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But a man’s strength can be expressed in innumerable ways, including the strength to be vulnerable, the strength to ask for help, to seek forgiveness, to display empathy.
It’s a phrase that — misunderstood — can seem wildly insulting, even bigoted.”The Good Men Project defines it this way: Toxic masculinity is a narrow and repressive description of manhood, designating manhood as defined by violence, sex, status and aggression.
It’s the cultural ideal of manliness, where strength is everything while emotions are a weakness; where sex and brutality are yardsticks by which men are measured, while supposedly “feminine” traits — which can range from emotional vulnerability to simply not being hypersexual — are the means by which your status as “man” can be taken away.
In “Violence against Women” by Renzetti and Bergen, they explain how men use their strength and aggressiveness to harass women and other men.
They did a study on 53 college males and found out that, 51 percent indicated a likelihood that they themselves, would rape a girl if assured of not being punished.
If you are doing a larger study of gender issues, please see the links at the bottom of this post for related lesson plans, including one on the #Me Too movement, and one, contributed by a teacher, on pronoun use in schools. “What does it mean,” the 64-year-old sociology professor asked the group, most of them undergraduates, “to be a good man? ”“Caring,” a male student in the front said.“Putting other’s needs before yours,” another young man said.“Honest,” a third said. Kimmel listed each term under the heading Good Man, then turned back to the group. He pointed to the Good Man list on the left side of the board, then to the Real Man list he’d added to the right. I think American men are confused about what it means to be a man.”Based on what students say, you and the class may set up discussion protocols for this unit.
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They may also begin to see the ways in which this confusion impacts not just the personal lives of boys and men, but also their relationships, their work and the rest of the world. And how much control do we even have over the ways we behave?
The rest of this unit seeks to help them delve more deeply into the questions this warm-up may raise._________ it mean to be a man? First, share a few important definitions with your students: is an individual’s deeply held sense of being male, female or another gender. (Definition from Teaching Tolerance; for more on teaching about gender identity, see their lesson here.) can be defined as the way we show our gender to the world.
Talking about toxic masculinity is not about vilifying boys, men or any of the particular qualities society has deemed “masculine.” Rather, it is an opportunity to begin to reconstruct a more positive model of masculinity that makes room for the many different ways to be a boy or man and allows all individuals to feel secure in their masculine identity. My son — a high school and college wrestler who achieved much success on the mat — is one of the most sensitive souls I know.
But far too often, I cheered his masculinity, his fierceness, and his muscles.