Monday, September 27, 2010

Real Men don't need campaigns to tell them if they're Real Men

Initiating Rant Mode...

You know what I've really grown tired of? That whole "Real Men..." bullshit.

On face value it sounds like a good idea. Declaring what real men do and don't seems like an attempt to either call men to action for a noble cause or call them out for any bad behavior they may be doing.

If you look at it a bit further and what you see is that those "Real Men..." declarations are trying to appeal to one of the things that is responsible for so much damage among men. The sense that there is some definition of a "Real Man" that men are supposed to meet in order to have our manhood validated.

Now I'm sure you're probably thinking, "But Danny, we're just talking about things that should be expected of men and help them break out of their societal boxes."

That's fine, well, and good but in your efforts to do that do you realize that you are trying to appeal to the very societal boxes you say you are trying to help us break out of?

When you come with declarations of what real men do and don't do you aren't helping us break out of societal boxes, you're just shaming us into climbing out of one box and into another.

That is all for now.

Ceasing Rant Mode...

2 comments:

James Landrith said...

This was an interesting rant Danny. I also tire of the "real men..." campaigns and declarations.

I don't do the right thing because it makes me a "real man". I do the right thing because it is the right thing to do, not because someone has to guilt trip me into it.

The one that bothers me the most is the "Real Men Don't Rape" campaign. I understand the point and for disclosure purposes before I get flamed by those who don't get it, I am a rape survivor myself.

I don't rape people. My status as a non-rapist has nothing to do with being a "real man" and everything to do with not being a rapist.

I'm tired of the boxes and distinctions getting thrown around that only serve to further entrench gender stereotypes.

Danny said...

I don't do the right thing because it makes me a "real man". I do the right thing because it is the right thing to do, not because someone has to guilt trip me into it.

Hell yeah. I don't commit violence because I want to be a "Real Man" I don't commit violence because I know that violence is wrong.

You're on the money James. Claiming to be all about breaking people out of gender boxes by simply redrawing them is not progress at all.

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