What makes a man a “man”? This question has been discussed down through the ages and various views have been defended. Usually the discussion centers on various manly virtues or character qualities. A real man acts in this manner, or does not eat salad, or has facial hair, or some other distinguishing marks of various sorts. We do not need to define masculinity however to see that the modern man is under attack. He is being blamed for most of the world’s problems. And many believe it is time for the male gender to become much more effeminate or at least androgynous.
The marketing world especially has caught hold of this “battle” and used it to sell products considered “manly.” Consider this 2010 Super Bowl commercial for Dodge and what it is saying about masculine and feminine roles.
At the heart of the debate is the way we define what it means to be a man. Defining masculinity is a hot topic in our day, and it is approached with any number of pre-existing premises by those trying to win the definition “wars.” One clear message about this need for definition is contained in the following trailer for an ongoing online project:
With the traditional, widely held view of masculinity in mind, one man, the author Joel Stein, sought to become more masculine when he and his wife learned they were going to have a baby. Watch this Nightline piece on his experience in order to get a baseline understanding for this course.
As this important conversation is engaged in, what are the main sides to the issue? What is at stake? Is there real evidence that manliness is on the way out? Free Think University has put this experience together in part to lead to answers to these questions. You study, you consider; you decide.