Masculinity is complicated (says the woman).
I am obviously not an expert.
But it does seem to me that the conspicuous markers of extreme masculinity – displays of power and dominance – are style without substance unless accompanied by an ethic of care and protection.
I’m just talking from my life, not a textbook.
(Although I’m also haunted by this blog post by DJ Fuji wherein he comes to the realization that alpha-status mongering is so thin that it can make you forget the ethic of care and protection that goes with thick masculinity.)
Recently, I’ve had experiences with men who cultivate the Alpha male style without being grounded in the Alpha male responsibilities.
They come at me all bossy and dominant – which, admittedly, sometimes I like (in small doses in very particular circumstances) – and expect to be respected as The Leader without offering the benefits of being led.
It’s a caricature of adult masculinity.
I wish our culture had more roles and nuances and courses of expression and leadership outside of “alpha” to offer our men.
Because when “we” – women, feminists, everyone – say “men rule the world”, what we really mean is that a handful of very privileged men rule the world and those men (and some women) aren’t inclined to share the goodies with the rest of us.