Men live in a society where being the pinnacle of masculinity is the most prized achievement in life. In sociology masculine is a gender, a self defined identity, however, in commonplace life, masculinity takes a very different meaning and has very strong affects on social organization. For example, because of the masculine ideology, global society has been organized as a patriarchy, causing wage gaps between the gender binary as well as an unequal allocation of resources in various countries around the world. the most prominent issue however, is the hate culture that has been nurtured out of this form of organization (as opposed to an egalitarian form of social organization).
In the United States a term for the initial point of nurturing this hate culture has been coined: the ‘boy crisis’. What this terms means to explain, is the initial point that masculinity is enforced by the people around them, as well as society at large, generally when the boys are very young and first starting grade school. What masculinity has coded for young boys as well as teenagers and adults, is that all other genders are lesser, the masculine gender is far superior, weakness and vulnerability is unacceptable. These three axis of this masculine code have had rippling affects in society. When boys don’t feel that their emotions are valid, anger and hurt is suppressed. This suppression tends to leak out as abuse to others, the other genders (feminine genders in particular), an abuse that is coded as valid because these other genders have been deem lesser then the masculine gender. This is the ‘boy crisis’, a crisis that feminism has a direct impact on.
What I find to be generally lacking in society, is the understanding of the social interconnection between all demographics. For many people, issues such as violence against women is a woman’s problem, however, the same normative behavior that codes violence against women, also codes bullying in high schools, stigma against mental illness and various other social problems. For this reason it is the mindset of feminism, with its goals set at equality for everyone, that is best suited for analyzing and restructuring society in a way that will benefit the well being of all genders. For the sake of inclusiveness I would like to mention that there are many different branches of feminism, with slightly different modes of interpreting social organization, however, radical feminism is the branch in particular which is the most useful to reference for my purposes.
Radical feminism is a branch of feminism that seeks a radical restructuring of society. This restructuring defines all genders as equals and promotes gender as a self defined identity. What feminism does is it questions current forms of interacting with one another, it questions why rape is coded as female and why media has stereotyped men in a way that only strengthens tensions, social gaps, and abuse between the gender binary. It also goes further then questioning, and poses alternative forms society could function and supports those forms with ways in which everyone has benefited from previous waves of feminism. For example when the female demographic in the workplace increases to half of the total work force (meaning its equal to that of males), then GDP will rise in several countries. A specific case is Italy, which would see an increase of 21% according to The Economist. There has also been numerous direct benefits for the masculine population due to radical feminism. One of my favorite being that it demands media to change its representation of men. Most are familiar with the ‘love your body’ campaign for females, however, feminism has brought to light the need for media to change the way in which it depicts men as well, arguing that the strong, muscular, and flawless image portrayed in media is hurtful to the well being of the masculine demographic. Masculinity, as it is used in society today, is a strong ideology that has the power to organize society in both beneficial and harmful ways. What feminism does is it rethinks the facts of life that have coded those harmful ways, and actively seeks to improve and restructure society in a way that benefits all genders across all spheres of societal organization.