15 Ways #MasculinitySoFragile Points Out How Ridiculous Gender Norms Are

So much effort.

For something that's supposed to be all about strength and power and weird grunts, conventional masculinity sure needs a lot of protection.

Phrases like "no homo" or the need to rebrand wine as "brosé" show just how deeply engrained the need to police and reaffirm masculinity is. Men are taught from an early age that deviating from the narrow definition of heteromasculinity compromises their integrity and could suggest they are, heaven forbid, gay.

Anthony Williams, a sociology student at UC Berkeley, began tweeting #MasculinitySoFragile to highlight the ways masculine expectations contribute to violence against women, but the conversation quickly shifted to describing the more quotidian ways people go great lengths to protect conventional masculinity.

"When you challenge masculinity, it hits a nerve," Anthony Williams told the LA Times. "It makes some men nervous. But violence against women is a result of the fragility of masculinity. A woman can say 'no' to a man on a date, and she could end up dead. That's what women have to deal with. And we as men have to recognize that."

Here are some of the practices and products that show just how ridiculous and fragile masculinity is.


1. Don't get caught with wife wipes.

2. On becoming a man.

3. When your nose is too huge and burly for a regular tissue.

4. "Home of the Man Hamper."

5. Free the PSL.

6. Keep those haircuts manly.

7. Extreme FOMO.

8. Can't show that love.

9. Get your fabrics soft, but not too soft.

10. Yogurt is weak without horns.

11. If you're too drunk to think about gender norms, they're not there.

12. Just make sure you don't get drunk with the help of a straw.

13. Keep that hide smooth.

On a more serious note, masculinity's fragility means it often ends up being protected with violence.

14. Like when men question their sexuality.

15. Or when they don't like a certain hashtag.


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