Response to what is masculinity
I decided I would take another break from discussing a quote this week. Instead, my Professor I am writing this blog for raised a question about an earlier blog post. In my “It’s a sin to kill a mocking bird” post, I discuss the theme of masculinity. The exact quote (referring to the book To Kill a Mockingbird) is this, “before reading To Kill a Mockingbird, I always viewed courage as some idealized, masculine entity.” My professor posed the question of why I viewed it as a masculine trait. With this question asked, I will explain myself.
I am an avid Ernest Hemingway fan. For those of you who are literary minded, this should explain a lot. For those of you who have not read Hemingway, you might be confused. Ernest Hemingway was an author and journalist. He fought in numerous wars, was a proclaimed hunter, and an overall masculine figure of his time. Dissertations have been done solely focusing on the theme of masculinity in his books. His views on sex, war, and sport all refer back to a hyper masculine view when reading his various books and articles. Reading these books throughout my entire high school/collegiate career has instilled a masculine view for me when considering what is courage.
Now don’t get me wrong. I completely see all aspects/sides/view points when it comes to other people’s’ perception of courage. I am not saying what I believe is right or the only opinion out there. I am simply stating what I have been conditioned to believe though my life experiences, what I’ve read, or seen in television/film.
Some of you may believe what I think about courage is a stereotype. “Courage is a masculine trait? That’s so stereotypical of you to think.” But I am a firm believer in the fact that stereotypes come from some stem of truth. Again, I am not saying that stereotypes are right or that they are 100% accurate. I am stating that stereotypes have some root of truth in them (and it can be a small ounce of truth at that). Aristotle once said, “men find it easier to be courageous than women, and women find it easier to be moderate than men.” Can we think of some instances where this can be true? I am sure everyone can think of many. However, I will in no way denounce the ability of females to be courageous. There are many strong, courage women in the world.
I suppose I am just getting myself into a big gender battle here. I am making this sound like we’re in the 60’s again. I guess I will clarify myself a little better. When I think of courage, I think of performing a task that exceeds one’s physical limits in some way. For some reason in my mind, I tend to disregard the mental or emotional aspect of courage. Physical courage just tends to be the first thing I associate with when I think of what courage is. Therefore I associate masculinity with physicality in regards to courage.
I understand I have a backwards way of thinking in regards to this topic. Additionally, to reiterate again, I am not saying females and males are not equal or that females can not display courage. I am just stating what first comes to my mind when I think of courage.
I suppose I should read less Hemingway and more Kate Chopin.