Boys to Men, to Real Men

by barok on November 4, 2014 - 4:06pm

Boys, from the moment they were born, embark on a lifelong journey to be men. They are subjected under the strict unwritten code called the “Man Box”. They learn at an early age that it will be easier for them to navigate through this process if they conform to what the Man Box mandates. Boys are constantly reminded to “man up”, “not be a pussy” and be stoic, or else, they risk being shunned or be deemed as weak and worthless to be men. The Man Box is real. So as the pressures it comes with. Our current society turns a blind eye and even helps in policing this mentality and way of life. No wonder individuals who succumbed to the pressure are left traumatized, depressed and some become violent.

But why can’t a boy or a man be sensitive, emotional or someone who prefers diplomacy over violence? Why does our society tolerate the damaging stereotypes of being a man? The answer may lie in our vastly patriarchal society. History will tell us that great men dominate and conquer everything; lands, women and other inferior men.

We are not living in the past. Times indeed have changed. As we move towards equality among men and women across all races, our patriarchal way of thinking needs an upgrade, better yet, a complete abolishment. Individuals should not be forced to fit into a certain set of traits and values just because it is what the society expects out of you. These unnecessary pressures only hinder an individual’s growth to become real men of our times, not of history but of our generation. Men should grow up be real men and start raising boys to become real men of future generations.

Some helpful links:

http://www.ted.com/talks/tony_porter_a_call_to_men?language=en

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=man%20box

http://www.acalltomen.org/

Comments

The title of your article caught my attention but your article itself brings up some very interesting points, I was really intrigued by what you had to say. I wanted to keep reading to see what points you brought to the table. This topic is obviously a sensitive one too many men across the world and I completely agree with you, who says that men have to be tough and strong? Why is it a bad thing if men are emotional? It is clearly a thing of the past that men have to be strong or else they aren't accepted, now a days, women want men that are more sensitive and that are not afraid to show their soft side. Besides, does it really make a man less manly because he does not want to fight? Because he is a "lover not a fighter"?

The topic of your post stood out to me. I find it quite interesting how you brought up how times have changed but somehow, we still have this idea about men having to be this big, strong, non emotional type of person. Although, society has somewhat evolved for the better, we still have these stereotypes about gender views, how different racial groups should be, etc. It is good to see that this issue about gender stereotypes are being talked about being as we are so focused on other issues that we forget how women and men are both treated un equally and we grow up thinking men are higher than women. Men are meant to be "aggressive' and "strong" however, women now a days prefer a man who says what is on his mind and do not want this aggressive, mean person who hides his emotions. Will society ever grow to accept that this image of men and women is not reality? Like you stated, people who have to go through this end up being depressed and traumatized but we try to just brush it off as if it doesn't matter..

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