More specifically, conflicts revolving around definitions of gender in American society are developing with increasing levels of complexity and dissonance. The idea of masculinity as it relates to both personal and public identities has become over idealized and exaggerated. As a result of unhealthy societal pressure to exhibit traditional masculine traits, males in the United States not only objectify women, but their own gender as well. This perpetuates "The Paradox of Manliness": that what defines us as men ultimately leads to our own objectification.
This objectification can range from body image issues and eating disorders to unhealthy competition, harassment, and violence.
Using contemporary subject matter surrounding the fortification of gender stereotypes, "The Paradox of Manliness" is a direct response to this societal phenomenon. Idealized images of culturally un-idyllic male figures provide a social investigation of masculine aggression."