Friday, March 18, 2016

"Can a Man Be a Feminist?" (Buzzfeed video)

I teach Women's and Gender Studies and a course on Theories of Masculinity as part of that program. There are various perspectives on whether or not men can be feminists, call themselves feminist, use the term "pro-feminist" instead of "feminist," ETCETERA. This video sums up some of these issues, which we explore at length in my Masculinities course, as there are pro-feminist movements, pro-male movements (quite different), men who claim feminism, and men who absolutely resist it. It's an important and compelling issue, particularly because feminism is not JUST about women and is still so misunderstood and stereotyped.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Double standards: Punk vs Man

          I was having a conversation with some female coworkers and when the subject of men came up it took a sharp left turn.  One of the females I was talking to was saying how she gets so mad at her guy because when she is laying down and sick, he doesn't have it in him to immediately come in and tend to her, waiting on her hand and foot.  She said "I really just want him to be sweet and sensitive to me."

        The conversation went on about how she is very hard on guys because she doesn't want any man she deals with romantically to be like any of the men that were in her life when she grew up.  So, I asked, "In y'all's opinion...what is a man?"  Boy, was did I get a barrage of contradictions based on stereotypes that she had bought into throughout her life!  I told them that I was going to take notes because I am in a Masculinity Theories class that this material would be perfect for.

        Keep in mind that these women were a wide range of ages, from 19 years old at the youngest and 52 at the eldest.  I was surprised to find that of them, the older women seemed to be the most open minded as to sex and gender.  I guess I should not have been surprised though, when I take into consideration the images of men, boys and gays  in movies, on TV and even in the news.  The younger ones all agreed that in order to be a man, a male has to be working or have a business, he must be physically strong.  Although they varied in skin tone, eye color, hair texture/style, and overall body type.  Every single description of a man was stereotypical, including the fact that if he had any effeminate traits that meant he was gay, and therefore not a man.

        It was the oldest woman who challenged them on their views, and it was quite entertaining to witness.  She asked them some of the same questions that we have discussed in this class.  During the interaction some of the young women were open minded and took into consideration the wisdom coming from her.  Some of them though, were not having it.  They left the same way they came to the conversation.  The whole thing reminded me of society as a whole.  There are some who are always open-minded and accepting, then there are those who are firm in their beliefs but are still willing to listen and learn something new, finally you have those who, no matter what, will not budge on the way they think.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Trans views of masculinity

We get a lot of perspective about masculinity from cisgender men and women and I wanted to find some viewpoints from transmasculine/nonbinary folks. This article interviews twelve trans people about their definition of masculinity, along with a little blurb about each person's job, age and gender identity. I loved how the the first person asked about where they are on the gender spectrum answered, "Over it."

The gender binary can cause trans people to feel forced into presenting as the opposite gender they were assigned at birth in order for people to not automatically assign them that same gender immediately upon seeing or meeting them. I admire those who push their own and others' views about the binary system of gendering, which can be intensely limiting to everyone born into that system. Another person, when asked about where they fit into the spectrum, simply stated their name, "Thomas." Take a look at the article to read about each person's definition of masculinity as it relates to their gender.

Masculinity Means...

Monday, November 30, 2015

Is There a Lack of Reassurance for Men and Boys?

The above link is to a This American Life episode in which various types of "status updates" are discussed. The first act is all about the ways in which girls interact over social media, specifically the ways they compliment each other. Unsurprisingly, girls engage in myriad social interactions centered around compliments and reassurance. Complimenting each other is how girls construct their social networks, it's how they express love, desire for friendship, admiration, even jealousy. Perhaps most importantly is the abundance of reassurance and encouragement that girls and women give each other. Encouragement and reassuring love of all sorts is vital for people to feel and be emotionally stable and available. While girls and women are socialized to be open with their emotions, men are socialized to be the opposite. In fact, it is considered unmanly and gay to express compliments toward another man. And as we've learned throughout this course, gay and unmanly are two of the most terrifying things to be for a man. To preserve masculinity men must be inexpressive and emotionally cold. When men are seen complimenting each other it's either portrayed negatively or as a joke:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/mikerose/men-try-to-compliment-each-other#.nvRwrZQGZp

Shouldn't we be wondering what broader effects the lack of emotional communication has on young boys?

