By Austin Cowan
Blog Content Contributor
Is masculinity overrated? Many young boys are bombarded with ideas about what it means to be macho and manly. Boys may pretend to be interested in activities they really are not in order to fit in with their friends. This fake persona a young boy creates to fit in with his friends can create psychological issues causing insecurity in masculinity. Insecurities carried well throughout a boy’s adolescent years can create emotions of depression, anger and rage. The question if masculinity is overrated or not comes from whether the boy has experienced emotional trauma.
The phrase “men do not cry” is said to many young boys while growing up. Especially during times when they are are having feelings of sorrow, pain or distress. Now, this false ideology that men do not cry can seriously mess with a boy’s mind, which causes a fear to express emotion. Insecurity boys feel about their masculinity can be carried on throughout their adolescent years and well into adulthood, because whenever they try to express emotion, they are teased by their peers, friends, siblings or even parents. Crying is associated with weakness. Weak is not a word that little boys like to associate themselves with, one only has to look at all the Incredible Hulk shirts and action figures they have. Encourage boys to express their emotions, instead of bottling them up. By allowing boys the chance to talk out their feelings, they can become mature and rational adults.
“The best men I know are the ones who are kind and honest,” said Texas State student Staton Johnson. “Crying is an outlet of emotion. A hero takes care of the little guy.”
Expressing emotion is not a sign of weakness; it is a sign of strength. In order to be strong, do not be afraid to be honest with others. It is harder to tell the truth than to make up a lie. A masculine man is not afraid of doing things the hard way. Do not look down on man next time he has tears in his eyes, help a brother out. To see an example of a man allowing young boys the chance to express emotion while at karate practice, a manly activity,, click here.
Now, there are boys out there who are crybabies. In this case, some toughening up will not hurt them in the long run. But, next time you see a young boy is distress, talk to him about what is on his heart at that moment. Simple generosity can allow a boy to handle a situation bothering him is a mature way, rather than having his soul corroded by lies.
“Be a man,” is another phrase that is thrown into the faces of many young boys. Telling a boy this phrase is honestly a waste of time. A boy is in a stage of life when they are trying to figure how to be a boy. If they do not know how to do that, how can they be a man? Many boys search for macho activities to do as a way to show the world that they have an X and a Y chromosome. There is nothing wrong with doing macho man activities, such as working out, taking girls on dates or playing sports. Except when a boy does an activity just to look good in front of his friends or family. When boys pretend to be someone they are not, they will find themselves living in lies. Lying is a cowardly act and a masculine man is not a coward. Click here to see a video, which dives into boys living their lives behind lies and false ideologies.
A masculine man is unafraid to do things the right way, not the easy way. It is easy to tell a boy to be a man because there is no teaching or explaining involved. If a boy is not behaving properly or is scared of something, a man will be patient enough to extend a helping hand. Next time a boy is having problems fulfilling a task, do not waste time by telling them unhelpful information. Be there for the boy. Many boys do not have a steadfast male role model in their life. When encountering fatherless boys, show them what a man behaves like. The best way for a boy to be a man is to have an older man invest in them.
Masculinity is a term many boys try to associate themselves with but do not completely understand. This inner dilemma within them raises the question whether masculinity is overrated or not. If you ask me, I do not believe that masculinity is overrated. A masculine man can possess great character and help out those in need. However, sometimes boys take masculinity out of context because they do not fully understand it yet. That is why it is important for older men to step up and invest in those who are younger than them. After all, leadership is a masculine characteristic.