2. Modern Masculinity
For decades, “masculinity” has been defined as a set of attributes, behaviours and roles with key identifiers as strong, handsome, driven. While some behaviours and attributes of masculinity are biologically influenced, culture has played a large role in its construction. With the rise of the #MeToo movement, toxic masculinity has led many to inquire about what it means to be a modern man.
Gillette’s “The Best A Man Can Get” campaign confronted the “boys will be boys” notion and has committed to a three-year plan to donate to organizations that help men achieve their personal best. GQ dedicated their latest issue to “The New Masculinity: An exploration of identity, culture and style in 2019.” Their State of Masculinity Survey reported that 73% of men wanted their friends to describe them as respectful, 71% as honest, 48% strong, 34% as gentle, 19% as muscular, 13% as dominant and 8% as macho.
In response to this evolving definition, a group of men in Brooklyn have created a group called Evryman, a safe space for men to practice being vulnerable in sharing thoughts and feelings through supportive, discussion-based sessions. Over 1,000 men attend these groups and find solace in their developing their emotional intelligence skills and find the group sessions to be extremely rewarding for both their personal and work lives.
The shifting concept of masculinity has changed to accommodate the “everyman”; a man not constrained by boundaries, stereotypes or prejudices. A man not not tied to gender. A man who is true to himself. The modern man finds strength in vulnerability. He is a gamut of emotions: “soft, hard, emotional, joyous”. (Dazed Beauty) He is comfortable in his own skin and rises to the occasion to stand up for what is right. He is respectful, he is bold, he is intelligent, he is secure and he is aware and he is empathetic.
How can brands continue the conversation and cultural repositioning of modern masculinity to support and inspire?