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What is the effect of the internet on society's attitudes towards femininity and masculinity?

The internet has had a massive impact on society's attitudes towards masculinity and femininity. In part, the internet has allowed people to rethink and redefine what masculinity and femininity can be.

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The internet has definitely had an effect on society's attitudes towards femininity and masculinity. For example, many more people are able to broadcast their views through social media online. These "influencers" often share pictures of themselves, which in return often portray a view of certain masculine or feminine looks or behavior. For example, because there are many female influencers online who share make-up tips and their view on what constitutes desirable physical appearance for girls and women, these beauty standards and expectations are even more visible now than in the past. In the past, these visual gender stereotypes were mainly broadcasted through media like films or magazines. However, through the vast variety of social media paired with the omnipresence of the internet, thanks to smart phones and other devices that offer easy access to the internet, it is almost impossible to escape these images and expectations nowadays.

As a result, society is influenced more than ever by the femininity and masculinity broadcasted online, leading to many people mirroring themselves on what they see online and what they therefore consider to be socially acceptable femininity or masculinity.

However, through the internet, it has also become possible to change some of the existing views of society towards femininity and masculinity. For example, the rise in online focus on the mental health of men has led to it becoming a lot more socially acceptable for men to show their emotions. In the past, this would have been considered feminine and weak. Nowadays, however, thanks to the internet helping to share and spread information about mental health for men, this sexist attitude has changed, and as a result, it is now more socially acceptable for men to show how they truly feel, without having to hide their feelings behind their masculinity.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on
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