“The One True Masculinity”

27 Feb
“The One True Masculinity”

Masculinity has many facets, and can be expressed in many different ways; no disagreement.

That said, we Christians call Christ both true God and true man, and in some creeds and confessions, we even explicitly identify Him as The True Man; the Second Adam or Last Adam, who exemplified sinless human perfection as well as divinity, in order to save us. In any case, though, that needn’t detract from us understanding masculinity per se as multifaceted, because there are surely many different kinds of ways to be masculine. God Himself is the author of variety, of our different personalities and individualities.

Gynocentrism and its Origins

*This article first published at A Voice for Men.

Have you noticed everyone attempting to nail down the one true definition of masculinity? Its a bit like arguing which is the One True God. Likewise, with every earnestly researched and precisely crafted definition of masculinity, a broad acceptance of any single definition seems out of reach.

If you have an hour to waste on the internet you can discover hundreds of competing definitions of masculinity, each one vastly different, which raises the question of why we can’t agree on a singular, universal statement. Why the ongoing lack of agreement, even within the men’s movement which sets out to champion that very topic of “men” and “masculinity”?

There’s no doubting that underlying physiological structures are shared among all males, the base unity of masculine potentials: a Y chromosome, androgens, muscles and penises. But this tells us little about how individual men…

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Posted by on February 27, 2021 in Uncategorized


15 responses to ““The One True Masculinity”

  1. info

    February 27, 2021 at 8:10 am

    Generally good but there is some problems with the article:

    “This approach, celebrating masculine variety, is not new to readers here. In fact A Voice for Men has honoured the very plurality I’m describing, and it has done so consistently for over a decade. Men, strong and weak, stoic or sensitive, physical or intellectual, gay, straight or transgender….. we’ve demonstrated inclusive masculinity from the outset. This article serves as a reminder of the importance of those values, while introducing the concept of masculine variety to new readers.”

    Masculine variety is good. But the definition they are going for is too inclusive and results in the meaninglessness of the definition altogether.

    Even Men who fail to take care of their bodies to be strong and healthy and likewise in developing psychological and mental toughness, Rod Dreher and Body mutilators would be considered Masculine.

    Masculinity is an ideal which Men would more tend towards but falls short of. Who keeps his word and is competent. Who is excellent at the VIsual-Spatial skills and so forth.

    • Will S.

      February 27, 2021 at 12:07 pm

      Agreed, info.

      I notice while AVfM were at pains in that article to include explicitly transgender men, they did not explicitly mention Christian men. Telling.

  2. silentmick1

    February 27, 2021 at 9:11 pm

    For thousands of years the ideal of both masculine and feminine character was taught by way of stories and art. Tales of heroism and sacrifice for the sake of family, nation and gods taught that striving for the good, the beautiful and the true are traits to be sought after and cultivated. Until modern times a great deal of art depicted saints, heroes and heroines in acts of triumph, sacrifice or mercy and of standing firm for honor and truth in the face of censure, danger and death. This was commonly taught as recently as the middle of the last century.

    This stuff about variety is just another way to undermine the ideal and spread confusion. It is an effort to dilute and then smother the ideal in a sea of confused and conflicting images. It is intended to take people away from attempting to emulate the good the beautiful and the true by equating these with deviancy and prideful sin.

    • Will S.

      February 27, 2021 at 10:16 pm

      I both agree and disagree; let me explain.

      I completely agree with you about mythology reinforcing common values, and encouraging the good.

      And that insofar as we have good stories with good morals, that exemplify ideal masculine and feminine character, godly character, this is all proper and to be encouraged, over the silly modern ideas that people can do whatever they want, and make it all up as they go along.

      Fully in agreement with you there.

      Where I think there’s room for variety, is more in terms of a propensity that sometimes develops in cultures, to say that certain things are more masculine than others, in terms of hobbies, interests, intellectual pursuits, and the like, with which I disagree.

      Example: some men think that men should be solely interested in sports or individual athletics like jogging that emphasize competition, strength, speed, basically testosterone-focused activities.

      These things are all fine, but I think it isn’t less masculine for a man to be interested in gymnastics, in dance, figure skating, yet some characterize such activities as ‘sissy’ pursuits – and then that becomes self-selecting: eventually straight, manly men end up eschewing, say, figure skating, ballet, whatever, and then those fields become completely dominated by queers.

      What about a man who’s not into hunting or fishing, but likes the arts: whether painting, sculpture, or theatre, either creating or appreciating, as his hobbies?

      Is he less manly, less masculine, than other men?

      Some would contend so. I don’t.

      Some people think you’re more manly based on whether you drink x kind of alcoholic beverage – or whether or not you even partake at all; some men who prefer regular beer see men who like craft beers as effete snobs; some men who prefer beer or whisky see men who drink cocktails like Manhattans as girly-men, etc.

