Boys go through a lot of stuff by the time they are grown men. In a video by the team behind Miss Representation, the issue of American masculinity is explored. The video calls on expert advice and real life testimonies by boys and men to drive its point through.
The argument is that some statements such as ‘man up’, ‘act like a man’, ‘stop crying’, ‘stop with the tears’, ‘be cool’, ‘do not let a woman run your life’, ‘grow some balls’ and ‘what a fag’ are quite detrimental to the mental wellbeing of boys as they grow up. The three most destructive words that according to Joe Ehrmann, a former coach and NFL player, are ‘be a man’.
America has constructed an idea of masculinity that does not give young boys a way to feel secure in their masculinity and so they have to prove it all the time, says Dr. Michael Kimmel who is an educator and Sociologist. In the culture that is heavily influenced by peer pressure, each boy postures as the others are posturing and they end up missing the closeness that they all want.
In good times, men are known to be united and help each other out but when the going gets rough, everyone one is on his own. Boys in America buy into the culture that does not value feminism and characteristic that are viewed to be feminine such as being caring, relationships with others and empathy. She further states that if this happens, people will bottle up feelings in them and they will in turn become crazy.
One of the boys in the video clearly explains the situation as it is. He says that when he cannot cry, the feelings he has get stacked up and he cannot get them outside. This video should serve as a wake-up call to everyone. Boys should be left to be boys and not stereotype men with the wrong ideas about masculinity.