Guys, It’s Time to Talk About Gender Activism

When “male” emotions and behaviors are given preferential treatment, “non-male” traits will continue to be seen as weak and less-than.

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Culturally, we’ve ascribed gender to behaviors, interests, and traits. Boys are strong, athletic, and adventurous. Girls are pretty, helpful, and caring. Girls are conscious of their appearance and how others perceive them. Boys build things and get dirty.

Externally focused versus internally focused. Engineering versus fashion. Separate toy and clothing designations. It goes on and on.

Ever notice there is no female equivalent for emasculation? Our culture accepts the negative implications of taking away a man’s masculinity, usually through public belittling or mockery. We don’t have a similar concept for women, largely because they aren’t seen as having inherent power.

It comes down to having a healthy relationship with your masculinity. When boys are shamed for expressing “non-male” emotions — crying, fragility, being vulnerable — then rage, violence, and anger are what typically remain in their entitlement set.

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