The Meninist Movement

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Over the past 10 years men have been portrayed as idiotic, coddled, domestically challenged buffoons, never to be trusted (especially with their own children). However, considering recent reports and failed brand efforts targeting contemporary men ... we thought we'd take a closer look. Check out our latest contextual piece exploring contemporary masculinity.

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The Meninist Movement

  1. 1. THE MENINIST MOVEMENT WWW.THESOUNDHQ.COM Strategic Research & Brand Consultancy
  2. 2. Text VANCOUVER . TORONTO . CHICAGO . NEW YORK . LONDON AN INTRODUCTION - THE SOUND A TEAM OF 32 STRATEGIC RESEARCHERS BASED IN ... CALL US WHEN.... YOU WANT TO UNDERSTAND YOUR BRAND - YOUR CONSUMER - YOUR COMMUNICATION YOU WANT TO BE INSPIRED BY YOUR CONSUMER AND THEIR WORLD YOU WANT TO INNOVATE IN REAL AND EXCITING WAYS 2
  3. 3. Text 3 “Our society is becoming a ‘femocracy’ in which men and masculinity are being marginalized. The game of life is increasingly played by women’s rules; success and failure measured by women’s criteria... In this feminized society, men who act like women are clearly preferred to men who act like men.” Michael Buerk, BBC Journalist ‣ GENDER EQUALITY - Gender equality is more of a reality than ever before - Males and females find themselves facing the same challenges and opportunities i.e. competing for the same jobs, under the same pressures, have the same aspirations - Shared financial, emotional and domestic responsibility is a given vs. a luxury ‣ GENDER FLUIDITY - Gender traits are no longer mutually exclusive - More acceptable for men to display feminine qualities and vice versa - Success is now much more dependent on the ability to adopt feminine traits i.e. compassionate, collaborative, sensitive FROM BOYFRIEND JEANS, TO TINA FEY, TO LADY GAGA ... OVER THE PAST DECADE, WOMEN’S INCREASING SOCIAL POWER HAS BEEN UNDENIABLE THE CULTURAL PRESENT - THE FEMINIZATION OF CULTURE
  4. 4. Text 4 HOWEVER, WITH THE RISE OF WOMEN CAME ‘THE FALL OF MAN’ ... As women’s social power increased and gender roles flattened, men were left wondering ‘What does this mean for me?’ Social scientists coined it a male crisis! Educators were convinced boys need to be saved! Media tried to over-compensate for men’s loss in power! What’s left is a series of social impressions (or misconceptions) of what it means to be a man in the 21st century ... THE CULTURAL PRESENT - THE DEMISE OF MAN
  5. 5. Text 5 THE COLLEGE DROPOUT With 60% of college graduates being women and 66% of Ds and Fs being given to boys, educators and congressmen launch national ‘Save Our Boys’ campaign THE UNEMPLOYED MALE Men hit by the ‘Mancession’ the hardest, accounting for 82% of jobs lost in 2009, resulting in a unemployment rate of over 12% "We're at risk of having a generation of young males who aren't well-connected to the labor market and who don't feel strong ownership of community or society because they haven't benefited from it." Dr. Catalano, Professor at the University of California MEN ARE STUPID.. MEN ARE LESS EMPLOYABLE.. THE CULTURAL PRESENT - THE DEMISE OF MAN
  6. 6. Text 6 Ryan Seacrest Emerging Adulthood - Millennials given social permission to delay adult responsibility until their 30s, with guys being the slowest to leave the nest - 55% of men 18-29 live at home with their parents THE METROSEXUAL With ‘Queer Eye for the Straight Guy’, manscaping, David Beckham and the murse, came a more image-conscious man in the early 2000s MEN ARE CODDLED.. MEN ARE..WELL LESS MANLY “What used to be regressive weekends are now whole years in the lives of some guys.” Dr. Michael Kimmel, Sociologist and Author of Guyland THE MAMAS BOY THE CULTURAL PRESENT - THE DEMISE OF MAN
  7. 7. Text 7 THE DOUCHEBAG The emergence of The Douchebag brought us Pauly D and Barney Stinson, glamorizing self-serving, womanizing, hypermasculine behavior THE DUDE MEN ARE PIGS.. MEN ARE IMMATURE.. “Men today refuse to grow up and that’s making it difficult for women to find a decent mate." Kay S. Hymowitz, Author of Manning Up: How the Rise of Women Has Turned Men Into Boys Man-movies like Old School and The Hangover celebrated guys, hanging out with guys, doing guy stuff - typically involving rowdy, boisterous ‘man’s play’ that never ended up well THE CULTURAL PRESENT - THE DEMISE OF MAN
  8. 8. Text 8 THE DEAD BEAT DAD Fathers depicted in media as ill-equipped and domestically challenged i.e. Knocked Up, The Family Guy, King of Queens ... always late picking the kids up from school, fighting off a man cold, and unable to change a diaper if his life depended on it MEN ARE IRRESPONSIBLE.. Fathers given a bad wrap for refusing familial responsibility, resulting in an increase in single mother households in the early 2000s - 62% of custodial mothers do not receive child support THE IDIOT FATHER MEN ARE CLUELESS PARENTS.. “Man has been the dominant sex since, well, the dawn of mankind. But for the first time in history, that is changing ... The change in modern labor, from backs to brains, has catapulted women to the top of the work force, leaving men in their dust.” Hanna Rosin, Author of The End of Men THE CULTURAL PRESENT - THE DEMISE OF MAN
  9. 9. THE MENINIST MOVEMENT
  10. 10. Text 10 CONTEMPORARY MEN REALIZE CULTURAL PERCEPTIONS ARE FALSE, EXAGGERATED AND INCOMPLETE DEPICTIONS OF MEN OUT OF STEP WITH WHO THEY REALLY ARE, WHAT THEY TRULY VALUE AND THE KIND OF MEN THEY ASPIRE TO BE “It is annoying overcoming some of the stereotypes that people have about men, such as being dumb, meathead jocks who only care about sports and cars.” THE MENINIST MOVEMENT TODAY, MEN ARE FEELING MISREPRESENTED ... THEY’RE NOT PIGS..in fact they respect women THEY’RE NOT IMMATURE..in fact they welcome responsibility THEY’RE NOT EFFEMINATE..in fact they’re just in touch with their emotions THEY’RE NOT USELESS FATHERS..in fact they are more devoted than ever before!
