Saturday, March 30, 2013

Masculinity and Teen Violence Post # 8

Kimmel makes really good points on trying to explain why  men in “general” are more aggressive and I have to agree that it’s not biology (testosterone)  to blame is the environment boys are raised and how can really shaped their lives. One of his quotes is “There is no question that there’s a boy crisis. Virtually all the books cite the same statistics: boys are four to five times likely to kill themselves than girls, four times more likely to be diagnose as emotionally disturbed, three times more likely to be diagnosed with attention deficit disorder, and 15 times more likely to be victims of violent crimes”. (pg. 1).But why is this happening? It is alarming seeing that all these characteristics are applied to boys because as we all know that each person is different regardless of their gender or beliefs. It’s all about social construction boys unfortunately are thought not to show or express their feelings and emotions “that is a sign of weakness”, the famous phrase “boys don’t cry”. This horrible thing to do to a child everyone should be able get their feeling out; it’s the best way to take care of oneself and your overall wellbeing. Girls are socialized to be less aggressive than boys are. In connection girls are supervised more closely than boys are. Males are more likely to display physical aggression, while females display relational aggression.
Females fear that anger will harm relationships, and males are encouraged to react to anger with moral outrage; in addition to blaming other's for their discomforts. Females are also more likely than a male to be targets of sexual abuse and physical abuse.

The "boys" part has a kind of a sexist connotation, it implies that boys will be mischievous, childish, and wild and there's no use trying to change or deny this innate tendency. (“Boys will be boys”) as if they can't control their actions. So, not only should we accept their negative behavior, we should sigh & smile knowingly & appreciate that their misbehavior is actually part of their charming "male" personality.
We as society are ok with this concept. Kimmel makes the reference of some books written by Gurian and Biddulph that are blaming feminist” for the “boy crisis”. Kimmel concludes that they are “the real male bashers”. “Feminists imagine, and demand, that men (and boys) can do better. Feminism offers the possibility of a new boyhood and a new masculinity bases on a passion for justice, a love of equality, and the expression of full range of feelings”. (pg. 3.).  This great way to see feminism, it’s all about individuality and equality.


  1. Great points. I used your blog for my extended comments :)

  2. Excellent post, Linette. I like your focus in the first couple of paragraphs about the ways in which men are "allowed" to express their feelings (or rather, the feelings their allowed to have). I think the photo that you chose to open this post with is perfect. To be masculine in this society is to be devoid of feelings, or the feelings that may make one appear weak. So while men are 'allowed' to be angry they are not 'allowed' to be sad or 'cry'. The suicide rate is really something...especially given the ways in which women are depicted as irrational and emotional. That's not to say that men ARE irrational and emotional and that's why they have higher rates of suicide (because that would be saying that suicide is an action taken up only by 'crazy' irrational/emotional people which is not true). I do think that the way in which our society constantly punishes men for feeling HUMAN emotions has a great deal to do with the rates of successful suicide. Men are often forced to keep their feelings to themselves. A man who is depressed is probably less likely to seek help for that depression because they fear it makes them look 'weak'. That is so sad, and so dangerous. This is why it's so ridiculous when people say that feminism is only about women, so many people just don't see the ways in which patriarchy hurts men, or at least they refuse to acknowledge patriarchy as the root cause.

    Again, great post, very good read :)

  3. Great post, Linette! Like Sarah, I used it for my Extended Comment post. :) I love the way you discuss the "boys will be boys" tendencies. And your point about feminism being helpful to both men and women is spot-on!

    Andrea, I like your comments. I agree: men who are depressed probably are less likely to seek help (because they don't want to be seen as "unmanly"). Similarly, men are less likely to go to the doctors to fix themselves. That's one of the reasons why married men often live longer than unmarried men.

    Up with feminism, down with patriarchy!

  4. I'm so happy you pointed out the horribly sexist idioms like "boys will be boys." I think that we definitely socialize are boys to be more violent than girls, and while there is still a chance that it may be natural, we'll never know until we stop allowing it! I also think your choice of pictures really got your point across, Great Post!

  5. I loved your post!
    I'm going to link your blog into mine along with Julie's this week!

  6. I love you post!! I love how you compared the females and males

  7. The term boys will be boys all i can remember when i was little and this boy picked on me and my mom went to talk to his mother about it she said boys will be boys

  8. I enjoyed how you pointed out that society just allows such destructiveness, this is always important to refelct upon in life,

  9. your pictures are awesome! they illistrated what you were talking about perfectly! i specifically like how you compared the males and the females.. i feel like that comparison could be a BOOK in itself. theres so much to compare..
    there is a never ending comprehension in male culture