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The Masculine Urge refers to a concept and catchphrase used in memes to describe common stereotypically male urges, traits and tendencies in a comedic light. The concept is often used in ironic memes that make light of and criticize the mental and physical health struggles of men and the idea that men hide their true emotions, such as "the masculine urge to do anything but go to therapy." The phrase, used as a phrasal template by swapping out the last word, became popularized in late 2021 starting around August alongside memes about The Feminine Urge.
The exact origin of "the masculine urge" in memes is unknown but started to become widespread on Twitter in late 2021 following jokes about "the feminine urge" to do various things. One of the earliest tweets about the masculine urge is a quote-retweet by MammothMoth of a tweet reading "the feminine urge to bite," which reads, "Reminds me of my business teacher who said he sometimes gets the 'masculine urge to mow his lawn,'" but did not gain significant traction. Tweets about masculine urges increased around October 2021. On October 2nd, Twitter user @BigTucsonDad tweeted, "The masculine urge to throw a big rock into a body of water is so powerful," gaining over 3,200 likes and 180 retweets in a month (shown below).
The trend spread across Twitter over the course of October 2021, resulting in numerous high-engagement examples of the joke. On October 13th, 2021, Twitter user jokesdepartment posted "The masculine urge to own a piece of land," gaining over 1,300 likes in a month. On October 14th, Twitter user msgfreestripper tweeted, "The masculine urge to scare the hoes," gaining over 930 likes in the same span of time. On October 16th, Instagram user bodylessorgans posted an image macro captioned, "the masculine urge to embarrass myself daily with little regard for how others might see me," gaining over 2,200 likes in a month (shown below).
On October 21st, Twitter user mooninfirst posted an image of a pumpkin doing an awkward smile captioned "the masculine urge to," gaining over 153,000 likes and 13,000 retweets in just under a month (shown below, left). On November 1st, Instagram page rrmeggy posted a Patrick Bateman image macro reading "the masculine urge to do anything but go to therapy," gaining over 138,000 likes in two weeks (shown below, right). On November 14th, Twitter user @beforewashjosh tweeted, "the masculine urge to hold in my feelings and never say anything about them ever," gaining over 83,000 likes and 17,300 retweets in five days.
The meme also became popular on TikTok in November where TikTokers present a "masculine urge" through on-screen text, often filming their own face or acting out the urge during the video (examples shown below, left and right).
The Feminine Urge refers to a concept and catchphrase used in memes to ironically describe female tendencies and traits. The phrase became notably popular in 2021 following a viral April 2021 Tumblr post reading "the feminine urge to stab <3." The phrase became popular across social media, including Instagram, Twitter and TikTok (examples shown below).