The New Criteria of Masculinity Today: Redefining Masculinity in the Modern Era

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A step in the right direction

Over the past few decades, society has experienced significant changes in its perception of masculinity. The old, rigid stereotypes that dictated how a man should behave and conform to traditional standards of masculinity are being challenged. The new criteria of masculinity today are emerging, reflecting a broader and more inclusive understanding of what it means to be a man in the modern world.

Challenging toxic masculinity:

Toxic masculinity, characterized by aggressive behavior, the repression of emotions, and excessive dominance, has long been prevalent in our society. However, the new generations of men are increasingly aware of the harmful effects of this toxic masculinity on their mental well-being, relationships, and society as a whole. As a result, they are seeking to redefine the criteria of masculinity by breaking free from restrictive patterns.

Emotional expression and vulnerability:

One key aspect of the new criteria of masculinity is the importance placed on emotional expression and vulnerability. Men are encouraged to openly recognize and express their emotions, share their vulnerabilities, and seek support when needed. This fosters more authentic relationships, better mental health, and more effective communication in all areas of life.

Gender equality and inclusion:

The new criteria of masculinity also emphasize gender equality and inclusion. Men are increasingly aware of their role in the fight against sexism, patriarchy, and gender-related discrimination. They actively commit to supporting women, challenging sexist norms, and promoting a more egalitarian society. Solidarity and collaboration between men and women are now seen as signs of strength rather than weakness.

Autonomy and freedom of choice:

The new criteria of masculinity acknowledge the importance of autonomy and freedom of choice for men. They encourage men to be authentic and pursue their own passions and interests, whether or not they align with society’s traditional expectations. Men are free to choose their careers, hobbies, and lifestyles without feeling limited by predefined roles. This promotes personal fulfillment and contributes to a more diverse and balanced society.

Steps Backwards

All these changes are useful and beneficial for our society, but they are somewhat utopian. I don’t mean to say that they are unattainable or not highly desirable. However, some of the methods used to achieve them are questionable at times. The bashing and ridiculing of men, masculinity, and the complete responsibility placed on men’s shoulders have unintended and undesirable impacts of this social movement.

Some men embrace and adapt to the new reality that we are trying to create. However, some become more rigid in their role of masculinity, while others eliminate all traces of the old patterns without considering the harmful effects they may have on their own well-being. There are also women who resist these new definitions of masculinity and partially or fully adhere to the more conservative model.

It is important to take into consideration and evaluate the impact of the transformation methods we use to achieve our goals.

We all want positive change

The new criteria of masculinity today are redefining the traditional norms and expectations imposed on men. Toxic masculinity is being challenged, and men are encouraged to embrace emotional expression, vulnerability, gender equality, autonomy, and freedom of choice. This shift contributes to a more open, inclusive, and balanced society where men are free to define themselves on their own terms rather than restrictive stereotypes. Everyone should also choose the masculinity that suits them and recognize the impacts on oneself and others.



sex therapist montrealFrancois Renaud M.A.

Sexologist psychotherapist

Specialized in couple’s therapy