How has much has music affected you as a person? Evin shares his story about how music helped him avoid the classic “manly man” gender tropes trap and learn to truly express himself and his heart.
This is a comment by Evin Carty on the post “Is Music the Last Sanctioned Outlet for Men to Express Their Emotions?“
Evin Carty said:
There’s a lot of truth here. As a guy, you can maintain your masculinity if you successfully play music, regardless of whether that music is deeply about the feelings you’re supposed to suppress as part of that same masculinity. Writing/play music is a totally great, unique outlet in that way.
But, in addition, listening to and engaging with music allows for a similar kind of outlet for lots of men. I attended a homophobic, hyper-masculine all-male high school, and I listened to a lot of punk and hardcore as an outlet for my feelings there. Not only could I go to shows, be active in the local scene, and release my emotions through the amazingly cathartic mechanisms of punk (mosh pits, stage diving, crowd-surfing, ganging-singing crowds, etc.), but punk also helped me understand my own emotions.
I was helped to understand the bullshit concepts of hyper-masculinity that were ruling/hurting my life through the lyrics of feminist punk rockers Latterman. I was helped through some of own depression and continued romantic rejection through the tortured, despairing, and sincere early recordings of Against Me! And, the songs of Brooklyn ska-punk outfit Bomb the Music Industry! spoke to me, then and now, about my own difficulties with anxiety.
Music is an amazingly strong outlet and release valve for the emotions that so many of us men are told, again and again, to suppress, ignore, and convert into shame and anger. If only there weren’t more areas like it.
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Photo credit: Flickr / Man Alive!