What does the ‘masculinity’ term mean?

By Simon Dutton A new word that emerged from a new generation of sociology graduates is masculinity.

The term “masculinisation” was coined by a man called Dr Patrick Daly, a professor at St John’s University in Ireland, who has written a book about the origins of “masculated masculinity”.

Dr Daly has described his own experiences of being bullied in primary school as “feminine”.

The word has been described by some as “a misnomer” but it is being used by academics who are grappling with the rise of the “identity politics” movement, where a woman’s experience of being oppressed or “masquerading” as a woman has become central to discussions about feminism.

But there is no question that Dr Daly is right that “mascisisation” is a new word.

It is also, as he wrote in the Irish Times, “inherently problematic”.

It does not take a historian to realise that it implies that we have lost our historical and cultural perspective on how the world is and how men and women have historically been treated.

“Masculinity” is an umbrella term for a range of attitudes and behaviours that, according to Dr Daly, “represent a cultural and institutional failure of our times”.

“We are in a culture that believes that men and masculinity are both inherently problematic,” he told the Irish Independent.

So is it a new term, and does it need to be defined in a different way?

“I don’t think it’s a new concept,” Dr Daly said.

“I think it is an emerging term that is being recognised as an important one.”

“But in the context of this new political movement that is happening around identity politics, which is essentially a new version of ‘radical feminism’, it’s important to distinguish between what we have in common as a society, and what we are really going through.”

What do we mean by “masculation”?

In order to understand “mascusification” and the “benevolent sexism” of the movement, you need to understand the difference between the concept of “bias” and “misperception”.

Bias refers to the tendency of one person to interpret a situation as a result of some other person’s behaviour or thinking.

Misperception is when someone is perceived to be acting in a way that does not conform to what is perceived as the norm.

If someone is seen to be “misjudging” someone else, it is a form of bias and it can lead to prejudice and hostility towards them.

And Dr Daly pointed to “misogyny” as one of the primary examples of misperception, where people misjudge women who do not conform with what is considered to be the feminine ideal.

Dr Darnell O’Neill, a sociology lecturer at the University of Central Florida, who is also part of the group “The Patriarchy is Everywhere”, said he is often asked why he prefers to study “masculus” over “miscegenation” in sociology.

He said “misquotation” is what he likes to do.

When asked what he meant by “misquote”, Dr Daly replied: “Misquotation is the act of quoting something that is a lie.

For example, I might say that men are biologically male, but the truth is that men, on average, are about three times more likely to die of cancer than women.”

Dr O’Sullivan said “Misquote” has been used in other disciplines to explain “misconceptions”.

For instance, he said, “misgender” is the use of the term “male” as “female”.

If you look at a dictionary definition of “mis” and compare it with the definition of a “mischaracter”, you can get a clearer picture of how mischaracterisation has been developed.

In “misclassification”, Dr Darnill O’Brien, a historian and lecturer at Balliol College in Dublin, said mischaracterisations are “a process of taking the original word and making it seem more favourable to your argument”.

Misclassification has been employed in academic contexts in the past, such as in the 1950s by academics such as Richard Hofstadter and the American philosopher William James.

Professor O’Neil said he used misclassification in his work on women’s experiences of oppression.

To illustrate, he explained: “In his book On Women, on the Female Side of the Atlantic, he writes that ‘a woman’s history has always been an important part of her identity, and the fact that she was always subordinate to men made her a victim of patriarchy.'”

That’s the sort of argument that misclassifying would be appropriate for, because women have been a subject of class discrimination, discrimination that has been systematically inflicted on them.” 

What does “miscommunication” mean?