30 Days of Demanding the Change: Day 4

Learn more about how narrow definitions of masculinity contribute to sexual violence.

Traditional constructs of manhood include notions of domination, control, and risk-taking.  Social and peer pressure leaves little room for boys or men to be anything but what is limited by social norms.  The expectation for boys and men is to be control of every situation, be the leader, be tough and powerful, and to “wear the pants” in their relationships.  Social constructs of manhood do not allow a boy or man to be soft, gentle, or nurturing.  In fact, to be anything other than what is socially expected will come at a cost: being compared to a girl.

Have you ever heard “Stop crying like a girl” or “You throw like a girl”?  While the intention is to “toughen up” the boy, it also sends a very clear message that the worst thing a boy can be is a girl.

Spend the day thinking about the things that are presented as traditionally male roles in the media. How does this limit or harm men and boys? Does it benefit men and boys? What are the implications for male victims of sexual violence?


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