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Amid continuing revelations of sexual harassment and assault, there has been much discussion in the media and agitation of thought about masculinity. An article in The Christian Science Monitor a few months ago reported that Professor Michael Kimmel, founder of the Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities at Stony Brook University in New York, finds that men are grappling with conflicting concepts of what it means to be a man (“In the #MeToo era, what does it mean to be a ‘real man’?” December 26, 2017).
When he asked male cadets at West Point to define a “good man,” they listed such virtues as honor, integrity, duty, sacrifice, and willingness to stand up for the weak. Then he asked them to describe a “real man,” and the answers were quite different. To be a “real man,” they said, is to be tough and powerful; to win at all costs, play through pain, and focus on getting rich and pursuing pleasure.
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