15 Things People Just Don’t Understand About Being A Man Today, According to Men

Being a man these days can be difficult to navigate. While issues regarding women’s liberation and minorities are gaining more attention and support, many men believe they are being left behind. As a result, 53% of men in America believe they face greater hardships than women.

What Does It Mean To Be A Man?

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The definition of what it means to be a man is constantly evolving. This makes it challenging for young men to find their place in an increasingly inclusive society. Societal pressures and expectations can be incredibly overwhelming and sometimes detrimental, particularly for young men exploring their identities.

So why is being a man so hard? According to men in a popular online forum, there are some things people don’t understand about men’s expectations and challenges in the modern world.

Men Have Become The Go-To Scapegoat

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Nowadays, men have become somewhat of a universal scapegoat, facing blame for various societal issues. The patriarchy seems constantly to be accused of being the root of all ills. This perception makes it challenging to be a man, leaving guys feeling unfairly judged or misunderstood. 

Men often feel like they’ve been made second-class citizens, frequently disregarded and told their issues don’t matter.

Exploited By Relationships

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A lot of men feel exploited in relationships, either for their money or status. The issue is that men rarely garner much sympathy or acknowledgment when such exploitation occurs, leaving them feeling used or disposable.

Being Represented As Useless Idiots

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Guys are fed up with being represented as the bumbling, useless idiot or insignificant husband in modern sitcoms. This unfair characterization of men can be incredibly harmful and frustrating to see.

Feminism

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Feminism is meant to advocate for gender equality. However, a lot of men feel they’ve become the targets of misandrist sentiment. This has warped men’s perception of their place in this movement and what it actually means.

The Me Too Movement

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Men have become unfairly targeted by the actions of a few bad apples. To the extent that saying ‘not all men’ is somehow contentious. Since the Me Too Movement, men have found it harder to interact and flirt with women for fear their actions could be misinterpreted. 

The Fear Of Accusations

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Guys are terrified of false accusations, to the extent that many won’t make the first move out of fear of their actions being misconstrued. When it comes to sexual assault on any level, guys are the last people to be heard or believed. 

A General Lack Of Empathy

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Men are often accused of having no empathy, but the issue is that people very rarely show them any. Men are expected to just get on with things with no support or acknowledgement as if because of their sex, it’s their job.

Expected To Be Providers

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Whether it’s in a relationship or for your family, guys are still subjected to the archaic stereotype that they should be the main providers. 

This puts a lot of pressure on men to outperform their partners or colleagues, and it often creates a toxic work environment whereby men feel their identity is tied to their career and income.  

Male Privilege

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Male privilege refers to the societal advantages and benefits that men traditionally experience simply because they are men.

It can be tough being a guy, especially if you’re a white middle-class man. Nowadays, guys are told to be constantly aware of their ‘male privilege’ to the extent that their issues are overshadowed or disregarded as unimportant and irrelevant in comparison to others.

Unrealistic Standards

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Women may talk about unrealistic standards, but men suffer from the same. Guys are expected to be feminists who are supportive, attentive, and in touch with their emotions. However, at the same time, they should be masculine (but not overly), strong (but not too muscular), emotionless (but still empathetic), and always successful.  

Double Standards

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Guys are constantly subjected to double standards. For example, showing emotion can be seen as weakness, victims of sexual abuse are often dismissed, and false accusations can ruin lives. 

Guys are taught to be tough yet will be labeled as abusive or emotionless for failing to empathize or trying to defend themselves.

For Some Reason, It’s OK To Insult Men To Their Faces

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Somehow, it’s become normalized to insult guys, who are expected always to be stoic and emotionless. Contrary to popular belief, men have feelings, and constantly criticizing them can be incredibly harmful to their mental health. 

Body Shaming

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Guys get body-shamed too. But for some reason, they’re not allowed to talk about it in the same way. Men also suffer from body dysmorphia and mental health issues leading to eating disorders, which have traditionally been seen as female-only issues. Disorders like anorexia and binge eating are rising among males. Nowadays, 40% of binge-eating disorder cases are in males.

Not Allowed A Say

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Guys are often shot down in conversations and debates about gender or controversial issues, particularly if they are straight white males. Excluding their experiences and opinions is incredibly demeaning and can be potentially damaging for young men. 

Lack Of Mental Health Support

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There is a severe lack of help for men dealing with mental health issues. Guys often feel the burden of having to be strong and resilient, to the extent that they feel ashamed for talking about their feelings.

As a result, a concerning number are experiencing high rates of depressive symptoms and suicidal thoughts, particularly among younger men. 

The stigma around male mental health has led many young men to feel socially isolated, with 65% of men aged 18 to 23 feeling deeply misunderstood by others. 

The Weaponization Of Manhood

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The weaponization of manhood is a harmful practice that has emerged recently in the online world, epitomized by the likes of Andrew Tate and Tucker Carlson. It involves enforcing a narrow definition of masculinity that tends to promote aggressive and hyper-competitive behaviors. 

This phenomenon has led to political extremism, social isolation, and economic insecurity amongst predominantly young men. A recent survey found that 40% of men say they trust one or more “men’s rights,” anti-feminist, or pro-violence voices.

The Issue Is With The Patriarchy

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It may seem counterintuitive, but men are just as much victims of their own creation as women. The patriarchy is a tool of subjugation that negatively impacts and enforces unattainable expectations for everyone. Issues like the male loneliness epidemic, poor paternity leave, and pressures to look and act a certain way are all consequences of this system.

Ignoring Men’s Issues Helps No One

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Ignoring men’s issues doesn’t help anyone. By excluding half the population based on their sex, you create a vacuum that pushes them to the fringes of society. 

As a result, many seek solace in their isolation from more extremist online groups and ideologies, which can become incredibly harmful over time.

What’s Wrong With Equality?

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Equality, by definition, requires inclusivity. Men are not asking for sympathy but to be held to the same fair and inclusive standards as everyone else. Many have become frustrated by their exclusion from discussions about equality, which directly contradicts the principles they claim to support.

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