A lot has been written in recent years about what it means to be a woman, but there hasn’t been much reflection on the idea of masculinity. Masculinity is a topic that many men feel very strongly about, so they will often reject anything that appears to be feminine or challenge their traditional ideas of what makes a man. The result is that men who identify as masculine often have difficulty creating conflict. They may take to being in the company of other men solely for fighting, arguing, and confronting rather than engaging in social interaction.

The purpose of this essay isn’t to attack masculinity itself; it’s important to note that what makes a person masculine or not is subjective and relative. Rather I wish to explore the idea of masculinity.

What is Modern Masculinity?

Modern masculinity is largely an idea that developed during the 19th century. Most men of this time believed that there were two kinds of men: brave and strong and those who were submissive and weak. Because most men identified as masculine, they often viewed other men as less so. It was considered bad form to be feminine or weak, but it was slightly better to be masculine and fierce. Many people today still think that masculinity is all about being strong, but I’d like to go over some modern definitions so we can get more clarity on what it means to be masculine.

What are the Different Types of Masculinity?

There are different types of masculinity. The majority of people now identify with a certain form of masculinity themselves.

  1. Hegemonic – This type of masculinity is usually associated with strength, aggression, and being dominant over others.
  1. Subordinate – This kind of masculinity is the opposite of hegemonic. It’s weak and based on co-operation with others.
  1. Complacent – This masculinity is based on not caring about anything and accepting your place in society. It’s associated with passivity, apathy, and a lack of ambition.
  1. Marginal – This form of masculinity is based on the idea that being masculine is about being marginalized or discriminated against. It also often means that a man feels victimized and powerless.

Rules For A Modern Masculinity

There are several cardinal rules to which we must adhere as modern men, but they can be broken down into three categories: physical, emotional, and mental. Furthermore, these rules operate in varying degrees: some are always adhered to, others are not always followed, some are good for certain things but bad for others. It is where our minds come in.

This monumental list consists of the following rules:

Spirituality (emotional)

You must have your priorities in check without fear of judgment or rejection. Many people now use the work “Big Dick Energy” for this type of attitude. The push and pull between who you think you should be versus who you feel like you should be is something most men struggle with.

Rule 1: Be honest.

Rule 2: Have a sense of purpose.

Rule 3: Exercise persistence to overcome obstacles in your path

Rule 4: Find peace of mind and inner peace.

Rule 5: Avoid depression and social Exclusion.

Rule 6: Seek help from a professional when necessary.

Rule 7: Practice empathy and flexibility in your relationships with people of your gender.

Physical (physical)

You must maintain, promote and exercise your body to maintain a healthy lifestyle of physical activity for your body and mind.

Rule 1: Maintain a regular workout schedule.

Rule 2: Eat a balanced diet and keep your weight under control.

Rule 3: Reduce or eliminate risky behaviour.

Rule 4: Maintain a healthy habit of exercise.

Rule 5: Be drug-free, alcohol-free, and tobacco-free.

Rule 6: Maintain sexual health, i.e., knowing your risk of STDs and having regular checkups.

Mental/Emotional (mental)

You must maintain and develop your mental faculties to maintain a high level of confidence and self-esteem. It would be best if you strived to be mentally healthy by studying and reasoning about the issues of today’s world, which is often too complex to comprehend.

Rule 1: Keep your mind active.

Rule 2: Develop positive mental habits.

Rule 3: Encourage active friendships with other men.

Rule 4: Learn how to be a good listener.

Rule 5: Learn to focus and prioritize.

Rule 6: Take the time you need to be alone without being afraid of being alone.

Rule 7: Be intellectually stimulated with new ideas from other cultures across the globe.

Rule 8: Develop a full understanding of the problems women in society face.


Although the rules are fairly simple, they have been hard to adhere to in the past. The rules of modern masculinity are often broken, and there is a push-pull between when to adhere and when not to adhere. It is where our minds come in: we must choose our battles wisely and not allow ourselves to get overly stressed, tired, or upset by our decisions. We should remember that if it isn’t working for us, we can always choose something else later on.

We should also remember that no matter how much pressure we feel from the world around us, we still have the power within ourselves to make a choice, which is one of the most important aspects of modern masculinity: choice.