What do men think it means to be a man today in the era of #metoo? This is a question that has been receiving a lot of attention recently. Data analytics site FiveThirtyEight.com commissioned a study that found plenty of fascinating conclusions, including that more than 75% of men don’t believe there are any advantages today to being a man at work, and they are “fractured” about their role in society. As a recent piece in The Atlantic about the stifling double standard of masculinity noted, boys are rarely offered the same flexibility to explore their feminine sides as girls are encouraged to act in more “boyish” ways: “It’s a societal loss that so many men grow up believing that showing aggression and stifling emotion are the ways to signal manhood.”
As more stories emerge of the rise of gender nonconforming boys and girls (a trend I wrote about in Non-Obvious 2018 and called “Ungendered“), and new truths about men who outspend women on on apparel and footwear and take on the roles of managing the household and child rearing. The expectations for men are shifting today. This evolution of masculinity is the often ignored flip side of the shift toward more female empowerment in our culture and at work, and it’s already on its way to becoming a trend for the coming year.