“What would healthy Masculinity look like in your eyes”? This question was posed by CARE in their presentation of “Healthy Masculinity,” which lead to the discussion that took place. In order to answer this question,we must first answer the question: “What is Masculinity?” According to the Google definition, masculinity is defined as possession of the qualities traditionally associated with men. These qualities include: “handsome, muscled, and driven”. Other qualities that were added to this list in the discussion were power, aggression, control, and violence.

Clips of a video was shown during the event and gave several examples of what “masculinity” looks like, especially  in media. Specific examples included clips from Shark Tale and How to Train Your Dragon. In these two movies, the son is pressured towards violent behavior and if they act differently, their father might even disown them.

0-k7lcdekc0bdai75fViolence is not a characteristic that men are just born with, it is a taught behavior by peers and family that correlates with the view that society has about masculinity. As a result of societal pressure of violence men statistically commit 90% of murder crimes. This could possibly be due to the increasing pressure for men to put up a front in order to shield their vulnerabilities, as stated in the video. If men show any hint of vulnerability such as crying, they are immediately degraded for it getting beaten or called names like “pussy, bitch, fag, gay, retard, etc…” by other men so that they feel inferior.

A way to put an end to the stigma of masculinity and promote healthy masculinity is to make sure that young boys know that there is nothing wrong with expressing themselves. They should be taught that being emotional and showing characteristics of  compassion and love is completely okay. In the society today, basic human emotions have been driven out of boys and young men in an attempt to make them “tough” and masculine. But it should be understood that men and women have the same emotions–like anger, sadness, and fear– and that there is absolutely nothing wrong with a man expressing the same emotions that a woman could feel. In the expression of any type of emotion, a man is not any less “masculine” that another man, he is simply being human.

 

Featured picture credit: Everyday Feminism 

Article picture credit: Pacific Standard

2 COMMENTS

  1. No. Aggression in not always about acting out in violence. Aggressive behaviour is an emotional response to a situation where the person is confronted with a situation that stimulates the brain to repond in a forceful manner. A males testostirone and females, drives that person to focus on whatever the conflicting situation is to enforce the situation to reach an outcome suitable to the aggressor. Aggression is a trait shared by males and females, so piss off talking smak about masculinity <- See what I did there

  2. Also, its not necessary for a man to be vulnarable. Traditionally men sought out other men to confide in, to talk about their problems and they were told to toughen up, they were told this because traditionally males had bigger more adult responsibilities where the real world, bills, loss of loved ones they were and are expected to be strong for their family. What is happening today is men are being crippled by this “enlightenment” where they dwell on their problems, live with their parents and watch cartoons until they are 40. This “enlightenment” has left men depressed as hell, not willing to stand up for themselves and in general its embarrassing. But its essentially a left problem for their men, the only issue I have with it, is these men aren’t relatable anymore, so you see rappers and movie stars wallowing in their pitty. I have to dig into the 90s to find actual proud men in the entertainment industry.

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