Changes in male identity in the 21st century: The only constant thing in this world is change… an irrefutable paradox of life. People, opinions, perceptions, feelings, relationships, and just about every other thing in this world is subject to change. As time elicit more changes, words continually change its meaning. Even the centuries-old notions about male identity are now changing. Gone are the days when men were seen as Neanderthals who only use brute force to satisfy a need or an urge.
Over time, men also underwent a process of refinement — through culture, education, and other norm-setting beliefs that were developed in each era of history. For example, in the olden days, it was common to see men wearing long gowns and tunics. This is evident even today in Scotland where men wear their traditional skirts that bear their family or clan’s “colors. ” It is also true that in some countries, the mere sight of a man wearing something that looks like a skirt would automatically attract unfavorable comments and insults.
According to traditional masculine concepts, men are supposed to be unconcerned about fashion, grooming, and other so-called feminine matters such as shoes and accessories. There is, however, a new concept of how it is to be a man. New forms of “manliness” has been called “Metrosexuality. ” A metro sexual is a man who has special concern over grooming, fashion and other external matters that help improve one’s physical appearance or image. The term “metrosexual” was first used by Mark Simpson, a British commentator, to refer to men who always looks at a mirror in a clear demonstration of vanity.
Metrosexual men, unlike the customary “dirt-loving” men, are described as having a strong regard for their appearance. It’s also noteworthy to see that these types of men have a “sharp eye” for fashion. Metrosexuals are said to be “aesthetically-concerned”… pampering themselves in salons, gyms, and other beauty-enhancing centers. Metrosexuality is somewhat close to the concept of narcissism. The Greek myth of Narcissus, a man who loved himself in great excess is the origin of the word, narcissism.
According to the story, Narcissus saw his reflection in a river and he grew to love his reflection so much that he reached for it in the water. Naricssus fell in the water and drowned. His love for his own face led to his own death. Some observers of gender-issues view Metrosexuality as a form of confusion of gender roles. Simply put, metrosexuals are “straight men acting like gays. ” Others even say that Metrosexuality is one of the avenues for “gay wannabes. ” Those who are openly metrosexual defend their lifestyle by saying that their focus on fashion does not automatically make them gay.
The firmly state that being conscious about clothes and accessories do not make them any less of a man. Another way male identity has changed in the 21st century is that men are now expected to stay at home with their or spend a lot more time with their children and the woman is supposed to go out to work whereas in previous years the woman was expected to stay at home with the husband (being the primary breadwinner) and the father would be less involved in the child’s life. Changes in female identity in the 21st century:
A lot of how female identity has changed in the 21st century was touched on, on the page before however there are a few more ways female identity has changed. Women now make up half of the English workforce, and are the primary breadwinner or co-breadwinner in 2/3 of English families. While I think the report goes too far in calling us “a woman’s nation” – for one thing, women still earn much less, both in terms of average annual income and lifetime income, than men – it does highlight a significant change in English culture.
People my age and lower will most likely never know a workplace in which men and women don’t figure at least equally. Masculinity has been constructed over the last century almost entirely around the idea of men as providers and protectors, and frankly, women don’t need that any more. Already in at least a dozen major metropolitan areas, women earn on average more than men.
Women are waiting longer to get married, and are more often the initiators of divorce – with their own incomes, they can afford to be pickier about their spouses, both going into marriage and when deciding whether to continue their relationships. Well, women now make up the majority of college and university students, even in many areas in science and technology traditionally considered to be men’s domains. Boys almost never read – only some 1 out of 5 young adult books are read by boys, who have determined that reading books is for sissies.
Boys are more likely to drop out of high school (35% of boy’s vs. 28% of girls in 2003). Aside from a few hard-core traditionalists, just about everyone now accepts as a given that both men and women will have an education, a career, and a public life. Each and every one of us benefits daily from the greater participation of women in our society: we use medicines developed by women, we use products designed by women, we live by laws written by and voted on by women, and so on.
By lowering the barriers that prevented women from developing to their fullest extent in the past, we have effectively doubled the pool of talent that we as a society draw on. The idea that a woman can’t be this or that is falsified by the reality that there is virtually no job category that women haven’t entered and excelled in. Real men encourage those around them, male or female, to realize their fullest potential, regardless of their own or others’ preconceptions. That’s feminism.