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masculinity

Highlights from the #MasculinitySoFragile hashtag that’s blowing up on Twitter

Time for a man shower!
Time for a man shower!

So Buzzfeed ran a pretty hilarious post today featuring 23 Gendered Products That Prove How Truly Fragile Masculinity Is — including the example above, of a shower puff shaped like a hand grenade, because what real man would ever use a … shower puff to wash off his manly stank?

Well, turns out I’m not the only one who thinks these gendered products are completely ridiculous; the Buzzfeed post has gone viral, getting nearly half a million hits so far and re-igniting the Twitter hashtag #MasculinitySoFragile.

Here are some of the highlights from the hashtag so far. (Click on the smaller pics to enlarge them.)

https://twitter.com/stefihega/status/646807716585836544

https://twitter.com/gay_desi/status/646806063644340224

https://twitter.com/Ansmellicaa/status/646805720822710272

https://twitter.com/fucking_jessie/status/646803657070014465

https://twitter.com/enright_dan/status/646819670729863170

https://twitter.com/THECAROLDANVERS/status/646584422158999552

https://twitter.com/THECAROLDANVERS/status/646585159748333568

This birthday card, at least, is self-aware:

https://twitter.com/AlphaDecae/status/646804956297752577

As is this dude:

But the hashtag has turned out to be more than just an opportunity to post pics of ridiculous products aimed at insecurely masculine men; it’s helped to spawn an interesting discussion about masculinity.

And it’s also spurred on a backlash from antifeminists, who (almost completely missing the point) have been bombarding the hashtag with attacks on “fragile” feminists.

More on all that in a future post or two.

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with this. I have no idea what it has to do with the hashtag but it is AWESOME.

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Ellesar
Ellesar
6 years ago

Kat – omg hair removing cream smells SO disgusting, and you really know about it as most of us insecure teens will use it under our noses! I would rather change a thousand nappies than smell that stuff again .

Falconer
Falconer
6 years ago

@jy3:

Dudes,

If Odin can wear a dress to learn women’s magic,
and Thor can impersonate Freya to get his hammer back,
and Loki can give birth as part of a bet,
and the manly manly vikings can respect them,
I think you’re safe using a pink iphone.

The Vikings were actually very concerned with their hygiene. They took baths frequently, and combed and washed their hair daily. They also had various hairstyles, they didn’t just let their hair grow down to where it stopped by itself. And they were fashion-conscious and liked to look good.

They would no doubt be called metrosexuals in this day and age.

Paradoxical Intention
6 years ago

jy3 | September 24, 2015 at 2:17 pm
Dudes,

If Odin can wear a dress to learn women’s magic,
and Thor can impersonate Freya to get his hammer back,
and Loki can give birth as part of a bet,
and the manly manly vikings can respect them,
I think you’re safe using a pink iphone.

http://replygif.net/i/716.gif

All this talk of toxic masculinity and masculinity being defined as “not feminine” actually remind me of a manga I really like called Otomen.

It’s about a boy, Asuka, whose father left his family when he was young because his father was trans (He says “I’ve always wanted to be a woman!” as he leaves in a flashback), and his mother was scarred by it. She insisted that her son grow up to be a “man among men”, and forbids him from doing anything girly, because she thinks he’ll turn out like his father.

The only problem is, Asuka’s very much into girly things. He loves shojo manga, flowers, pink, teddy bears, all that stuff (and the best part is, he’s not homosexual, so no stereotypes about that!).

Later, he meets a girl, Ryo, who is the daughter of a man who runs a dojo. Her mother died when she was young, and she’s terrible at cooking and cleaning. Asuka quickly falls in love with her, and tries to hide his feminine side from her as he does from everyone else. She eventually finds out, and tells him that she’s okay with it, and he can be himself around her.

There’s also another guy, Juta, who’s their friend who is secretly the author of the Main Character’s favorite shojo manga under the name Jewel Sachihana, who’s studying him to write his characters based off of him and his love interest. On the outside though, he’s a huge womanizer, and he gets a lot of flack from the girls about it.

It’s a good manga. I need to track down the rest of the volumes, I only have one. : I

contrapangloss
6 years ago

SFHC:

Went and looked at talbot’s post, and yeah, it also makes me uncomfy.

It seems like a very loaded short bit, and I don’t imagine any good faith.

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
6 years ago

(Seriously, does Talbotfish’s post make anybody else feel really uncomfortable? Or am I just being too wary after that transphobe yesterday?)

