“Traditional Masculinity Has To Die”

With the help of reader feedback, Andrew Sullivan has been continuing a thread about Masculinity. I have no idea why I capitalized that. Probably because I don't like thinking of it as something that should be genuinely tangible, or real.

Anyway, with my bias out of the way, this comment from one of Andrew's readers reader struck me:
Maybe it’s more of a “macho American” thing, but I was definitely brought up with the societal expectation of being more sexually aggressive. And that’s not just making the first move with a woman; outside of my mom, I was never really pushed back on for chasing girls or ogling them (without considering if it caused them any discomfort). I’m only in my early 30s, but I look back on the teenage me as a not-very-nice person. I’m sure everyone feels that way, but I feel it far more acutely now that my best friends are women.
So, the reason that struck me was because I don't really remember BEING like this. I'm not 100% sure if having three older sisters shaped my world view of that, but I do know that whenever there was a trip to the beach and other girls/women wore bathing suits, I would distinctly remember thinking to myself, "This isn't for me, is it?" And I stand by that thought and what Andrew's reader(s) above write. Despite all the ideas of gender roles and what they and how men should be and when they approach women, none of that ever means that they wanted to be approached. And certainly not by me.

In any case, and for whatever reason , acting like that never appealed to me. It never felt right, and I assume it's because it was not welcome.


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