What Guys Won’t Admit
A guy sent me a link to a post called, “The One Thing All Men Feel, But Never Admit.”
He attached a note:
I can relate.
What is this thing that so many men feel but cannot say?
They doubt they measure up to being “a man.”
Yet each thinks he is alone.
Since we rank men above women, guys must constantly prove that they deserve their high status.
The harmful messages are unrelenting:
Be a man. Stop being such a fag. Grow a pair. You’re such a girl. Man up.
The phrases put down women and girls, and any man who shows his feminine side – a side that all humans have but that men feel they must repress.
Sensitive, expressive, vulnerable…
Real men must bolster their most destructive traits.
Rough, tough, aggressive, violent, dominating…
But this “manhood” mask can be an uncomfortable fit.
No wonder so many boys grow up to become lonely, anxious men, darkened by pain. Compared with girls they’re more likely to develop behavioral problems, binge drink, drop out of school, commit violent crimes and commit suicide.
Jennifer Siebel Newsom, who produced the documentary, Miss Representation, is now taking on the harmful messages boys receive in her new film, “The Mask You Live In.”
When she first began the project she explained:
As I traveled the world talking about “Miss Representation” people consistently asked me, what is going on with our boys? At the time I was pregnant with my son Hunter, and increasingly sensitive to the extremes of masculinity that would be imposed on my own son.
Hunter is 2 now — loving and empathic and joyful like so many boys are at this age. But I worry about how he will respond to the expectations and stereotypes he’s likely to encounter as he grows.
Say “The Mask You Live In” quickly and it sounds like “masculine.”
The Mask You Live In premieres this weekend at the Sundance Film Festival.
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