It might be just me but nowadays it seems men are becoming more feminine, doing their hair every day, dressing up, buying fancy shoes, talking about their feelings a lot, etc.
I used to look at those guys in school and the girls loved them. But they were so dumb and weak. Useless in a fight and not much substance in their brains.
We had a program in my school called the "rite journey" where boys and girls would select a mentor from family friends and they would do things together on the weekend. My mentor took me sailing. It was a program to basically give the kids good role models who they could confide in that were not their parents.
During a rite journey class my teacher (A South African man) met us at the door and separated all of the boys into 3 groups. At first I was confused but then he said. "We are going to talk about what attracts different women. Which really interested me since I'd never had a girlfriend and at that time because the bullies spread rumors about me, everyone in the school feared me.
So he said "You boys in group 1 are what western women look for. You are feminine, express your feelings and take time to make yourselves look good, generally women in the USA, UK, Australia will look for men like you. You boys in group 2, you are borderline. You are moderately strong, diligent in your studies, respectful and intelligent. You are what women who want a high quality of life look for, generally women in Asia, North America and Europe look for men like you. You boys in group 3, you're the physically strong ones, the work horses. You work hard, you're tough and most of all you exude strength. Women in South America, Africa and some less developed Asian or European nations will prefer you."
He explained that the reason for this was because women's priorities were different. Some women wanted emotional security, others wanted financial security and some needed physical security. So the priorities would start at group 3 and move to 2 then move to 1. If women no longer needed a man to protect them they would move to group 2, and once they had financial security from either a job or an alternative income (a man, parents or alimony) they would move to look for men in group 1. The most attractive males.
This approach seemed to make sense to me but since I was a group 2 but my teacher said at the end "You are a bit of a mix between group 2 and 3" to which I responded "I guess I'll see you in South Africa for my wedding them" Since he was a bible fearing christian. Still he was a great man.
So, is this analogy accurate or do you think that more feminine men are what all women want regardless of their personal situations?
European men used to wear makeup, wigs, and high heels. Viking men wept openly.
All that stuff is arbitrary and cultural, and varies by time period.
People have different inclinations, and different preferences. Culture amplifies some and suppresses others. But its always shifting.
There will always be "metrosexual" pretty boys and tough "alpha males" (icky misnomer), just like there will always be tomboys and girly girls. When one is en vogue we'll see more of it, and less of its foil. But they're always there.
Classifying young people like that, to their faces, is icky. Predicting what women want is stereotypical ick. The whole thing is just ick.
People like to comb their hair and wear smelly stuff and pretty clothes, or they don't care that much about it. That fits into the "masculine" or "feminine" paradigm of the culture and era to whatever degree. If you're lucky, what you prefer is what culture tells you you should prefer. Sometimes you just do what culture tells you, with or without thinking about your own inclinations. If you're unlucky, your preference does not match culture's expectation, and you suffer consequences for following your desires.
"Masculine" and "feminine" are not absolutes. History and cross-cultural studies bear this out.
Desire and attractiveness are not absolutes. Talking to a bunch of people will bear this out.
Remove or factor for the lens of culture and era, and I bet you'll see fairly consistent incidence of "girly men" (and "manly women" ) as well as attraction for each type.
Reducing it down to one pat scheme is...not something I would advise.
No, men are not becoming more feminine. Heterosexism is waning. The worship of hypermasculinity is at the beginning stages of dying out.
“[…heterosexism is not just a personal value system, it is a tool in the maintenance of gender dichotomy. In other words, through heterosexism, any male who refuses to accept the dominant culture’s assignment of appropriate masculine behavior is labeled early on as a “sissy” or “fag” and then subjected to bullying. Similarly, any woman who opposes male dominance and control can be labeled a lesbian and attacked.
The potential of being ostracized as homosexual, regardless of actual sexual attractions and behaviors, puts pressure on all people to conform to a narrow standard of appropriate gender behavior, thereby maintaining and reinforcing our society’s hierarchical gender structure.”
Why perpetuate these stereotypes? Stronger is no better than smarter. Being manly/Feminine is an identity of division. Besides, I do not think it is more prevalent, just more acceptable. No one should have to hide who they believe they are for fear of ridicule. That is the way of simple minded theists.
