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Hobart College Leaders Program Men and Masculinity Male Friendship and Other Social Relationships.

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Presentation on theme: "Hobart College Leaders Program Men and Masculinity Male Friendship and Other Social Relationships."— Presentation transcript:

1 Hobart College Leaders Program Men and Masculinity Male Friendship and Other Social Relationships

2 Hobart College Leaders Program What Men Desire n Men have the desire to be with other men and women in positive emotional and instrumental ways ä Men express identification with each other ä Hope for success, respect, and significant attachments to groups ä Enact manly qualities, such as courage, determination, goal-orientation, hard work, and team-spirit

3 Hobart College Leaders Program Problems of Masculinity n Most men in our culture have been followers and not leaders, as Emerson said, "living lives of quiet desperation." This desperation has often resulted in acting out real social and psychological deprivations, and acting out distortions, such as alcoholism and domestic violence.

4 Hobart College Leaders Program Problems of Masculinity n The striving for success directly linked to stress, and the high rate of cardio-vascular disease among men n The striving for respect has often led to distorted images of other men ä homophobic remarks and violence ä distorted images of women in language, through discrimination and sexualized violence n Loneliness

5 Hobart College Leaders Program The Double-Edge n Our desire for male friendships that embody complete trust that other men will not take advantage of our vulnerabilities n The competing demand to be: ä the self-reliant loner ä the winner ä emotionally strong and hard

6 Hobart College Leaders Program Men In Groups n Men in groups are often a source of: ä conflict, violence, substance abuse, and ugly sexist and sexual behavior n Often this is acted out through: ä use of violence against oneself and against others -- physical abuse of others, substance abuse, irresponsible sex and risk-taking behavior n This creates a cycle of fear in women, and a cycle of self-destruction in men

7 Hobart College Leaders Program Masculinity is a Test n Themes: ä "the flight from the feminine ä defense of masculine turf ä deny fearing other men ä men fear being exposed as a sissy ä fear being unmasked as feminine ä constant tests of manhood

8 Hobart College Leaders Program The Male Sex Role n 1. "NO SISSY STUFF!" -- One may never do anything that even remotely suggests femininity. Masculinity is the RELENTLESS repudiation of the feminine. n 2. "BE A BIG WHEEL" -- Masculinity is measured by power, success, wealth and status. n 3. "BE A STURDY OAK" -- Masculinity depends on remaining calm and reliable in a crisis, holding emotions in check. In fact, proving you're a man depends upon never showing your emotions at all (except anger). n 4. "GIVE EM HELL" -- Exude a aura of manly daring and aggression. Go for it. Take risks.

9 Hobart College Leaders Program Problems with the Model n No opportunity to think critically about the sexist model of masculinity ä the strong offense turns out to be a shaky defense ä imagined security is a source of insecurity ä expression of confidence is often bluster, and is actually driven by fear

10 Hobart College Leaders Program Plecks Paradox n Men have power, but most men experience powerlessness in much of their lives ä Men do not recognize the destruction that we have caused ourselves or others need to understand how we oppress ourselves ä The "male mystique" makes it difficult to have loving male friendship and bonding -- it turns men permanently against one another

11 Hobart College Leaders Program Shame and Male Loyalty n Shame leads to silence ä To preserve the distorted male bond –men often resort to denial and distortion of themselves in defense of masculinity –men often deny the "other" and render them invisible –men together profess loyalty to the distorted ideal of masculinity, and simultaneously, because embedded in it is fear of other men, find themselves in opposition to each other!

12 Hobart College Leaders Program Taking Action n Reverse the standard ä be critical rather than just going along ä speak out instead of remaining silent n Understand the linkage of domination to masculinity that pits each man against each other

13 Hobart College Leaders Program Hobart Leaders Can n take a stand against these distortions n express new models n generate more positive & committed friendships n generate more enriching social relationships n become better communicators and better listeners n teach others how to create groups and friendships that help men to feel truly secure in themselves and their manhood

14 Hobart College Leaders Program Worthy Goals n exhibit gentle-manliness n unmask your selves, act funny, be silly, and be in a relationship of care with one another n enhanced and enriched relationships n become more rounded, less lonely, and less stressed

15 Hobart College Leaders Program Horizon Thinking n Embrace this opportunity for leadership n Create new models of masculinities n Deepen your relationships with each other and the women of William Smith n Be active in the community, do good work, help others, and be a source of healing n Reclaim brotherhood, fatherhood, and reinvent what it means to be a man

16 Hobart College Leaders Program Creating Masculinities n Men can create and sustain masculinities that: ä celebrate deepening friendships ä celebrate male variety ä create expressions of lasting and humane value ä create bonds that rest on the worthy foundations of respect and care n Be proud to be a Hobart Man!


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