YouTube is massive and covers a spectrum of people and opinions that is just about as wide as possible without breaking some laws. As a result, there is a plenty of discourse on everyone’s favourite video website and yes, quite a lot of it is hostile, but in the mainstream, there is a general pattern. That pattern is that YouTube (broadly speaking) tends to be ahead of normal society when it comes to social issues. YouTubers, utilising their influence and creative freedom, have been able to advocate and educate in a huge number of ways.
One of the many ways that YouTube is leading the pack, is in the way that it projects the truth about masculinity: The truth that masculinity is a wide spectrum and that there is no one true definition of ‘a man”. There is, instead, an infinite number of examples of males who excel when allowed to be themselves.
To be clear: I’m not talking about sexuality, I’m talking about the broader, more strange, more vague concept of ‘being a man’. The curious and impossible to define idea of ‘maleness’. What is a ‘man’?
For hundreds of years it was defined as uber-masculine; based on toughness and a stoic lack of emotion (or rather, a suppression of your emotions).That way of life works for some, but in time researchers and society in general have come to realise that forcing one way of life upon a huge, extremely varied group of people (half of the human population) is a recipe for disaster. In fact, this concept of ‘men being men’ is often cited a strong contributing factor towards the fact that suicide is now the biggest killer of men under 50 in the UK (this pattern is also similar in many other countries.)
The simple truth is that each human being in innately individual and that trying to make them conform to a cookie-cutter way of living will only lead to misery. Luckily, YouTube is a place where you will find men of all kinds, all celebrated equally as awesome examples of what a man can be. You have macho dudes like the lean machines:
Sassy (and socially and politically active) dudes like Tyler Oakley:
Dudes who actively defy traditionalist concepts of gender boundaries like Ben J. Pierce:
Guys like Joshua Hewitt, who hasn’t let Aspergers Syndrome, Tourettes Syndrome and the bullying he has sustained because of them to hold him back from being awesome:
Guys like Riley Kyle, who reject broad definitions of who is a man and who isn’t:
Guys like Nathan Zed who are super smooth … yet also a huge nerd … yet also really smooth?
Nathan is also a proud advocate of his race and heritage, which is always awesome. He’s a man who knows who he is and does what he’s passionate about. I mean honestly, I could go on and on. There are countless example of men who are 99% percent different from each other, yet who are all just as equally a perfect example of a man.
In these divided times (i.e: any times), we need to focus on positivity and supporting each other. There is plenty of hatred and bickering on the internet, don’t need any more of that, we’re good thanks. Now is the time to start accepting everyone for who they are – and YouTube is leading the field fantastically.