11 Jul Buzzfeed Wants To Test Your ‘Masculinity Awareness’
Can we all agree “masculinity” is the vaguest term in all of creation, though?
One of the dumbest parts of art school, that still sticks in my brain, is in this really specific typography class, we learned that ‘gothic‘ meant two, pretty much unrelated things in the type world. It referred to both blackletter type (which made sense in my young brain. It seemed ‘gothic’ somehow) and also, counterintuitively, to sans serif type. Yes, this particular style developed out of the blackletter styling, at least chronologically, but when you compare them side by side, you clearly need a word that isn’t gothic to describe them both.
That’s how I feel about masculinity. I don’t have a fucking clue what that word means. I used to think I did, but really, I had a loose collection of stereotypes that somehow included an imprecise notion of the idea of John Wayne. How any of that foggy mess could apply to an actual human and how they behaved, wasn’t totally plain. And it seemed to apply to lots of contradictory things, and things that one oughtn’t find attractive or try to emulate.
Luckily, Buzzfeed has distilled masculinity down to seven distinct clips where they have a disturbingly attractive model act out broad definitions of what “masculine” and (I guess) “other” look like. It seems like it’s going to be informative, but it really doesn’t go anywhere unexpected:
To my mind, what was important to take away from this nonsense experiment was that nobody knows shit. Nobody can really consistently identify “masculine” behavior, and nobody can justify why they’re attracted to it or not. So why do we spend so much time fixated on this and acting it out in our own lives? I don’t know if I have a good answer.
But instead of testing whether or not you’re attracted to masculine men or not, maybe you spend a little time thinking about what that word means in the first place.