inevitable, as one is never entirely in control of one's self or anything else. Where masculinity is good or toxic, I think may lie in how it copes with defeat or victory.

Masculinity discourse

@restioson

One can have grace and humility, or one can have terrified bravado. A lot of toxic masculinity seems to stem from fear of being unworthy or attempts to establish one's worth based on unearned systemic power relationships. As masculinity itself can socially function as such a relationship, it makes the whole topic somewhat fraught.

Masculinity discourse lewd

@restioson

I don't know. I'm not cis. Maybe activity masculinity had been a struggle /for me/ and I'm trying to universalise it?

I did an art installation about militarism and masculinity which used a joystick as a penis. Men seemed to understand the work was about over compensation. Women tended to think it was about the power of a cock. It was strange to get such divergent readings....

Masculinity discourse lewd

@celesteh wow, that is a lot of stuff to unpack. Personally I don't understand all of it right now but I will be going to talk through it with my friends. Thanks so much!

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@restioson It once meant men followed a positive code of behaviour, but that seems to have fallen by the wayside nowadays for a myriad of reasons.

Also hard to say what’s good about masculinity without describing things that should probably apply to people of any gender (I.e having confidence, sticking up for other people, having honesty & integrity, being humble, sharing with those less fortunate, etc)

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@restioson Possibly an unpopular opinion, but I don't think it's useful to try to define masculinity in a prescriptive way - there's too much variation. Hence the negatives: be a man if you like, but try not to perpetuate harmful or oppressive attitudes and behaviours.

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@trechnex exactly!! But then how can we describe it?

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@ghost_bird but then what does "be a man" mean even? That's the question I'm asking. It's not possible to frame the negatives completely without the positives.

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@restioson I also think it's interesting that this is a question that gets asked a lot about masculinity but rarely femininity. That's partly because there's a dynamic of oppression - the implicit question is how to be masculine without supporting patriarchy - but I also think anxiety about being a "real man" is a feature of the system, that encourages gender policing and maintains the binary.

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@ghost_bird @restioson I live in a very traditional part of the world with very traditional gender attitudes. I can't think of any aspect of "being a man" that isn't negative and patriarchal in some way.

To me, it conjures up notions of incapable women who need a man around to provide money, lift heavy boxes, fix the pipes and yes - provide physical protection from other men with violence.

I'm sitting here struggling to think of any positives now!

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@restioson there's someone trying to start a movement on tumblr called 'gentler men'

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@restioson @ghost_bird
I guess "man" and "woman" are just cultural signifiers, and their meaning is sedimented in every culture (the concepts of masculinity and femininity are slightly different around the world).
Being a trans man, this is a question I ask myself everyday. The problem is that there are few to none positive models, and being a man "ethically" is tough bc it's something one must create on one's own, everyday.
Just my two cents :)

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@Blackbuck @restioson Agreed. And in order to create an "ethical" masculinity you have to start dismantling the systems (of language, of privilege, of oppression) behind those signifiers, which is naturally going to be hard work.

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@ghost_bird @restioson
Precisely. It's extremely solitary work if I may add, especially if you're not born a man: you know how bad toxic masculinity can be, because you were oppressed by it, and you "fall for it" pretty easily, if you're not acquainted with feminism.
Then, you have to create positive masc models in your head which are performative enough but not hierarchical: there's no such thing in the world, you have to invent it and it's not easy.

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@Anke interesting. Do you have a link?

re: Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@Blackbuck @restioson Yes, I suspect it's easier for me as a trans woman because when I fail at femininity I have male privilege to fall back on.

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@restioson I take my lead from taoism and the idea of yin/yang, which is less of a dichotomy and more just a way of describing the continuum between two extremes. If yang = 'masculinity', then it is ascribed properties of creation, pushing, striking, implanting, progress. That is not "good" or even "strong".

Yin, on the other hand, is about nurturing, silence, space, growth. This is not "weak" or "worse", just different.