I don’t even know what they were trying to say.

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
6 years ago

I like Otomen. I’ve only read the first few volumes though, I think. It’s been a while.

Bina
6 years ago

Ow, that Aussie TP commercial had me wincing just imagining that velcro strip.

And on another subject, Gendertrender is a NASTY transphobic hate site, which makes an elaborate point of getting pretty much everything to do with trans people horribly messed up and wrong. I avoid anyone who posts from it, and routinely block it on Facebook.

Tracy
Tracy
6 years ago

@EJ

This is why it is very important to never break bread with anyone who works in marketing, because they are vile human beings who are actively profiting from making society a less consensual place.

I totally get where you’re coming from and who you’re talking about, because I hate that aspect of it as well. But speaking as a marketing professional… #notallmarketingprofessionals 😉 Like, when I conceptualized and wrote pitch and marketing materials for a startup trying to make the music business fairer and easier for independent artists (so they can actually get paid instead of being screwed around like they are currently), that was marketing that IMO makes the world better.

Marketing isn’t inherently negative. Again, I get who you’re talking about, but I’ve seen too many amazing, genuine people and businesses who are failing because they think marketing is scuzzy and underhanded, and that to market to the audience who needs them they have to lie. Some of us actively work with clients who are trying to make the world better… and they have to brand and advertise and all that stuff too, or else they (and the people who need them) lose.

Paradoxical Intention
6 years ago

Tracy | September 24, 2015 at 4:55 pm
Marketing isn’t inherently negative. Again, I get who you’re talking about, but I’ve seen too many amazing, genuine people and businesses who are failing because they think marketing is scuzzy and underhanded, and that to market to the audience who needs them they have to lie.

I see this sort of thing happen in small-scale on tumblr when it comes to artists who are trying to get their work out there.

So many people will accuse them of being “greedy” and “money-grubbing” when they advertise for commissions, or for comics they’re working on, or just in general, and it’s like…how the ever-loving FUCK do these people expect artists to get their work out there and for people to notice them and go ‘hey, I can give this person money for art!’ if the artists don’t fucking advertise the fact they do so?!

Though, this does also have to do with the fact that there are people out there who view art as being a luxury, and people who expect to get work for free or for super cheap because most artists undervalue the hell out of their work.

Someone
Someone
6 years ago

Agree with Jason42. This is more evidence that the modern feminist movement is more interested in dumping shit over men in any way, shape, or form than achieving equality for women. Hey, you’re a man… do you have any positive feelings about you gender? Yes, you do? FUCK YOU.

You guys realize there are parallel products that are sold to women on the basis of being feminine, right? How would you feel if I made fun of them? I suppose it would make me a misogynist? So how is this not misandry? The hypocrisy is appalling.

GrumpyOldSocialJusticeMangina

@Someone: The hypocrisy is in your own mind. Feminists in general object to needlessly “feminized” products.

GrumpyOldSocialJusticeMangina

@PI: I always thought that artists don’t need to eat. I am speechless.
It is in fact annoying that artists are often criticized for wanting to make a decent living while businesspeople can practice the most voracious greed with little consequence, because that is what we expect of them.

Bina
6 years ago

You guys realize there are parallel products that are sold to women on the basis of being feminine, right? How would you feel if I made fun of them?

Go right ahead, asshole, we do it all the time. Which you might have realized, if you knew the first thing about feminism at all. But since you don’t, and you don’t understand the difference between men and all the idiotically hyper-gendered products aimed at them, or the difference between criticism of commercial bullshit and “misandry” (which, pro tip, is not a thing), well, all I can say is…

…FUCK YOU.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

Someone,
This entire thread is actually full of feminists mocking unnecessarily gendered products targeted towards women. Feminists criticize and mock this all the damn time. If you don’t realize that, you probably don’t know enough about feminism to make any declarations on what the modern feminist movement is like.

As for having positive feeling about your gender, I’m not sure what you mean. If you’re saying being a man isn’t bad, feminists would actually agree with that. If you’re saying being a man is superior to being a woman or something to have pride in, that’s an issue.

George Carlin said it well.

Pride should be reserved for something you achieve or obtain on your own, not something that happens by accident of birth. Being Irish isn’t a skill… it’s a fucking genetic accident. You wouldn’t say I’m proud to be 5’11”; I’m proud to have a pre-disposition for colon cancer.