      Some men who drink alcoholic beverages think real men drink, and that teetotallers are less masculine men, more effeminate. Some teetotallers might see alcohol partakers as less self-disciplined, and therefore less masculine-ideal.

      All such claims, that certain hobbies, interests, tastes, pursuits, pleasures, for anything that isn’t directly a question of morality, are more masculine than others, are absurd.

      So, we can like and appreciate and pass on stories, myths, that illustrate good morality, good character, and uphold good morals, and eschew rabid individualism, while also eschewing the idea that in other areas, there’s only one way to be masculine versus effeminate.

      • info

        February 28, 2021 at 12:47 am

        Likewise I believe anything that results in lowering testosterone, degrade physical health, courage, honor and competence as anti-masculine.

        Veganism is anti-masculine because of malnourishment for example. And causes T-levels to crash.

        A man needs a proper T-level range.

        “What about a man who’s not into hunting or fishing, but likes the arts: whether painting, sculpture, or theatre, either creating or appreciating, as his hobbies?”

        I want Beautiful Architecture back. So that both inside and outside the building we may be delighted by our surroundings rather than depressed.

        So this stereotype is total Hogwash. So long he isn’t a weak soyboy I don’t have problem.

      • Will S.

        February 28, 2021 at 1:00 am

        That argument re: veganism does resonate with me, that it’s not good to engage in a diet that diminishes one’s strength, capabilities, etc.

        Yes, we shouldn’t have a dichotomy where the beautiful and sublime and transcendent are juxtaposed over and against simplicity and spartanness as some sort of masculine ideal; hogwash, indeed. Agreed, let’s have beauty outdoors and indoors, celebrated and built.

    • Will S.

      February 27, 2021 at 10:45 pm

      Now, I fully recognize of course that I have my own biases; e.g. I tend to view meat-eating as more masculine and vegetarianism as less, mainly because vegetarianism outside of religious obligates such as Seventh-Day Adventists and Jains, tends to be more trendy among young women and hippies, and so I am apt to dismiss such a lifestyle choice as being hippy or girlie.

      Yet I recognize that this is just my personal prejudice, and I wouldn’t consider a vegetarian man like Mr. Rogers, or George Bernard Shaw, as less masculine than me just because they eschewed meat.

      • info

        March 1, 2021 at 8:46 pm

        Even Mount Athos monks who don’t eat meat and dairy on fast days. Still eat fish,dairy and eggs on feast days every week.

        That’s how you properly get to be vegetarian to a certain extent without T-levels and health crashing.

      • info

        March 1, 2021 at 8:48 pm

        Actually it’s moderation days rather than feast days.

      • Will S.

        March 1, 2021 at 8:50 pm

        Practicing moderation is smart. 🙂

      • info

        March 1, 2021 at 8:53 pm

        If a vegetarian is healthy they are definitely doing it similar to the monks of Athos.

        Being Vegetarian doesn’t have to exclude fish,eggs and dairy 😉

      • info

        March 1, 2021 at 8:55 pm

        Did more research they have 3 moderation days where all the food I said are allowed alongside 1 feast day a week. And 3 fast days where it’s more vegan with lentils, pumpkins and other non-starchy vegetables.

      • Will S.

        March 1, 2021 at 8:57 pm


    • Will S.

      February 27, 2021 at 10:54 pm

      I will say that there can be a danger that because we recognize certain traits as masculine, we may think that those who exemplify them in a certain way are more masculine than others who pursue a different or opposite course of action, and be inclined to think the latter less masculine, when that may or may not be the case.

      For instance, we all recognize that a man who answers his country’s call to arms as being not only patriotic but likely courageous as well, because he is willing to put himself in harm’s way, for what he sees as a greater good. We see this rightly as a masculine virtue, that of willingness if needed to self-sacrifice, for the greater good; we may thus reasonably see him as a very masculine man.

      However, if another man opposes the war, and chooses not to go off to war when the call to enlist goes out, we may contrast him with the first man, and conclude that he therefore must either be a coward, or is unpatriotic, and therefore is less of a man.

      While that may be so, it may also not be.

      He may have principled reasons for opposing the war, beyond merely wishing to save his own skin; he may hold that a particular war is unjust, unChristian, and that therefore his country shouldn’t be embarking upon it, and therefore he wants no part of it. We do such a man therefore an injustice if we consider him less masculine just because he is eschewing the common course of action.

      If anything, it takes great moral courage to go against the herd, and do what one thinks is right rather than what may be popular. That can be therefore highly masculine in and of itself, to my way of thinking.

      So, both men may be masculine, but in different ways…

      • Will S.

        February 27, 2021 at 10:56 pm

        I don’t think this makes me a relativist, but it does mean that I believe in nuance, and complexity.