  11. 11. Text 67% of guys agree that real men cry UNLIKE PREVIOUS GENERATIONS, CONTEMPORARY MEN HAVE THE FREEDOM TO CELEBRATE WHAT IT TRULY MEANS TO BE A MAN ‣ He no longer feels defined by societal misconceptions.. ‣ He no longer needs to subscribe to outdated notions of masculinity.. ‣ He no longer has to prove his ‘manliness’ to himself or anyone for that matter.. ‣ Contemporary men are just interested in being themselves - Feeling comfortable in their own skin - Revealing the depth, complexity of their character - Embracing maturity and responsibility - Doing the things their fathers didnt get a chance to do ‣ Contemporary men appreciate the freedoms of being a modern man..they’re just waiting for society and brands to catch up! “To be a real man, one must be himself” THE MENINIST MOVEMENT - EMOTIONAL AND STRONG 11
  12. 12. Text 67%ofguysagreethat realmencry THE CONTEMPORARY MAN LIKES TO FEEL IN CONTROL, BUT WANTS TO FEEL JUST AS COMFORTABLE BEING OUT OF CONTROL ... ‣ Baring it all doesn’t make him soft or feminine ... it makes him human - Finds it ridiculous to continue subscribing to old fashioned male emotionality for the sake of bravado - It is his expression of how he feels that signifies his true strength as a man - shows he is comfortable with himself, his vulnerability - Being mindful only strengthens his relationships with his mother, father, wife, children ‣ However, he also relishes in the opportunity to demonstrate his conventional masculine traits - Enjoys being a resource for advice - Desires to be perceived as strong and reliable “Men need to be emotional ... hiding your emotions is not masculine. If you feel it you have to be it. You MUST be authentic!” THE MENINIST MOVEMENT - EMOTIONAL AND STRONG 12
  13. 13. Text “Our bond is stronger and the respect has grown. We now admire each other for being men. Not for running touch downs and getting sacks. We now feel like brothers and enjoy letting each other know how important we are to each other. I guess with age we learn to value each other.” HE NO LONGER NEEDS TO LEAD TO BE SEEN ... ‣ The ‘alpha male’ is an outdated concept for contemporary guys - the whole is always greater than the sum of its parts - Admire each other’s strength, realize how each member can benefit the group - No longer afraid to show male affection - share intimate truths without fear of ridicule or disapproval ‣ For previous generations, male group activities were often an escape from the pressures of work or home life ‣ Today, male bonding is a celebration of manhood - a time to ... - Recognize how far they’ve come as men - Learn how to become better men in the future 13 THE MENINIST MOVEMENT - A LEADER AND A FOLLOWER
  14. 14. Text 14 87% OF GUYS REPORT THAT IF THEIR PARTNER EARNED MORE THAN THEM, IT WOULDN'T BOTHER THEM HIS DREAMS ARE VAST BUT CONSIDERED ... ‣ Contemporary men desire to make their passion their career ... and not the other way around - Not just about being a provider, but being a contributor to culture, to change ‣ He wants to be inspired by what he does everyday ... and inspire others along the way - Dockers gives away ‘Man Grants’ to encourage men do what they love ‣ However, don’t confuse him for an idealist - He realizes the challenges the recession has placed on his generation - Understands putting his passions into practice won’t be easy. It will be up to him to find a creative way to define his own success story. THE MENINIST MOVEMENT - PASSIONATE AND PRAGMATIC
  15. 15. Text 15 “It’s a man who looks to the past for inspiration about what it means to be a man, taking the best from that time and leaving the cultural garbage, like sexism, racism, and homophobia behind.” Brett Mckay, Author of The Art of Manliness: Classic Skills and Manners for the Modern Man CONTEMPORARY MEN AREN’T AFRAID TO LOOK TO THE PAST FOR INSPIRATION ‣ Whether it’s growing a beard, enjoying an aged bourbon, wearing a 3-piece Brooks Brothers suit, or getting a straight edge shave at the barber ... ‣ Contemporary men enjoy engaging in traditionally masculine values, past-times and aesthetic as a means to celebrate the essence of what it means to be a man - i.e. Relaunch of Levis Vintage Collection 2011 - 1901 501 Jeans, 1920s Two-Pocket Sunset Shirt - i.e. Newsweek ‘Mad Men Edition’ - featured retro-ads from brands like Allstate and Dunkin’ Donuts ‣ Serves as a means to differentiate themselves from women ... but not in an insecure way - He simply wants to connect to a more self- assured time - Disapproves of dated, sexist principles and adopts traditional, wholesome values like honor, integrity THE MENINIST MOVEMENT - LIVING IN THE NOW AND BORROWING FROM THE PAST 58% OF MEN MISS THE DAYS WHEN SOMEONE’S WORD AND A HANDSHAKE MEANT SOMETHING