Toxic Masculinity and Mass Shootings


"...toxic masculinity is a performance that emphasizes violence, control over others, sexual aggression and a lack of emotion and vulnerability." In a recent module we learned about masculinity and violence. The movies, video clips, and readings all showed different links between the two. We also learned about race as it relates to masculinity. All aspects of people's lives are intertwined, and in some cases factors intertwine in ways that cause violence towards others. For example, Dylann Roof, a young, white, middle-class male, shot 10 African American church-goers in Charleston, North Carolina, killing 9 of them in an attempt to start a "race war."  "Roof’s racism and sexism thus intersect in what philosophers Carol Pateman and Charles Mills have described as 'racial patriarchy.' This is a system of racial domination in which people of color are subordinate to whites. It is also a relationship where white men have more power than white women." Roof embodies the idea of toxic masculinity, and when mixed with unstable home life, white supremacist views, and access to a firearm, he did what other young white males have done in an attempt to reclaim power they feel they have lost in life: he took that anger and used it to kill innocent people. 

Mass shootings are all too common in America, with more than 200 mass killings in the US since 2006. But every time media talks about a mass shooting, they leave out the most important patterns from their analysis: the shooters are almost always white, middle-class men."The corporate news media does not want a sustained discussion of gun violence as a type of public health crisis. The corporate news media is also unwilling to discuss how domestic terrorism by right-wing white men is now the United States’ leading threat to public order. Very troublingly, the corporate news media considers it impolitic to explore how the right-wing echo chamber is radicalizing and weaponizing its followers." If we want to stop these shootings from happening we need to do a number of things, including raising boys with the notion that they shouldn't use violence as a solution to their problems.


http://www.salon.com/2015/07/07/the_plague_of_angry_white_men_how_racism_gun_culture_toxic_masculinity_are_poisoning_america_in_tandem/

http://www.gannett-cdn.com/GDContent/mass-killings/index.html#title

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dylann_Roof

Sunday, November 29, 2015

“What’s Wrong with Fathers Rights?”

Author Michael Flood presents his discussion, “What’s Wrong with Fathers Rights?” in Men Speak Out: Views on Gender, Sex, and Power which was edited by Shira Tarrant. Flood speaks from an informed anti-sexist and pro-feminist position on the pitfalls of men’s rights groups. Flood explains that individual men who seek out support from a men’s rights group can be allotted into either those undergoing custody battles, are wanting more contact with their children, or are non-custodial parents seeking lessened child support. Flood approaches the controversial topic of men’s rights by relating the most pertinent facts of the men’s rights movement and it’s hindrance towards all parties involved in family disturbances. 

On the topic of how this movement is damaging progress of women, Flood states, “So, what’s wrong with men’s rights? Above all, anti-feminist men’s perspectives are based on a profound denial of the systematic gender inequalities that privilege many men and disadvantage many women” (Flood, ed. Tarrant, 214). It is this inaccurate portrayal of feminists and their cause, that men’s rights movements take part in harming. Their movement offers a distorted perception of the women involved and their relation to men. Flood acknowledges the very real wrongdoings toward some men which is perpetrated by some women by stating that “such instances do not support anti-feminist men’s claim that men are the ‘new Jews’, suffering under what they call a global ‘feminazi’ regime. Men’s and fathers’ rights groups offer a bizarre and fundamentally inaccurate portrayal of feminism as anti-male and fail to see the enormous hope for and goodwill toward men which is embodies” (Flood, ed. Tarrant, 215). These false claims against feminism cheat men of the true, harmonious goals of which feminists strive to achieve.

Michael Flood also argues three main affects in which the fathers’ rights movement is damaging the people who are in direct contact with the men seeking support from the men’s rights advocators. The first, and most critical happenings of the movement’s effects, Flood describes by writing, “Above all, fathers contact with children has been privileged over children’s safety from violence” (Flood, ed. Tarrant, 215). Flood reveals that ex-partners and children are being subjected to further abuse from violent men as the court system is alarmingly relying on the men’s rights movement suggestion that a father – no matter their abusive tendencies – is better than no father at all. This privileged belief subjects ex-partners and children to even further unnecessary physical violence and/or psychological scarring.

