Masculinity has almost become a dirty word over the last couple of years. Many men feel guilty for being or wanting to be masculine. Some men try to hide it, others even try to become less masculine. Obviously that’s not conducive to becoming a (more) masculine man. Why do men do this? What can you do to improve this mindset? Keep reading and find out.
Why is it OK to be a masculine man? Men don’t have to be like women. Male genetic make up and hormones are different. Many men repress their masculinity because it’s blamed for many of the wrongs in the world at the moment. You don’t have to be ashamed of your biology and will be a better person if you embrace it.
Want to know more about the Masculine Mindset? Check the following articles
Need some extra help becoming the masculine men you can be? Check out the program “Masculine Core”. It’ll help you awaken the masculine that’s waiting inside of you.
Why are men less masculine now?
It seems that men in general have become less masculine over time. Why is this?
Many men are consciously or unconsciously afraid of masculinity. While other’s just don’t feel like they are/should be masculine. There are a couple of reasons for this as far as I can see.
1. Media attention
Social and traditional media have not been friendly to men. There are commercials obviously bashing men and masculinity. TV series and movies often depict men as hapless, incompetent man-children.
Then there is a group of people that just blames men and masculinity for everything that’s wrong in the world. Men who are growing up don’t want to be bad (most of them anyways). That means these men try to be the least masculine they can be.
2. Role models
There are very few good masculine role models in society today. You have to search for them and won’t just find them on TV. Combine that with many absent fathers, that were never an example for their sons and many men only see negative examples of men.
3. Cultural + technological shifts
There are massive cultural shifts going on in the western world at the moment. If they are good or bad, I’m not nearly prophetic enough to say. But it seems to me that everyone, not only men, are having to cope with big changes in society compared to 2 or even 1 generation ago.
Compare your life to how your grandparents lived and many differences should be clear. If you go back to before the industrial revolution and people lived mostly the same as their grandparents.
We have many changes to deal with and nobody is really sure what the results are going to be.
It has meant that many people think that traditional masculinity (and to an extent femininity) don’t serve a purpose anymore. That men should “be modern” and let go of the masculine stereotype. In practice this has meant that many men have become more feminine.
4. Dropping testosterone levels
More on testosterone below but this is almost certainly another big factor in why men seem less masculine.
Average testosterone levels in men have been dropping for decades. Check out this article for more information. (Forbes link)
Why this is, is not completely clear. The most likely cause seems to be 1. Obesity and 2. Environmental toxins.
Fat cells produce an enzyme that converts testosterone into estrogen. More fat equals more estrogen. Another reason to get rid of that extra weight!
Many things in a modern environment are estrogenic as well. Air pollution, pesticides, processed foods, food from plastic containers, etc. Can all have an impact on your hormones.
Masculinity is natural
The shaming of masculinity is a result of world view that prescribes that everyone is the same. That all differences between men and women are the result of cultural and societal influences.
I call BS on this idea. Sure there are cultural and societal influences that play a part in gender differences. Nature is a much bigger influence on these differences however. There are significant biological differences between men and women.
Also, realize that the cultural differences that exist, might be the RESULT of biological differences, not the CAUSE.
What’s one of the biggest differences?
Men have waaaayyy more testosterone than women do. Even before birth men will be subject to much higher levels of testosterone than women. This influences the development of body and brain from before birth.
During adulthood the normal ranges of testosterone are (from www.medicalnewstoday.com)
“Normal testosterone levels in men are around 280 to 1,100 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL).
Women secrete much lower amounts, with normal levels considered to be between 15 and 70 ng/dL.”
That means that the lowest “normal” level of testosterone for men is still FOUR TIMES as high as the highest “normal” for women.
Also, the low end for men is usually seen in older men. If you would take men and women around 30 years old, the differences would be even bigger.
What difference does it make?
So what impact do these hormonal differences have?
Check this article on www.healthline.com for more information
In short, there are differences in;
- Muscle size
- Muscle density
- Bone density
- Sexuality and libido
- Hair growth
Those are some of the physical differences. There are also differences in the brain that occur because of hormonal differences
So what happens when you give a female testosterone to reach male levels? Check this article.
Their brains change. In this case it had an effect on communication (big surprise….) but it’s not unreasonable to assume there are more effects.
So what does that mean?
It means that there are biological differences between men and women. They will act in a different way because of physical and brain differences resulting in different behavior. Those differences in physique and behavior between men and women are what is perceived as feminine and masculine.
It’s not OK to be ashamed of your biology.
Don’t be afraid
Maybe you’re afraid of judgment when you start acting in a more masculine manner.
Imagine a masculine man. Would he be hiding and cowering because he’s afraid of what other people think of him? Don’t think so.
There are several things you can do.
1. Read this article about courage.
Courage is the overcoming of fear. It’s not easy and takes some mental preparation. The article linked above might help you with several of those things.
2. Don’t give a f***
Ok, this is easier said than done but at some point you’re going to have to make a decision. Are you going to do what’s good for yourself? Or are you going to keep trying to please other people?
I think most people will answer that they have to do what’s good for them. Trying to please others’ is a never ending endeavor that will end in running yourself into the ground while the others’ are still not pleased.
Do what you want. It’s your life. You decide the direction you think is good for you. That doesn’t mean you should never listen to advice but, be careful who you listen to.
3. There is going to be some “fake it ‘till you make it.”
If you’re not naturally confident in yourself, you might need to fake it a little bit. Almost no one is good at something the first time they try it. Faking confidence might help you in the beginning. Once you see what you’re doing works, you’ll gain more “real” confidence.
If it’s not working, maybe analyze if what you’re doing is right.
(Re)discover your masculinity
Maybe you have never been very masculine or maybe you’ve repressed or lost it over time. Either way, there is some work to do. You have to discover or rediscover your masculinity.
Notice the use of the word; YOUR in the last sentence. Everyone is different and that’s ok. While there are certain traits you can say are masculine, it doesn’t mean that everyone has all those traits or has as much of a certain trait as all other men.
In the end you should be yourself. You have to discover what that looks like though. If you’ve been trying to please other people you’re whole life, you might have some traits and interests that are unknown to you.
How can you discover your own identity?
1. Spend time by yourself
The first thing you should do is spend time by yourself. Take a day and do something. Preferably do something new you’d like to try. Go into nature and relax. Work on a motorcycle.
Try to prevent playing video games or watching TV. While those things can be great to relax, they don’t do much for getting in touch with yourself.
To help get some alone time, consider creating a man cave. There are plenty of articles to be found on that topic right here on this site. Click here to find more information about man caves.
2. Do things with other guys
Besides being alone, it’s very good to do things with other guys. Having good friendships with other men is very helpful in discovering your identity.
Men don’t communicate the same way women do. So don’t try to make friends the same way. Men can create great relationships by DOING things. Something physical and/or challenging you do together.
Go on a difficult hike, go fishing, work on a car, build something, etc. While going for a drink will help as well, it’s better to do that AFTER you’ve done another activity. Creating relationships based on drinking together is not the healthiest thing you can do.
3. Put yourself in novel situations
A third way that helps you discover your masculinity is to put yourself in novel situations. (Best combined with number one and two.)
If you’re a bit stuck in life, there isn’t much better than doing something you’ve never done before. You might discover that you are actually pretty good at something you didn’t know.
By putting yourself in new situations and evaluating how you handled them, you can possibly discover some things in yourself that you didn’t know before. Discovering new things about yourself can also give you higher confidence.