Men and the Patriarchy

by Based God on November 2, 2015 - 8:55pm

Dustin Poirier

World Views

2 November 2015


                                   The article that I chose is titled” Men are expected to stay inside the ‘Man Box’ – they’re hurt by patriarchy too” written by Sophie Warnes on The article explains how men are also hurt by the patriarchy. Mostly because of the “Man Box”, which is a social construct to teach men how they are supposed to act. The article also speaks about other issues involving men, for example: Sexual assault and domestic violence.


     The meaning of masculinity is different to everyone, to some individuals, it could mean being tough and stoic, or to be aggressive. To Sophie Warnes, the portrayal of masculinity is to follow the man box, which is a social construct of being masculine. By following the box, you will become the ideal man. The author is against this ideal. She believes that the idea of the man box is a joke, “without much mention of the ways in which men are also harmed and devalued by what feminists term the ‘patriarchy”. She doesn’t believe in masculinity, she mentions that both genders are able to possess these traits. “This is nonsense – there is plenty of evidence to suggest that any traits are not wholly attributable to one gender.”


The approach that she takes isn’t too common, but it is growing every day. More people are noticing the issues that society forces on different genders. Whether you’re a man, or a woman, you still suffer because of silly identities. The issue is that most people believe that only woman suffer from the patriarchy, which is untrue. As said by the author, men also suffer because of the social systems, it might not be the same suffering as women face, but they still suffer. The biggest issue that men face, is conforming to the masculine ideal. Men need to follow the man box to not be discriminated against by their peers, and even family.


Between the article and the movie, “Tough Guise 2”, they share a lot in common. They’re trying to make people understand that men also have problems with social systems. Men are required to act masculine, but sometimes, it’s hard to keep up the act so you need to use your other valuable manly tools, such as violence, and aggressiveness. Being the manly man that you see on television, is all a farce. It’s an impossible goal to reach, because as humans; we are emotional. It’s impossible to hide your feelings without some sort of negative reaction. As shown in the movie, many young men who are considered weak, or are bullied, turn to violence to show how manly they are. This is the case for 98% of school shootings. “98% of school shooters are male.” As said by Time Magazine. Explained by the movie, the reason for this is because of the manly man, that men are forced to conform too. In reality, the patriarchy affects both men, and women in a negative way.




Warnes, Sarah” Men are expected to stay in the Man Box- They’re hurt by the patriarchy too”, June, 06, 2012

Kluger, Jeffrey” Why Mass Killers Are Always Male” May,25,2014.


I chose to comment on this article summary because the issues addressed are very similar to issues of race. The ‘Man Box’ identifies a stereotypical view of how a man should act to fit the norms of a male. This is very similar to racial stereotypes. We expect a certain group of people to conform to what we believe they are. This expectation often creates tension. Such as the video shown in class about the ‘Man Box’ on Ted Talks, we see that these stereotypes often result in violence. Part of the discussion explained how males need to be tough and strong, how men cannot cry. In turn this led to men trying to conform to this and in the end being aggressive and having trouble expressing their emotions. Therefore I think making similarities between racial stereotypes and gender stereotypes can be beneficial. It allows different groups to understand how these stereotypes can be harmful no matter what and we should not impose these expectations on others. I believe that the youth should be taught about these types of stereotypes at a young age. This might be the key to ending racial and gender stereotypes alike.