Stereotypes Affecting Men

CC-BY-4.0 from Wellcome Images

According to The American Heritage Dictionary, masculinity is “Something traditionally considered to be characteristic of a male,” meaning, that there are many stereotypes for men.  Men are expected to be brave, tough, strong, and emotionless. Now, many older men are starting to show how they’re feeling and trying to be a role model for boys/men that are scared to show their true feelings. In a TedTalk, actor Justin Baldoni explains his story of being bullied for acting too “soft”. Many men fear if they show emotion in certain situations they will get made fun of just like Justin Baldoni did.

Masculinity affects not only a male’s reputation, but their mental health too because feelings remain bottled up. Bottled up feelings can cause anger and unhappiness. Women tend to talk more about their emotions because that is more accepted in society. To most men, it’s easier to talk about sports or women rather than their emotions. This is so they can feel fit to the standards of how society thinks men should act.

Rejection is something many men are afraid of. If a man doesn’t always act strong they feel they won’t be accepted in society. When men talk about their favorite football team or their new Nikes it is their way of gaining acceptance.

Lou Fine for Fox Feature Syndicate (public domain)

Men that don’t follow the stereotype of being “manly” are often times supported by females. During Justin Baldoni’s TedTalk, he described an experiment he put on social media. More than half of his followers were women because he posted pictures with his wife and daughters explaining how much he loves them. His attempt at getting more male followers started when he posted more work out and health related videos. After he did that the amount of male followers increased because his posts were closely related to society’s vision of the masculine standards.

Masculinity also occurs in a male’s home life too. There are many thoughts about dads being irresponsible and should do only the hard work for the family. Most of the time this isn’t the case. Many dads are very responsible and care for their children. Although, when a father has a son he could be unintentionally teaching their sons to always be “man enough”. Fathers have been influenced enough to teach masculinity, but to also show their sons it’s alright to let out emotions or be gay. It took professional football player Wade Davis a long time to come out as gay because he didn’t have a role model. If all dads are less harsh about being masculine, sons will be less afraid to show their emotions and true feelings because they will know it is alright to show emotion.

Since masculinity is a more recognized issue than it was years ago, new generations will stop being taught to be society’s level of “tough”. It will be more accepted for men to cry and show their emotions. When men need to talk about things that are upsetting to them they need someone that won’t judge them for being upset. Hopefully in these new generations men won’t have to worry about being judged. Men should be able to let their emotions out, instead of holding them in, allowing them to show their own uniqueness.

Lizzy Smith, '22
Lizzy Smith is a junior and this is her second year writing for the RamPage. She really enjoys writing for the lifestyle and culture section. Other than writing, she loves to swim and is on the swim team here at JD.