Created By: bigJoe on June 17, 2012 Last Edited By: bulmabriefs144 on June 21, 2012

Masculine fear

Like femmine fear but for men

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Trope
The Spear Counterpart to Feminine Fear. There are certain things that are very scary to men, that barely even register as fears for women. This is by no means a comprehensive (or even a consistent) list, since with the dawn of movements like feminism and gay rights, being a "manly" man is no longer a given. For example, even being castrated is not terrifying to a transgender male. For this reason, this list has been divided into three sections.

Fears Of Traditionally Masculine Men

  • Forced feminization: Either by outright castration, or in some cases by crossdressing BDSM.
  • Anal sex (exceptions might be made for when it is done by women, in kinky sex).
  • Being forced to admit they are afraid: Oddly, more sensitive men don't get this as often. But for this type, admitting weakness (or apologizing) is similar to being impotent. Also, anything that makes a man less than manly, such as love of ballet or opera, is usually hid by this type (in extreme cases, anyway, masculine but more secure men might get over it).

Fears Of Metrosexuals/Feminine Men

  • Forced masculinization: Mention the idea of a Straight Camp to anyone not quite "normal" as far as what is expected of males, and they will either squirm uncomfortably or start a fight. This is especially case if they aren't actually gay.
  • Being found out: If one is simply a sensitive guy, there's nothing much here to be worried about (except of being accused of something). For a hay male or Wholesome Crossdresser this is a different story.
    • Being persecuted for it: There are terrible horror stories

Fears Of Most/All Men

  • Being kicked in the groin: It doesn't matter if you want to be a girl, like other guys, or are a more masculine type. Now matter how you feel, and no matter how strong the rest of you gets the groin doesn't get tougher.
  • Getting old: Youth (at least at a certain prime) means virility and sexual prowess. Hair is one symbol of this (hence why men spend so much money on products to either regrow hair, or recolor it from grey, when they spend so little on others). It generally doesn't matter whether you're a manly man or not, suddenly being turned into old, balding and weak either through natural causes or a Plot-Relevant Age-Up is downright scary, making it a relief if the process can be reversed through a Fountain of Youth.
  • Dying Alone: Dying is bad enough, but having never even had a lover, is downright depressing. Oddly, the opposite can also be a fear, worry about whether the significant other will do okay without you.
  • Social anxiety: Except for a rare few who are used car salesmen, most men regardless of type, dread social affairs. It is for this reason that men rarely talk about medical problems with their doctors (most statistics say only 14% or so actually see their doctor if they have cancer or a psychological problem). This may have to do with less social training in childhood, or just simple fight-flight instincts, where staying and talking things out isn't clearly either.
  • Being overpowered/raped (especially anal rape): Being in a situation where one can't fight back is scary for anyone, male or female. For males, though the party that is scary is not the actual rape part, it's the fact that one has muscles and is still powerless.
    • Impotence, for the same reason.
  • Brainwashing: See forced feminization/masculinization above. As a general rule, men don't like other people's values foisted on them.
Community Feedback Replies: 16
  • June 17, 2012
    darkclaw
    If this is to be the Spear Counterpart to Feminine Fear, it might need reworking as there is only one sentence above. I'm not trying to be rude, so I hope I'm not sounding that way. Also, women can be castrated as well.

    I'm not sure I agree with either Masculine Fear or Feminine Fear as tropes, but that is not up to me. However, for whoever is working on this, they might want to take a look at Feminine Fear as a YKTTW.
  • June 17, 2012
    jatay3
    Not being Badass enough. That is a big male fear.
  • June 17, 2012
    jatay3
    And "enough" doesn't have a definition other then "a little bit more". Even Alexander The Great, according to legend, had a mid-life crisis because he hadn't made enough conquests, poor man.
  • June 17, 2012
    surgoshan
    "Feeling mildly ashamed" because you're not Adonis == "Worrying about getting raped on your way to the bagel place"

    This is not just a trope, it's identical the other trope.
  • June 17, 2012
    jatay3
    No it does not equal fear of being raped, and no one says it does. The trope said nothing about equality. Fear of being insufficiently Badass is a fear however and many men are willing to risk their lives over it. How do you think the military gets enlistments? Or why do you think people don't run when the fighting begins?
  • June 17, 2012
    Huo
    • Not being pretty enough to guarantee sex
      • The unique marketing element of male grooming products.
        • Where as women put perfume to attract a mate, men fear not attracting enough mate which is why many products sell well even if they stink like skunk.
      • Subverted by metrosexuality
        • Men do really want to feel bad ass. They just happen to want feeling bad ass while looking like the secure safe option for a mate compared to that real bad ass over there
        • also known as, "if you can't be them, beat them when they're off being away from the target"

    • Not reached the overkill state of their dreams
      • Leonardo da Vinci is said to lament this: [[quoteblock]]I have offended God and mankind because my work didn't reach the quality it should have.[[/quoteblock]]
      • Also why men envy the physique of people who clearly take illegal supplements such as steroids but would mock them once it's revealled they took Training From Hell with pills thus killing the dream state of Training From Hell

    • Being made masculine

  • June 17, 2012
    InvisibleJester
    Needs more examples, and it needs more detail, but it seems like a legit trope to me. Just as long as the problems with the Feminine Fear thing get cleared up and both are launched.
  • June 17, 2012
    animeg3282
    He's trolling, but we can make this into a trope. Men are scared of being feminine and not being powerful. Also in fiction they are scared of Prison Rape
  • June 17, 2012
    jatay3
    Who's trolling? If it was me, I apologize. That was not the intention.
  • June 17, 2012
    Wii
    ...I cannot muster any other immediate reaction to this beyond "No. Just... No."

