As simple as this sounds, I really enjoyed that this article was about men and masculinity. Too often, feminists and feminist authors only focus on females and how the world/society impacts women. I feel like this gives feminism a bad reputation because it simply highlights the ideas that feminists are men hating females seeking revenge and to completely go against all femininity expressed/imposed by society. Since feminism really seeks to obtain gender equality rather than getting revenge on men, I think that these stereotypes only hurt the main cause behind feminism itself.
One of the things I found to be the most interesting was the idea that men easily face the same amount of pressure within society and the media that women face- just in different ways, obviously. As women are pressured into looking a certain way and buying certain products, men are pressured into acting a certain way and always fitting into the MANLY mold. Men not only have to be strong, masculine heroes, but they also have to express violence towards other men. They are not only given power (since men clearly hold power in society over women), but they are also asked to fight for their right to have power or to keep it over other men. On top of all of this, men are ALSO asked to look a certain way. Generally speaking, a man cannot buy a single hygiene product or article of clothing without having a buff, half naked man flaunted in their face. Yes, the same is true for women in this case, however the point is to show that women are not the only ones facing this issue.
Another issue that the article focuses on is the idea that men have to strive so hard to be men. To explain further, men are not allowed to simply BE and BECOME men. They have to not only be taught how, but they also have to do everything in their own power to show that they are men and far from female. No man is free to grow on his own or to become his own person. If a particular man likes to dance? No. Not okay. What if he likes to sing or play the flute? Never. He could never express any of these desires or enjoyments. They are not manly enough- he is not allowed to like them.
I guess my question here would be: Why, if men are born so superior to women (since we're so incredible different) and are far different from women, do they have to strive so hard to prove to themselves and to every one around that they are of the male gender and they know it? Why do men have to try so hard just to be recognized as the gender they were born in? And if they stray from that, why do they all of the sudden become more feminine? Who gets to decide what defines male and female to society?