Women simultaneously deride, and insist that men conform to, masculinity.
In fact: they are working with a false definition.
Not being men, they are constitutionally incapable of comprehending that which can only truly be understood through experience (i.e. the experience of being a man).
Masculinity is only the essence of man (man is the embodiment of masculinity).
Woman is not just a poor measure of a man, she is no measure of a man. The fake masculinity she alternately derides and shames men towards is best described as: whatever will serve her interests at any given moment (for you to be tough and stoic one minute, and weak and dependent the next).
Women's impressions, opinions, etc., on masculinity are hereby discarded. They know not what it is that they speak of, and wouldn't care if they did (it's all about her anyway).
Conquering the Self:
Masculinity is not when a man is violent, brutish, savage, etc.
Nor does it necessarily refer to a man leading the way (although it can).
Masculinity is what happens when a man stands up to himself, to the man within; or more accurately, to the boy within.
It is to emerge victorious from the struggle of virtue vs hedonism. The first is practiced by men, the second by boys.
For what can we call the pleasure-seeker, if not a child? He stands for nothing, acts for nothing, but filling his own mouth. He sits, always comfortably, and resents having to rise for any purpose, even his own. His joys are fleeting, without purpose, without direction, without authority.
This idiot thinks he lives like a king, because he answers slavishly to biological impulse; because he serves desires imposed by nature, not by his own will.
The man pursues his own will. That which he created himself, that design which he shall imprint upon the world.
This is never achieved without struggle. Primarily internal, as all struggles are. Every struggle takes place between the man and the boy within. The boy cries that he should give up because it's easier. The man must push ahead. And whoever or whatever external foe the man struggles against, it is this internal struggle that he must win.
Any man who has ever practiced self-denial, in any form, for the achievement of an object that is his own will, shall be familiar with this experience.
To hear the complaints of the boy is not shameful (there can be no virtue if there is not vice for it to run up against). To comply with the boy is what should be a source of shame.
To return to preliminaries: there are people (men and women both) who do not ever grasp any of the above.
In their misunderstanding of what masculinity is, they believe there are masculinities plural, and/or that masculinity can be 'reshaped' or otherwise exploited to make you meet their own ends.
They will encourage you to side with the boy, and surrender yourself to an existence of no values, or where they represent all value, and you are obligated to serve them, because they make it easier to give in to humiliation and subordination.
This is behind all demands that you "man up," "take it like a man," etc. Or any other demand relating to masculinity that comes from women or certain men (you will recognize them by the following: their anxiety about the man within, as they have sided with and embody the boy; physical evidence of long-term hedonism; alternately, a tendency to preen like a teenage girl; and female-centric, bitchy discourse).
So, you must beware of who is making demands of you, and for what purpose.
The two occasions when you should follow the advice to behave in a more masculine manner are:
First, when the advice comes from a trustworthy man, one who is masculine-behaving, and who you conclude, given reflection on the matter, is aiming only to improve your status. Then you should follow what he says, and ignore the complaining, lazy boy within.
Second, when the advice is your own, and emanates from the man and not the boy (you will know which is which; they are impossible to mistake). In this case you will necessarily improve yourself and give yourself purpose by following what you say.
Do not deny yourself a thing for anyone but yourself and trustworthy men.
Experiences of Self-Denial:
The virtue of taking only what you need, and doing what you are capable of, will fill the space that was once occupied by the fleeting pleasures. You will grow less tolerant of hedonists.
No meal will taste as good as the spiritual rewards of denying bad food, and even of denying good food where there is more than necessary; but your meals will taste much better. You will learn to taste again.
When you exert yourself to the point of exhaustion, you will go much further than you imagined you would. Sleep will come sooner and can truly be called rest.
You may ache, and you may hunger, and as long as you recognize these as positive signs, the pain will subside easier and will not disrupt your day.
You will develop a deep loathing for the fattened, the greedy, the lazy, the unhygienic, the cowardly, the impulsive, the men who spend their days staring at screens.
Greed and inaction, in particular, will appear to you as the most disgusting and disgraceful sins. You will scorn and wish for harsh punishment on those who take more than they need, and on those who do not make one step towards meeting their potential.
Your clouded mind will clear. Lies will appear indefensible.