#MasculinitySoFragile And Its Discontents Prove The Point That Yes, Virginia, Masculinity Is A Delicate Flower

The fragility of the male ego and the perceived threats to contemporary masculinity are not news to anyone who has had to deal with men in everyday life. When a man responds angrily, either in person or on a public platform, because you politely rejected his advances or contradicted his opinion or dared to deny his entitlement to supremacy, that shuddery feeling in the pit of your stomach is the fragility of the male ego at work. Women know this because it’s part and parcel of being female and existing in the world. Men, however, are less aware, as the Twitter hashtag #MasculinityIsFragile reveals.

The hashtag is trending on Twitter right now, and if you feel inspired to take a peek, good luck and god bless. It’s a mess in there. There are moments of tight, sharp clarity — women speaking their minds on how the delicate nature of the male ego affects their lives  — but there’s also great obtuseness as well. Men, it would seem, are so fragile that doing the necessary work of grappling with their own fragility and sorting out what masculinity means for them without behaving like toxic, harmful humans, is difficult at best.

Isn’t it beautiful when something like this proves its own point? The most fascinating part about the internet is that you can watch something metastasize before your very eyes, gaining strength and mutating. But it’s also terrifying. The very fact that this hashtag is cluttered with the shards of shattered male egos is all the proof you need. Lest you vow to never speak to a man again, remember that there are some good eggs out there:

The most essential tool for learning about what you are doing wrong and what you could be doing better is to listen. Listen to the people who are speaking their truth, with a critical ear, an open mind and a willingness towards self-reflection. If your immediate inclination to rise from your seat, quivering with an indignant righteousness and a need to defend “masculinity” — don’t.