Positive Masculinity: Including Masculinity as a Valued Aspect of Humanity
Much of the contemporary narrative around masculinity in the Western world is deeply negative, and promotes the assumption that masculinity is a social problem that needs fixing. In this chapter the validity of this narrative is questioned, tested and counter-balanced by exploring a wider range of theory and evidence. It is concluded that there is a more urgent need to fix our negative social attitudes to masculinity than to fix masculinity itself. Masculinity cannot empirically be reduced to a social construction. Gender is a universal and embodied part of the human condition, not merely a stereotype or construct. At a time when we thankfully no longer try to change or reconstruct a person’s sexuality, the same attitude should be taken to a person’s masculinity or femininity. It is bad science to confuse gender itself with pathology and this chapter offers a more evidence-based, positive and normative approach to masculinity as a valuable part of the human condition.
KeywordsPositive masculinity Hegemonic masculinity Toxic masculinity Hypermasculinity Archetype
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