Youtuber Logan Paul recently weighed in on the debate around toxic masculinity with his own views on what masculinity was, and as usual he got it wrong.
Logan Paul, the often controversial and often less politely described YouTuber recently appeared on a podcast where he had a mild disagreement with the hosts about what masculinity, and toxic masculinity was, and to be fair he made a couple of good points but unsurprisingly missed the larger mark entirely and once again got it wrong.
To give a little bit of context the podcast was talking about the recent Vogue front cover of Harry Styles and his decision to wear a dress, with many people commentating that the look was less than ‘manly’, not least of which was Candace Owens who railed against the feminisation of men.
Logan Paul jumped to his defence on social media, bringing up the incident in the podcast and questioned why wearing a dress wasn’t manly, accusing his fellow podcasters of being judgemental in the process and questioning their views on masculinity.
Now to be fair here he did make one good point, he argued that a part of being a man, a part of masculinity, is being comfortable in yourself and wearing whatever the hell you please regardless of what other people think, and that is a fantastic point. On that he is absolutely correct. To an extent.
The fact of the matter is no amount of not caring about what others think or wearing what you please makes feminine norms masculine and masculine norms feminine, it is as simple as that.
There are masculine norms and feminine norms, norms that have been developed over thousands of years and are inherent to both manhood and womanhood.Tweet
You can wear what you want, not care about what anyone thinks and no one has any problem with that, but the fact is feminine norms like wearing dresses means you are emulating femininity, not masculinity if you choose to do that.
If you wear a dress, which is a feminine norm in our society, that is not being masculine. No one has any problem with any personal choice you make as long as you are happy doing it, but that doesn’t mean you get to redefine what masculinity is in the process.
‘Manly’ is not ‘whatever you want it to be’. Masculinity is not on a spectrum. Now to be fair the trappings of that masculinity may change over time or from society to society but the core of it, once defined, is fixed. Once the narrative of ‘everyone can define it however they like’ becomes entrenched, which it is doing now, the identity of those men who do identify as masculine comes under attack.
And that is wholly wrong.
Be whatever you want to be, wear whatever you want to wear, but don’t call it masculinity and don’t pretend that wearing a dress is manly.