What does it mean to be masculine?

Gun violence has given us a reason to think more deeply about masculinity. Author Fredrick Joseph says adhering to old standard prevents men from being full humans.

The rise of gun violence is a serious threat in this nation. Over 40% of Americans rank gun violence as a top issue.

Considering that the vast majority of gun violence and mass shootings are committed by men, it’s leading to more introspective thought about masculinity, what we expect of men and what role these expectations play in society.

“We frankly lie about what masculinity looks like.” — Frederick Joseph, Author

Listen: How strict definitions of masculinity can harm men in society.



Frederick Joseph is the author of “Patriarchy Blues: Reflections on Manhood” and a Forbes Under 30 list-maker for marketing and advertising. He says many interpretations of what means to be “masculine” are misguided, as masculinity and femininity are defined by the individual.

“We presuppose what it means to be masculine — who gets to be masculine, how masculinity shows up,” says Joseph. “And we frankly lie about what masculinity looks like.”

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