“[Masculinity is] about the acceptance and approval from other men.”
“And since gay men for a variety of reasons are constantly looking for validation and approval from other men, does that mean that gay men are essentially more masculine?”
If the Gentle Reader agrees or disagrees with the rhetorical question, then Mark Twain and Yours Truly must quickly reply with the unsatisfactory, but honest, response of “I don't know”, and while this answer is the limit of Mr. Twain's involvement, Yours Truly will attempt to discover any facets of truth, or if truth cannot be found, then facts. In the event that facts fail us, we will rely upon reason.
Masculinity has been redefined as “acceptance and approval from other men”. If we conjure a second rate psychologist, he would note that in this instance that “acceptance and approval” are external, so while a man is male, as far as we are aware, man has not been redefined. A man may or may not be masculine, depending on perception. By using this definition of masculinity, we can understand that one's masculinity is completely dependent on the opinions of other men and absolutely beyond the control of the individual.
Our imaginary second rate psychologist would realize that “constantly looking for validation” from anyone indicates an underlying mental issue known, in common parlance, as suffering from “low self esteem”. We reasonably assume that this “validation” is never forthcoming, as our subjects do not occasionally seek approval, but their quest is constant or never ending. Although the Gentle Reader may speculate that an underlying correlation exists between the constant need for approval and the never ending “sex drive” of men, we cannot reach that conclusion. The reason that this search for validation is never ending has its origins in the lack of a specifically defined goal, as additional men are encountered during one's lifetime, more approval is sought. The continuous search for approval is no guarantee that any acceptance will be granted. We will not speculate as to the reaction if our subject does not receive this expected validation, that is, if acceptance is denied.
The wording “since gay men for a variety of reasons” offers our second rate psychologist an additional indicator of the worldview of our subjects. Firstly, we note that typical men, or mentally healthy individuals, do not constantly seek external validation and, secondly, the vague wording “for a variety of reasons” allows our psychologist to speculate as to what these reasons may be. The only differentiation between “gay men” and “men” is the adjective “gay”, and our mediocre psychologist will realize that the only demonstrable difference between these two groups of men is the choice, or in the modern parlance, “preference”, of sexual partners. Our inadequate psychologist may conclude that the one of the “reasons” for “constantly looking” to other men is for company, sexual or otherwise.
We offer the following word substitutions for the Gentle Reader's benefit:
“Intelligence is about the acceptance and approval from other men [presumably more intelligent men], and since less intelligent men for a variety of reasons are constantly looking for validation and approval from other men [presumably more intelligent men], does that mean that less intelligent men are essentially more intelligent?”
The above presumptions are not certainties. However, the preceding paragraph is false-less intelligence cannot be compensated by the approval of intelligence, nor can decadence be approved by the noble. Therefore, our proposed word substitutions have not assisted our endeavor to discover if the premised statement is true or false. As we previously noted, “masculinity” has been redefined and we have substituted this new definition at the end of the sentence.
“[Masculinity is] about the acceptance and approval from other men and since gay men ... are constantly looking for validation and approval from other men, does that mean that gay men are essentially seeking the acceptance and approval from other men ?”
The Gentle Reader is now in a position to understand why we, as philologists, are cautious of Modern definitions for long established words and our disdain, as lovers of truth, for circular reasoning.