Masculinity and the Asian Century

An idea I posted on ideapod.


In English-speaking countries there is a commonly accepted (although highly contestable) image of what constitutes standard masculinity: rugged; muscular; that kind of thing.

However, that which constitutes standard masculinity shifts depending on when and where you are. This is demonstrated by how masculinity is often portrayed in Asian countries. If you search on the term “masculinity” at, for example, you will find a significant preoccupation with the subject, but the men shown to be performing their masculinity appear distinctly effeminate by American or Australian standards.

Which leads to an interesting question: If we are entering the Asian Century in which the West will have to come into greater alignment with Asian values, what does this mean for Western masculinity?

It could be that for all the decades of gender politics in the West which sought to challenge the standard definition of masculinity, the real change will come from the East.