We’re the guys who eat stereotypes for lunch. So just what is it we are trying to change?
We’ve been having a conversation about the changing roles of men in the 21st century for a while now. Let’s be clear about one thing. It’s not men we’re trying to change. It’s the negative stereotypes that are harmful to everyone. So just what have we seen in our conversations about the changing roles of men? What stereotypes are we working to help to overturn?
1) A more positive, awesome, heroic portrayal of Dads in the media. The portrayal of Dads in the media as competent, active, engaged, nurturing, compassionate and present is relatively new. A few years ago it was not unusual for dads to be portrayed as either absent or bumbling idiots. That is that the norm any more. And we are going to keep it that way.
2) Discarding the notion that men can’t be emotional / Men don’t cry / a sign of manliness is being stoic and unemotional. Say good-bye to this stereotype.
3) Ridding the world of tired old trope that there is such a thing as a “real man”. Yes, we know it started as a joke. That’s how pushing men into a tiny little man box always starts. As locker room ribbing. As “just us guys”. As the shaming language to “just be a man already” or “man up”. We are expanding that man box to include a whole vast universe of what a man can be. And it’s all ok.
4) Re-defining the notion of strength. Strength does not have to be just physical. It can be anything from being present in times of grief to being leaders in a conversation to being engaged parents. How will strength in years to come? We will help figure that out.
5) Reminding everyone that men can be victims too. This had simply not been talked about before, particularly when it comes to the notion of sexual assault. We are seen as leaders in this conversation by other media.
6) Expanding the definition of gender. We are all inclusive and working to end marginalization.
7) Stressing the importance of boys and education. We believe boys need as much of or more of our help and care and concern when it comes to education as girls do. The issues of boys are not more important than the issues of boys, but they are different.
8) There’s all the stuff that men don’t usually talk about, that we do—-whether it is the really positive stuff like how men express love, or kindness or gratitude to the much more difficult stuff of anything from depression and suicide to grief and loss.
9) Men are not disposable. A huge issue, look for more on this subject: anything from workplace deaths, to men and war, to how deaths are reported, to suicides, to prison. Difficult, provocative, and a necessary conversation.
10) The larger social issues of racism, sexism and homophobia can be talked about honestly, thoughtfully, with compassion and in ways that are not polarizing. We are helping to create that change. We can do it. We are leading this charge and will continue to figure out how.
You get all of that change—which is amazing to watch as it unfolds—just by being a part of The Good Men Project conversation. But by becoming a Premium Member, you not only help support our mission, but you get added perks—-you get to see the entire website without advertisements for example.
Plus, you get access to a “Members Only” Facebook Group, weekly conference calls with the publisher, free E-Books, a commenting badge, and a listing on our ‘Friends of Good Men Project’. Join today. [Want more information? Click here.]
Ready to sign up? Here you go:
Register New Account
Note: If you have ever been published on our site, please log in here first.
Payment is by PayPal. Your membership will begin once you receive the welcome email and click the link to return back to The Good Men Project.
Thank you for being a part of the largest worldwide conversation about what it means to be a good man in the 21st century. Your support of our work is inspiring and invaluable.
Questions or Feedback? Email [email protected]
Photo: streetmatt / flickr