Similar to what was discussed in a different thread, an example of the complex usage of non-conformity in allegedly more progressive spaces is the usage of fragile masculinity as an insult. It tries to use the restriction of men's human characteristics like vulnerability as well as the punishments for non-conformity like the death penalty (more on that later), bullying, violence and murder in order to ilicit the internalized fear of being "fragile". Ironically, it is used to selectively promote specifically chosen aspects of non-conformity that favor the wishes of the one who uses the term (even if some of them are absolutely reasonable wishes on their own, see veganism).
Thetinmen's post on catcalling has shown another constellation, with allegedly progressive people pointing out men's non-conformity (coward; attacking those who are alone) as an attack on non-conformity (harassing/attacking women - which is something that should absolutely not become as acceptable as it still is towards men, though it should be about the victims and not their gender), thus just openly demanding conformity by shaming non-conformity, which is a conservative concept. The target of that attack is not the behavior, it is the gender.
And if you believe men who attack women would not be non-conforming, here is a paper on a dating violence prevention program with the article being called "Coaching Boys into Men" - because apparently that is the discriminating factor between the two. And no, the fact that they were adolescent (boys to become men? - I dislike the differentiation because it has a history of being abused to shame adult non-conformers) athletes ("coaching") and the title thus intended to be a "funny pun" does not change that: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1054139X12000523
Anyway, the inappropriate behavior (catcalling in this case) is called "cowardly" by thetinmen and his community, even though catcalling has nothing todo with cowardice - it (being a coward) is something men are conditioned to avoid though, so it works.
In fact, I might have understated that. To this very day, being a coward is punishable by death according to US criminal codes:
10 U.S. Code § 899 - Art. 99. Misbehavior before the enemy
Any member of the armed forces who before or in the presence of the enemy—
(1) runs away;
(2) shamefully abandons, surrenders, or delivers up any command, unit, place, or military property which it is his duty to defend; [...]
(4) casts away his arms or ammunition;
(5) is guilty of cowardly conduct; [...]
(8) willfully fails to do his utmost to encounter, engage, capture, or destroy any enemy troops, combatants, vessels, aircraft, or any other thing, which it is his duty so to encounter, engage, capture, or destroy; [...]
shall be punished by death or such other punishment as a court-martial may direct.(https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/10/899)
Internationally, hundreds in war who refused to shoot, refused to obey orders to destroy others or were incapable of doing so were shot with their families being forced out of their homes, denied military pension and stigmatized for being relatives of an (alleged) coward. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/hundreds-of-soldiers-shot-for-cowardice-to-be-pardoned-412066.html
As seen in the article, even to this day people argue that not all of them might be called victims and even to this day explanations like "shell-shock" are needed to clear men's names of it.
And it is not the only time non-conformity might be punished by death:
- Bias-motivated aggression is an ongoing problem in the United States, and data show that men comprise the majority of both perpetrators and victims of these types of offenses. Although gay men appear to be at particular risk for victimization, theory suggests that aggression of this type may be understood as a way to preserve exclusive masculine identity and in-group status by punishing those men who step outside rigidly constructed gender boundaries, rather than as a reaction to target sexual orientation alone. [...] One-hundred two undergraduate men in the Southeastern U.S. participated in a bogus reaction-time task, during which they had the option to shock an ostensible opponent as a measure of aggression. [...] It was predicted that the most aggression would occur toward a gay, feminine opponent. Contrarily, findings indicated that most aggression was evinced toward a feminine heterosexual opponent. Results are discussed in terms of heterosexual men’s nonconformity and the influence of in-group/out-group dynamics on bias-motivated aggression.