The second effect of the men’s movement is described by Flood as having a “negative impact on community understandings of violence against women and children…. Father’s rights groups… claim that women routinely make up allegations of domestic violence to gain advantage in family law case and… advocates [of the men’s rights movement] encourage the mistaken belief that domestic violence is gender-equal” (Flood, ed. Tarrant, 216). Flood explains through statistical research that women who do go through with a restraining order are doing so as a last-resort to safeguard from extreme violence. Furthermore, men who are the victims of domestic violence are more likely to be assaulted by other men; Flood states, a “four-year study of admissions to the Emergency Department of a Missouri hospital found… over 8000 men who had been assaulted,… only 45 men were injured by… intimate female partners… representing 0.55[%]… of male assault visits…. Boys and men are most at risk of physical harm from other boys and men” (Flood, ed. Tarrant, 217).

The third impact the father’s rights movement has on violence against both men and women, is its goal to “erode the protections available to victims of domestic violence and to boost the rights and freedoms of alleged perpetrators” (Flood, ed. Tarrant, 217). The movement is aiming to breakdown the public response to victims of domestic violence and reduce the readily viable options for those in need of protection and assistance from perpetrators of abuse. Father’s rights groups approach the topics of domestic and sexual violence, “the same way as actual male perpetrators: They minimize and deny the extent of this violence, blame the victim, and explain the violence as mutual or reciprocal” (Flood, ed. Tarrant, 217).


Through his work, Michael Flood reveals the true nature of men’s rights and father’s rights movements which aim to “control mothers’ management of finances, parenting, and contact… [fueling] interparental conflict, leading to more problems with contact and further stress for children” (Flood, ed. Tarrant, 218). Michael Flood explains that we as a whole must help men who are facing these stress inducing situations and help them – in positive and constructive ways – maintain connection to their children as good fathers. Flood states, “We must step up efforts to engage men in positive ways, building partnerships with supportive men and men’s groups and with the women’s movements. All this is part of a broader profeminist effort, to build a world of gender justice" (Flood, ed. Tarrant, 219). 

What Is Happening to Our Boys?


When it comes to education, boys are falling behind. Boys' grades are lower than girls' grades. Their dropout rate is 25% higher than girls. And less boys are going onto college after they graduate high school. What is the problem? Some suggest that boys and girls learn differently, and that our currently curriculum are more in tune to the ways girls learn. Some suggest we need more male teachers in elementary education.
I worked in a VPK classroom for two years, and before that I worked in a toddler classroom. It wasn't primary education, but I did notice a lot about little boys. More often than not, they would get criticized for moving too much. The games and imaginary play they wanted to do was discouraged. There was never enough sensory play for them. Boys were constantly pushed to be physical but at the same time punished for it. I felt that boys had so many mixed signals being sent to them.
Currently, I volunteer in elementary aged classrooms. I am so encouraged by one of the teachers I volunteer with. He is an older military veteran that currently teaches second grade. I think it is so wonderful for the children in his class. So often boys are only surrounded by one or two parental men in their lives. In family structures, fathers are usually only brought into the conversation about their child's education when there is a problem. (The school I volunteer with has already had multiple events trying to get the dads more involved in school.) Could this be solved by boys having more support surrounding their education? I think so. 

Does Movember bringing awareness to cancer or masculinity?

For anyone that doesn't know, November is prostate cancer awareness month. Men are encouraged to grow mustaches and beards hence the name Movember (November + mustache). I read an article that included an insightful conversation about how the concept of Movember does much more harm than good.

Movember Mustache Campaign for Prostate Cancer is Misguided

The article made a great point about how the campaign focuses on the ability to grow a beard and completely avoids actually talking about prostates and prostate cancer. They also talked about the campaign's irrational need to heavily emphasize gender in the same way breast cancer awareness does. The campaign essentially pushes the notion that embracing masculinity somehow saves lives and honors people affected by prostate cancer. In addition, instead of having the month be about men being honest and vulnerable about the disease, that opportunity is taken away from them in favor of encouraging "bros to be bros for a month".

