In my personal life,or past career,I’ve always subscribed to traditional notions of masculinity. Work hard,be tough,succeed at all cost,be aggressive, don’t be emotional….you know the clichs. I’m a boy from Chicago, Illinois factory, farming,football,meat and potatoes kind of city. The way I was taught to deal with my problems was to smash into things as hard as I could,on the basketball court,football field,maybe in the parking lot too,if necessary.
In this way,I’m like most guys…whether they live in America or Zimbabwe.I was living the way I was taught by my dad,just like his dad taught him,just like we’ve all seen on television and in the movies. I was following their lead,on the path to becoming a real man.And just like most guys,it worked okay,until it didn’t. Sadness slipped in where success used to live.Loneliness and addiction took over for love.And depression blanketed all of it.
I think it’s time we ask:Is this lifestyle really working for the men in our society? Consider that, statistically speaking.males underperform in school compared to their female counterparts, have underdeveloped social skills and friendships, and are more prone to bouts of anger and unprovoked aggression brought on by depression. They also are more likely than women to use almost all types of illicit drugs,engage in more reckless sexual behavior, and be an absentee parent when that sexual recklessness results in pregnancy.
I’ve been reading and studying about us as men on our masculinity, for a few years being in prison to help better myself and others.These are just a half dozen examples of problems men face that researchers, educators, and psychologists have connected in one way or another to our misguided notions of masculinity.
Categories: Shawn Diaz