A HANDFUL OF HEROES

Hello everyone,

 

Welcome back once again. Our next two topics for the masculine gender roles in society are the males need to be isolated and hard working. These two subjects constantly go hand in hand, as a man often is forced to isolate himself in order to work hard. Even when in a group, the idea of being the hardest worker is a goal that most men aim for. In doing this, they create a dynamic in which each person is individually pushing themselves to work harder than their peers. In some ways this is good, in the sense that the competition can lead to increased productivity, and in turn often can lead to advancements (say, in medical research). In many cases though, this can also lead to a burn out.

Think of something like a librarian sorting books. Yes, they may find it fun, and even to an extent interesting. For a while they may make a game out of the book titles in order to pass the time more easily, or even create a game out of stacking the books in order to make the process less about the sorting and more about actively placing the books somewhere. At the end of the day, however, the librarian has to take a breath and focus seriously, because games like this only last so long. In especially long processes, like sorting 50,000 books, the monotony of this task will outlast the competitive edge that impresses on the mind. Thus, with men that are hard working, a burn out period comes. It is the point in which they can no longer take work—the boiling point at which they finally have an outburst of emotion. This happens because, like everyone else, men are human. It is how a mind responds to chronic strains.

The coupling of hard work and isolation leads to similar strains on the mind that being unemotional does. With the isolation comes a lack of support for the man’s mental health. A comparison is that women, unlike men, are typically known for having “girl friends” that they share intimate secrets with. Sharing secrets provides an outlet for stressors, much like a schedule helps reduce the juggling that a person’s brain has to do in life without one. The weight that this can add to a man’s life is not easily calculated, and is much more latent in the psyche than, say, objectification of women. This is because it is hard to quantify. We can tell from countless ads that women are being marginalized. There is nothing prevalent in the media about the weight men put on their shoulders, and when it is briefly brought up, it is always as a theme in some television show or film. The heroic man works alone against a corrupt establishment, sacrificing his body and his mind in order to do the greater good. It’s heroic. Except heroes are exalted in history as a chosen few—a handful of people pulled from a bucket of a trillion beings. It is impossible for everyone to overcome these odds. Most people will fail. The extent to which they fall is the closest quantifiable measurement we have.

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