More Thoughts on the ‘Man Box’

Check out this article about impossible standards of masculinity and the illusion of our culture’s “real man”. It’s discussing how there’s an emerging trend of unhealthy and unrealistic ideas about what real men should look like (unrealistic ‘fitness’ standards and body types), how they should act, etc. It’s refreshing to see such an article. Often the topic is dominated by discussion about the terrible and unrealistic expectations for girls and women. Don’t get me wrong, that still needs attention! I just don’t think we should overlook the pressures boys and men face in fulfilling society’s stereotypes and scripts, too! I felt the article was disturbingly accurate. A lot of the ideas/concepts discussed in the article are also the same ones we hear when exploring gender stereotypes with youth. Be sure to read all the way through. It’s kind of feel good at the end and made me smile.

Here’s a snippet:  “So guys? Listen up. The world is telling you to turn yourself into a unicorn and start shitting diamonds. The world is giving you an impossible task. It’s not just a stupid task; it’s not just a pointless task; it’s not just a needlessly confining task; it’s not just a task that will make you miserable. It is, quite literally, unattainable. You will never, ever be man enough. So stop giving a damn. And be whoever you are.”


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Chad
    Jun 28, 2011 @ 14:09:16

    An absolutely wonderful post! Yesterday, as I was sitting at a fast food restaurant I saw two 20 something guys eating their lunch. I said hi to them, as i often do, and we had a nice conversation about the day. I walked over and sat with my family. Suddenly, I heard a lot of commotion from the guys: “daaaaamn”, “oh yeah” “You know what I’d like to do with that?” I looked over to the guys and noticed them looking out the window. When I looked, there were two ladies walking by. I was appalled! So I said , “You know, the people you’re looking at are a lot more interesting than their bodies.” They quickly cleared up their stuff and as they walked out they asked me, “How does a faggot like you get kids. Oh yeah, they must be hers and that must be your fag hag.” This is the depth of the man box – that a mere suggestion that the women they were making comments about were more than just body parts, but actual thinking, living, breathing people caused me to be judged as gay and my wife to be judged as merely my follower. This is why education is so very important!


  2. violenceprevention
    Jun 28, 2011 @ 20:17:17

    It makes me so sad to hear of such a negative reaction from people and the hatred aimed your way. However, I truly admire your actions and for speaking up and calling the people out. These are the exact types of moments we need everyone to take the opportunity to call others on their oppressive behavior and language. Thank you, Chad, for being a wonderful example for youth and for spreading love and peace. You’re absolutely right, this is why education is SO important and why the work we do is crucial.


  3. Rubia
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 00:15:37

    I tried to get the RSS-FEED but the feed url displays me some XML errors…


    • violenceprevention
      Jul 25, 2011 @ 14:56:17

      I’m sorry you had difficulty getting the RSS-FEED, I will do my best to work the issues out ASAP. Thanks for trying to subscribe!


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