Just how fragile is masculinity?

When you lie on the beach

‘neath the warm summer sky,

do you only wear sunscreen

that’s made for a guy?

When the smell of your home

is like a rancid trash can,

will the scented candles you buy

be made just for a man?


When you finish your meal

and you’re craving sweet food,

will you only eat chocolate

that’s made for a dude?



When cleaning your ears

do you without fail,

refuse to buy Q-tips

not made for a male?



When the drip from your nose

never seems spent,

will you only buy tissue

made for a gent?



When playing a game

(no, this isn’t a joke),

do you fret and you whine

cuz you can’t play a bloke?


If you answered yes to any of the above rhyming questions (of my creation), then congrats, your masculinity may be fragile. The above Tweets are part of the #MasculinitySoFragile hashtag, which originated as a way for feminists and their allies to mock and criticize the toxic attitudes and beliefs our society associates with masculinity. From beliefs about the type of alcoholic beverages a “real man” drinks, to the type of careers men are supposed to lean towards, to the perception that displays of affection between men are “unmanly”, to discriminatory and marginalizing views about LGBT people, #MasculinitySoFragile is part of an ongoing effort to criticize rigid and ultimately destructive ideas of how masculinity is defined. To the surprise of few, the hashtag evoked outrage from men who crawled out of the woodwork to complain that it was an attack on men in general, rather than a criticism of toxic masculinity. Amusingly, many of those who claimed the hashtag was demeaning towards men proved through their responses that masculinity really is a fragile concept. The frailty of masculinity was demonstrated once again in the responses to a recent mockumentary-No Men Beyond This Point

Created by Mark Sawers, the film humorously explores the idea of a world in which the male population is dying off. The comedic nature of the film was apparently lost on many, bc it was taken as-you guessed it-an attack on men:

“I don’t know what’s funny, a functioning society with only women at its helm or the fact this isn’t such a farfetched concept for a lot of militant feminists and many gender activists,” one user, Mitchell Christie, wrote in the trailer’s YouTube comments.

This Mockumentary Imagines the World Without Men — and Men Are Pissed
Source: Mic/YouTube

This was not an unpopular angle for the trailer’s male commenters to take. Because if men weren’t around, who would build the machines and drill for the oil and chop the wood that the world needs to function? No one, that’s who.

This Mockumentary Imagines the World Without Men — and Men Are Pissed
Source: Mic/YouTube

There was also a bit of confusion as to the meaning of words: Some confused sexism for racism, and racism for rapists, and rapists for sexists, and sexists for all men.

This Mockumentary Imagines the World Without Men — and Men Are Pissed


I gotta say,

If a mockumentary comedy

made by a man

caused you tons of distress

don’t read Y: The Last Man.

(h/t Buzzfeed)

Just how fragile is masculinity?

12 thoughts on “Just how fragile is masculinity?

  1. rq

    You have got to do more poetry. Unless that isn’t a manly enough pursuit, or something. (I like your style, is what I’m saying – though my opinion might not count, seeing as how I’m not a man.)

  2. 2

    I don’t know how this works. Your opinion counts to me, but since you’re a woman and I think that, does that make me less of a man? Aren’t we not supposed to listen to the opinions of women? I’m terribly confused.

  3. 3

    Most people will think “Children Of Men” first, but there is also Edward Llewellyn-Thomas and his post-apocalyptic “Douglas Convolution” novels. The words I added in bold are important because males in ELT’s books are not sterile. It is only the female children of women who took the drug.


    His Douglas Convolution science fiction series concerns the breakdown of civilization after most of a generation of women is born sterile as a side effect of a widely used anti-cancer medication.

  4. jy3

    I said it back when I saw #MasculinitySoFragile:

    Odin wore a dress as part of a convoluted scheme to learn women’s magic.
    Thor once pretended to be the second most beautiful woman alive.
    Loki gave birth.
    And the Vikings, the iron men with the wooden ships, still respected them.

    I think you’re safe using things that have been painted pink with pretty floral print.

  5. 8

    I loved the animal control officers, i laughed out loud (at work)

    What is crazy is those men don’t get that OTHER MEN are the problem. Other men make life difficult for men who don’t fit the stereotype. I’ve even seen research showing men who are not assertive/aggressive face the same lower salaries as women who are not. “Masculine” culture dominates men and women and yet they blame feminists for .. what? Pointing this out? Existing? It’s like tribalism takes over and they can’t dare let women criticize other men.

  6. rq

    I think you’re allowed to listen to me, but you’re not allowed to take anything I say seriously, until you come up with the idea yourself.
    Or something.


    Sheri S Tepper’s Gate to Women’s Country was an interesting study on toxic masculinity and a women-run society.

  7. 12

    I just want to say that I’m running a survival analysis using what is called a “shared frailty” model. I want to see if there is any difference in survival between genders and whether race is a factor in survival. Unfortunately*, I don’t have enough cases to examine survival in any race except whites, since the data is from the US where most people identify as white. So right now I literally have a program called “Shared frailty, white, male”.

    *Actually, since the disease under study is acute myeloblastic leukemia and it’s got a 5-year survival under 50%, it’s not really unfortunate that there are so few cases. But it does limit the analytic possibilities.

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