I agree with the points brought up in the article. I think cancer awareness should always be about focusing on the disease and saving lives. I feel like people walk around joking about "No Shave November" but really have no idea what it's for. The month should be spent educating people with prostates about getting check ups and about the gland in general. Mustaches are completely irrelevant.

What do you all think? Do you think the campaign is doing it's job or do you think it distracts from the original cause of bringing awareness to prostate cancer?

Anger Helps Men Gain Influence



What kinds of biases do we have inside of us? How affect do they have in our everyday lives? One study suggests that when women display anger, it hurts them. But when men do it, it helps them. We all have implicit biases and whether we wish to or not, they influence our actions. (Harvard made a test you can take to help you recognize them.) It is important that we identify how it is we understand masculinity and femininity, and how it shapes our interactions. 

Men can yell at no cost, and a recent example is the Presidential Primary Debates. There are male candidates that feel comfortable raising their voices, but those same male candidates have criticized the female candidates for doing the same. Why is it ok for them to do it? Because our culture allows men to display anger. 

Salerno, Jessica M., and Liana C. Peter-Hagene. "One Angry Woman: Anger Expression Increases Influence For Men, But Decreases Influence For Women, During Group Deliberation." Law And Human Behavior (2015): PsycARTICLES.

I recently started working for a clothing store as a cashier, which definitely falls into the feminine realm of work, as shopping for clothes is something only women are supposed to have an interest in. In talking to the other cashiers the other day, we realized that every single person designated as a cashier on our work schedule is a woman. Men will come help us out if the line gets too long and we need backup, but men are only officially ever scheduled to work out on the floor straightening things, putting things away, and helping customers.
My coworkers and I came to the conclusion that this is because all men are supposed to be able to lift things, while only some women can show physical strength. It would be a waste of the manpower to assign them to sit behind a register for hours on end. Even beyond this assignment, men are never assigned to work in a section of clothes for women. Men are only ever assigned to shoes, the home department (heavy picture frames and bedding sets!), the men’s clothes department, and electronics, never customer service, infants/children’s clothes, women’s clothes, teen girls’ clothes, jewelry, or intimates. It seems like there’s this implication that men wouldn’t know their way around these sections, as if men blinded by their own masculinity wouldn’t be able to learn to tell different types of bras apart. Even if it’s common sense (I managed to figure out how to navigate the different sections by myself), there’s this sense of having to act purposefully clueless when asked to find a particular thing in a women’s section.
Masculinity imposes even in a location and job as feminine as a clothing store. Men are expected to be active and strong, not passive and still as cashiers have to be, and it’s become bizarre to me how no one points this out. The standard only goes the one way—women can work the men’s department, and are assigned there regularly. Even though this lack of well-roundedness in the male employees slows things down as women have to rush around making up for men’s lack of knowledge, nobody questions or makes changes because it’s so unthinkable to adjust the way we think about male employees.

