I’m still at war with some sort of illness, but here we are! Today we are going to talk about two more aspects that males are pressured to move towards in modern American society. These are specifically the requirement to be sexually aggressive and unemotional. Men are told to be sexually aggressive subtly through things like television and various ads, in which they are depicted as the active member in a relationship—the whole 90/10 idea when people kiss, the pressure to succeed with every partner (and multiple partners at the same time); all of these frame who we are as human beings. The problem is that, by promoting the sexually aggressive male, we have unwittingly produced a culture of rape. Of course the man that raped a girl in this society is going to blame that girl—he’s been told to take advantage of women for ages. That does not make this rape acceptable, or anywhere near reasonable, but it still makes sense.
In a movie, a male sees the guy that he is supposed to emulate or identify with slap a girl on the ass playfully. She turns, scowls at him, but twenty minutes later after a few drinks they end up having sex—all because he was aggressive enough to get her attention. What kind of standard is that to hold men to? “If you want to get laid, you must belittle a woman.” Then when a guy tries this in real life, it doesn’t work. And of course, we are told that movies are not real and to separate this from reality, but we are also told that tuition free colleges are completely impossible, when many countries already have it in place. Sometimes separating reality from fantasy just is not doable.
Of course, this is no excuse for the men that go too far, but the reality is that to help men stop going too far is to change the rhetoric at a base level. A huge part of this is getting men to express themselves in more than just “blah blah blah sex blah blah blah horny blah blah blah” and so on. Men lack the outlet that women do. Men don’t cry. Seriously. They are told not to so often. Which sucks. Men do not have the same outlets women do for personal problems. Girl starts crying, no big deal. She’s just being emotional. Guy starts crying, he’s weak, he’s incompetent, and a poor worker. We have to change what people think. Certainly, the acceptance of women crying has changed how we think about them in a bad way, but there is a reason men have significantly higher suicide rates. They are required not to express themselves. It’s hard to be the breadwinner, super strong, and completely unemotional. What does a guy do when he fails? Just suck it up and keep going? Any person can only get knocked down so many times before they are too broken to get up anymore.