In plenty of places on the internet you can read about the evils of masculinity. This is not one of those places. In fact, I think masculinity is probably a good thing. Why do I think that? And why should you reconsider if you do think so? That’s what I’m here to explain. While not many people might actually say or write the statement: “masculinity is evil”, that is the idea that many people (including me) often get when you hear; “masculinity is to blame for XXXXXX”
This article is for men to have a logical explanation why they are not bad people for being/ wanting to be masculine. You might say I’m constructing a straw man by using the statement written above as the thing to debunk in this post. I don’t think that’s quite fair though.
Other articles that might be of interest for you;
Why this statement?
“Masculinity is evil” is a statement that summarizes the feelings many people get when reading/seeing/etc. all the articles that are related to masculinity.
Maybe it’s just me that gets the feeling that that is the message but I highly doubt that I’m the only one.
A said, this article is for men that DO get this feeling, whether it’s intended or not.
Many men need to hear that they are not evil/defective/bad people for being who they are. This is a logical explanation for why thinking like this is not necessary.
The “Masculinity is evil” argument
Let’s first take a look at what argument the people that say masculinity is evil or bad make.
As far as I understand it, it goes something like this;
Men do bad things>Men are masculine>Masculinity is the reason for men doing bad things=Masculinity is evil.
This might be slightly simplified but it seems to be the line of thinking of many people that hold the opinion; “masculinity is a bad thing”.
Let’s unpack this line of thinking a little bit and see why the end conclusion is not correct.
Men do horrible things
Yes, this is correct. Men do indeed do horrible things. I don’t think anyone will argue with this statement.
How it’s used in the line of thinking shown above does not really take the full picture into account however.
- “Men do horrible things” is NOT the same as “ALL men do horrible things”. The latter statement would receive a whole lot less support than the first one because it isn’t true. There are plenty of men who don’t do horrible things.
- The statement doesn’t take women into account. Are there women who do horrible things? Yes, there are. It’s not the sole territory of men. Although there are differences in the kind of actions men and women commonly involved in.
- There are evil people in this world. That’s not the result of a person being masculine or feminine. It’s because they are bad people. The TYPE of evil might be different though.
Men are masculine
This is true for the vast majority of men. Most men are more or less masculine although this might be covered up by culture, upbringing, etc. Also, not all masculine men are equally masculine, although it’s very difficult to quantify this.
Masculinity is responsible for men doing bad things
If men do horrible things and those men are masculine, how
can masculinity be a good thing?
There are bad people in this world, regardless of personality. That should be the end of that argument. But there is more.
So the argument is that the men who do bad things are masculine. Ok. Let’s take that at face value. You can’t really measure masculinity and there aren’t any numbers on masculinity vs. crime rates for example.
There are a few options;
- All men are more or less masculine.
- Some men are masculine.
This then leads to the following options;
- All men are more or less masculine and some do bad things.
- Some men are masculine and THOSE men do bad things.
In my view, the second one is pretty easily disproven. Are there any masculine men that don’t do terrible things? Yes, there are.
That right there should be enough reason why the line of thinking outlined above is flawed. Because that means that being masculine is not related to being “good” or “evil”. They are independent of each other.
If that isn’t enough, consider the following questions.
- Does being “good” make you less masculine?
- Does being “evil” make you more masculine?
- Are women who do bad things more masculine?
- Does becoming more masculine mean you get worse behavior?
I think that by honestly answering those questions honestly for yourself, you’ll have to conclude that being masculine and being a bad person are not related.
If masculinity is evil, more masculinity should make you a worse human being. And you should also be able to reverse the statement. Doing bad things should make you more masculine. Think of the worst crimes you can imagine. Do those acts make you more masculine? No they don’t. The things are unrelated.
Did Hitler become more masculine because he did what he did? Don’t think so.
People are bad and good
I think that should be enough to disprove the line of thinking that masculinity is bad and responsible for the evils in this world. Masculinity and femininity are unrelated to being good or bad.
