Why are men so damn violent?

by jessykhoury on October 22, 2015 - 9:15pm

This article presents many theories as to why men are so violent. The author argues that men are expected to act in violent behaviors because they are pressured by social media, and most importantly other men. If some men exercise “softer” masculinities, they can be discriminated, punished and even socially excluded. Hegemonic masculinity proves that in a patriarchal society, men don’t only practice violence on women, but also on [weaker] men. It is also explained that boys are groomed from a young age into violent, oppressive behaviors, they are taught to fight back when they are being bullied. The article concludes that man’s desire and need for dominance and power has lead countries into famines and political crisis.

In this article, masculinity is constructed negatively because of men’s perilous construction and society’s wrongful reinforcements of violence. Men are being described as naïve and gullible, yet there is also a form of sympathy that is directed towards them because society creates unimaginable pressure concerning men’s expected behavior. This is extremely well explained in the movie “Tough Guise” directed by Sut Jhally. The deviation and drastic change of the images of masculinity are being discussed in this movie, showing how men figurines and comics have become more buff and menacing over the years. There is also a constant worry in the US society that men are becoming more and more feminized, they call it the “wussification” of America. Men are terrorized of not being differentiated from women anymore so their responding reaction is to emphasize hegemonic masculinity’s basic values: violence, sexuality, insensibility, and being feared. Men are being taught that unlike women, they are naturally violent and intimidating. They justify their brutality and anger by referring to their natural upper body strength, which is superior to women’s, and by imposing an objective truth, that men are protectors and natural fighters.

From a very young age men are exposed to violence not only through movies but also through video games. The games that come out today are available on all sorts of consoles and computers which makes all of the violent games accessible to young audiences which will later grow into violent adolescents. Even though the games that are offered are regulated and are technically only available to users of 18 years of age and over, they will find themselves in the hands of 10 year old children, which impacts the way they see the world and act around other people. Repetition normalizes different concepts so by being exposed to violence on a daily basis because of television and video games, boys are being taught that a “real man” needs to prove himself as stoic, menacing, strong, and bravely violent.

The reason why men are so violent is because of nurture, and social media. The intergenerational notion that men need to act violently is being taught to young kids, engraving such ideas in their minds, at a point where it all seems normal. Social media affects men’s behavior because of its use of violence and sexuality for entertainment. These ideas are then perceived by men as pleasurable, entertaining, and expected of them.

 

See article : http://feministing.com/2013/06/17/gender-and-violence-through-a-hegemonic-masculinity-lens-a-reflection-from-south-africa/

Comments

The reason why I decided to comment on this post in because the title drew me in; I was curious to find out why exactly men as so violent. I was also curious to see if the issues which cause men to violent can be related to the issues of race and racism in some sort of way. As I was reading through this post I realized that these two issues can be related. I read in this post that from a young age boys being to internalize the idea that in order to be a “man” you must be violence and dominant. This made me think about how often times racial minorities who are victims of racism on daily basis can begin to internalize the racist remakes at that thrown at them and being to believe them as true. Victims of racism begin to believe the identity which is imposed on them by the larger society. This can lead to identity crises and cause them to question who they truly are. I think it is horrible how we as a society can force people into feeling a certain way and cause them to question who they are, simply because we group together and decided what is the “proper” way to act. Do you think that we as a society will ever stop imposing this identity of being strong and violent upon men and racially victimizing minorities into being unsure about who they truly are?

I found the topic of your article response, “Why are men so damn violent?” to have been really intriguing and fantastic topic to address. Your topic idea immediately caught my attention as I scrolled through all the other article responses because I am really passionate about gender equality. I am so blown away at how violence is slowly becoming society’s norm. The belief that all men should be ‘tough’ is only doing more harm than good. While it may encourage men to learn to defend themselves, it also creates pressure for men to act the way society perceives them and may promote the idea that all men are superior to women in the process. It is unfair that people should change who they are because of society’s expectations. They should be the kind of person that they want to be! In my view, nobody should have to suffer because of who they are as it is something that they do not always have control over. Rather than promoting people to act a certain way, the media should instead promote the message that no one should have to change themselves but rather they are beautiful the way they are.

After thoroughly reading your response, while I agree that masculinity today is being constructed rather negatively, it is also important to consider the issue of race for this situation. The problem with the article is that it does not specify on the most common group of people that face the societal pressures to be the standard tough, strong, masculine man. For non-white men, it may be more pressure for them to have a high degree of ‘masculinity’ and dominance. The reason for this is because they are more likely to live in unsafe, troubled neighborhoods than Whites so from a young age, some males face a great deal of pressure from the older, dominant males to be ‘tough.’ An example of this was given by Tony Porter, a black guest speaker from Ted Talks, who mentioned that when he was twelve years old and living in a troubled neighborhood in The Bronx, a sixteen-year old boy named Johnny, who all the neighborhood children, including Tony, looked up to, offered Tony to have sex with a sixteen-year old girl that he had just raped. Despite not wanting to go through with it, Tony felt as though he did not have a choice. Firstly, he could not tell Tony that that he had never had sex before because all males in his neighborhood were immediately assumed to have already had sex so they would be looked down upon by the other males in their community for not following their social expectations. Secondly, he could not tell Tony that he did not want to have sex with the girl because all the females in their neighborhood were seen as sexual objects that should be taken advantage of any chance they get. Because of this, Tony told Johnny that he was interested in having sex with her but all he did was go into the bedroom where the girl was, close the door, and stand there long enough to make Johnny think that he had raped the girl before leaving. Overall, even though almost all men face the same pressure to obtain a really strong masculine image, it needs to be considered that this issue is seemingly more common for non-white people. In other words, the root to this problem comes from the racial inequalities of Whites being seen as the superior race and making higher income to allow them to live in safe, friendly neighborhoods. If we lived in a racially equal society as we claim to, then we might just be able to come up with a solution to prevent this problem from happening among all males.