Masculine protest is a concept developed by the psychologist Alfred Adler, the founder of Individual Psychology.
It is the suggestion that women reject a feminine identity in order to be valued and compensated in the same manner as men. In men it is typically expressed as a superiority complex. Adler proposed the concept of the inferiority complex which is when individuals compensate for feelings that they are lesser or not as good as others by acting in ways that give them an appearance of superiority.
According to this theory women are typically devalued in comparison to men in many areas of society such as the stigmatization of having a girl baby instead of a boy, women being compensated less for doing the same job as a man, and the pressure to look or act a certain way that is deemed culturally appropriate. A woman who is participating in masculine protest is essentially rejecting these socially constructed norms and refusing to participate in things that are considered 'feminine.' Men can also be influenced by the prominence of a masculine culture and participated in masculine protest themselves. In men it typically manifests as a superiority complex which is a used to hide feelings of inferiority by grandiose behaviors of being better and superior to others. It is the usage of an "I'm better than you" mentality in order to hide the unpleasant feelings or emotional distress of feeling inferior and inadequate.