Technically, you're right. Many men do take time to make sure they look their best. I mean, I'm hardly what an old-fashioned person would call effeminate, but I comb my hair to make it behave, and I know what colours look good on me, and I dress accordingly. Is there a problem with that? I don't think so. Of course, buying insanely expensive clothes and shoes makes no sense to me no matter what gender you are.
As for talking about your feelings, what the hell is wrong with that? Whining about them and seeking attention is, again, annoying and confusing regardless of gender. But those who are open and honest about their feelings and thoughts, and aren't scared of seeming weak for betraying that they do in fact feel emotion, are fine by me. I don't see this as being feminine. It's just being human.
The dynamic of so called masculinity has changed and so to some people it may seem as though men have become more feminine. But the outdated ideas of toxic masculinity (Think Gaston from Beauty and the Beast) have become seen as outdated and even dangerous to a degree and have begun to slip from our culture.
You have a concept of "masculinity" and "femininity" that is completely based in arbitrary cultural norms. There are cultures all over the world where--as with birds--it is the men who dress decoratively to attract women.
There is nothing inherently "feminine" about dressing attractively. And the idea that women are only attracted to men because they want some form of "security" is ignorant and sexist as hell.
Haha, I knew it. I deliberately marked off it offended me assuming mine would be the only vote. About 5-10 years ago, many young guys went "metro-sexual" waxing their chests, shaving their legs and such. Think about it, why would young males do these apparently feminine things? Only one reason, because that is what the young females preferred.
Take all these fashion and style issues away and yes, I really do think men have taken on more female roles and activities. I don't think it makes them more feminine, just shows how times have changed. How many dads look after kids now? In developed countries the world has changed, we are not hunters, warriors, men have become nurturers as well. I have raised/partially raised over 20 kids, only 2 are biologically mine. I have the local pre-school and play group kids one day a week really kills the macho image when every second toddler in town calls out to you and brings their friends or parents up to chat all the time. A guy I work with has another group on another day, "Toddler Tunes" he is 49, I am 59. He is lucky, in a long term relationship with a pretty younger lady. Teaching ecology to toddlers doesn't rate up there as a masculine occupation.
There is so much wrong on so many levels with this entire description that it is impossible to address it all. But just for starters, ...strong only equals masculine subjectively. You said your mentor was a strong, god-fearing, great man. Those terms have nothing to do with one another. All men and women have some masculine and some feminine components to our character. To try to sharply divide the genders and only emphasize their differences while rewarding gender conformity is not only prejudiced, but also prevents people from being fully developed human beings. It is a misguided attempt to straight-jacket people into narrow gender roles, enforced by fear of social rejection. Plus, those gender roles are subjective, anyway, varying widely from one culture to the next. What you'd call masculine in one culture, another would laugh at you for. The whole premise of your questions is skewed with a particular bias, a quite pronounced one. I don't blame you. You clearly indicated you were taught these things by people with an agenda. But you certainly can learn better, just as I and many here have learned a better way than the prejudiced religious fables we were raised on.
I have a friend on Facebook that I went to high school with. She's agnostic and a feminist, we talk quite a bit about politics and religion.
Recently we got on the subject of feminism, admittedly a subject I'm not very educated in.
We talked about the obvious (to me anyway) unequal treatment of women in the workplace, but then she started to explain to me some of the things women go through that I would never have thought of on my own.
How men can treat them as objects and not as people. She told me sometimes she feels like she needs to put up an invisible barrier and be on guard against unwanted advances, only to be labeled a bitch.
Being worried about places she shouldn't go for fear of bodily harm, especially at night.
It was an eye-opener for me, it never occurred to me how different our lives can be.
So, I don't know if men are getting more feminine, or better educated.
The fact that you obviously believe in a gender binary automatically just makes this whole post trash. Gender is a spectrum. Men aren't becoming more feminine. People are actually and openly expressing themselves now without the fear of being tortured to death. Trans individuals have a 1 in 12 chance of being murdered still, but they aren't letting bigots keep them inside like they used to. People are simply expressing themselves for how they feel inside and if you don't like it I suggest you take a long walk off a short pier.
Is anyone else here bothered by the statement that this "Strong," "God-fearing" man mentoring these impressionable boys saw nothing wrong with publicly judging and labeling them as feminine or somewhat feminine? How about the fact that his categorization of them as to which of three groups they "belonged to" was decided by nothing more than his personal view of them? He apparently got to act as the unquestioned judge of who is "manly" and who is a sissy boy. I am appalled by how recklessly irresponsible that is. But he is "a great man," and he's "God fearing," so there is nothing to worry about? Wow!
