In a society where the term “masculinity” is increasingly viewed with skepticism, experts are raising concerns about the potential negative impacts of this trend.
The American Psychological Association has even gone so far as to label traditional masculinity as “harmful”. This sentiment is echoed in popular culture, with films such as the recent “Barbie” movie critiquing stereotypical masculinity.
A Politico/Ipsos poll reveals that a significant portion of Americans feel that their culture makes it difficult to take pride in traditional male roles. This sentiment is further reinforced by the perception that the Democrat Party is hostile towards masculine values. Senator Josh Hawley has been particularly vocal on this issue, attributing the crisis of masculinity to a combination of technological advancements, job outsourcing, and the progressive narrative that paints men as oppressors.
The media’s portrayal of masculinity is often reduced to two categories: toxic or foolish. This is evident in the recent “Barbie” movie and extends to sitcoms over the past three decades where men and fathers are often depicted as either inept or harmful. This trend is not limited to the media; it is also evident in sports, where masculinity is increasingly seen as an undesirable trait.
The economic implications of this shift in societal values are also significant. Data from the U.S. Labor Department shows that fewer men of prime working age are employed, a trend that has been ongoing for over half a century. This trend is attributed to a combination of factors, including the federal government’s de-emphasis on blue-collar jobs and the negative portrayal of masculinity.
The negative impacts of this trend extend beyond the economy. Boys are at a higher risk of suicide and incarceration, and deaths of despair among boys and men are increasing. The primary cause of these issues is the lack of fathers in the home and the lack of male role models. This shift in values also negatively impacts women, who struggle to find good partners in life.
The traditional masculine and feminine values that are currently under attack in media and entertainment are deeply rooted in ancient history. These values, which include willpower, action, and decision-making for masculinity, and imagination, nurturing, and emotional motivation for femininity, are integral to personal success and happiness. However, the modern lifestyle, characterized by technology, consumerism, and screen time, has led to complacency and passivity among men.
Experts argue that real strength lies in providing for others and taking on responsibility. They encourage men to push back against passivity and complacency and to embrace their roles as providers and protectors. This, they argue, is the path to a greater sense of purpose, influence, and legacy.