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@Blackbuck @restioson Interrogating my feelings about this, I guess I'm suspicious of positive descriptions of masculinity because of how often they're used to set up an opposition with femininity? Men are strong and women are weak; men are brave and women are anxious; men are direct and women are manipulative. It doesn't have to be that way, of course, but it explains my unease.

Masculinity discourse lewd

@restioson

I wrote a blog post. https://www.celesteh.com/blog/2019/09/03/masculinity/

It quotes your question. I hope that's ok.

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@substack @FirstProgenitor @restioson All people, men, women and whatever else have both masculinity and femininity. In some masculinity dominates, in some femininity dominates, in some there is more balance. And note that this not an issue of appearance or physicality, or even behaviour. It is about the nature of one's core self, that which is only (possibly inaccurately) reflected by behaviour.

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@restioson

I see the concept of gender as currently only giving any real value to non-cis people who need to figure themselves out – here a label to find similar minded people is probably helpful.

Apart from that, I think gender should be phased out of identity.

Identity should be custom-crafted, not based on conformity (or opposition) to social pressures related to your genitals…

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@restioson I've been to men's retreats and topic of what it means to be a man and what "masculinity" is are both very tough and our culture provides very little helpful guidance. One thing is clear: the muscle bound ignoramus who crushes the enemy and gets the girl is not masculinity. Protecting one's loved ones is masculine. Speaking the truth and fighting for it is masculine.

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@restioson Being honourable is masculine. Stepping aside and *not* winning the day when that is the right thing to do is masculine.

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@epicmorphism @restioson @popefucker I hate to be the one to break it to you but being a good person is not a gender-specific burden. Although I would say that actually the burden is not to "be good" but only to not harm others. So play with the devil and enjoy yourself, as long as your play isn't at the expense of someone else's wellbeing.

re: Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+
@rah @popefucker @restioson cool comment but not relevant

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@ghost_bird @restioson
Baaad wording on my part; I meant to confront my experience with that of a cis man. I apologize.
Your unease is the same I feel about "ethical" masculinities: sadly I have to believe that they *can* exist, otherwise I'd be struggling just to join the assholes :D
Nice talk, btw

Masculinity discourse lewd

@celesteh that is okay! I am excited to read!!

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@rah wouldn't that all exclude those from being feminine characteristics though?

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@Blackbuck Yes, nice talk. And no reason to apologise - like a lot of feminists and trans women I've not given enough thought to trans men's experience and I'm working to catch up.

re: Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@ghost_bird
Oh, I am an overthinker trans man.
It's just that I think trans men *could* (potentially) have a lot to say on the matter, considering the peculiar trajectory that launches us toward masculinity (and its pitfalls), sometimes in hyper speed.
And I think that crossing that particular "border" gives you somewhat of an "insight", and perhaps solutions, about what masculinity *can* be (when properly trans'd ) :D

re: Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+
@rah @popefucker @restioson i disagree with your disagreement
devil_may_cry.jpg
devil_may_cry.jpg

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@restioson Yes. Either a characteristic is masculine, feminine, or neither. If we don't discriminate then everything is in the "neither" category. That's fine if that's how you want to see the world but here we're explicitly communicating about masculinity. If we refuse to discriminate then nothing is masculine and the conversation is done.

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@Blackbuck @ghost_bird @restioson

so, that question (“how shall I move through the world As A Men, while having that be a *positive* aspect of my identity and also having it line up with my other values?”) ended up cracking my egg

BUT. the answer I arrived at wasn’t “I, $BoyName Sparks, can’t do that because there is no way to reconcile my values with a thing named ‘masculinity,’ guess I’ll be trans instead”

it was “wait a sec. I, $BoyName Sparks, know people who have managed to do exactly that, and I’ve made a decent start of it myself; it’s just that it still wouldn’t make me happy — aw crap, I think I might be trans”

tl;dr: I believe *strongly* that ethical masculinities exist, and specifically that they can exist as part of (not just in spite of) one’s manhood <3

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@restioson And note we're talking about masculinity and femininity, *not* men and women. Any characteristic can be embodied by any person. We are discriminating between categories that are not clearly understood. Which is odd if you think about it: human beings have been around for 300,000 years and we still don't understand masculinity and femininity. These qualities are transcendent.

