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11th November 2014

The Myth of Masculinity

As the life of men changes throughout society, Harry Newton takes a look at the myth of masculinity

Evolving is a natural function that every organism undertakes. Hundreds of thousands of years have seen the archaic Homo Sapiens evolve into either the modern day human or Wayne Rooney. The recent decades, however, have seen masculinity drastically evolve, sending the gentleman back into prehistoric records and rocketing a new type of man to the front.

There once was a time when a gentleman would hold the door open for a lady, only wear a jacket on a cold evening so he could be of assistance to a chilly lady, and would be on hand to pull a lady’s chair out before she was to take her seat. These were the generic things a gentleman would do to showcase his array of masculinity to the world. However, I’m afraid to say, the Gentleman’s Handbook of Masculinity has been stolen away from us and in its wake, left us with a dirty lad’s mag.

Surely, I hear you cry, masculinity is still around! A strong leading example of this being the typical lads’ holiday! Yes, nothing says masculinity like a week away in Magaluf where the male can reign supreme and stomp around his new territory like the man he knows he is! Yes, nothing bellows masculinity like a tattoo spelling “Only God can Judge me” in Chinese (it definitely doesn’t translate to that) on your mate’s bottom! It can only be rivalled on the masculinity scale with your other mate throwing up in the pool from his midday Jäger! And even that cannot quite compete with the masculinity of your other mate sat by the pool on his phone, taking selfies and snapchatting his mum, before announcing his day’s activities on Twitter. “#Magaluf2014 #BoysOnTour.”

OK, so the lad’s holiday isn’t the most masculine place in the world! But, this is a time for a man to go on holiday and let his hair down. Back in Manchester at the gym is where a man really shows his masculinity! When the man bounces into the gymnasium changing rooms and strips down to his bare body, he does not care for the other people in the room as he is showcasing his masculinity! There’s no hiding behind a towel here, a man will show the gifts that God gave him, whether or not the gift was a big or small one. That is masculinity! He further shows off his masculinity when he goes into the gym (not still naked) and plants himself down to lift some heavy weights… after he’s sorted his hair out in the mirror he has sat directly in front of, taken a picture of himself and tweeted about how much he’s about to do in the gym. He then turns on his iPod and puts his earphones in to listen to One Direction’s album (don’t pretend you don’t appreciate a good 1D tune) whilst completing his ten lifts. He then leaves for the McDonald’s next to the gym.

Okay, so the gym isn’t the most masculine place in the world! But, this is a time for a man to work out away from the pressures of women and be at ease. Back in the bathroom whilst getting ready is when a man really shows his masculinity! In the time it takes a woman to get ready in a bathroom, a man could have gone in 14 times, allowing his beard to grow in between each entry so he could shave it off again… right? Wrong. Years ago a man would partially shave, brush his teeth, wash his face and leave. What an easy life that man had… but what horrible complexion and hair. That man never moisturised, dry-shampooed, plucked his eyebrows, flossed, blow-dried and moulded his hair. He did not take the meticulous and correct amount of time to shave his beard into the neatest most imaginable shape possible. He did not cut his fingernails—he would bite them at red lights on the way to work. The modern day man may be a little bit less masculine in the bathroom, but he’s a lot better looking outside of the bathroom.

Colour coordination, disinterest from football, man-hugs, spirits instead of beer, pouting instead of smiling, clubs instead of pubs; what has happened to the days of the gentleman? They evolved. Who am I, you or him to say these new men aren’t masculine? Masculinity is within the eye of the beholder! Masculinity, as a set of rules, is a myth! However, all this being said, I do urge you to hold a door open for all, eat with your mouth closed and stand up for a pregnant lady on the bus. Masculinity is a myth—manners are not.

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