#feminism · #travel · Inspiration · Lifestyle · Mental Health · Motivation

Third-Wave Feminism and Masculinity

As I sit in anger, my mind can’t help but reminisce on that one time, where I was accused of being a ‘third wave feminist’. I use the word accuse, because this male, threw the word at me as though I should be ashamed of it.

Image result for frustrated clipart

Nevertheless, I have no problem being called a feminist. I guess I do have feminist beliefs. I, therefore, couldn’t help myself but research some more into this word. I mean, the precision at which it was thrown at me, suggests that it must be a term worth looking into, right?

So, what is third-wave feminism?

Having the successes of the first two waves of feminism – the right to vote, the right to work, a greater right to one’s own body, a greater right to education – third-wave feminists felt a need for further changes in the stereotypes against women and in the media portrayals of women as well as in the language that is used to define women.

In this advocacy, feminists have argued that language has been used to create binaries (such as the male/female or heterosexual/homosexual binaries). Post-structuralist feminists see these binaries as artificial constructs created to maintain the power of dominant groups.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but essentially third-wave feminism is about embracing your individuality as a woman and not having to abide by homogenously constructed labels. If that is what third-wave feminism is.. then I proudly wave my hands as a third-wave feminist.

Now.. this post wasn’t written because of my anger at being called a third-wave feminist, I couldn’t care less. In fact, it has educated and made me realise that there is a distinct term to define other modern women out there fighting for the equality that we so rightly deserve. This post was in fact sparked by the issues of masculinity.

Firstly, the fact that the label ‘third-wave feminist’ was thrown at me, as though it’s an insult, suggests that certain men out there, do not want total equality for women.

Secondly, and the real reason behind this post is this: We cannot deny that we live in a patriarchal society. And thus, we also cannot deny that because of this, men are socialised differently to females.

What do I mean by this?

Take, for instance, child development:

Males are raised to be tough, competitive, to hide their emotions, to be ‘the head’, to always be strong, to have things together by the time they become a ‘man’ by having money to provide.

Image result for boy clipart

Image result for boys toys clipart

On the other hand, females are brought up in pink ‘pretty’ clothing, they are bought kitchen toy sets, they watch Disney films and then fall into the idea of ‘falling in love and marrying happily ever after’, they are bought Barbie dolls, whilst subconsciously absorbing the mass ideals of beauty.

Image result for girl clipart

Image result for girls toys clipart

——

It’s really strange to me how the blatant social construct of gender roles is programmed into us from such a young age and is seemingly blatantly being ignored.

The problem that this has, is that more often than not, I have observed that they end up frustrated because they have been holding in their ‘true inner feelings’ for so long; all in the name of being deemed as ‘masculine’

Some then choose to turn to Hyper-masculinity to fill the void of confusion, and to feed the ego. Hyper masculinity is described as the exaggerated behaviour portrayed by a male. For instance: Aggression, hyper sexuality and an emphasis on physical strength. This exhibition then turns into Toxic Masculinity.

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Why are men taught not to cry?

Why are some men intimated by successful women?

Why can’t all men be taught the essential daily skill of cooking?

These are just my observations. I am not a man, and cannot speak for all men; this is in part more eminent amongst African men who are lagging behind when it comes to dropping the whole masculine macho act and embracing ‘individuality’.

One thing is for sure, when I starting having children, I’m certainly going to bring up my son in such a way where he won’t feel as though he has to succumb to so much pressure; most especially without a support system that he can turn to.

I will bring him up to be ambitious and to also know the importance of talking about his emotions; because that will help with self-development and with releasing built up frustration, which in the long run will help in becoming a whole-rounded better person.

Perhaps men need a third-wave masculinism. Afterall, they have for centuries lived a privileged life, that they might as well skip the first and second wave of masculinism.. and jump straight to wave three: Embracing your individuality.

Until Next Time

🌹V.O.L

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24 thoughts on “Third-Wave Feminism and Masculinity

  1. “Just look at you, Obinna! Crying because your peer beat you up.”

    I was a victim of stereotypical beliefs when I was very little. My dad had always wanted me to be and behave like a “MAN.” When I became smart enough to ask questions, I asked for his definition of “A MAN.”

