Manliness is only defined by behavior

Gender portal

What is masculinity?

With regard to the topic of "masculinity (s)", the first question that arises is - if this term can be briefly defined - what masculinity actually is. This gives rise to further questions related to this: how is masculinity constructed and how is masculinity connected Power relations together?

According to Connell, masculinity is a position in gender relations that is taken and maintained through practices by both men and women. These practices have effects on physical experience, personality, and culture. Furthermore, it can be said that masculinity is not a natural trait or a norm, but a result of processes in relationships that are shaped by structures and, in turn, shape these themselves.

With regard to the structures of the social sex, a three-stage (preliminary) model can be constructed according to Connell as the preservation of starting points for the analysis of masculinity. A distinction is made here between a) power (relationships), b) production (relationships) and c) emotional bond structure.

The most important axis within power relations is the subordination of women. The question arises, why do some men tend to behave in this way? Rolf Pohl - Professor of Social Psychology in Hanover - gives an answer to this in an interview with the taz. According to Pohl, it is part of male identity to feel an unconscious need to devalue women in order to enhance oneself. It is difficult for the individual man to distinguish himself from this construction, because there are certain hierarchies within groups of men and the devaluation of women connects all men in their superiority. In addition, a group identity can be established among the men - beyond the hierarchical struggles of men. With regard to Pohl's statements, the question arises whether, for example, relationship problems between men and women can actually be explained by the fact that men are afraid of women and that all men are affected by this fear. And if this fear is real - is it justified?

Production relationships point to the inequality of women and men - for example in terms of earnings - within the labor market and the associated work assignment. The emotional bond structure that is formed through desire and practices is part of the gender order and thus socially formed.