Article Review: “Dear Men, It's OK to Be a Pussy” by Anna Waletzko

by Han_Aguilar on November 2, 2015 - 9:00pm

“Dear Men, It's OK to Be a Pussy” by Anna Waletzko 

The article “Dear Men, It's OK to Be a Pussy” by Anna Waletzko focuses on the masculine and feminine stereotypes.  Anna tries to get people to know that feminism is not attacking men but rather a pursuit of “equality between the sexes” (Waletzko, 2015). The freedom of one gender requires that the other gender is not systematically under any form of oppression.  The masculine and dominant characteristic of men results from the societal perceptions and not from individual perceptions. The abjection of the female gender and perceptions of male dominance are taught from childhood when such things as toys become specified for boys and girls. The article concludes that the problem is overcomed when men start to acknowledge that there is no fault in being deemed to have feminine traits. 

The article makes an assumption that masculinity is derogatory to feminism.  Waletzko suggests that it is a frequent occurrence for a man to be regarded as girlish and weak when they are being criticized especially in physical activities. For instance “you hit like a girl” (Waletzko, 2015) is a great criticism for a boy in front of their peers.  Men exhibit their masculinity by being brave, dominant and tough.  Chu tends to agree with this opinion as he finds that men view females as “objects” (Chu, 2014) for their amusement. The nerds, therefore, fail to see females as human beings but rather degrade them to trophies. These assumption are a form of hostile masculinity. The men in doing so get confined in what can be referred to as the “Man Box”.  Society defines the way men should think and operate. They cannot go out of their “man box” and express such feminine traits such as emotions and anxieties. 

In addition; the article make an assumption that men are violent beings. This attribute is attested to Hollywood. In movies, they tend to display the male character as being tough and often gushing with machismo. The media cements the male dominance in most of it's aspects. Those men who do not match up this violent and dominant stance is rebuked. Media portrays to the general public that men are supposed to be feared; it’s a way to get respect and it’s a way to get what you want. It portrays power and superiority. The above assumption is a destructive aspect of masculinity. Chu does agree with Waletzko when he points out that the nerds perception of women gets aggrandized in the media. He does point out that; though it is shown in the media; the geek does not always “find the princess”. The nerds later end up being violent and committing rape and stalking when they fail to get the woman. Such acts of violence seen in movies, mass media, and society; further result in violence in men since they become associated with fallacious masculinity. 

The article further assumes that men can discard their masculinity. The article asserts that men are capable of doing what is seen as feminine. Some men are proud of watching acts that are rather deemed to be feminine. The men are said to be proud of it. Chu concurs with this opinion since he advocates for change in nerds to stop thinking that they are “entitled” to the woman (Chu, 2014). The assumption of capable change is a healthy part of masculinity.  This ability of change is what Waletzko counts on to end female oppression. When men get to understand that the flawed masculinity depicted by the media is oppressive to them, then the women and as well as themselves will be liberated. True masculinity is to be courageous enough to express your emotions and be your authentic self. Let's be kind to one another. 

 

References 

Chu, A. (2014, May 27). Your Princess Is in Another Castle: Misogyny, Entitlement, and Nerds. Retrieved November 2, 2015, from The Daily Beast:  

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/05/27/your-princess-is-in-another-castle-misogyny-entitlement-and-nerds.html

Waletzko, A. (2015, September 22). Dear Men, It's OK to Be a Pussy. Retrieved November 2, 2015, from HuffintonPost:C 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/anna-waletzko/dear-men-its-okay-to-be-a_b_8174510.html

  

 

Comments

Kess McRae
Wednesday November 11, 2015
Word count: 270

Comment #3

I have chosen to comment on your article response because I do agree strongly that male stereotypes are degrading and ruining men of our generation and men should be allowed to show emotion. Ever since men showed up on this earth, they have been portrayed as strong, dominant; the protector and those stereotypes are the reasons for all the problems that males face today. Referring to what you discussed about the man box concept may by Tony Porter, this man box may not be a commonly heard term but what it represents is well known through out a males life; do not cry, be strong, be the one in charge, treat women like objects. These stereotypes are ridiculous for men to live by because as we’ve seen, through examples, like rape, domestic assault, sexual assault, it is not good for our men to be thinking they have to live up to those stereotypes. Men do not need to cry all the time and be super emotional but boys should grow up knowing that its okay to show emotions and be taught to be strong and protective but all in the right ways not the violent ways. We are the future, when or if we have sons we need to teach them that being a man is not about being dominant, strong, cocky, its about being a well rounded good person. We need to teach that to our sons, and the world media needs to start teaching that as well. It is the only way this whole “Manbox” will be destroyed.

Hello,

As I was scrolling down in Newsactivist, when I saw your title it stoke me: why would it be an insult to be called a ‘‘pussy?’’ I think it is only degrading the women, and why would we even make stereotypes like that, that women are all less strong than men. When you said ‘’ the abjection of the female gender and perceptions of male dominance are taught from childhood when such things as toys become specified for boys and girls’’ it is true. It also makes me think about ‘’race’’. There are so many stereotypes, so many ideas on how a ‘’race’’ should behave or on how they should be, physically and even mentally. When you talked about the ‘’Man Box’’, we could also talk about the ‘’Race Box’’. When someone who is black, does not behave as they ‘’should’’, according to the stereotypes, than they are automatically called names like ‘’Oreo’’, and others that I do not even know. It is the same for men, or even women, that do not act like they are supposed to, again according to the stereotypes. Why couldn’t we just accept a person for who they really are? I think that if we stopped stereotyping everything, or making roles for every gender and race maybe there would be fewer problems, less racism and les sexism.

What caught my attention from this article was how the title sent a powerful yet straight forward message to men. It is interesting to see a such derogatory word such as " Pussy" can be analysed in another perspective.

We often hear about women being discriminated for not following the social norms of being or looking feminine. The media has started to promote advertisements that reinforce women's true self and how they should embrace who they are. However, it is really rare to see this kind of support given to men. Men also have certain social norms that are attributed to them. As Han Aguilar explains, men are perceived as "brave dominant and tough." These social norms were constructed by media and has shaped gender identity. Just like gender identity, "race" defines human identities. In an article I read for my class,"Race and the construction of identity", the author, Smedley, analyses the historical events that pushed the society to create racial differences. She explains that when race appeared, it gave the society a meaning to define the structuring of their society. It gave them an excuse to treat people of colour as slaves. This ideology of associating human identity with "race" is still currently present. Caucasian people still believe that they are superior to racial minorities. As well many, racial minorities believe that they are inferior which creates problem with their self esteem and sometimes they try to conform to become like Caucasian people. Just like men, they believe that they should follow social norms. Afrocentrism has shown its positive effects on Africans who were struggling with their self esteem.

I believe that everyone, whether it is gender or cultural differences, should be supported by the society to embrace who they are. Wouldn't it be more beneficial if the media would promote self acceptance instead of creating unrealistic social norms?