    As expected, he mentioned concealing emotions, the great physique and all. But I guess the most amusing of all he mentioned was this one: Men are born-leaders and women are only followers. My mom disagreed. She was like “Both are leaders. Men play the active role and women, the passive.”

    Vicky, Ion understand oh. Our society can be a joke sometimes.

    Now, I’m wondering if my comment is relevant to your post. 😕

    Like

    1. It’s okay.. this is a free space to vent😊
      Thanks for commenting as a male.. I’m glad you agree with what I’m trying to convey. And I’m even happier you’re just unapologetically just being you

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Very very interesting Read. First time to hear the term third wave feminist. What a Great read. African men truly are lagging behind and need a third wave of masculinity. Lol.

    Like

  3. Can I just express how well written and important this post is! I have never even heard of third wave feminism I always just assumed the only feminism there is, was just feminism. This was so well written and explained, I definitely agree with your viewpoints on how you are going to raise your son, I loved this read!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, I’m still working on finding my writing style.
      There seems to have been different waves of feminism over time; the agenda often depending on the era. For instance, first wave feminists fought for women’s right to vote in the 19th and 20th century.
      Thanks for your lovely comment 💜

      Like

  4. I had not heard of the term third-wave feminist (I try to think of myself as an intersectional feminist, which sounds pretty similar!)

    That image you shared with the statistics about suicide/homicide victims/jail just goes to prove your point. Lots of men would really benefit if they could have more equal paternity leave etc. Equal rights can be great for men too! The ideal of being super masculine can be really harmful to everyone.

    I honestly think feminism aims to make the world better for everyone! Not just women. It’s such a shame that many people do not understand that.

    Like

    1. Intersectionality is definitely a big element of third-wave feminism. There is supposedly also a fourth wave, but I feel as though I resonate more with the values of the 3rd wavers.

      Absolutely! Thankfully we’re slowly getting there with the introduction of paternity leave. Who knows, they might even increase the leave entitlements in the future for the men. But in order for this to happen, there needs to be a push for men playing active roles within the family.

      Hopefully we can spread the truth that is feminism. Too many misconceptions, when the actual truth benefits us all.
      Thanks for leaving your thoughts, I enjoyed reading it 💜

      Liked by 1 person

  5. As a teacher, I struggle with the “child development” piece of this all the time. I want to make my classroom a place where boys feel comfortable expressing their emotions and girls visualize themselves in variety of career roles.

    I wish more teachers thought about these things. I’d argue that second to our homes, school provided a lot of important context for how we grew up feeling about gender roles. I’ll be sending this to a few of my teacher friends.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Amazing piece dear. I just had some discomfort with the term you used, masculinism. Hyper masculinity involves the idea that traits considered feminine are weak. Feminism , along with equality of women also involves acceptance of feminine traits. I guess even the men suffocated by the conventional idea of what consists of being a man need feminism.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Natasha😊
      Thanks for reading, I truly appreciate it. From my knowledge, hyper masculinity also refers to ‘exaggerated’ behaviours displayed by men.

      Rightly said though, feminism is literally just fairness and equality. Men are also under a lot of pressure and could benefit from the movement; sadly there is so much misconception out there🤧

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I like what you said about acceptance of feminine traits. I think as a society we definitely need to be more okay with men with “feminine” characteristics. Though I also think that we need better models of what it means to be a man thats still distinct (yet complimentary) from femininity

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I just clapped my head mentally for you babe when you mentioned the “African Man” bit.

    Since my Momma does house chores and cooks same as I and my Junior Sister, my little brother, the last born was talking about how his wife must be doing the cooking and cleaning, and he can’t marry a woman if she can’t cook. Understandably mad, I asked him why. For him to say, well daddy doesn’t does he?

    I’m pretty sure the Lecture he received from me is still fresh in his mind.

    Great post.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Very interesting. The way we were raised has a massive impact on how we become and think as adults. We’ve got to free ourselves from mental slavery and set our own rules 😉

      Thanks for reading xx

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi.. Thanks for reading and dropping a comment. Yes.. interestingly enough, neo-feminism is often associated with the ‘fourth wave of feminism’ and is often fuelled by social media. Hence why I believe those who identify as feminists but claim to hate men, don’t truly have an understanding of what feminism is ☺️

      Liked by 1 person

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