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6 Ways to Be Masculine But Not a Misogynist

6 Ways to Be Masculine But Not a Misogynist

6 Ways to Be Masculine But Not a Misogynist
Basil_Soper

Photo: Shutterstock

I’m a masculine trans man who dates mostly femmes. I’ve always been a masculine person and picked up on a lot of social cues about what it means to be a man or masculine. Most masculine people, regardless of gender identity, struggle with traditional and misogynistic ideas about masculinity. Overall, misogyny isn’t masculine: It's insecure and protecting a hierarchy. Here are a few ways you can be masculine and dismantle your misogyny.

 

1. Fight, Fight, or Fight 

Being ready to fight and threatening other men is my most common misogynistic behavior. It’s been the hardest for me to dismantle. My willingness to use verbal, physical, and other weapons to fight in order to defend my honor is a pretty entitled part of myself and something I have to keep in check. Honor can easily equate to ownership. Fighting is more central to how we are taught to see masculinity than what the reality of a situation is.

Even if conflicts never get to a fight, being both willing and able to act out physically is unusually significant in masculine people’s identity. Many of us would rather get a concussion than feel “disrespected.” To me, this isn’t masculine. This is a fucked-up display of power and control. What would be masculine here? Letting go and being our higher selves. How about we stop fighting each other and start fighting patriarchy?

https://juji-gatame.tumblr.com/post/134469159241/tai-otoshi-with-a-high-grip

 

2. Caring Is for Masculine People

You see this a lot in fashion for masculine folks, especially men. Men aren't supposed to look unpolished or too nerdy, of course, but they can't look like they care about their looks either. Men are expected to achieve a perfect razor's-edge balance between good grooming and carelessness. This type of dance is also an expectation in many relationships. Masculinity says we are only supposed to be passionate about sex, money, sports, beer and bro-time. Even in these scenarios, passionate is not the “appropriate” way for a masculine person or man to describe their feelings about something. It looks too “soft” for a masculine person to show up in their relationship. This is bullshit, and frankly, it’s isolating and harmful to your partner’s self-esteem and your own growth.  You can be sweet and loving to your partner and still be masculine.

https://menwholovecats.tumblr.com/post/67229835987/zombres-i-have-no-idea-what-is-going-on-but

 

3. Sex Acts Aren't Masculine or Feminine

This is kind of a funny one, seeing as many masculine gay men don’t want to be seen as “gay” or “femme,” so they don't bottom. This can go as far as exclusionary tactics seen by men on social media dating apps (i.e. masc 4 masc bro, no fats or femmes) For masculine people, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, bottoming is a common sex terror.

I’ve talked to many masculine folks who have thought about being on the receiving end of penetrative pleasure but don't want to explore this highly enjoyable activity, because they're afraid it will break their masculinity. They hold masculinity in some sort of higher esteem and treat bottoming as if it’s lesser-than. Which is confusing, because what are you saying about those you’re topping?

https://tallpantiesnoslut.tumblr.com/post/134417146331/hayleywiliamsdaily-hayley-williams-and-chad

 

4. Be Trans-Inclusive

Trans issues are very much steeped in ideas of changing the gender binary, masculinity, and femininity. There are few things one can do to be trans-inclusive: Don’t assume people’s gender pronouns until they tell you, opting to use gender-neutral ones instead and make sure to call people by their desired gender pronouns and name.

Highlight trans issues (for instance, the notion that only women need abortions or the intense threat of violence trans women face) whenever it makes sense to do so as a way to minimize the disregarding of transgender people in society.

If you're trans masculine, be sure to reach out to your trans femme community and their issues. Aside from helping to make the world a safer place for trans people, doing so is a subtle way to check male/masculine entitlement because it challenges our traditional gender norms that support masculine privilege.

 

5.Get Consensual

Masculine people are used to not being questioned when they make a femme person uncomfortable. Need to slide past a femme at a dance party?  Don’t touch their lower back to get behind them. Ask to skate by. Things moving towards a sexual realm in the make-out session with your date? Ask before sliding your hand down their pants. If someone says no to sex, a hug, or having their photo taken, don’t get mad. Don’t ask for consent just because that’s the PC thing to do. Ask because you really want to give them a choice and you want to respect their decision in that choice.

https://unrealray13.tumblr.com/post/134225183749/damn-right

 

6. Talk About It

A lot of masculine people are oblivious to the ways we claim space, bodies, affection, emotional energy, and jobs. Talking with other masculine people, particularly doing so publicly, is an important tool for challenging entitlement, basically because it exposes the issue. Whether it’s a call-out or gentler calling in, or a public discussion with your bros about the ways masculine folks express privilege, naming the problem can help you distinguish allies and create new ones.

https://dudesforchoice.tumblr.com/post/48382546910

 

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Basil Soper

Basil Soper is a transgender writer, activist, and Southerner who wears his heart on his sleeve. He's an astrology enthusiast and tears up when he watches unexpected-animal-friend videos on the internet. Basil's life goals are to write a memoir and be the best uncle ever to his niece, Penelope. Learn more about Basil at ncqueer.com.

Basil Soper is a transgender writer, activist, and Southerner who wears his heart on his sleeve. He's an astrology enthusiast and tears up when he watches unexpected-animal-friend videos on the internet. Basil's life goals are to write a memoir and be the best uncle ever to his niece, Penelope. Learn more about Basil at ncqueer.com.