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@rah how are the transcendent?

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@mxsparks @ghost_bird @restioson
This somehow relates.
I struggled a lot with this point, before realizing I was a binary trans man ^^'
Masculinity didn't really appeal to me, because I saw it as *intrinsecally* evil at the time.
Then I realized I could "craft" MY masculinity to be non-toxic, and worked IT to fit my values, and not the other way around.
It's tough every day, and I'm super harsh with myself when I screw up.
But that's my battle :)

Masculinity discourse lewd

@celesteh @restioson Boosts okay?

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@restioson I'm not a man, but for years I struggled with trying to be one and wrestled with this question.

I feel like the concept of gender has been so thoroughly abused by powerful people for so long that its really hard to separate it from that relationship. I'm not convinced that its possible, but it would be nice to be wrong on this.

Masculinity discourse lewd

Masculinity discourse lewd

@celesteh was a very good read, and I think I understand better now. Thanks!

Regarding the stance that gender is always present and we therefore can't abolish it, isn't that an appeal to nature?

Secondly, was the gender nihilist manifesto not written by a trans woman (I thought so but can't find out exactly)? It specifically mentions that it was almost *made for the liberation of gender oppressed people*. Do you think that it fails in that?

Masculinity discourse lewd

@restioson

1. I am not making any appeals to nature, but just saying there are no examples anywhere of gender being abolished and that doing so would take away something that most people seem to like. I may be universalising here, but I know I'd be upset if somebody tried to take away my gender.

Masculinity discourse lewd

@restioson

2. I don't know anything about that manifesto and I don't mean to misrepresent anybody's good intentions. British TERFs really really are on board with the idea of abolishing gender. Alas, they want to start with trans people. They say there's a love-the-sinner-hate-the-sin line between abolishing (trans) genders and trans people, but it's hard to say. They've really adopted this slogan and made it their own.

(2/n)

re: Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@epicmorphism @popefucker @rah d i s c o u r s e

re: Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+
@popefucker @epicmorphism @restioson thanks for the reassurance that I am actually a girl

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@restioson As not a man, but who hangs out with many sorts of men. From my vantage point it seems not so much that femininity has a trait and masculinity has the opposite, but its more how similar traits are expressed. Watching two of my male friends show they love each other, how they are playful together is often different to how two of my very femme girl friends express the same things, and both are beautiful to watch.

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@celesteh @restioson re: power relationships, I think it's important to distinguish "why people identify with men/women/etc." from "what is gender's function in society"

I think it's totally possible for gender to be fundamentally about power AND for people to transition for unrelated reasons

Masculinity discourse lewd

@restioson

I want to be sure I'm not speaking out of my bum, so I've searched DuckDuckGo from the UK, but with no location filters for the terms abolish gender and am looking at the first page of results. I expected to see a lot of TERFism but the only instances of it seem to be on the tumblr, tag.

I'm extremely glad to see this idea has some positive stuff around it. I kins of still don't want my gender abolished, but maybe I'm being selfish

Masculinity discourse lewd

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@restioson I think masculinity is a great thing that should be celebrated. That what is missing is effectively an idea of chosen brotherhood with ethics, friends that are supportive to one another to explore what is right for them without pushing down others or that which is not masculine. The word Mensch, as a person with integrity and honour; of noble character. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mensch

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@frostotron mm yeah. Gender as a whole, right?

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@restioson I'm not sure. I'm really not sure we need it at all.

The closest I've come to something comfortable is "being able to cultivate strength and toughness, and turn those to the benefit of all".

The latter part of that seems to so often be missing in mens ideas of their own masculinity. And while it maps to things I might regard as the healthy bits of masculinity, I also don't see why this definition should be gendered

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@crowlad @Blackbuck @mxsparks Oddly, I had kind of the opposite experience and spent years thinking it was toxic masculinity I hated and not just being a guy.

