”Bring Back Manly Men”:Candace Owens on men who choose to identify with their femininity
- Candace Owens while commenting on Vogue Magazine’s cover asked the society to bring back manly men
- Sociologist Judith Nduta explores what masculinity and femininity have to do with how the society perceives a man
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Candace Owens started a twitter storm when she commented on Vogue Magazine’s December’s Harry Styles’ cover.
She posted her controversial opinion on her Twitter page saying that the society needs to bring back ‘manly men’. This is what she tweeted:
”There is no society without strong men. The East knows this. In the west, the steady feminization of our men at the same time that Marxism is being taught to our children is not a coincidence. It is an outright attack. Bring back manly men.’’
See her post below:
A screenshot of Candace Owens twitter post. IMAGE COURTESY/TWITTER.
But is there a specific definition of who a manly man is?
Who is to define this and from what spectrum? Cultures, traditions, religion and now progressiveness have all tried putting this definition in a box and Sociologist Judith Nduta explores this. She says:
”Sociology defines femininity and masculinity as social constructs on gender roles that are repeatedly reinforced through socialization during the course of one’s lifetime. It is however, not a definition on one’s biological sex.”
Society also defines masculinity as being strong, assertive, courageous and having leadership qualities while femininity on the other hand has been defined as being meek, obedient, gentle and modest and as people grow up, they align themselves with the ideologies that fit their sex.
From a societal lens, this manly man has been defined as one who doesn’t put any emotion other than anger on display.
‘‘The society also expects the man not to cry, in fact, a manly man brings home the bacon and is in charge of his household meaning, anything he says goes.’’ Explains Judith Nduta.
Candace Owens’ comment attracted lots of comments that left people divided on both extreme sides with one side backing her sentiments up while the other condemning her for having a traditional mindset in an era of progressiveness.
See above some of the comments on Candace Owens’s post. IMAGE COURTESY/Twitter
In today’s society, a man showing feminine qualities is considered weak and that can leave him open to ridicule from both men and women in his community.
Whenever a man veers even towards anything that society deems feminine, he is immediately met with mockery from his peer and comments on him not being a ‘real man’ quickly begin to be the norm.
If effective, the society can pressure him to revert to acceptable social norms.
However, there has been a shift in the African society which has been largely contributed to by the media.
The younger generation however, has more exposure to the world outside their bubble at their fingertips courtesy of their smart phones and social media which has in return slowly shifted their definition of masculinity and femininity from the cultural norms and what the older generation prescribes to.
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”There is also an economic shift where for a household to thrive, both partners must contribute; it is no longer sustainable to expect the man to be the sole provider for his family. It is also no longer uncommon for partners to split bills and household duties.’’ Adds Judith Nduta.
Sociologist Judith Nduta. Image/Instagram
Dressing has also been a major issue with now designers opting to have or make unisex clothing that do not differentiate sexes. But what does clothing have to do with a man’s sexuality?
According to Sociologist Judy Nduta, ”A choice in dress is unfortunately still being used as a marker for a man’s masculinity. There is a shift happening bit very slowly.
For example, a couple of years ago, a man wearing pink or any floral print would have had his masculinity questioned.
In the African society, we still have a long way to go before people let go of archaic measures of gender.’’
With gender fluidity becoming the normality, sociologist Judith Nduta believes that gender is in itself fluid.
”A person’s choice in dress is not a measure of their masculinity or femininity neither does it define their sexuality, but rather it is a tool for self expression.
Once the society stops trying to fit people in boxes the faster we can all grow and evolve.’’ Notes Judith Nduta.
History has also shown social constructs tend to change over time with each generation reinventing and redefining their role in sociology.
The change may not be immediately noticeable but looking back at the past norms, there is a noticeable pattern of gradual change.
‘’The narrative that a man who is in tune with his feminine side is gay is false. Cases of this can be proven by men who leave their community and start being more expressive. It simply means that they have been put in an environment that they feel safe to express themselves.’’ Elucidates Judith Nduta.
ALSO READ: IS SHE FAT OR THICK: HOW WOKE CULTURE IS REDEFINING SENSITIVE ISSUES THAT AFFECT WOMEN
Judith Nduta is a passionate advocate for the human rights of marginalized communities with a focus on women and children. She has an educational and professional background in Human Services and Family Relations. She is the founder of MEKA, a company that is redefining what beauty looks like for the everyday woman while also encouraging women to lead lives that are authentic to them and not what society prescribes for them. Connect with her here:
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