The previous chapter argued that men’s devotional portrait diptychs forged a corporate male identity to negotiate renewed importance for men who had grown uncomfortable – even alarmed – by the status of women in religion. This chapter complicates the discussion by considering masculinity as fragmented and variable. Indeed, recent studies have made it abundantly clear that the wide-ranging and often conflicting social institutions that framed men’s experiences kept masculinity fissured and in flux. 1 While certain categories of male identity established norms that offered ‘a sense of security and one’s place in the world,’ 2 others could be ‘competing, contradictory, and mutually undermining.’ 3 It is this last assertion that I wish to pursue here. Some different and potentially conflicting agendas arise, for example, between Burgundian laity and clerics, courtiers and urban dwellers, married and unmarried individuals, the elderly and the young, and hetero- and homosexuals. I do not, in pairing identities in this way, wish to forward a binary model for masculinity since all of these categories could infringe upon each other, and in seemingly unending permutations depending on men’s desires, circumstances, and experiences. An individual could, for instance, be an elderly married or single layman, an unmarried lay father, a cleric with or without a child, an urban dweller attached to the court, an ecclesiastic in political or social conflict with the court but who nonetheless served it, or of varying sexual identities, such as straight, gay, or bisexual (although, in the case of the latter two categories, likely not ‘out’ as we will see). The 91situation was further complicated by transfers between categories, a process that could continue throughout a man’s life: men were members of the laity before they became clerics, were single before they were married, and were youthful but inevitably grew old. The combinations seem infinite, and indeed only a small fraction of the possibilities can be explored here. My contention is that we must see masculinities as both foundational to the social fabric of the southern Low Countries and, at the same time, capable of pressing against and resisting one another. 4 Certainly, men in different categories had many positive interactions, held sympathy for one another, and saw themselves as compatriots. And yet, points of difference could at times be points of strife.