You Know What I'm Sick Of?

Trend stories that treat the phenomenon of men being "hit harder" than women by economic woes and unemployment as an inevitable outgrowth of masculinity, as if masculinity wasn't a social construct that itself should be questioned, examined, and changed. (And don't even get me started on the fuckery that is the "women are best positioned to ride out the recession" meme.)

For example:

Recessions gripping economies around the world will hit men harder than women as job insecurity threatens an inherent sense of masculinity, damaging mental health, British researchers said this month.

A study by Cambridge University showed that despite more women than men losing their jobs in Britain due to the credit crunch, men who think they may be fired or made redundant are likely to become more stressed and depressed than women.

For example:

"Inadequacy," he said. "I can't harp on that word enough. I just feel inadequate. Why have I not found a job yet? And what if this happens eight years from now when I'm married and have a 2-year-old? Do I go through this again? Do I trust myself that I can pull it off? And I do, but in the midst of it, you definitely question yourself."

For example:

As the stress level increases, so does the stress on men. Ingrained into their DNA is the mentality of Provider and Protector, and as cash and/or security dwindles, so does their sense of security and masculinity.

I'm not saying the phenomenon of "threatened masculinity" isn't real, or that people shouldn't be discussing it or even studying it. But to accept the premise that men have a built-in sense of masculinity, from birth, that precludes them from finding self-worth separate from their identity as breadwinner is just all kinds of lazy.

See also the corollary: "Mommy Breadwinners."

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