This is a comment by Alastair on the post “In Defense of Boys“.
“Although not every male may feel comfortable with cultural stereotypes of maleness on certain fronts (I suspect no one is satisfied with these all of the time and in all respects), within the scope that such stereotypes provide for individual improvisation (more than commonly assumed), the significant majority of men that I know and have spoken to on the matter feel quite at home on most counts.
“The author is not saying that vocational schools are for every male, but that they might be just the thing for many. While we should provide a broader range of options for the expression of maleness, we should also recognize that stereotypes generally tend to exist as exaggerations of characteristics, traits, or preferences that really are more pronounced among a particular group. Such common traits can also provide means of group cohesion, as the things that we have in common are focused upon.
“In the attempt to allow for more possibilities, let’s recognize that the preponderance of chosen lifestyles for men will probably still fall well within the bounds of models of traditional masculinity. And that this is quite OK. The notion that most of us feel trapped by our gender roles is quite simply nonsense, although it is an impression that one can get in contexts of discourse such as we have here, populated as it is by those of us who are generally highly conscious about gender, usually precisely because we have experienced some degree of dissonance in our personal performance of gendered roles on some level. Frankly, many men will find contexts that continually seek to downplay traditionally masculine traits in favour of a greater and less weighted scope of gender expressions far more stifling.”
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