Thanksgiving


My kitchen at home is small. It barely fits three people actively cooking, so Thanksgiving with all 14 attendees is kind of stressful. Three nuclear family sets and one pair of grandparents regularly come to my family’s Thanksgiving, including my own nuclear family set. Among the youngest generation, I’m the only girl, but also the oldest.
Once everyone has arrived and has begun preparing the food and place settings, regular roles set into place. My mom, aunts, and grandma work in the kitchen or hover around near the kitchen occasionally offering a hand. My dad does the turkey work and navigates, stressed out by the full room, around the others as he handles food. My uncles and grandpa watch football. Once I was old enough to be distinguished as a girl and not just another kid, I kind of faced the difficult choice of abandoning my mother to her closest relatives and the housework, or helping with the housework. As a girl and a capable not-child, I felt like I was shirking if I wasn’t helping. The kitchen was also the best place to be, as hanging out with five younger boys tackling each other didn’t really appeal to me, and even at the height of my “I’m not feminine like uncool girls, I have internalized misogyny” phase, I couldn’t sit still long enough for the football men to reset the football game every two seconds when the ball hit the ground. As a human being, though, I didn’t really want to do housework. I kind of floated around doing the bare minimum of work for a while, until my brother also became of capable not-child age.
The effect of seeing men in the roles they took kind of sharpened as the cousins also grew up a little. The oldest boy, a cousin a few months older than my brother, has never once even pretended to help or be interested in helping in the kitchen. My younger brother, however, took his role more gracefully than even I did, taking drink orders and helping me sort silverware. The two of us grew up around my dad, who did more than half of the household chores while my mom went to her fulltime job. The idea of what a man is supposed to be was varied in our eyes, and allowed to more generic traits of what a good person should be to slip into the definition. We knew we should both be unequivocally helpful to our stressed-out parents, whereas the other cousins and uncles kind of slipped into their roles of not-cooking. The masculine route was also the easy route, which made it difficult to encourage questioning gender roles.
Masculinity was gruff, reticent football watching, and femininity was chattering dishwashing. Ever since I’ve been old enough to be expected to help wash dishes, this has annoyed me.

Women in the Mens Bathroom

This article gives great food for thought! After Houston, Texas failed to pass a proposed legislation that would allow Transgenders to use corresponding bathroom to their gender. In response Kelly Lauren, a transgender woman, posted a picture of herself in the men's bathroom captioned  "Do you really want me in the bathroom with your husband or boyfriend" and the answer for me is no.
I don't feel intimated by such a beautiful woman, however, I am sure my husband might feel uncomfortable as well as some of his friends.
While Lauren takes a more comical view on the situation the truth is this is no laughing matter making transgendered people use bathrooms opposite of their gender may not be safe for them. If history has taught us anything it is the LGBT community face a lot violent psychical attacks and this legislation not being passed could further the abuse by not keeping identities secured, and giving a private place for attacks to happen.

      

Masculinity in Children’s Tv : hegemonic & non-hegemonic masculinity


In her study, Kristen Myers examines four children’s shows to explore the ways their characters express masculinity. This study really interested me, because I have an elementary aged daughter and try to pay attention to the TV that she is interested in. Myers found that many of the shows she analyzed had characters who displayed non-hegemonic masculinity. Some of the TV shows went as far as to have feminized masculinity. The characters were “sensitive, non-athletic, and unsuccessful with girls” (Myers 140). The TV shows Myers used in her study are a little older, but the modern equivalent would be Ravi from Disney’s Jessie. He is contrasted against his brother Luke, whose character displays a hegemonic masculinity.
 I've watched this show a lot with my daughter, and I was so torn over these characters. What exactly was Disney trying to do? Myers says because of the popularity of these shows and the presence of so many counter-hegemonic masculinities, there exists that for young people to have altered gender expectations and possibly be more tolerant of different masculinities. HOWEVER, so many of these shows use counter masculinities as comedy. Myers actually uncovered a bigger problem. These TV shows actually use the non-hegemonic boys as "clowns" and "centered on the ways that these boys failed at masculinity." Even to the point that "the hegemonic boys "ruled over girls and boys of lesser status" (Myers 140). 
This is really troubling for the young children that are growing up watching these examples of masculinity. 

Myers, Kristen. "Cowboy Up!": Non-Hegemonic Representations Of Masculinity In Children's Television Programming." Journal Of Men's Studies 20.2 (2012): 125-143. SPORTDiscus. 


Why Dating is Hard for Professional Women

While doing research for a project, I came across an interesting article about why educated professional women have a hard time dating. Men are often intimidated by women that are more educated, more successful, and "too independent".

Dating Advice Article

Here are some quotes that stuck out most to me:

"The problem arises when women make men feel as if they are not needed in the relationship. At the end of the day, men are still providers at heart. Whether we are providing emotionally or financially, men still have an inherent need to feel needed and appreciated."


