What Men Dare Do! "O, what men dare do! What men may do! What men daily do, not knowing what they do!"


“What’s Missing from the Discussion on Male Sexuality” from the Good Men Project and the Man Project

Posted up at the Good Men Project is a discussion of The Man Project, a project run by Rachel Rabbit White discussing different aspects of male sexuality.  A lot of different kinds of men with different kinds of sexuality contribute to the project.  It's a really cool and I'd recommend it to anyone interested in the topic.

At least one of the quotes leapt out at me:

What about male stereotypes like guys being “less in touch with their emotions”?

Eon: In a breakup, for example, I think women have a lot more coping mechanisms that society supports. Men are expected to not care and move on. I don’t know what’s going on at the Moose Lodge and I’m sure that some of those brothers are helping each other out. But in general, it’s hard to help another man emotionally. It’s a pride thing and a societal pressure not to.

If we men want to talk about building a more positive masculinity(ies), this is a place I think we have to start: being comfortable Talking About Stuff.  Stuff happens in life, and we men, however much we might not want to, feel emotions, and well, Stuff.  And we're not socialized to Talk About It.  I think far more importantly, men have to become comfortable talking about "emotions" with other men.  I think that a lot of guys end up talking about these things with women rather than men.  And while I don't intend to reduce the relationships men have with women, I think a lot of the time men talk to women because women are viewed as emotionally experienced, in that women are expected to talk about their emotions with other women.

Now obviously we're socialized to talk about some emotions.  Anger.  Jealousy.  Lust.  Happiness.  It's not that we dont possess the other emotions, we just don't talk about them.  At the risk of sounding a bit too touchy-feely (and un-masculine!) I think any thinking and speaking human being would say, acknowledging, thinking about, and articulating your emotions is part of your development as a person.  If you're not willing to do that, it's a lot harder to grow as a person.