Inside the ‘’Man Box’’

by Kirameshin on October 17, 2014 - 9:38pm

What is the ‘’man box’’? How does it apply to our society? This concept defines the social values of hegemonic masculinity in which men are supposed to conform. Men are taught to be dominant in every social aspect of their lives. They are taught to be aggressive not only socially, but sexually too. They are taught to be stoic, and to not show any emotional signs on their faces publicly. In short, they are taught to be tough guys in this so-called ‘’man box’’. Once they step out of this box, the society will completely judge them in a different way; in fact, these men will be defined as weak, vulnerable and powerless people of their kind.

This shows us how society tries to construct a hegemonic culture and get a full control over men’s social behaviors. Videogames and movies are often represented with strong and muscular guys using guns and violence to solve issues. Social media advertises physical well-built men models because it is seen as powerful, healthy and sexually attractive.

What about the men outside the ‘’man box’’? Should we really criticize them for not following the norms of this box? Should we really judge them for who they are not? Should we really build up masculinity with traditional standards of men’s identities?

Living in the ‘’man box’’ shouldn’t be an obligatory norm; it should be a choice. Men are free to be whatever they want to be and to do whatever they want to do. It doesn’t mean that they are showing weakness when they aren’t stoic. They can express their emotions and their feelings freely too. We live in an influential culture where vulnerability has stolen our freedom to expression. Men don’t decide to be weak. The society has made them weak.

The following link provides more information about the ‘’man box’’:

http://www.wgac.colostate.edu/men-and-masculinities

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Comments

I find it very interesting how you bring about the topic and I agree, men are supposed to act a specific way to be seen manly. I recently saw a video for an advertisement, it was a doctor saying women will be more attracted and pay more attention to the message/ video if hot men were shown with 6packs and built muscles compared to a bigger men. And he was right, I personally was more attracted and listened more when it was a cute built guy. I agree with your point that guys are becoming more and more pressured to look a certain way because of social media. I fully agree with you it should be a choice to look a certain way and being in the “man box” should be a choice not a society obligations. I do not know if I agree with society making them weak, maybe I am just not sure the way you mean it. Obviously they do not chose to be weak, no one does not even women, but does society really have an impact on how weak they are or not? Men should be able to express themselves freely without being judged by society no matter if it is crying in public or openly talking about his feelings, yet if they do so they seem weak according to society (not sure if that is what you meant by society made them weak).
To finish, I agree men do live most of the time, to fit in with society norms, yet they are also human with feelings which should be shown, personally for me I see it as a sign of masculinity not weakness. Very good summary I agree with most of your points and you do bring up good questions.

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