Masculinity is narrowly defined in "The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World." Size, strength, and attractiveness are all synonymous with masculinity in this story. However, non-physical traits like compassion, humility, leadership, and modesty are also associated with the notion of what it means to be a man. The highest ideal of masculinity is shared and admired equally by both men and women in this story.
"The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World" operates on principles of archaic gender divisions; it is not relevant in the modern world.