Introduction: My goal for the paper is to explore the standard of masculinity that is set in today's society and argue that it is outdated. I am proud of the way I incorporated my quotes. One way in which I could improve my paper is by adding more quotes that support my claims.
Ever since I’ve been a young child, I’ve had the idea that being masculine means being powerful, muscular, and dominant. This idea is embedded in the minds of young boys across the world, making them feel minuscule compared to the ideals found in sports like wrestling, mixed martial arts, football, basketball, soccer, and even the action movies they see on T.V. This standard also discourages men to show emotion, labeling this behaviour as feminine, and creating a divide between young, impressionable men and their emotions. As a man, the impression is set by society that your role is to be powerful and brave, with a physique like the Rock. Society has created and stuck by a model of masculinity that is outdated and doesn’t fit the design of every man.
One of the clear problems with this is that these set standards benefit certain people more than others. Men who are unable to fit this certain dynamic, because of genetic setbacks, don’t fit this mold because of something they can’t control. These expectations can make them lose their true selves as they chase this ideal image of masculinity, which often leads to depression. This depression could cause men to feel the need to prove that they can be dominant. Not only to others but to themselves, leading to potential outbursts of violence. The Boys Are Not Alright offers an interesting, yet truthful explanation as to where this pent up rage and depression leads. “And so the man who feels lost, but wishes to preserve his fully masculine self-has only two choices: withdrawal or rage. We’ve seen what withdrawal and rage have the potential to do. School shootings are only the most public of tragedies. Others, on a smaller scale, take place across the country daily; another commonality among shooters is a history of abuse toward women.” They state that the public effect of this withdrawal can be a severe public showcase of rage, such as a school shooting, something we’ve seen an increase of in the past few months in our country. Of course, these shooters chose to go out and do what they did, and no amount of abuse or pain in their lives can justify that. We can, however, look towards this standard society has created and seen it as a step that built up to these violent tragedies.
Women constantly have movements for empowerment, telling them to be proud of who they are, go out to change the world for the better, and not let people see them for their bodies, but for their minds. These movements truly do empower and enlighten the hearts of millions of little girls on a daily basis, but what about the boys? What do they have to enlighten them, to tell them they don’t need to be the slabs of muscle they see on T.V, whose sole job is to hurt people and show just how strong they are? How can these boys grow up to be anything different then what they see on T.V. if they don’t have anyone to tell or guide them in a different direction? We need to implement a new set of standards for masculinity in today’s society, one that strays farther from that of domination and physical strength and accepts intelligence as a form of masculinity too. Intelligence is something that is respected in today’s society, but it is often seen as nerdy, and not exactly placed in the category of masculine. We need young boys to want to study and do well in school. Building up their knowledge, instead of focusing on strength. Physical strength is still important in today's society, and there's no reason to completely remove it from the standard of masculinity, but why not promote intelligence more, allowing young boys to choose which one they value more, or which one suits them better? Psychologist William Pollack said it well when he made a theory on this subject over two decades ago. “Boys start out sensitive but through a “shame-hardening process” — told to stop crying, to be a man — they learn to hide what they really feel. And if they don’t know or understand their own feelings, how can they care about anyone else’s?” The quote is stating that young boys are told to hide their emotions and ignore them throughout their childhood. Does it raise the question that if you take their emotions away and make them almost emotionless, how can they understand the emotions of others? You can almost see this as dehumanizing them from childhood, making them become these dominance obsessive beings which can lead to abuse in a relationship.
Overall, what I’m trying to accomplish with this essay is convince you that the standard of masculinity is outdated in today’s society. We focus too much on the physical attributes society has decided it takes to be a man, and not enough on the mental ones. A strong and dominant man shouldn’t need to be muscular anymore unless he wants to be.
Velasquez-man off, Moises. “Real Men Get Rejected, Too.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 24 Feb. 2018, www.nytimes.com/2018/02/24/opinion/sunday/real-men-masculinity-rejected.html.
Black, Michael Ian. “The Boys Are Not All Right.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 21 Feb. 2018, www.nytimes.com/2018/02/21/opinion/boys-violence-shootings-guns.html.