Be a Man – three little words but oh so powerful – in a bad, bad way.
For years boys have been told to “Be a man” which really means don’t like pink, don’t like flowers, don’t give hugs, don’t feel sorry for anyone, don’t offer sympathy, don’t listen to your feelings or act on them. In a nutshell – don’t display any kind of trait assigned to the female gender.
Which is utterly ridiculous and dangerous and at the same time degrading and dangerous to girls and women.
By demanding that boys and men continuously prove their manliness in all they do we have denied boys and men their right to be fully evolved emotional people. This has led to generations of angry and unhappy boys and men, men who feel inadequate and prone to suicide, men who are lonely and broken, all of which have led to high rates of homelessness and addiction for single older men.
And when we tell boys to “be a man” there is also an undercurrent of fear and disgust for these feelings and an inherent disrespect for girls and women who are stereotyped to express them. If you’re trained not to respect or embrace your full humanity and all of the emotional development that goes with the joy and pain of living life fully, why would you truly love and respect those who are stereotyped to express this – namely women.
While men are suffering from their lack of emotional evolution, they are bringing down the girls and women who are opening their emotional hearts, allowing their vulnerabilities to show, and inviting men to do the same and yet are not revered and respected by them. In fact the opposite – women are economically disadvantaged, physically threatened, and emotionally abused by men who embrace the “be a man” approach to life. And then, sadly, women often turn their abuse back on themselves both individually and as a group.
We need to make a radical change for the good of us all.
The Mask You live in is a film about the struggles men and boys are facing when they deny their emotional selves. It delves into the alarming rate of suicide among middle aged men, documents the great anger and unhappiness of boys in America (and Canada), and calls for action to liberate boys and men so they can feel free and safe to express, honour, and embrace their feminine side.
When we deny them room and encouragement for developing their emotional selves, we give our boys damaging messages that can harm them for life. And in this we are all harmed.
The film is coming out later this year.
In the meantime, if you support challenging society’s gender limiting stereotypes and want to take a stand, you can publicly take this pledge to start making a change.