    This has the exact same problems that Feminine Fear does, so if it was meant as a solution to the issue with that proposal, it's completely misguided. Feminine Fear's main problem is that it just isn't a trope, and this isn't either. It's an Audience Reaction at best, and can't be properly used as one either; to quote what I've said on the Feminine Fear page (with reversed genders), "even if it were made into one of those (an Audience Reaction), all it could be is 'this scared/frightened/disturbed affected me, and I'm a man, and I think because I'm a man it was a stronger reaction than that of a woman's.'"

    Feminine/Masculine Fear are not trope-worthy; they are far, far too subjective, sex-specific/sexually divisive, and inflammatory by nature. What they need to be is about creative intent backed by Word Of God or In Universe discussions about the vulnerabilities/fears of the sexes, or whatever else. With regards to men, we could have a trope for things like that obnoxiously offensive Doctor Pepper Ten commercial, or for say a film that the director has stated was intended to be emotionally evocative primarily to men, or even something about things like the women of "The Talk" laughing about how Catherine Kieu Becker castrated her husband - see here if you weren't interested in being proud of being human today: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wP4VeMJp9pE&t=6m07s - and having a lot of joking fun at the man's expense. Those are all things that could somewhere hold the essence to a trope. This just doesn't. So, we need to refocus on Word Of God or In Universe examples.
  • June 17, 2012
    Routerie
    ^ Yes.
  • June 17, 2012
    Huo
    No. Though I'm not really that interested regardless of what happens to either of the articles, "at best", both are tropes that hint at the fears of literary or pop culture stereotypes.

    Of course if this was a publicly released article, this would be a problem.

    As a draft, the first "vague" examples should be encouraged as to better narrow down the attributes In Univserse examples need to have to fit this trope.

    At the same time, the problem is the naming convention. It doesn't have to stick to strict Word of God or In Universe declaration. It could just be an In Universe interpretation as long as we treat both entries as pseudo-index type of articles. As long as it is this way, it fits the trope. If considered as tropes, both are basically short hand for Fear in Fiction or Fear as Portrayed and Defined by Pop Culture or The Types of Fears Fiction Makers Think Characters Should Have to be Realistic/Interesting.

    Either direction whether there's a naming change or not, the issue still arises that you have to encourage vague initial examples of Masculine and Feminine Fear so as to create a more objective standard for when is the trope this versus when the examples are just random non-notable examples of fearful reactions.
  • June 17, 2012
    Huo
    Incidentally to make the distinction clear as to why this trope is not already present in any of the other fear trope in TV Tropes:

    "This is less Fear as in Horror and more Fear as in Human Hypocrisy and Human Insecurity".

    If one were to put this in a two word trope, it would be a "Shame Trope" but having the words fear as shorthand for the multiple longer words such as Embarassment, Hypocrisy, Heroic Suicidal Quest, etc.

    One other flaw with Appeal to Audience Reaction is that not all Audience Reaction tropes are Audience Reaction tropes.

    Nightmare Fuel from the few problems I've read about it, only became problematic because users started adding examples of what they find scary rather than true Nightmare Fuel. (A trope that's not just Nightmare but fuels an already present Nightmare.)

    Being that this is still a draft, it doesn't have that same issue "yet" so it's still too premature to say this is an audience reaction by virtue of it being a draft.
  • June 18, 2012
    Wii
    I'm looking at both Masculine Fear and Feminine Fear as a unit; I mean, it seems pretty obvious that this was suggested so it could be the "male answer" to the Feminine Fear YKTTW, and even in the slim chance that it wasn't, that's what it will end up as. Feminine Fear is blatantly an Audience Reaction trope in the making, and I'm arguing against its creation over there, as well. The premise of "Feminine Fear" is "there are things, such as rape, which women fear more than men and therefore, fiction involving these things affects women more deeply. Therefore, this trope will document works of fiction that affect women more strongly than most men". That's a really cleaned-up version of the mess that is the Feminine Fear proposal, and it has some extreme issues beyond even that. It has nothing to do with works that discuss the fear of women In Universe, and it has nothing to do with works where Word Of God confirms that they were trying to evoke a stronger reaction among the female audience; all it is is "I am a woman, and I think that I am affected more strongly than most men by this work of fiction/this subject matter because of that."

    Sure, this isn't as overtly problematic yet, but the proposal is only one line so far. And it isn't about masculine insecurity, either (I thought we already had that as a trope, but I can't find it anywhere... huh. That definitely needs to be made if I'm not just missing it.); the proposal and the mirroring of Feminine Fear suggest that it's about actual threats to a person's well-being based upon sex, like diseases (prostate and testicular cancer as an example) that are exclusive to men, or injuries (the sponsor suggested castration; even though this can technically be done to the external female genitalia as well). Actual threats. Not "am I manly enough?" or "am I feminine enough?", actual threats. Broaden it a bit and it could cover something like, say, a man's fear that if he files for divorce his wife will get custody, but even still.

    This needs to either about be In Universe examples where characters discuss things that men fear more than women, or about works of fiction where Word Of God confirms that the intent was to get a stronger reaction out of men based on their beliefs about what men find more scary. I think that that's the only way to keep this from being wildly subjective and inflammatory.
  • June 21, 2012
    bulmabriefs144
    Needs A Better Description than "Something hard for women to watch but horrorify for men example castration." I dunno if these were universal, but I gave my best guess. Probably still Needs A Better Description.
  • June 21, 2012
    animeg3282
    Also, men are scared of being kicked in the nuts. But trans men aren't scared of castration since they uh..don't have penises. Trans women are men ---> women transgendered and are considered 'women' socially.
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