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The Forum > Article Comments > The masculinity crisis > Comments

The masculinity crisis : Comments

By Warwick Marsh, published 17/6/2010

The crises in masculinity and menís health are closely related to the rampant discrimination men endure at the hands of the system.

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I think there needs to be a reevaluation by men of who and what they are. Our culture celebrates macho, bullying, thuggish and violent men. Look at the types of "heros" we have. Sportsmen that impregnate 16 year old school girls, who bond over gang bangs and show scant regard for women and girls. The internet is full of porn that is increasingly violent and hateful towards women. Militaristic games emphasise violence and dominance towards the "other" and "enemies".

If men see this as acceptable they in fact also disregard the parts of themselves that are able to share, be vulnerable, brave, restrained, compassionate and fair. There is also no reason that masculine energy and daring needs to be channeled into avenues that harm others. There are better uses for this power.

No doubt the author will see this as encouraging wimpy men. However the men I admire and love are strong and brave enough to put others first, to help solve problems and to help do the emotional work that is vital in bringing up kids. They are part of society and do not expect to be constantly put first like unsocialised toddlers. They know how to pull their weight and that being an adult is hard work - whether you are male or female.

Men have many advantages that women do not. They are also constrained and stunted by some expectations. However until there is a long and honest conversation about men, their collective and historical power and how to improve things for them without (as usually happens) disadvantaging women and kids, then things will not improve.
Posted by lillian, Thursday, 17 June 2010 10:18:35 AM
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"I think there needs to be a reevaluation by men of who and what they are."

Lillian, it is not only for Men to re-examine who and what they are, it is for everyone to do so. Think about this for a second 'Why are Men who and what they are?'

The answer is very simple, they are expected to be who and what they are. Take any playground of any school and you will see it, the strong overpower the weak, the brush and uncouth overshadow the reserved, the violent assault the peaceful. This is an epidemic that starts in early life. Bullying, violence, disregard for the safety and health of others are learnt while children. The problems of this generation where set in motion decades ago.

Boys and Men have always been taught that boys don't cry, you have to be good a sport to be somebody, if you can't hold your drink your worthless, etc., ad infanitum. This pressure which is applied to the younger generations is not solely from men but also in large part from women too. Look at what happens, the best looking girls in school - who are they interested in? The nice 'nerd' or the bullying sports 'hero'? This adds pressure to otherwise healthy boys to act in a particular way. Who are the ones honoured and praised on the news? The peaceful scientist who has just cured a disease or the violent sport star who kicked a goal? This adds pressure for otherwise healthy boys to act in a particular way. Which is more praised by both parents, an A in English or the winning goal of a sports match?

Men not only have the responsibility for correcting the current situation, we ALL do. And only when we ALL face up to that will we finally find a way out of this mess.
Posted by Arthur N, Thursday, 17 June 2010 10:44:50 AM
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Arthur N

That's a very simplistic response; that male behaviour is determined by attractive women?

Sure I like a healthy man, but if he behaves like a thug, forget it.

Most women aren't vacuous Paris Hiltons - we actually like men who like us, I prefer them in fact. And follow up with intelligence and wit - we may have something happening here.

Most men I know are not in crisis, they are confident in themselves, will help others and are non-judgemental.

This article is just another whiny beat-up by the very conservative Warwick Marsh whose affiliations are with conservative religious groups - not noted for their liberal views. Now maybe there is a crisis within these groups, as they must find themselves continually at odds with contemporary mores.
Posted by Severin, Thursday, 17 June 2010 11:39:27 AM
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Mr Marsh, there is plenty of research world wide about masculinity and where it stands in our modern world.

Check out this website:
http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/egm/men-boys2003/Connell-bp.pdf

"Research has repeatedly shown that patterns of gender inequality are interwoven with social definitions of masculinity and men's gender
identities. To move towards a gender-equal society often requires men and boys to think and act in new ways, to reconsider traditional images of manhood, and to reshape their relationships with women and girls. Changes of this kind are already happening in many parts of the world, but not in all situations or with all men and boys."

Here's the thing Mr. Marsh, women are not going to go back into the kitchen full-time like they did in the '50s typical nuclear family,
no matter how hard you pray.

Women are no longer prepared to accept being treated as second best, and both men and boys need to adjust to this new reality if we are all to live in a gender equal society.
Posted by suzeonline, Thursday, 17 June 2010 12:50:52 PM
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'Here's the thing Mr. Marsh, women are not going to go back into the kitchen full-time like they did in the '50s typical nuclear family,
no matter how hard you pray.'

No wonder the muslims laugh at our pathetically feminized society full of emasculated males when you read suzies degradation of motherhood. Fortunately Suzie there are still many men who refused to be domibated by feminazis. Thankfully there are many children blessed to have the man taken his god given responsibility to lead their families. Thankfully their are enough woman around who enjoy the protection and leadership of their families as opposed to whimpish emasculated excuses for men.
Posted by runner, Thursday, 17 June 2010 1:25:43 PM
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runner: << Thankfully there are many children blessed to have the man taken his god given responsibility to lead their families. Thankfully their are enough woman around who enjoy the protection and leadership of their families as opposed to whimpish emasculated excuses for men. >>

So what's Warwick whingeing about? If godbotherers want to live in a 1950s time warp, that's cool. It's only when they want to impose it on the rest of us that they seem to experience a "masculinity crisis".

Maybe they should just look after their own apparently fragile masculinities, and leave the rest of us alone.
Posted by CJ Morgan, Thursday, 17 June 2010 1:44:41 PM
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