Much of the work I’ve done here at Feministing has been an attempt to unpack the oppressive nature of our current constructs of masculinity. Sometimes this means discussing the ways in which defining masculinity around dominance, violence, coercion, and invulnerability limit the identities and expression of men who are beholden to this definition.
And I continue to believe that is an important conversation to have. It’s true that a patriarchal definition of masculinity and manhood is damaging to men — physically, emotionally, and psychologically. […]
My issue is that masculinity acts as oppressive force, and any conversation about oppression that leaves out the oppressed is not one I find worth having. What masculinity does to heterosexual cis men is important to discuss, but what it does to everyone else, especially women, is far more important. Because while it can leave us men broken in many ways, the privilege to be able to move through the world adopting this masculinity bestows upon us a tremendous amount of power. That power has been used to render everyone else second- and third-class citizens. This is the true danger.