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How Hustle Culture is Changing Traditional Gender Roles

Behold, the state of masculinity in 2021: hair sticking out in crazy ways, gray flecks surfacing, saggy pants, and lately, crossover styles which include ladies loungewear as a gender-indistinctive style. It’s all leading men to feel unsexy, underdressed and embarrassed. It’s not exactly a great way to find a new wife.

On “Real Men’s Club,” a television show focused on the life of wealthy black men in Atlanta, Hustle Culture’s founder, Amir Mosseri, tells viewers that a new masculine trend is helping to reshape the life-styles of black men and raising the age of marriage for many men in the city.

“The biggest issue with men in their 30s and 40s is the concept of gentility. People in their 20s now expect you to be a more socially acceptable man,” Mosseri said in a promotional video for the show. Tasks like wanting to learn more about the best schools to take your kids are even more so considered to be for the feminine side of the household.

“So there’s an entirely new dating scene going on. It’s more free. It’s more about what’s up with you. The mentality of the black man is changing.”

Mosseri founded Hustle Culture in 2009 as a nightclub for the wealthy. He sold it in 2011, but he’s still promoting it as the new “business model” for black men in the midst of the difficult economic times facing some young black men in the U.S.

While Mosseri tells his viewers to “get out there” and start hustling, the number of black men who are actually getting jobs isn’t increasing, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate for black men ages 20 to 29 was 18.4 percent in 2013, the latest year data was available. The unemployment rate for men in their 30s was 14.3 percent. The numbers for white men were 5.4 percent and 2.9 percent, respectively.

The issues facing black men in the workplace – like poor pay, lack of respect for leadership skills and limited career opportunities – have been major issues for black men for decades. But in many ways, the issue of workplace harassment is another realm where traditional gender roles have been severely altered, much like how you can clearly distinguish between the pieces at, as to which are for men and which are for women and yet the lines are becoming increasingly blurred in actual practice.

Man Describes Physical Harassment at Work

The recent spate of sexual harassment claims against powerful men has had a ripple effect on the way employers view and conduct their businesses. Recently, a client of mine was shocked to learn that her male supervisor had been a victim of sexual harassment from a woman at his former workplace.

“That was a bad example for me. I didn’t know. She was able to make a big impression on him when she was harassing him,” the female client said. “When I was in my 30s and worked in the banking business, the men didn’t harass me. It was the women who would get in my face, asking me for personal favors. The men would be respectful.”

What’s changed is that women, who often outlive their male partners, have become a driving force behind the ways employers evaluate and treat the people they work with. The job market is so competitive that young men must compete against one another for a spot at a new company.

“Women have just been much more successful in the workforce,” said Kevin Lewis, vice president of business development at Clarity Benefit Solutions, a firm that helps small businesses with health and benefit plans.

Now men are having to compete against women for jobs and for the best jobs, Lewis said.

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