"In a woman's career, she may rise to the top by being very opinionated, aggressive and decisive. But when these same qualities cross too far into the relationship, we don't like it."
"Most men who are not OK with women who are strong and successful feel that, on some level, their partners are not making them feel like men anymore."
I'm really not surprised by this information. Men are used to the idea of being the breadwinner, so when that idea is broken, men probably feel uneasy about their place in the relationship. In addition, I can image men feel insecurity because although they might not acknowledge it, underlying internalized misogyny causes them to not feel okay with being inferior to a woman. Men don't want to feel emasculated by their significant other and that plays a prominent role in their approach to dating. Women care much more about finding a partner that is equal to them when it comes to education. The article mentioned that men see the traits of being educated and career-oriented as "bonuses". Men still value physical attraction above anything else. 
I think the main things to take from this article is what makes men feel inferior or why a woman's physical appearance is more important than her mind. In addition, we should think critically about why women value the intelligence and goals of their partners and why men aren't adapting to the growing numbers of educated women.




Man According to the Bible?

Often we hear that part of the culture of masculinity is rooted in religion, so I wanted to investigate why this is. I mean I am a Christian and I never understood why people believe that the manly macho behavior stems from the Bible. Sure David was a heroic king that went into battle, but was he not getting his orders from a higher authority? I also know that people often forget the time periods in which the Bible was written in and  that in those times people had slaves and women could not do much without men, but that was mans law not God's. So where did the macho man in charge come into play.  While searching I came across this article "Act Like Men" and I realized that like most things the Bible was forced into the man box. While the Bible does state that women should cover their hair and not speak in church, this is a sign of that period of time it was written in and not the focus of the Bible. However, what most like to focus on is the male being the head of the household. This focal point of male dominance is missing a large part of a bigger picture, if the man is a follower of Christ than he is the head of the household and not the man.

This is not meant to be a sermon and I'm far from trying to convert anyone. My aim here is to ask if we really understand what the dominance of man really means according to a Biblical point of view. According to the Bible Christ is the King and he came to lead man by example and he was considered the "perfect man." Now Christ was not aggressive, nor macho, he built friendships, he wept, and he was humble and he encouraged the men around him to do the same. So why is it that some men are beating their wives and children in the name of the Christian religion? Why do we think that isolation and aggression are the sign of manhood or that that idea comes from Christianity? These are things we need to investigate.

Act Like Men: What it Means to Fight    


Are vegan men seen as less masculine?

In an article from Medical Daily, a study shows that men who live a vegan lifestyle are seen as less masculine than men who eat meat.

http://www.medicaldaily.com/men-following-vegan-diet-subject-gender-stereotypes-non-meat-eater-seen-less-363164

The study showed that men were not seen as less masculine for not eating meat, it was the reasons why they chose to go vegan that makes them less masculine. Typically, people go vegan for health, environmental, and ethical reasons. They strongly believe in ending animal cruelty and being aware of how the consumption of meat and animal products affects our planet. The study showed that vegan men are still considered masculine only when they go vegan for health reasons.

Why is caring about animals and being environmentally conscious seen as feminine? I think it's a testament to how limiting masculinity is. Even showing concern for important issues somehow makes someone less of a man. This is also important when considering what men are allowed to care about. It's okay for men to be passionate about social/political causes such as gun control or the legalization of marijuana, but other issues are supposed to be seen as issues for women to handle. I found the results of this study completely ridiculous and a perfect example of how pointless it is to place a gender on a movement.

