What Makes Men Feel Masculine?

The revealing answers, and photographs.

What makes you feel masculine? That’s the question photographer Chad States asked the subjects of his recent series of portraits. The answers he received are revealing—in more ways than one.

“Why am I masculine? Hmmmm. Because I have never for a moment questioned my gender identity. Though I love women (perhaps too much), I have never wished to be one.” —Patrick

“I am strong emotionally, have always stood up for myself, and fear nothing. I happen to be physically strong, but that isn’t where I derive my masculinity.” —Bill

“The first thing I do when I walk into a room is figure out which male could kick my ass and which female I would like to fuck. Sometimes this is so subconscious, it is alarming.” —Andrew
Andrew has since asked as us to add this addendum to his quote:

“I said that sentence years ago and, looking back, I see I was wrong. That view isn’t what makes me feel masculine today and probably wasn’t what made me feel masculine when this photo was taken. Admitting I was wrong is what makes me feel masculine and makes me feel human. Masculinity, to me, is conquering your misogyny and not making excuses.”

“I feel masculine when I am home, I can take care of myself. I often feel emasculated when I leave my apartment, though, with everyone asking me if I need help. I don’t need any help.” —Dennis

“When I wear men’s clothes, I feel comfortable and confident in how I look on the outside, which now matches the inside.” —Liz

“I consider myself masculine because I spent time in the Marine Corps, I work out, I have a mohawk, I have tattoos, I’m a tattoo artist, I cuss a lot, and that’s all I can think of right now.” —Josh

“I have been called a SNAG (sensitive new age guy), a renaissance man, a man in touch with his feminine side, etc… I think that I am masculine in the sense of self reliance.” —Parker

“I want to show that, despite stereotypes, gay men can be masculine too.” —Mike

“I feel I am not only masculine in gender but also in speech, the way I act and the way I posture myself. It has been like this from birth. I like to pass as a guy, I just don’t want to have his stuff.” —Jay

“Masculinity is an attitude. I feel that I’m masculine because I carry myself as such. It doesn’t have anything to do with what you drive or how many women or kids you have.” —Dwight

“First off, I’d say I’m masculine because of how I feel inside, who I am and how I carry myself. In a lot of ways my masculinity is tied to my male gender role and how I want to project that and be perceived by others.” —Dex



Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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