Things like gender, race, and ethnicity don’t say anything about how kind, ethical, intelligent or wise you are. The only reason one should express pride in belonging to a demographic group is in response to marginalization by a more powerful and privileged group.

brooked
6 years ago

You guys realize there are parallel products that are sold to women on the basis of being feminine, right? How would you feel if I made fun of them?

Go on, have at it with our blessings. I prefer criticizing them and supporting gender neutral products, especially for children, but jokes are welcome.

https://youtu.be/GKF-pu1LcLA

Paradoxical Intention
6 years ago

Someone | September 24, 2015 at 8:23 pm
This is more evidence that the modern feminist movement is more interested in dumping shit over men in any way, shape, or form than achieving equality for women.

As several someones said in the hashtag: This isn’t about shitting on men, it’s about making fun of silly, fragile masculinity that some men believe will crumble at the slightest brush with anything deemed “feminine”, because someone decided that the best and only definition of “masculinity” should be just “not feminine”, which I’m sure we all can agree is silly.

Masculinity =/= Men as a Whole Monolithic Group.

Also, please read up on feminism before you convince yourself that we’re all out to “dump shit” on men solely for being men. These straw-feminists are getting lame.

Hey, you’re a man… do you have any positive feelings about you gender? Yes, you do? FUCK YOU.

If you felt that us “dumping shit” on silly gendered products that have no business being gendered is somehow equivalent to “dumping shit” on men who are legitimately insecure about themselves (because of other men, might I add), I would like to point out that that’s not the case.

It’s okay to be a man. We don’t hate men (the person who wrote this article is a man, ffs). What isn’t okay is the toxic brand of masculinity that so many men ascribe to that only hurts not only men, but everyone around them too.

It’s not okay to think that violence is a necessary part of who you are. It’s not okay to lash out at other men for not living up to your ideals of “manhood”, and it’s not okay to bottle up everything you’re feeling because seeking help is “weak”. That’s toxic masculinity, and this is what it creates.

This is bullshit, and these products seek to make money off of men’s insecurities about their masculinity, and that’s bullshit too.

You guys realize there are parallel products that are sold to women on the basis of being feminine, right? How would you feel if I made fun of them? I suppose it would make me a misogynist?

I suppose that making fun of silly needlessly gendered items for women would make us all misogynists then, because we think those are silly and worthy of mockery too.

So how is this not misandry? The hypocrisy is appalling.

Aw, someone’s upset! Do you want a Bronut? Would that make you feel better?

gelar
gelar
6 years ago

You guys realize there are parallel products that are sold to women on the basis of being feminine, right? How would you feel if I made fun of them?

I’m honestly flabbergasted that you think we don’t.

brooked
6 years ago

Hey, you’re a man… do you have any positive feelings about you gender? Yes, you do? FUCK YOU.

You probably shouldn’t get so emotionally attached to commercial products being gendered in marketing in order to increase their demos and profit. They don’t care about you.

I do enjoy those Old Spice Commercials though.

katz
katz
6 years ago

Agree with Jason42.

That feminism is not about hating men? Great, then we’re done here.

Tessa
Tessa
6 years ago

Someone:

You guys realize there are parallel products that are sold to women on the basis of being feminine, right? How would you feel if I made fun of them? I suppose it would make me a misogynist? So how is this not misandry? The hypocrisy is appalling.

Seriously? I guess you’re right. After all, as a woman, I love Bic Cristal For Her Pens. And just look at some of the amazon reviews!

Someone has answered my gentle prayers and FINALLY designed a pen that I can use all month long! I use it when I’m swimming, riding a horse, walking on the beach and doing yoga. It’s comfortable, leak-proof, non-slip and it makes me feel so feminine and pretty! Since I’ve begun using these pens, men have found me more attractive and approchable. It has given me soft skin and manageable hair and it has really given me the self-esteem I needed to start a book club and flirt with the bag-boy at my local market. My drawings of kittens and ponies have improved, and now that I’m writing my last name hyphenated with the Robert Pattinson’s last name, I really believe he may some day marry me! I’m positively giddy. Those smart men in marketing have come up with a pen that my lady parts can really identify with.

These pens fit perfect in my hands, but hubby feels they are unnecessary since he writes all the checks. I’d explain more but I have to go make him a sammich.

