Call for Submissions: Male Stereotypes

Does the stereotypical man exist?

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Stereotypes of men don’t receive the same attention that stereotypes of marginalized groups receive. And it’s important that we break down the cultural assumptions about people who are held down by negative stereotypes. But what about The Man?

Do you find women attractive, sports excite you, and beer is a refreshing beverage? And if so, is that all that you are?

The “father as buffoon” of sitcoms, “The End of Men,” and men who “fail to launch” and live as perpetual man-children on the silver screen—The Hangover, Knocked Up, and the like—perpetuate an image of men as weak and passive, in direct opposition to the male myth that prevailed 60 years ago, in the age of the authoritative dads of “My Three Sons” and “Leave It to Beaver.” What has really changed in men’s lives and the world to explain this reversal?

Men are considered more violent, likely to harass or assault, and potential rapists. What has to change to smash these stereotypes of men?

And then there are all of the sub-types of men who are stereotyped. Young adult men are slackers, or in gangs. Black men are on their way to prison, and the prisons are full of men who deserve to be there. White collar men have no souls. White men are blithely, ignorantly racist. Gay men want to be women. Men who are artists, are perceptive or sensitive, are not really men. Men with disabilities aren’t really men, either. Nor are poor and disenfranchised men, undocumented men, janitors, waiters, stay at home dads, or a man who, in the words of Mick Jagger, “doesn’t smoke the same cigarettes as me.”

When has someone challenged your manhood based on an assumption about what men are supposed to be like?

Are you a “real man”?

Is it manly to care?

Do you believe any of the stereotypes about men? Why?

What is the truth about you that the stereotypes deny?

Which stereotype of men is the most pernicious? What can we do about it?

The Good Men Project wants your stories of male stereotypes. Submit your pitches, queries, and completed works to [email protected]

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Read more Calls For Submissions.

Image credit: SOCIALisBETTER/Flickr

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Comments

  1. Kerry Dennehy says:

    I look forward to seeing what is submitted in response to your call. Given the subtitle, “Does the stereotypical man exist?” I imagined I would be reading something about men’s behavior rather than about stereotypes about men. What immediately came to mind in answer to “Does the stereotypical man exist?” was, Yes, until he himself questions the stereotype.

    • I’m hoping to see both taken on in the responses: not just a description of the stereotype that exists, but what the truth looks like, because it’s always more complex than a 2-D cartoon.

  2. So many to count. Men are shallow and superficial, real men sleep with as many women as they can, men cannot be loyal, men have no feelings, men have few simple emotions, men are always immature, men are useless without a woman in his life, men are as valuable as they are to a woman, men are completely incapable of refraining their instincts…

  3. Stereotypes exsist for a reason says:

    The stereotype that all men want is sex (which I think for most translates to “nothing is more important to a man than sex”) is probably because the first thing that a guy will talk about in regards to women is “they’re pretty” or “they’re not pretty”

    The guys I work with who have to sponsor people on Base (I work on a military base so if you don’t have a military ID you need to be sponsored on by someone who does) the only thing they will say is “at least she was hot” or “she wasn’t even hot”. I’ve even heard “she doesn’t even sound hot on the phone and I have to go get her, this sucks”

    My boyfriend met our neighbors after moving into our new place. After I got home he told me he met the woman upstairs. His first and only “judgement” of her was “she’s pretty hot”

    I could go on…This is usually the first and usually the only thing I hear from the men in my life in regards to the women they meet or know.

    • Heisenberg says:

      And the stereotype that all black men are good at basketball is probably because every time we watch the sport it’s filled with black men. You see what’s wrong with these generalisations?

    • QuantumInc says:

      Another possibility is that men seek to connect to each other by objectifying women. If you don’t really know a guy very well, but he seems like a guy’s guy then it makes sense to reach for stereotypes first. What’s more likely, that the guy’s guy is interested in a woman’s opinions on XYZ or her hotness? Unless the guy also has opinions on XYZ, the safe bet is female hotness, or at least that is what society teaches us about men. I would imagine that stereotypes… comes off as a real guy’s guy in real life, as do a lot of soldiers, and thus people assume this is what he wants to hear about.

  4. Skull Bearer says:

    I think it’s about as likely as having the stereotypical woman exist. Logic tells us it’s impossible, but I’m sure we all know someone who fits the description.

  5. Richard Aubrey says:

    Speaking of evolution, we have evolved to see individuals according to the characteristics of the group to which they belong. It’s the way to bet. If we get more info, we can change our view of the individual accordingly.
    Problem is the assigning of characteristics. Does it/they fit with the real world? It is a stereotype of liberals that they accuse conservatives of thinking all black men are on their way to jail. I presume one or more libs don’t really think conservatives think that, but until I meet one….

  6. Heidi Draffin says:

    Stereotyping takes advantage of overt and superficial assemblages to help us assign probabilities for our assumptions about the social landscape. We must do this to function in complex social environments. But we use it to exclude, to create artificial hierarchies ‘beneath’ us, to flatten and objectify people to create justification for just about anythifng. Then cultural patterning starts replicating stereotypes as we attempt to be included in some way. Expectation of behavior nets the expected behavior and before you know it, women are all bitches and men are jackasses.

    I have found no two men alike in my life – husbands, lovers, friends, colleagues, but have seen superficial role behaviors abound, some gender specific some gender colored. But this is hardly an excuse for gender contempt, bashing, and pitiful narcissistic projection. Ignorance, fear, hormones, substance abuse, pack/mob behavior can distort and augment the accusations and create self-fulfilling prophecies that seem to ‘prove’ stereotypes.

    Both sexes are guilty of accusing one another of falling short of role associated expectations. As the roles equalize or switch and gender identification becomes broader I hope we start seeing the roles a

    All of that said, I think men do have a sexual scanner, the way I have a scanner for the ass end of sports cars…so what? I think they do compartmentalize more, identify less with the order of their home, have a weird thing going on with grass and come sooner to disengagement from an argument in favor of resignation, abandonment or violence. But only slightly. I do think most men get the short end of the stick in divorces.

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