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In today’s society men are constantly reminded of what it is to be a man. What divides men and women are the characteristics they might possess of masculinity and femininity. To be distinguished as a man with feminine qualities would be considered an insult. In order to avoid such an insult men oftentimes go to far lengths to achieve societies idealized form of masculinity. Masculinity and its characteristics have changed throughout our continuously developing society. One dominant feature that continues to serve a purpose in defining masculinity is violence. To further examine the connection between violence and masculinity this essay will first examine Leo Braudy’s introduction to his book and will clarify his perception of the word masculinity. …show more content…
He argues that “traditional” notions of masculinity in modern culture in some way or another emphasize war values and the violence of it. Although masculinity and its meaning varies within each culture and their social demands, war and violence has greatly affected what is regarded as masculine or feminine. As explained by Braudy, in past history men who fought in wars were glorified and admired for their manly attributes. Such men were titled as brave heroes who possessed strength, immense power, and were valiant. On the frontlines, men were expected to be both physically and mentally ready to take on and defeat the enemy. In the process of defeating the enemy the prime purpose of war thus became to kill anyone on the opposing side. But, wars were not only a way to end lives they were also a way of defining what it was to be a man. As explained by Braudy, the perception of war and the men who fight them, “trickle into the bloodstream of a culture and into the imaginations of individuals” (Braudy, xvii), to create a long lasting image of what an ideal man should be like. This image of an ideal man, that arose from war and violence, is still relevant today in modern society in terms of defining

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