Crying white man. What are the traditional roles that men are now losing?

How exactly does feminism irritate men’s feet? How can women’s growing self-confidence pose a threat to men? In the new issue of Heroine magazine, sociologist Lucie Jarkovská asks why men don’t have it easy, how privilege works in a patriarchal society, and what really caused the current manhood crisis.

When someone claims to be in crisis, it’s probably not appropriate to preach to them that they are not. At the same time, it’s a bit absurd. What centuries have the roles of men lost? Perhaps the role of breadwinner? Objectively, we still have a problem here with the fact that men do not contribute to the financial security of their children and do not pay child support, rather than with the fact that they should give up their interesting professions because they are rolled by big winning partners. From this perspective, economic downturns and periods of mass unemployment are more problematic, guess who? Usually by other men in financial affairs and politics. But these are economic crises, not masculinities.

How can a man be used to something for centuries when he has only lived a few decades? Yes, the world is changing faster and faster, but for all of us.

The problem is also that the change is too sudden – men are expected to change their behavior, which they have been accustomed to for centuries. But how can a man be accustomed to something for centuries, living only a few decades? Yes, the world is changing faster and faster, but for all of us. For centuries, for example, the world was ruled by an aristocracy, which suddenly disappeared, and we also managed to adapt quite quickly. But the fact is that the aristocracy probably went through a crisis when its privileges disappeared. So isn’t the crisis of masculinity more a loss of automatic privileges than a change in roles?

Male issues

I’m not saying that men don’t suffer from specific problems. For example, they are statistically more likely than women to suffer from alcoholism and drug addiction, are more likely to commit suicide, are more likely to become homeless and drop out of school more often, are more likely to neglect their health and die sooner. But this is not new and the consequences of “gender coups” in society. These are very traditional products of the patriarchy. On the contrary, in most of these categories, women are catching up, which seems to me to be a much more serious disadvantage of emancipation.

Heroine Magazine: With Men on Men

Photo: Eliska Sky

What exactly is masculinity? What are men afraid of today and what bothers them? Because equality and gender justice are not just about women, the new issue of Heroine magazine has made a place for “men’s issues”. And along with them, a man – activist and artist Lukáš Houdek – also appeared on the cover.

I try to take this seriously and read a variety of articles about the crisis of masculinity, from those who are chauvinistic, accusing women and feminism of derailing men, to those who sensitively try to name the problem, search for its roots and its solutions. For example, I read: “Men are losing ground, mainly because of women’s growing self-confidence.” I would understand if, instead of growing self-confidence, there was a “growing sense of female superiority.” Living and working next to someone who sees you as an inferior is really not honey, as crowds of women might say. But living and working next to someone who is healthy and confident? It’s good. To be in crisis is quite incomprehensible.

I keep reading, I find an interview with a therapist and a coach. His name is The greatest male crisis. Fathers have been classmates since the days of emancipation. The editor-in-chief wonders: “Today we see a lot of men carrying their babies on their stomachs, going to the sandbox, keeping busy, as well as us women.” The coach responds, “But that’s not sexy at all! It’s really sexy for dads to take their son or daughter by the hand and show them the world and its borders.” And again, nothing It didn’t become clear to me. Going to the sandbox with a baby on your stomach and showing him how to bake a cake isn’t sexy, but taking his hand and going somewhere else with him and showing him something else is sexy? And most importantly, what is the “it’s sexy/it’s not sexy” category? We’re not reviewing first-date clothes here.

Midlife crisis

“I’m a middle-aged white man, I have three kids, college, a mortgage, a girlfriend with a kid, I drink beer, I eat meat,” Xavier Baumaxa sings. I go to Globus. He does not announce his description with enthusiasm, but with resignation. Wife, children, mortgage and that’s it? It used to be called the crisis of middle age. Psychologists have seen it as a period of life that raises some questions about how the individual should cope. Basically, a successful person who has so far devoted his energy and time to outer things will begin to feel that it is not enough for him, that it does not fulfill him.


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