The article that my group and I decided to do was “Toxic masculinity is killing men: The roots of male trauma” by Kali Holloway. Many people do not know that by saying “be a man” can cause such a huge negative impact. In this article it explains how masculinity is toxic and how it affects the life of men. In the article it reveals all the effects of masculinity, how it starts, and ways how it is shown in society. From here on I will be summarizing the article, making connections, explaining my involvement in the project and a reflection of my overall performance.
Jackson Katz’s film Tough Guise 2 seeks to expose how the media promotes a toxic ideology behind what makes a man masculine and show that it is a social construct. For decades print, television, videogames, and film have presented masculinity in a way that makes men think the only way to be manly is to be emotionally unavailable, sexually aggressive, and violent. This ideology has been a curse on culture in America and many other countries around the world. “We're not living in the Wild West. We're not a Third World nation” (Katz). The days of warrior culture, where a man had to protect his family from being pillaged in the dead of night, are long past us. However, the media promotes an ideology that men must still be prepared to answer the
In Robert Jensen’s article “The High Cost of Manliness”, he states that the idea of masculinity is a bad thing and they should get rid of it. This article debates on the common stereotypes of men, as he states:
When we talk about masculinity in America today we theorize that violence that happens more often than we like, from mass shootings or crime in general, including rape and murders in the real world and in the virtual thrill world of videogames and movies we find a parallel connection of masculinity as violent. Even though an overwhelming majority of violence is committed by men and boys we as americans rarely connect gender as a major key in violence. But when we lay out the plane lines about culture of violence were almost always hinting that it is a masculine trait that is a taught behavior. The modern society has conjured up the idea of the ideal man, that showing emotions is wrong but one must be charming, seeming smartish but more of an attitude of control showing that manhood has a hierarchy. Weakening the not so tough guy, society giving them labels to show they are outside of the gender binary.
History has repeatedly given men privilege due to their physical advantages; yet it is these same advantages that have developed into “rules” or expectations that all men should conform to in order to prove their manhood. Michael Kimmel’s essay, “‘Bros Before Hos': The Guy Code” outlines the “rules” where men are expected to never show any emotions, be brave, act knowledgeable, be risk takers, be in control, act reliable, and be competitive, otherwise they would be showing weakness which is analogous to women. It is humiliating that men associate weakness with women; they should focus on the potential of the individual rather than their gender. Most insults toward men attack their masculinity because society finds it shameful for men to be
There is a lot of pressure on men in society to be manly; however, what exactly does it mean to be manly? Though many people have different opinions, a lot of them conclude that a man has to be strong and somewhat emotionless to be considered a man. This assumption can lead to Toxic Masculinity, which is “A false idea that men are expected to be as manly as possible” (The Hard, Adrenaline-Soaked Truth About 'Toxic Masculinity, 2017). Men are forced to face these assumptions not only from those around him, but also from people he might see in Media. Media reinforces Toxic Masculinity which in turn causes men to belittle women.
Although it is common to see how women are misrepresented, the male population is also victimized by improper portrayal in the media. One could see that the view of masculinity promoted by the media is erroneous and brings about negative feelings in men such as self-doubt and inferiority. False perceptions of how men should be are conveyed in the article, “Are Men the Latest Victims of Media Misrepresentation,” stating that “the media industry tend[s] to characterize men as macho guys, skirt chasers and inept at parenting and relationships. While this may have historically been true, what our results showed is that these characterizations aren’t reflecting the behavior and aspirations of today’s men” (Casserly 1). From this quote, one
Masculinity is a cultural standard and guise that boys and men often follow to fit into the social expectations and hide their vulnerability. Media is one of the most powerful influences on the way boys perceive and learn the social norms connected with manhood. Boys/men adopt the “tough guise” as a persona to portray themselves as powerful, tough, strong and in control because our society has linked masculinity with these characteristics. From a young age, boys learn about what it means to be a “real man” and the consequences that come with not qualifying as one. The media and pop culture often depict violence as a masculine cultural norm and has led to a growing increase in violence, especially across racial and class lines like African Americans
In my opinion the false masculinity concepts from 2003 stated in Season of Life are still alive and even worse. From a very young age, children have the wrong idea what it means to be a man and chances are they never will. There is so much pressure on young kids to compete and be better than others. Often, you are only compared to someone else and because of this, young men come to false conclusions about manhood. Over time, they believe that masculinity is about athletic ability, sexual conquest, and economic success. Now with the evolution of technology the false masculinity has gotten even worse.
Brief Summary Aaron Devor discusses the patriarchally-expected gender roles of today’s society. He delves into the discussion of femininity versus masculinity. Society associates femininity with weakness, whilst associating masculinity with greatness. Furthermore, Aaron sheds light on today’s societal gender norms.
This environment forces the men to make many decisions that often leave the men in a state of hopelessness and desperation. Through these traits they exhibit and situations they encounter, their masculinity is constantly being tested which can reveal their deeper insights and logic. Through
The documentary The Mask You Live In makes a strong case that the root of our foul culture comes from our society selling outdated and hazardous notions of masculinity. The overall image of the documentary depicts a culture that desperately needs to change. The film builds an argument about how early development of distinct attitudes in boys and negative reinforcement from authority figures and society have created men who are violent, callous, and self-destructive. We have been taught that the best man is the strong, silent type rather than the man who’s inclined to emote in a non-destructive manner when he’s upset.
Response The documentaries Tough Guys and Killing us Softly, really brought to light the way masculinity and femininity are represented in our society. The characteristics and associations that are made when these words are thought of are bizarre and not natural. I strongly believe that both masculinity and femininity are learned characteristics from the human environment. I often wonder if people would even have these ideas and characteristics that are associated with gender in the beginning of time, or if people have slowly began to define and differentiate the genders throughout the evolution of time.
Similar to Sapolsky, Katz argues that the media teaches men from a young age to be tough, aggressive, and not to show emotional vulnerability. This is what he calls the “tough guise” or the artificial definition of manhood that forces men to conform to society’s expectations by being “tough” and powerful and hiding their emotions. In the beginning of the film Katz shows interviews with various young males where he asks what it means to be a man, and all of them provide an answer referring to strength, such as “powerful,” “intimidating,” “strong,” and of course, “tough.” When asked what a male is called when they fail to live up to these expectations, the young men replied, “wuss,” “fag,” or “sissy.” Katz points out that this just one of numerous methods that society uses to contain young men in this “tough guise” box, using insults to drive them to perform the way they believe a man should.