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@crowlad @Blackbuck @mxsparks (I mean, I do hate toxic masculinity and oppose it wherever I can, but it wasn't until I noticed being feminine felt good that I realised there was something else going on under that.)

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@restioson They seem that way to me. They have an ineffable quality but they exist and they're distinct.

Masculinity discourse lewd

@celesteh huh I will read that

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@rah surely transcendence would exclude them from being social constructs (which I think they are)?

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@restioson Yes. To me, masculinity and feminitity are about neither gender nor sex.

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@crowlad
I totally get what you're saying, for me it was kinda the same. I knew I wasn't cis, but being a man (=toxic) was just unaccaptable. I'm glad I'm not the only one, I really struggled - for YEARS - before coming to terms with reality :)
@ghost_bird
Wow, it never occurred to me that toxic masculinity can pose a challenge on your "side" too!
@restioson thank you for starting this conversation! Interesting stuff.

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@restioson

I am open to persuasion, but I've come to think the masculine and feminine distinction are not productive and shouldn't exist. I identify as male more through inertia than anything else, I think. I think if I was being more authentic to my ideas and beliefs I would be non-binary in the sense that I don't think the masculine/feminine distinction should exist.

On a tangent, though, masculine and feminine are convenient category separators for two (broad) groups of body type. A woman can be tall, broad-shouldered, hairy, deep-voiced, and flat-chested and a man can be short, slim, with some level of chest curvature and a comparatively high pitch voice. That's fine in both cases - but then we could use new words (or other existing words that don't come to mind off hand) as shorthand for what we formerly called masculine and feminine body types.

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@crowlad @Blackbuck @ghost_bird @restioson

whenever my internalized TERFism starts banging the “it’s my responsibility to stay and keep detoxifying man-hood from within” drum, I think of the best transmasculine people in my life and remember that I didn’t abandon my duty

I was properly relieved trans_heart

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@restioson Well yeah. If masculinity can be boiled down to a high spot in a shitty hierarchy then everything feminine ends up being either acceptance or refusal of that hierarchy.

Masculinity probably has a definition outside this context, but it's so old and far-reaching that I think it would be either hard to find or hard to relate to.

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@restioson I feel like I should add that I'm not super comfortable with my own take here. I feel pretty unsure about it after reading some other people's ideas, but not enough to wholly retract it.

re: Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@Anke I read a lot of this toot thread and this link was definitely the highlight. ❤ ty

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+

@restioson i had a bunch of thoughts on this recently:

sensitive media
sensitive media

@jplebreton @restioson I recently wondered about it after we talked about it with my girlfriend. She said she didn't care about traditional masculine traits (physical strength, large genitals, pilosity, aggressivity for ex.) but instead put some value in kindness, caring and empathy.

I personally don't think masculinity SHOULD be anything. It is an awkward and reductive reference point people have to contend with because of its ubiquitous manifestation in popular media, the same way femininity is, even if the relevant attributes are different. I found it impossible to ever be free from its proteiform shape, because even if one try to get as far from it instead of as close as possible, it still is in reference to it.

I personally am lucky to have had genetic attributes matching a common definition of masculinity so I've been freer than most to think about it without being randomly subjugated to it, but this fact still is in relation to it.

Ultimately masculinity and femininity are the manifestations of the binary gaze society lays on its members and it definitely should die in a fire because it should be up to the individuals and nothing else.

@hypolite @restioson thanks for the thoughts, i basically totally agree. masc and fem are umbrellas with planet-sized baggage and we'd be better off leaving them behind deconstructed along with various other things about the way the world works right now. however, we're kind of stuck with them until society has changed sufficiently to render them irrelevant, and so my thoughts were along the lines of "what do we do until then?"

@jplebreton @restioson Unfortunately, both are unwritten rules of binary gender roles emanating from poorly aggregated human desires, so the best we can individually do is recognize what they are and try to describe our own desires independently of any local definition of masculinity/femininity. Basically acknowledging its existence while being more conscious about what we really want. It may eventually align with this local definition of it, but at least it won't be passively suffered.