In Russia, men are still allowed to be men
A lot of conservatives have some admiration for the way political correctness has not got very far in Russia and I am one of them. Under furious Leftist/Feminist influence there is these days in the Western world great pressure on masculinity. Anything masculine is heavily criticized. Huge attempts are being made to feminize Western men. That has got just about nowhere in Russia. Russian men are still admired for being men and most Russian women are among the admirers.
It is difficult to address that statistically. One of the attempts to produce statistical proof that men are a bad lot was spectacularly incompetent statistically. See here. So the whole question has so far not risen much above opinion and assertion. So I think I too can approach the question anecdotally only.
But I think one very powerful anecdote concerns Russian baritone Dmitry Hvorostovsky. Both in Russia and elsewhere he is a much admired singer. And in opera it is not just the singing that matters. The acting too is a big deal. And Hvorostovsky shines there too. He is a most masculine man in a way that you cannot just adopt or imitate. He just IS a very masculine man. And for the male parts in opera that goes down very well.
I will not burden readers with opera but Hvorostovsky also sings popular and traditional Russian songs. And probably the best known Russian song in the West is "Moscow Nights". So I want readers to watch him singing that. You will see an unashamedly masculine man in spontaneous action.
Below is a video of the famous performance in Red Square with Netrebko and Hvorostovsky singing. Anna Netrebko is a supreme Russian soprano. Hvorostovsky presents his songs in a very strong, confident and dignified way while Netrebko is a rather shy person who is easily embarrassed.
The beginning of the performance is very Russian, with Hvorostovsky dragging a submissive Netrebko onto the stage but then pledging undying love to her. In her reactions you will see how easily embarrassed she is but will also see how much she enjoys Hvorostovsky and his declarations. Most Russian ladies would envy her as Hvorostovsky is a very attractive man. Feminists will hate the whole thing.
You see in this performance as in others that the ladies who sing duets with Hvorostovsky swoop in for a big cuddle with him afterwards. Real women like real men.
Another Russian baritone who exudes Russian manliness is Leonid Kharitonov. Below he is singing "Volga Boatman" with the Red Army Choir. The song is actually a type of shanty. It is not the song of sailors, however. It is a song of men on a towpath dragging boats along the Volga, presumably upstream. It is a song of endurance. As such the words are simple to the point of meaninglessness but the tune is compelling. And when you see Kharitonov -- a most manly looking man -- you get a feeling for Russian power.
Russians are enduring. They have to be -- with both a demanding climate and a demanding government. I admire them and have a feeling for what life must be like in Russia. When you listen to Kharitinov, however, you begin to understand the war on the Eastern front. The Germans were military specialists and killed 4 Russians for every one of theirs that fell. But the Russians just did not give in -- so indomitability triumphed over military brilliance.
So Russia reminds us that manliness is not "toxic" but something quite wonderful.
Note: After the video of Hvorostovsy above, Youtube segues for me into another video featuring Hvorostovky -- singing the Toreador song from "Carmen". That too is a magnificent and very manly performance. You may note at the beginning of the video the way Hvorostovsky strides onto the stage, clearly the master of his universe.