Society:How it Shapes and Exposes Masculinity
Society:How it Shapes and Exposes Masculinity
Thesociety demands certain expectations from males. Males are supposedto be the stronger gender. They are supposed to stand for themselvesand show little or no weakness while doing so. This is because thesociety not only looks at makes as protectors of themselves, but alsoprotectors of the society at large. This has led to males having acertain trend of behavior that borders around aggression.Masculinity, as defined or promoted by the society, has led to ageneral character trait among males involving aggression, a carefreeattitude and the ability to resist emotional pressure (Bly, 2013,n.p). Thispaper is an attempt to analyze how males embrace and accept theirmasculinity through facing challenges and defeating the dangers withno hesitation in order to be progressive thinkers.
Overwhelmingevidence has been found relating men to violence. In most societies,men are seen as agents of violence. These societies do not take stepsto correct this perception because according to them, violence ispart of masculinity. However, masculinities exist in various societalgender relations. Depending on how the society treats masculinity, itcan result in violent or non-violent males. However, the hierarchyamong men tends to look down upon less aggression. Masculinities areembodied in institutions, culture and personal life. Masculinitieschange regularly. What one generation or society thinks is masculinemay be rendered obsolete and baseless by another generation. Beforeone attains adulthood, it is hard to differentiate the differencebetween girls and boys in terms of their reaction to issues facingthem. However, as boys grow up, the society teaches them to bestronger than their female counterparts. Things are made tougher forthem. This is a contrast to how society treats females. They are thefairer gender. Therefore, things are made relatively friendlier. Thismakes males assume their masculinity role by being more aggressive,relatively independent and less communicating when it comes to theiremotions.
Malesuse aggression and violence to communicate. In educationalinstitutions, it is easier for a counselor to help a girl deal withher social problems because they are willing to share and arewelcoming a helping hand. However, males are different. Masculinity,as defined by the society, directs them to be strong. The strength ofmales is measured by their ability to take in a lot while hidingtheir reactions and emotional discomfort. That is when a man iscalled strong. In the illustration given by Kindlon, Teresa andThompson in Raising Cain (Kindlon et al., 1999, p 3-7), Luke is athirteen-year-old who responds aggressively to issues in his life.According to the society around him, masculinity involves beingstrong and showing no signs of weakness. This is an adolescent goingthrough a phase of transition. His aggression might stem from thefact that he is detached from his family and feels isolated andlonely. However, as a boy, and precisely an adolescent, he cannotdirectly communicate this. His response to the problem is seen in hisdropping grades, violent behavior and a carefree attitude. He cannotcommunicate the underlying issues because the society has cultivatedhis mind to believe that males are not supposed to show emotions.They are not supposed to cry. This has a profound effect on hiswell-being because, as much as he is unhappy with the state of hisfamily, he cannot communicate this directly, leading to violence andaggression.
Inan effort to be strong members of the society, males usually adopt acarefree attitude. Since men do not have the willingness and courageto share their feelings, they opt for a more laid back approach ofwithdrawing, running away from their feelings and using distractions.That is why alcoholism is highly prevalent among males compared totheir female counterparts. Men use alcohol and other fun things so asto run away from their issues. This behavior is perfectly developedin college. In college, there are two types of students those whohave come to college to have fun and those who have come to study andsecure a good future. In both cases, males use this to evade dealingwith their emotions. In the case scenario provided in Guyland(Kimmel, 2008, p.3-5), Dave approaches college with a relaxed mode.To him, college is the only place where a student can laze around andbe justified for it. This breed of guys is emerging in manyinstitutions, especially I this 21st century. Male studentsunderstand the responsibilities that await them after finishingschool. It is this fear and reluctance to take up the commitment thatmale students engage in activities that are less productive.
Societyhas also taught males to be hardworking and dependable. Masculinityinvolves a lot of responsibility. As the head of the house, males aresupposed to offer solutions to every issue in the family and thesociety. Males are quick to take leadership roles in institutionsaround the world because the society associates masculinity toleadership. This has led to the emergence of masculinity that isbased on hard work. In Guyland(Kimmel,2008, p 2-7), Brian is a Chemistry student who juggles between schooland two jobs. He has developed himself into a responsible young man.He understands the responsibility that awaits him after he clearsschool. He is the typical example of the old-fashion male whobelieves that the society is grooming him to take up theresponsibility role. Therefore, he demonstrates his sense ofresponsibility by working and studying at the same time.
Mostmales are not violent, nor are they carefree. The society hascultivated this in males. The society needs to understand thepressure that males go through in efforts to achieve true masculinityas defined by the society. In the process of this, men tend toexperience frustrations that lead to violent, aggressive, criminaland careless reactions. Masculinity needs to be supported rather thanchallenged. Since masculinity is a dynamic subject, there is room forthe society to change its perception. We need to support the boychild during their growth and development (Bly, 2013, n.p). Thiswill allow them to acquire the right virtues regarding their gender.As much as males are expected to be responsible and accountable, thesociety should bestow this responsibility in a moderate way that willallow boys to realize their full potential. The world has changedinto a holistic and less gender-biased place. This should also bereflected in how we view masculinity
Bly,R. (2013). Iron John. Random House.
Kimmel,M., & NARRATIVE, E. (2008). Guyland: The perilous world whereboys become men. New York, NY.
Kindlon,D., Thomson, M., & Teresa, M. (1999). The Road not Taken. RaisingCain: Protect the Emotional Life f Boys.