Why is it that when we have such deeply compelling factual evidence concerning men in areas like sexual assault, loneliness and relationships, mental health, and gun violence that there is still such push-back when you say, “Let’s have a conversation about these aspects of masculinity.”
Almost immediately, the entire conversation is derailed by folks saying “You’re saying masculinity is bad!” or “You’re saying men are bad!” or “Why are you saying I’m bad!”
No one is saying any of that.
What we are saying is that the way we socialize boys and men and the way we enforce and re-enforce the norms of the expected and accepted male behavior in our culture and society are problematic.
Our culture has rooted within it a very narrow prescription of what “masculinity” is – domination, toughness, isolation, sexual conquest. And that is deeply harmful to men and boys and by extension to women and girls.
The more we can undo this, the better off all of us are.
But in order to do that, we have to be able to talk about it without shutting down.
Photo Credit: Anthony Easton/Flickr Creative Commons (Attribution License)