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“TO BECOME A MAN - IT IS LITTLE TO BE BORN THEM ...”
A man, of course, is not least a biological creature with certain sexual characteristics. But from the point of view of social expectations, there are always few sexual characteristics per se: a man is also required to have some “masculine” behavior. Not without reason in the popular song of the Leningrad group, called “Wild Man”, the attributes of the latter are “eggs, tobacco, fume and stubble”. In this example, one can clearly see how closely the biological characteristics of men are intertwined with social, that is, a certain lifestyle: “eggs” alone, even with “stubble” (although stubble is already an element of a certain work on oneself: it's not a beard, all the same = that means that its owner sometimes shaves) for a convincing image is not enough, you need to add additional signs of brutality - the smell of tobacco and alcohol fumes.
To be just a “wild man” is not at all necessary and far from always pleasant. But = some set of masculine, in other words, masculine, qualities every biological man must necessarily possess, otherwise his male status can be questioned. Public sanctions against a man who is not courageous enough or like a woman have always been much tougher than against a woman who is not feminine enough.
And this has been in effect since childhood: boys are much more limited in terms of acceptable behavior than girls, who are allowed to be tombstones for quite some time. Parents are usually not very concerned about their daughters, who participate in prestigious "boyish" activities, for example, chasing football. They consider this a temporary phenomenon, which will then pass, giving way to an interest in outfits and gentlemen. If a boy is called a “girl”, this has a clearly negative meaning, and is perceived as an insult inflicted with contempt and ridicule. For the girl, the nickname "real guy" has a much more positive meaning, and you can be proud of it. This difference, as in a mirror, reflects higher-order social priorities that devalue all female manifestations compared to men's ones. Trying to structure their world, boys quickly assimilate and even exaggerate the inferior status of girls and women and qualities attributed to the female sex.
Although in recent years the so-called ideals of masculinity and femininity have begun to coincide more than in the past, the most significant “masculine” ideals prescribed for boys and men are still very different from the “feminine” ones. True, it must be borne in mind that these ideals differ depending on the man’s belonging to the social class, and here we are faced with contradictions within the ideas of masculinity. For example, any men should be an active side: in contrast to the passivity attributed to women, they are expected to have greater physical strength, aggressiveness, perseverance, and initiative.
It is assumed that they will be independent, ambitious, strive for competition. It is no coincidence that these characteristics coincide with those that are necessary for success in an economic system based on competition. Compared to them, women's ideals are aimed at basically eliminating this possibility: a woman is expected to be pliable and gentle.
In other words, a man must be successful. However, for men from the working class, success is usually limited to gaining practical and technical skills. These skills traditionally relate to the field of specifically male occupations, while science studies that provide men with a better career are paradoxically perceived as more passive and “feminine”. But it is boys from the upper classes who study in elite schools who are preparing for taking leadership positions in business and obtaining prestigious specialties. Boys from working families are preparing to join the ranks of the mass labor force, while they develop many "ideal" male characteristics (aggressiveness and dominance), which in reality they are unlikely to be able to show at work. Who can they dominate? Shop mates? Work piece? Therefore, these qualities find a way out in the field of leisure: in sports, for example, and in relationships with girls and women.
So, in order not to get the shameful nickname “girl” (and when she grows up, she is a “woman”), a man must be courageous, that is, possess masculinity. In practice, this means that he must follow certain scenarios of behavior and have such views that would correspond to these scenarios.
The famous English sociologist Anthony Giddens describes traditional normative masculinity as a combination of such features as:
desire to dominate other men in the sphere of public life;
the presence of a double standard (which is acceptable for men, unacceptable for women, and vice versa);
the division of women into "pure" (whom you can marry) and "unclean" (prostitutes, kept women, witches);
understanding of gender differences as unshakable given by God or Nature;
the concept of women as irrational creatures with unclear desires and actions (a woman as a problem);
division of labor on the basis of sex, men can only do “men's work”.
Few disputes this description of the signs of a "real man." Another thing, why should men be just like that? Is it determined by nature or upbringing? Is it possible = to change something in this picture, and is it worth changing? There are many points of view expressed on this subject. Consider the most interesting of them.
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