  16. 16. Text 16 BEING A ‘GOOD PROVIDER’ JUST ISN’T ENOUGH ANYMORE ‣ Contemporary men simply have different priorities. They understand the breadth and depth of what being a father truly entails. - As much about being emotionally present than it is about being fiscally responsible - Want to be invested in every milestone, every minute - Wouldn’t feel any less masculine taking paternity leave ‣ Choose to father differently than previous generations - Father with time ... - Father with patience ... - Father with heart ... - Father with support ... - Father with humility ... ‣ Don’t feel they deserve any special attention for it either, just a part of being a parent 50% OF GUYS REPORT BEING A GREAT FATHER AND HUSBAND WHO TAKES CARE OF HIS FAMILY AS THE #1 CHARACTERISTIC THAT DEFINES BEING A ‘REAL MAN’ “Being a man doesn't mean not asking for directions! Seriously, being a man means being a great dad and being responsible to your family. ” THE MENINIST MOVEMEN - PROVIDER AND A PARENT
  17. 17. 17 “Guys today are neither the mindless, sex- obsessed buffoons nor the stoic automatons our culture so often makes them out to be. Our community is smart, compassionate, curious, and open-minded; they strive to be good fathers and husbands, citizens and friends, to lead by example at home and in the workplace, and to understand their role in a changing world.” The Good Men Project THE MENINIST MOVEMENT
  18. 18. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR BRANDS?
  19. 19. Text 19 65% OF MEN FEEL THAT NO COMMERCIAL PORTRAYALS OF MEN ARE ACCURATE the truth is ... WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR BRANDS?
  20. 20. Text 20 MALE CONSUMERS HAVE BEEN INUNDATED WITH COMMUNICATION THAT HAS CONTINUED TO RE-ENFORCE GENDER STEREOTYPES.. BEWARE: ‘Masculine’ messaging that portrays men as insecure WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR BRANDS?
  21. 21. Text 21 BEWARE: Sexist messaging that portrays men as douchebags WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR BRANDS?
  22. 22. Text 22 BEWARE: Gendered messaging that portrays men as weak WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR BRANDS?
  23. 23. Text 23 BEWARE: Traditional messaging that portrays men as idiots WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR BRANDS?
  24. 24. Text 24 HOWEVER, SOME BRANDS REFUSE TO FALL VICTIM TO OLD HABITS..AND OUR GUYS ARE TAKING NOTICE! Dove Men celebrates him feeling comfortable in his own skin ... WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR BRANDS?
  25. 25. Text CHEVY ACKNOWLEDGES THE RELATIONSHIPS MOST IMPORTANT TO HIM.. 25 Chevy spot: Son surprises his father by refurbishing his old 65 Chevrolet Impala http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_I9fyX0RhI WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR BRANDS?
  26. 26. Text 26 DOS EQUIS REALIZES HIS ASPIRATION FOR MATURITY.. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR BRANDS?
  27. 27. Text 27 WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR BRANDS? GOOGLE CHROME RECOGNIZES THE ROLE HE PLAYS AS A FATHER.. Google Chrome spot: Father uses the web to document his daughter, Sophie’s lie https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4vkVHijdQk
  28. 28. Text THERE ARE SOME KEY POINTS TO CONSIDER WHEN TALKING TO CONTEMPORARY MEN.. IT IS IMPORTANT TO RECOGNIZE WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A MAN IS CHANGING AUTHENTICITY IS HIS MANTRA He takes pride in always staying true to himself and gravitates to brands that are doing the same. Encourage him to follow his passions! HE REFUSES TO OVERCOMPENSATE He is likely to reject hyper-masculine communication as he doesn’t feel the need to prove his masculinity to feel secure. HE EMBRACES MATURITY Despite his appreciation for his youth he seeks out and celebrates maturity milestones. Recognize his need to grow. HE WANTS TO BE TARGETED IN AN EMOTIONAL WAY He is comfortable with his emotions (and his expression of them!) and respects brands who are secure enough to communicate to him on a deeper level. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR BRANDS? 28

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