People do bad things. Not men do bad things or women do bad things. While that’s true, it doesn’t have anything to do with them being men or women.
Different types of bad
It’s true that men tend to commit different crimes than women. That doesn’t mean that women don’t commit crimes though. So while being masculine or feminine might have an influence on the type of bad things that person does, the fact that a person is masculine or feminine doesn’t make them good or bad.
Masculinity and femininity both have parts that can result in actions that are good and bad. While the misdeeds of women might be less visible in general, I don’t think many people would argue that women don’t do anything wrong. It’s also not the case that women who do bad things are necessarily more masculine.
I think I have supported the title of this post already but there are some other problems with argument that should be addressed.
What’s the opposite?
If you make the statement; “masculinity is bad”, there must be something that is “good”. What does this “good” look like?
The statement implies that types of personalities are on a moral scale. As far as I can see, that scale could look a few different ways;
- Masculine (Bad) – Feminine (Good)
- Masculine (Bad) – Other (Good)- Feminine(Good)
- Masculine (Bad) – Other (Good)- Feminine(Bad)
I don’t think any of these moral scales is correct since my viewpoint is that gender personalities are amoral. However, for the sake of argument, let’s say that they would be moral.
If masculinity is bad, femininity has to be bad too since people with a feminine personality do bad things too. That means option 1 and 2 can’t be correct.
That leaves options 3. Which shows “Other” to be good.
What would “Other” be? Is it a scale from masculine to feminine, where it’s exactly in the middle? Or would it be a third corner of a triangle?
If it’s in the middle, that would mean you take the good things from both. This seems impossible since; both things are “bad” so where would the “good” come from? If the good things came from one side, it would just be masculine or feminine again.
If “other” is only the traits masculine and feminine share equally, you would get rid of all personality differences that make men and women different, thereby saying there is nothing of value in anything masculine or feminine.
This seems to be what a certain group of people (feminists) believe nowadays.
Again, I believe this way of thinking to be completely misguided since personalities shouldn’t be put on a moral scale in the first place.
What would be the solution if true?
Let’s say hypothetically that masculinity is actually evil. Most people don’t want to be evil so that means you would want to get rid of it. What would be the alternative for men? If you can’t be masculine anymore, where do you go?
There are two options.
- You become (more) feminine
- You become something that isn’t feminine or masculine.
Either way, it means you cannot be masculine. But, masculinity is a set of character traits and these things are largely dictated by genetics and partly by upbringing, culture, etc.
That means that thinking that masculinity is evil is putting a moral judgment on something you have no control over. That doesn’t seem right to me.
Why masculinity is NOT evil
Now we’ve seen why the statement “masculinity is evil” is not correct, let’s see if we can actually make an argument for the following statement. “Masculinity is NOT evil.”
I don’t think masculinity and femininity have anything to do with good and evil. Neither of them are innately bad or good. They should be seen as amoral.
Saying that masculinity is evil puts it on a scale of good and bad. That would either; make femininity good OR a certain balance between masculine and feminine.
Biology is at least partly responsible for the differences between men and women. How big of a part? That’s still a question for now. But, taking into account the (likely) interplay between nature and nurture, it’s probably quite a big part.
Now we don’t usually give moral properties to nature. An earthquake that kills many people is terrible but not evil. Even genetic diseases are absolutely horrific but not “evil”.
Making someone else sick on purpose is seen as evil.
What’s the difference? Choice.
A very large part of our personality is outside of our choice. We have very little control over our personality.
Genetics are responsible for a large part of our personality. Another part is upbringing, environment, culture, etc. Isn’t that unfair? Yes it is. Deal with it.
So, if we have no choice over what our personality looks like, it should be seen as outside the realm of morality. It is what it is.
While behavior is strongly influenced by personality, this is the part where humans do have a choice.
You should be judged on you actions/behavior. You’ve got a choice in how to behave. You have very little choice in what your personality looks like. (although if you change your behavior, you might change your personality over time.)