What does it mean to be a man at a time when the traditional definition of masculinity is changing?
Across the world, boys are taught from an early age that they need to be in charge- when it comes to situations, life, and most importantly their emotions. Little wonder then that many grow up thinking that their only option is to put on a brave face, and not appear ‘unmanly’. India’s very own Bollywood upholds that the only way to fit in is to live by the credo “mard ko dard nahi hota”.
In corporate culture, a man’s identity and sense of self is closely linked to his capacity to lead and succeed, a man who is not successful is seen as ‘not being man enough’. A success of a man is also measured with his acquisition of traditional markers of wealth like luxury cars, white goods, real estate etc. This distinct code of manhood is seen across India regardless of geography and culture.
Doing away with traditional norms
Masculinity today however is being seen in a new light, it is changing, redefining culture and challenging long-held beliefs. Success and the acquisition of traditional wealth symbols are today merely table stakes – the democratisation of education, technology and financial access has been an equaliser to that extent. Symbols of success on their own today do not work to elevate a man’s standing.
And hence the framework of success has widened to inculcate a set of values that go with the traditional masculine traits of being successful, powerful and authoritative. Men today are moving towards choosing a different path, one where he seeks personal greatness by following a set of values. These values are rare and even harder to abide by, they add stature and fulfil his need to add a greater sense of meaning.
The game has changed from access to privilege to maximizing the potential within, values like courage, perseverance, humility, the ability to carry people along, stand true to his beliefs, give back to society are what he looks at embracing.
These values are also a fallout of the icons that men today admire – they represent a breed of men who have welcomed the culture of entrepreneurship, charted their own course despite the associated risks, not only listened to the voice in their head but gotten others to rally around it and have yet managed to be humble and open to learning.
A new breed of men with character have risen
It is now about being a good man, rather than being good at being a man. They’re reinventing traditional rules, creating a new set of norms, and embracing a new and balanced value system, which marks the emergence of a new age man – a breed of men with character. Aristotle said it best: “Men acquire a particular quality by constantly acting in a particular way.”
Courage, empathy and humility are key values men today choose as way of life or a habit, making them powerful and effective determinants of their personal growth and success. These values transcend into various roles they play today – an equal partner, a son, a mentor, a leader, and more – all in an effort to rebalance power and respect.
Suyog Joshi, Founder and CEO, Newee Analytics says, “The mindset is changing fast. Now masculinity is also about getting kids ready for school, sharing kitchen duties as well as not being embarrassed while showing the softer side of your personality. The new-world paradigm demands balancing the old school of thoughts with a more equitable model. Masculinity in the business world now is about being open to accept defeat, open to new ideas which may not always be yours, empathetic and being humble and grounded about your achievements. These new foundations of masculinity are shaping the new-age man."
These men are establishing a new system, with rare and precious values that do not fade or tarnish with time, values that define the men of today and tomorrow. Men who have found Platinum within.
Are you one of them?