I like what @stinkeye_a and @VictoriaNotes said. I would add that I am becoming less masculine or, if you prefer, I am removing myself from what our society considers masculinity to be. Too many will see what I am doing as embracing femininity but that is a failure of imagination. Masculinity and femininity are not the only ways to socialize ourselves. Gender is mostly arbitrary and destructive, especially femininity, and trying to combine 2 unhealthy ways of being cannot create something healthy. Both of these gender roles need to be destroyed.
Not voting, but have an opinion. It seems, to me anyway, that what used to be considered sissified, is now more common place among heteros. I'm not sure when I learned that women liked men in bright colors. Whenever I am trying to impress a woman, that's the way I go. Yet, there is that tough guy mentality, still. (see U.S. presidents, 45th) So, I may be more in touch with my fem side, but it is a conscious effort. Plus, I was never the strongest or fastest, but among the brightest and funniest. I learned to go with it.
I don't know if men are becoming more feminine or whether it's just more obvious. All I can say is that I personally do not like them, do not find them to possess even an iota of desirability. As a woman, I want a man who looks and acts like a man, and makes me feel feminine. I do not want a man who looks like a woman. I know that the definition of who looks and acts like a man is a personal thing; this is my take.
No body's changing; men have simply emerged as individuals no longer tied to stereotipical roles.
When I was young I also had the impression that all girls wanted macho men and I tried to act accordingly, though I was never a very good actor.
There are so many types of women out there it would be hard to generalize about what kind of man they seek.
I love it when women say they are turned on by intellect.
Bottom line suggestion: for life to be worth living one must give up the role playing and seek liberation from all conditioning as they begin to understand how to be themselves regardless.
Lancer, you made a blatant negative and sweeping judgment near the start of your post, which is in part, I believe, why you have drawn such extensive criticism on this thread. Read your second paragraph again, where you call feminine males (however you interpret feminine) to be stupid and weak, and not much good in a fight. You went on and on emphasizing the value of being able to fight --in South Africa, even Somalia. Whether you meant it or not, your implication was that that was valuable, and softness, gentleness is not so much. So much bullshit. That is not intelligent, no matter how smart you keep telling all of us you are. What the fuck does it matter to men in the U.S. how lawless and dangerous life is in Somalia? We don't live there. Trying to act as if we were would not only be inappropriate, it would be dysfunctional. Why would your teacher describe men from different countries as being generally different based on location and then turn around and divide a group of boys in one place into three groups? Your whole post has implicitly argued for men striving to be tough guys. You argument is horse shit.
Another thing...you have expressed a distinct motivation of wanting to attract women. Nothing wrong with that. You also acknowledged that different women want different things. Again, I agree. But you seemed to accept your teacher/mentor's sweeping generalization that women of a given culture generally want the same thing in a man. He and you couldn't be more wrong. Trust me, you don't want to attract just any women. You want to attract women who are a good fit for YOU. you do that best by being yourself, not by trying to study and emulate qualities just to curry favor. Just BE.
The gender lines are constantly being eroded, and I think it's brilliant. Sex makes sense to me: it's biology, it's universal the world over, it's who sticks what where in bed, it's how babies are made (or not.)
But gender is just the cultural nonsense that we traditionally attach to sex. Men can be builders but not nurses; men can drink beer from a pint glass, but not a half pint one; men must be competitive and like aggressive sports; men must shun things like embroidery and flower arranging; men must be the main breadwinner in a mixed sex relationship. And of course women are expected to be the opposite.
But society's been gnawing away at it for a long time. None of the above rules are anywhere near as rigid as they used to be. You'll find people breaking them all of the time.
Gender has had its day. It serves no useful purpose in modern society, and mostly creates artifical divides. It's a lot like religion.
Sex role stereotyping is mostly a social construct.
I have always been in touch with my 'feminine' side. I have always hated stereotypes - I was stereotyped at school and through most of my life.
There will always be men who do feminine stuff and women who do blokey stuff. Children left to their own devices will play with the same toys - it's us as adults that impose their roles on them. And it gets worse, the stereotypes are now everywhere and information technology just spreads it further and wider.
As for attracting a mate, if you are lucky you will find one that appreciates you for who you are, not what some life coach tells you that you should be.