Watch the video above and talk about it with a group or mentor. Learn more.
Our culture’s model of masculinity does not always reflect a positive perspective of what it means to be a man. With reflection and intentional steps forward, we can take hold of a right way of manly living.
- The root of the problem. Men are conditioned to believe that emotions are to be constantly controlled and subdued or replaced with anger or aggression. Along with a low emotional range, men are expected to be hypersexual and to win at all costs.
- The dark side. The culture of this world and society is telling everyone that men are bad. Men are persecutors and sexual predators. Some of this is true and needs to change. As men begin to understand where the darkness within themselves comes from, they will begin to let the light shine on those areas.
Emotional isolation and the constant pressure of trying to be what one believes is masculine creates a dark side to masculinity.
See Also: Emotions, Just for Men, Mental Health
Talk About It
- What is your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
- What are some male stereotypes you’ve encountered? How true or false are they?
- List a few examples of “toxic masculinity.” Where have you seen this?
- What are some examples of positive masculinity? What examples are there of this?
- Should a man show righteous anger or even employ violence? What are some situations where this is and is not appropriate?
- Why do you think men have been told for a long time not to express their feelings? What do you think about expressing your feelings?
- When are some instances it’s appropriate to express feelings of sorrow or sadness? When are some instances it’s not appropriate?
- What do you think is a healthy balance between recognizing some of the real problems with men versus some of the stereotypes that are exaggerated or untrue?
- How can you take steps to live out “positive masculinity” in your life?
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.
David Johnson, Ph.D., practices at the Ogden Center for Change.