Finn’s Portrayal Is Not An Example Of Healthy Masculinity

To the editors:

I am deeply disturbed by the views expressed in “Metrosexualizing Our Identity" (Comment, March 25). The author portrays metrosexuals’ alleged tendency to “stop gazing [at] female beauty” as counter to “healthy masculinity.” This line of thinking propagates the damaging double standard that says it’s natural for women to be looked at and judged by their appearance, while for men to worry about their appearance is “unnatural”. God forbid a fashion-conscious man should start empathizing with how oppressive it is when society defines women’s self worth by their looks.

What is more lamentable is the author’s nostalgia for the “standard male behavior” that prevailed in the past. To prescribe old-fashioned, non-metrosexual male behavior as “standard” not only excludes all those men who choose to express their gender identities differently, it is a thinly-veiled backlash against increasing gender equality. A truly healthy masculinity would not rely on the disproportionate objectification of females or the rejection of metrosexuals to “survive” in modern society.


March 25, 2004