People fail to realize how their cultural expectations can be harmful to boys, men, women, and society as a whole. Our culture needs to be more excepting of what it “truly” means to be a man. Gender roles are taught to boys from the very day they are born. Parents treat sons and daughters differently. Little boys are taught to be tough. When little boy’s cry their parents might respond by telling him to grow up, and be a tough. However if a little girl did the same thing she would most likely receive more sympathy from her parents. A good example of this is in athletics. It is acceptable for a female athlete to cry when an injury takes place.
But male athletes are usually made fun of for being “weak” or “sissies. ” These expectations can be harmful to boys and men. According to Dennis Thompson, some studies show men and women share more emotional similarities than differences.
When men are forced to hold in their emotions, they are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure, and participate in riskier behaviors such as smoking or drinking. (“Gender Differences in Emotional Health. ” EverydayHealth. com. N. p. , n. d. Web. ) Boys and men should be allowed to grow up with non-stereotypical responses to their true emotional needs.
Due to this tough guise persona, women suffer too. In the documentary “Tough Guise” Jackson Katz talks about the modern multicultural women’s movement. Katz explains how this movement in history has given men new intakes about relationships, work, and parenting. There are now many young men today who are very open minded about relationships between men and women, and sexual equality. But there has also been a “backlash. ” This means some men are not adjusting to these cultural changes. For example Howard Stern plays the role of a “bad boy” who is only famous for demeaning women.
Stern shows women as objects by airing them on television half naked and uses degrading names. Howard Stern makes young male viewers feel good about themselves by degrading women and regressing back to traditional sexist ways. Not only are young men seeing people like Howard Stern as the “social norm,” they are also being influenced by sexual violence films. Many slasher films show women in sexually explicit ways right before they are being assaulted. Jackson Kratz seems to think this might be why so many men are sexually assaulting women. Violence is rapid among boys and men, which is affecting our whole society.
Men and boys are being bullied in their schools. This is resulting in mass murders. In order to show dominance boys and men are relying on guns. In fact, the boys interviewed felt they needed to seek revenge on those who bullied them to assert their manhood. Luke Woodham, who carried out the Pearl, Mississippi, quoted “people called me gay, stupid, fat, and lazy. Murder is not weak and slow-witted, murder is gutsy and daring. ” I am not insane; I did this to show society that people like me are mistreated every day. ” ( “The Day Luke Woodham Killed All Those People. ” YouTube. YouTube, 15 Apr. 008. ) Luke Woodham was did not fit into societies cultural norm; therefore felt the need to show his dominance by taking life’s. These are things society needs to think about. Unfortunately Men are putting up a front for society. With this being said men go through a lot in order to fit the stereotypical “manly man. ” Our culture needs to see all of the negative outcomes of putting this kind of pressure on men. Men should be allowed to be true to themselves without being judged. When men are expected to fit a certain stereotype, this sometimes results in violence against women, and society.