The Endangered Man
It’s becoming increasingly clear that the modern man is in trouble. We are facing a crisis of masculinity, with boys and men struggling to find their place in a world that is rapidly changing. From mental health issues to dwindling educational attainment, it’s clear that something is not working for us. But what can be done to save the endangered man? In this episode and the series to follow, we’ll explore some of the ways we can help boys and men thrive in today’s world. It won’t be easy, but it’s essential if we want to create a better future for everyone. So let’s get started!
The man is an endangered species because of the changing roles in society
It is a sad reality that male figures are no longer held in the same esteemed place as they once were. With images of Al Bundy, Homer Simpson and the like being hoisted upon the American psyche for decades the modern male is seen has been portrayed as a hapless buffoon.
Men who sacrificed their lives in war, to those who undertook dangerous jobs that women didn’t want, it can be argued that male figures of today have been somewhat overlooked in society. Consequently, it does not come as a surprise that male populations across the world have decreased extensively – with some nations dubbing the male population an ‘endangered species’ due to the uncertain future of their roles in society. It is clear from this analysis that male figures are struggling with redefining themselves for a changing time.
Men are no longer the breadwinners and providers that they once were
Women in today’s society contribute significantly to the household income, thus decreasing men’s roles as breadwinners or providers. Women are also more likely to end marriages due to dissatisfaction than they were a few decades ago. In fact in almost 80% of divorces it’s the woman who initiates the breakup.
Nowadays, many single women are perfectly capable of supporting themselves and taking care of their own needs instead of relying on men. Women don’t feel that they need a man for stability and security like they used to – this is because women have more confidence in their ability to take care of themselves and make money of their own. This shift in gender roles has fundamentally changed the dynamic between men and women. However, statistics show women are less happy than ever even with this new found liberation.
There has also been a stigma put on women who desire a more traditional existence. Women are shamed for wanting to stay home and be mothers and professional homemakers. As such, the feel pressured to go out and become a ‘girl boss’ often finding themselves lonely and depressed especially around the age of 35-39.
Men are now expected to be emotionally available and in touch with their feelings
Although masculine virtues of a protector and leader are still valued, men are now expected to bring more to the table in relationships and social interactions. This new standard emphasizes men being emotionally available and understanding, rather than stoic and distant. As a result, men are becoming more acquainted and comfortable with sharing their feelings with others, who in turn may benefit from learning how to communicate better and forming deeper bonds with each other. Yet a large portion of women surveyed indicate they don’t want to see their man cry. A man is now expected to be all things to all women.
The traditional masculine ideal is no longer as valued as it once was
John Wayne, Mickey Mantle, and Superman have long been representations of the traditional masculine ideal. Hailing from different generations, these men each symbolized strength, confidence, and physical prowess. Despite the near-universal reverence for these symbols of a bygone era, the traditional masculine ideal is no longer as celebrated or as valued as it once was (at least not in pop culture). While many women surveyed still want the knight in shining armor they aren’t allowed to see it on the big screen lest this be considered gender non-equality.
Modern masculinity has shifted towards emphasizing resilience and internal strength rather than outward displays of power or bravado. Yet, funny enough the number one movie of the past decade was a throwback, testosterone filled film called ‘Maverick.’
This has led to a crisis of masculinity, where men don’t know who they are or what their place in society is anymore
We are seeing a rapid shifting of traditional roles and expectations for men, driven by societal and cultural changes over the past several generations. This shift has left many men feeling displaced, without a clear understanding of who they are or how they should interact with others in society. The complexity, confusion and discomfort surrounding this crisis are contributing to feelings of lost identity and purpose in men who no longer feel supported or understood as once they did. Men are increasingly unable to easily fit into predefined gender roles due to internalizations of changing definitions of masculinity within their lives and communities.
Thus, we must work together to develop fresh models that support men so that they can embrace both traditional male roles — such as provider, protector and leader. Though the only thing we seem to hear from pop culture is “Women, be more like men.” “Men, be more like women.”
This has had negative consequences for both men and women, as well as for society as a whole especially in the area of sex which has become more transactional than relational
Hook up sex has had far-reaching consequences for both men and women in our society. Divorce rates are higher than ever, single mother households on the rise and there has even been an increase in male suicide rates – all as a result of hook up sex. It’s essential to recognize the potential damage hook up sex can cause and take steps to break this pattern of behaviour before it contributes to more serious issues in society.
Far too many men today are lost, unsure of their place in the world. We must begin to once again raise up and honor men of virtue and honor. Men who are strong, yet gentle. Men who know how to lead without being overbearing. Men who are emotionally available, but not governed by their emotions. In doing so, we can help stem the tide of the negative consequences that have arisen from the crisis of masculinity and create a better world for everyone. Now cue the Sarah McLachlan music to save a man…