Emasculation


Emasculation has never been a word I’ve heard in earnest. Usually people just say someone hurt their feelings or embarrassed them, but I’ve never heard anyone complain about feeling emasculated in a genuine way. Beyond the literal definition of feeling less masculine, I’m not even sure what it really means. There’s never been a time when I felt like my femininity has been taken away from me. It reflects how much of a performance masculinity is, that it can be taken away if other people perceive it to be taken away. The person with the masculinity can’t control if they have it; they can be emasculated, a verb used passively. If emasculation is real, wouldn’t that mean that all men are constantly at the mercy of others in their masculinity?
A boy I was in an open relationship with once complained that I emasculated him by referencing going on a date with someone else while jokingly arguing in front of people. And analyzing the situation afterwards, I could see where I had been callous and condescending, but not really emasculating. Being embarrassed seems like a more gender-neutral experience. The only way I could see masculinity involved is if there was some possessiveness over me, that is, if me being open about not being just his showed his ineffectiveness as a man.
When dissecting the argument later, I admitted I’d been rude and a little too mean, but he wouldn’t let go of the word emasculated. I asked other boys I knew, friends who played pretty fast and loose with gender roles while still considering themselves to be boys, and they agreed with me, which kind of gives me the idea that emasculation is nonsense. The closest equivalent for femininity I can think of is people acting as if women are not proper or ladylike, or doubting their purity, but there isn’t really a word for this, and it’s something that can be played off by the woman herself if she maintains her own identity.
The more I learn about masculinity the weaker it appears, intent only on keeping itself intact but incredibly vulnerable to attacks. It functions on never being one-upped in public and puts that into a gendered lens, as if it’s somehow worse to be embarrassed by a girl. Emasculation is a concept that depends on the idea of the superiority of men, and I’ve yet to hear an experience that contradicts that idea.

In discussing masculinities and the healthiness of various aspects of gender roles, I wanted to bring up the TV show Steven Universe. I always watch TV through a feminist lens, and this show had several interesting ways of displaying the titular character’s masculinity. Steven is portrayed positively and not as a weak or incompetent character. He gets to save the day often, and is only mocked in the same way any young character is mocked by older teenage characters.
Steven cries and openly expresses his emotions without seemed ashamed about it or acknowledging that there’s any reason he shouldn’t. His powers come from his ability to heal, not attack.
Seeing this sort of male character being portrayed as positive instead of weak or a joke can have an amazing effect on young people—if this is an acceptable way to behave as a boy, it allows for other expressions of feelings than straightforward violence. It can allow for boys to feel less shame for being less “tough” or “masculine.”
This article goes more into detail about the representations of masculinity on the show and the way that the different gendered characters show masculine traits in positive and varied ways.
https://ladygeekgirl.wordpress.com/2015/04/11/sexualized-saturday-steven-universe-and-soft-masculinity/

The Manly Woman???

http://www.thisisyourconscience.com/2010/09/the-woman-no-man-wants-to-date-the-emotionally-manly-girl/Apparently if you work hard and become financially stable and you are a woman, you are considered financially manly and most men will not want you. One could say that this woman is smart, hard working, she might put her career before her man. All of this might be something he could live with if she doesn't throw it in his face that she is the breadwinner! Theses are all masculine traits and the last thing a man wants to do is be with a woman that is better at being a man than he is, according to this author and it doesn't end there. this man has another helpful tip for women in want of a man.

Now women, there is another issue that cold leave you man-less and manly...having man emotions. You know, seeming like things are rolling off your shoulders, not bothering you in the least. Not acting jealous or insecure about the relationship, heaven forbid you are secure in your relationship. Apparently when you are a secure woman and don't play emotional games you are again manly and not showing your man you care.
So lets recap, no working hard, or making lots of money. Whatever you do, do not be secure and please remember to check out every woman that your man has or will talk to to show him you care, and that your not a man course.   
Financially
Financially

Financially


With a world that is growing increasingly violent and the majority of the offenders being male, it is important to seek answers to this problem. Many studies have been done by people such as Michael Kimmel, Pedro Noguera, and William Pollack, to understand masculine violence. Their findings were not all that shocking, in fact in a way they seem like common sense. When a person is lonely, stressed with no one to talk to, isolated, hurting, etc, of course their is a great opportunity for the person to turn violent and lash out. 
I do not understand why in this day and age we need somebody to tell us that if we isolate and put stress on someone that they may break, and further more why would we want to do this to our children anyway. As parent we should support and love of boys, not teach them to act cold and isolate themselves and not build any lasting relationships. 
When are we going to learn isolation equals weakness and bonds equals strength! 
I believe everybody should read this article and make an effort to support a friend whether male of female.http://www.huffingtonpost.com/niobe-way-phd/boys-mental-health_b_3263318.html