Society and Males Inequality

A man box is a socially constructed gender identity to which men and boys are required to conform with regard to their actions, feelings, and adherence to norms and limitations. The expectation of society is that as boys and men mature, they will learn the "proper" gender roles in line with the masculine ideal of "thinking and acting like a man." As a result, kids begin to understand what it is to be a man and what is expected of them from a very young age (Fox and Wai 314-320). Although this common denominator culture is frequently seen as invisible, it has a significant impact on men's behavior and can encourage them to disregard, mistreat, and abuse women as well as their fellow males. There are endless numbers of ways on how to be a man, and what is expected of them (Fox and Wai 314-320). Although this denominator culture is often perceived as invisible, it can highly influence and lead men to abuse their fellow men, disrespect, mistreat and abuse women.

There are endless numbers of ways on how to be a man that exist in the manhood hierarchy. The most common form of manhood is referred as hegemonic masculinity. These form cut across all men regardless of their races, social class, geographical location, education e.t.c. However, the hegemonic masculinity is often expressed different depending on to access to social mobility, social capital, and resources (Alfred et al. 1-95). These ways include: demonstrating power or being in control especially over women, Restricting oneself from showing emotions e.g. a man is not expected to cry, Being aggressive and intimidating, make your decision as opposed to asking for help, be seen as highly sexual with women e.g. have a lot of sex with women. Men are also conformed to viewing women as objects primarily sexual object (Tolman et al. 3-31). Personally, I do not put the male into a “man box.”

Dysfunctions of putting a man into a man box

If the role of man box were simply about men performing their constrained version of manhood then, it wouldn’t be problematic. Unfortunately, one major requirement of man box is it highly aggressive critique toward all men who do not perform gender in agreement with its rules and restriction (Fox and Wai 314-320). For example, man box isolates men emotionally but channel their anger into repetitious and addictive acts of punishing others such as intimidation, sexual violence sarcasm, physical brutality or even murder. If carefully examined the purpose of man box is not to achieve social conformity but rather to target difference and grant men permission for acting in an aggressive manner. Therefore, the more men conform to the man box, the more there are likely to be triggered into harassment and attacks even by slight things (Tolman et al. 3-31)

Additionally, man box tends to put men in isolation both emotionally and relationally. It lacks to encourage our communities through emotional connectivity and empathy. For example, men in the man box are conformed to be self-reliant. The man box have conformed them not to express or reveal their fears and insecurities. Therefore, their emotional feeling and issues that arise from it are rarely addressed (Tolman et al. 3-31). Men who are emotionally unstable may express their feeling through violence, alcoholism, failed relationships and much more. There also have a high probability of suffering from stress, chronic diseases, and a small life span (Alfred et al. 1-95).

Role of Women in Promoting Man Box Idea

Female have a significant role in promoting the rigid idea of a “real man.” There are always culpable just like men, for policing and enhancing the harsh man box rules (Fox and Wai 314-20). For example, when men try to articulate their masculinity in other diverse ways, women in their lives are always responsible for putting them back in the box. In such scenario, women will tell the men to “man up” a phrase that is often used to put men back into their man box. E.g. they are barred from engaging in self-reflective emotional dialogue that comes when one is longer in the man box. This is often caused by fear of economic or social isolation. Women also play a great role by exerting preference for men who are naturally conformed into the man box and are meeting the man box expectations (Alfred et al. 1-95). For example, they look at male’s body, the jobs they have and other mediocre things that always encourages men to conform and stay in the man box.

Liberation of men from the man box is highly connected to liberation for women. As earlier discussed, man box forces men to suppress their emotion and be self-reliant. These emotions are always expressed through brutal and aggressive ways to women (Tolman et al. 3-31). Therefore liberation of men from the man box would mean less violence against women, reduced intimidation, and sarcasm. It would also lead to longer life span to both genders as the cases of stress and chronic diseases often caused by emotional instability would reduce. Liberation would mean better and free lives in our society for both sexes (Fox and Wai 314-320).

In our today’s society, we should socialize our children in such a way that both men and women that they develop healthy ways of coexisting as opposed to rigid stereotype qualities. These can b e achieved by teaching our sons the correct thing to do outside the man box. The society should also learn to respect both men and women equally and to present equal opportunities for both genders (Tolman et al. 3-31).

Works Cited

Alfred, Gregory C., Joseph H. Hammer, and Glenn E. Good. "Male student veterans: Hardiness, psychological well-being, and masculine norms." Psychology of Men & Masculinity 15.1 (2014): 95.

Fox, Jesse, and Wai Yen Tang. "Sexism in online video games: The role of conformity to masculine norms and social dominance orientation." Computers in Human Behavior 33 (2014): 314-320.

Tolman, Deborah L., Brian R. Davis, and Christin P. Bowman. "“That’s Just How It Is” A Gendered Analysis of Masculinity and Femininity Ideologies in Adolescent Girls’ and Boys’ Heterosexual Relationships." Journal of Adolescent Research 31.1 (2016): 3-31.

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