- Although acceptance of gay men has grown in recent years, gay men still regularly experience bias in their social relationships. The bias gay men experience has been theorized to stem from societal expectations regarding adherence to gender roles. Additionally, threats to masculinity have been suggested to promote antigay attitudes and discrimination among men. However, it remains unclear whether the bias gay men experience as a result of threatened masculinity is due to gay men’s sexuality, gender role adherence, or the combination.[...] Heterosexual men’s experiences of masculinity threat led to bias evaluations of feminine, but not masculine, gay men. In addition, heterosexual men who experienced masculine threat expressed greater anticipated negative emotion when they considered interacting with feminine gay men. Masculinity threat effects were eliminated via a self-affirmation manipulation: Suggesting that the threat driving bias toward feminine gay men is, in part, a threat to heterosexual men’s sense of self.(OP opinion: The masculinity threat was introduced by having the participants fill out a personality test and then give them feedback that would question their own conformity. This is a death threat to men and might be associated with traumatic experiences of violence, punishment and invalidation. It is thus not surprising that one would want to distance from non-conformers to avoid being exposed as one themselves - this protective measure might become more severe (even violent) and internalized from childhood on until they themselves become one of the driving forces of the bias. This threatening feedback creates an even greater bias against non-conformers and that additional bias could, of course, be eliminated by basically eliminating the conformity questioning feedback (who would have thought).)
- Although sexual orientation is perceptually ambiguous, people are able to detect it with above-chance accuracy from faces and, sometimes, from voices.[...] Study 2 (rating of gender-role conformity) showed that the link between self-reported and attributed sexual orientation was mediated by self-reported and attributed gender-role conformity. Results support the centrality of gender-role conformity, more than that of sexual orientation, in impression formation.
Unfortunately, the comments echo that something about the messaging was off and attracted destructive narratives:
One of the top comments was then using quotation marks to refer to "men", as once again, it is not about the misguided and inappropriate comments of a person who needs to educate himself on how such comments are perceived and may influence the wellbeing of others rather than their conformity with what a "man" is in the eyes of others. And, of course, it would be dishonest not to acknowledge that it is perhaps not surprising that part of the people who experienced constant reinforcement of the belief that, as long as they are at the receiving end, sexual border crossings of any kind up to forcible rape are a laughing matter could eventually develop a dysfunctional relationship to such behavior. Wasn't it you who talked about "how people got there"? Being a coward surely ain't it, as we have just learned, and maybe you should abandon that term to describe men as it reinforces deadly misandristic concepts trying to rob men of their humanity.
The currently third most liked comment with over 70 likes talks about searching for the home of somone who catcalled his sister a few days prior and beating him "into a pulp". Of course, this was not called out as insane and deadly misandristic rather than semi-praised or at least tolerated (one comment said "please don't resort to violence again"). The most liked sub-comment is glorifying it and the second most liked says he (the victim of the aggrevated assault) would be ready for the second round with op answering that "he'd die" and the other one responding again that he hopes the victim reads that comment and "shits his pants". Is this the kind of audience you want your comment section to represent? - Completely mindless and irrational violence to extents that might cause lifelong suffering to a degree that most can't imagine and might, in certain ways, be impossible to prove as nobody knows what would have happend without the violence(1) (beyond the obvious physical damage) is suddenly not misandristic or at least destructive anymore - now it is apparently seen as courageous.
(1)Maybe one would have an easier time remembering things, etc., if it wasn't for the damage done by violence - of course people will just pretend that any non-obvious damage never occured or isn't connected to it and that healed, yet still existent scars in skin and bones are somehow able to fully revert damage instead of just conceal it.
Using non-conformity to shame people into conformity is not the way. Critisizing one's gender non-conformity and questioning the validity of their identity based on it is not the way. Mindless violence is definitely not the way. All of this is either misandristic in nature or usually has a serious misandristic component (violence and self-"justice"; see empathy gap, disposability, protection gap and so on) - all whilst being invalid approaches to ilicit change in others and demonstrating, in this case even to potentially non-violent people, that physical violence would be a valid way to solve issues.
I ask you to re-evaluate if these types of narratives on conformity are actually compatible with the message you want to support. All the best.