Those big, clunky man-pens were getting on my nerves. They were so thick and weighty, I was getting a cramp in my hand every time I wrote my name in big swirls with hearts dotting the I’s and J’s. Thank goodness for Bic, they’ve finally designed a pen that is lightweight and slim enough for my dainty little bird hands! My only problem with the product is that it didn’t include instructions. Remember, Bic, you’re making these for women! Sometimes we need a little more explanation when it comes to technical things!

What was I thinking???

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
6 years ago

@Tracy:

Thanks for responding courteously to that; I think #NotAllMarketingProfessionals is a valid sentiment here. You seem lovely, and I apologise for my earlier hostility.

I agree that there are a range of different causes that one can use one’s skills for, either good or bad. The campaign you identified does sound like an excellent cause, and as Paradoxy points out, there is a real problem in modern society of people not understanding that artists need to be paid. We as a society have become accustomed to paying $0 for art and thinking that because we can get away with that, it’s a fair price. This is a serious issue and I would love to hear artists and musicians discuss potential solutions to it; inasmuch as they would like a mathematics-brain pointed at it, I’d be happy to give input.

However, when it comes to marketing in general, I think we’re talking at cross purposes. It isn’t that I object to people using their powers for evil instead of for good; it’s that I object to them using those powers at all.

Sadly, we exist in a Nash Equilibrium* world in which any product which isn’t marketed aggressively will disappear, sliding under people’s radar regardless of how good it is. The solution to this isn’t for us to market good causes even harder and hope that the people using their powers for the bad ones don’t correspondingly step up their own game; the solution is to agree that nothing gets marketing money thrown at it at all, and consumers will make whatever decisions make sense to them.

* A Nash Equilibrium, in game theory, is an endgame situation in which rounds of choice-making have been iterated until every decision is unchanged. An example of a Nash Equilibrium is a stretch of land where several shepherds graze their flocks, but each shepherd overgrazes it so it suffers and turns to desert. If each cuts back on their grazing then the land would recover, but none trust the others enough to be willing to do this, so the land remains desert. (This is a negative Nash Equilibrium, but positive ones exist as well.)

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
6 years ago

@Tessa: Those are amazing reviews! I love them.

Alan Robertshaw
6 years ago

@ EJ

All that Nash Equilibrium and tragedy of the commons thing cropped up when the Government here banned cigarette advertising.

The companies were actually better off.

Most of the Ad spend had gone on trying to poach existing smokers to changes brands (other factors actually got people to start smoking in the first place)

So when none of the companies were allowed to advertise the market remained the same but they saved a fortune on marketing that just cancelled out an maintained the status quo anyway.

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
6 years ago

One can probably simplify what I said by using an Appeal to Utilitarianism: “One should only do something if, in the eventuality that everybody did it, the world would be better off.”

Tessa
Tessa
6 years ago

@EJ (The Other one): I know. Sadly, it’s not all are good. One review of a another model of the “Bic for Her” line shows the sad downside of the pens:

I know it says “for her” on the package but I, like many, assumed it was just a marketing ploy seeking to profit off of archaic gender constructs and the “war of the sexes”. Little did I realize that these pens really are for girls, and ONLY girls. Non-girls risk SERIOUS side effects should they use this product. I lent one to my 13-year-old brother, not thinking anything of it, and woke up the next morning to the sound of whinnying coming from the room across the hall. I got out of bed and went to his room to find that my worst fears had been realized :

MY LITTLE BROTHER IS NOW A UNICORN and it’s all my fault. Sure, you’d think that having a unicorn for a little brother would be great but my parents are FURIOUS – I’ve been grounded for a MONTH!!! They made an appointment for him with our family practitioner, but I’m not sure it’ll do any good, and they told me that if it couldn’t be fixed I’d have to get a job to help pay for his feed and lodging D:

I repeat, boys, DO NOT USE THIS PEN. Unless you want to be a unicorn, and even then be careful because there’s no telling that you’ll suffer the same side effects.

SERIOUSLY BIC IT’S REALLY REALLY IRRESPONSIBLE FOR YOU TO PUT OUT THIS PRODUCT WITHOUT A CLEAR WARNING OF THE RISK IT POSES TO NON-GIRLS. Just saying it’s “For Her” is not enough!!!!

(I’m giving it two stars because even though they got me grounded, the pens still write really nice and bring out my eyes)

Though you could write (giggle) this off as someone using the product improperly, I think it does show the danger of making products pointlessly “for her.” If they’d focused on pens everybody could use, that poor boy wouldn’t be a Unicorn. Maybe he could have turned into a fighter jet, or a tiger riding a bear. You know, something masculine.

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