Essay on Masculinity : Greek And Roman Masculinity

1687 Words Apr 18th, 2016 7 Pages
Masculinity is an adjective that simply defines something as having qualities traditionally associated with men. Because of this, every subsequent civilization will have a different view of masculinity. Even with a constantly changing definition there is always one constant: men who display traits associated with women are considered inferior to “manly” men. Each culture will develop its own idea of what makes someone manly or feminine, however these definition will eventually serve as insults and compliments. As a culture develops it must decide exactly what constitutes masculinity femininity, and what the punishment will be for breaking out of assigned gender norms. I believe that the reason for manliness as a measure of quality stems from the desire of a patriarchy to remain in power, and I will explore Greek and Roman masculinity to back up my claim.
Masculine features tend to align with power and control, while feminine ones lean towards being submissive, regardless of culture. The qualities displayed by both Greek and Roman societies follow this pattern. Greek men were the bread-winners of their ancient families, they worked to provide society with the resources it needed to survive. Men were poets, scholars, farmers, soldiers, and politicians. Manly activities were those that involved physical skill and courage, or a brilliant mind and sharp intellect. The abilities expected of men kept society running, and as such masculinity was tied to performing these abilities…

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