1. Killer300
    Offline

    Killer300 Active Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    Messages:
    1,064
    Likes Received:
    37

    Masculine Stereotypes

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Killer300, Aug 16, 2011.

    There's a thread about women in media, so, it's time for there to be one about men. Specifically, masculine stereotypes. I don't have time to write much else, but please, what are your thoughts on this? I myself believe that much psychological damage has been done by these stereotypes, mainly because they aren't true. I'll give examples soon, but for now, I just want this to be food for thought.
     
  2. The_NeverPen
    Offline

    The_NeverPen Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2011
    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    5
    Tying sexual promiscuity to masculinity is pretty bad. Not that I see anything wrong with having had multiple partners, but requiring it in order to "be a man" is silly.
     
  3. Killer300
    Offline

    Killer300 Active Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    Messages:
    1,064
    Likes Received:
    37
    Okay, the masculine stereotype I find to be the most destructive is the, "rugged hero," stereotype. The hero that will save the world himself, that will get the gold himself, that will do everything himself. Not only is this unrealistic, but it creates expectations no human being will ever meet. We are a social species, and we are dependent on each other for success. Otherwise, we would've never formed society, among other things.
    Anyway, just food for thought, hope to hear more voices soon.
     
  4. Rassidan
    Offline

    Rassidan Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Messages:
    116
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Erlanger, KY , United States
    Between needing to have multiple sex partners and not being allowed express emotions I am not sure what hurts masculinity more. As mentioned humans are social and anything that prohibits this social expression is going to hurt humanity as a whole in the long run.
     
  5. proserpine
    Offline

    proserpine Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2011
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    2
    I find it sad that men are expected to be emotionally impervious, unshakably strong (both physically and emotionally), and practically lone wolves. I hate grouping either sex into sterotypes, but I can honestly say that I have known just as many sensitive and tender men as I have women, and the men are better, stronger men for it.

    I also hate the feeling I get from society sometimes that men are the "less important" parent. Children need their fathers as much as they need their mothers.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. Mallory
    Offline

    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    Messages:
    4,274
    Likes Received:
    191
    Location:
    Tampa Bay
    Totally agree with Proserpine on the fatherhood point.

    Also, the douchebag guy stereotype bugs me. Honestly, lots of my friends are guys and they are much more straightforward, friendly and non-catty than a lot of women are. (Of course I have my group of non-catty, straightforward girlfriends as well, so not to slam on girls either).
     
  7. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Stereotypes diminish people, period.
     
  8. Mallory
    Offline

    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    Messages:
    4,274
    Likes Received:
    191
    Location:
    Tampa Bay
    I think we'd all agree on that point....
     
  9. JSLCampbell
    Offline

    JSLCampbell Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2011
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    East Sussex - United Kingdom
    Can somebody link me to the "women in media" thread? I searched but that's not the title, and don't know which one killer300 is talking about.

    Egh, complicated issues...

    Personally I don't find the outward emotional suppression or behaviour expectation the most destructive. It doesn't bother me that men are expected more to be rugged in their character (as long as it's not over the top). I think that the most damaging is the stereotyping of societal roles; it's somehow wrong for man to do things like Ballet, Cheerleading, Volleyball, Nursing or at the slightly lesser ends being a flight attendant or even being a writer. To me this is dangerous because it suppressing that freedom of employment.

    I suppose personally it's more to do with annoyance than anything. If a guy in public starts crying his eyes out because he trips over, it would annoy me, make me grind my teeth and want to go up to him and, probably say something like "man up" as a reflex response. If it were a girl that was crying however I'd feel far more sympathetic and maybe want to say something comforting. In more extreme cases it wouldn't bother me, if a man loses a world championship sporting event or somebody he knows dies, it wouldn't bother me as much, I'm not against outward emotion, there's just a line, and it's higher for men before I find it more acceptable. Perhaps if a women "broke a nail" or something equality pitiful and started making a scene I'd get bugged.

    But the thing is, there are always social norms in society that also vary between men and women. I get bugged when women swear a lot in public; it makes them seem jagged and rough and puts me off. I don't even bat an eyelid when a man swears though, unless they're being really vulgar. It doesn't bother me in the slightest that men and women are expected to behave a little differently public, as long as it's not extreme; men CANNOT show emotion, etc. I'm all for personal freedom though and wouldn't want that to be suppressed - you certainly can cry as a male in public after tripping, It'll just irritate me.

    The key point here though is that showing emotion all the time and being an emotional person are not the same. I'm very sensitive and very emotional, I make sure I'm always in touch with my feelings, and, I have to be; it's an advantage for a writer. But that doesn't mean I won't exercise control in public and suppress emotion. It doesn't (and shouldn't) reinforce some idea that I should be some kind of emotionless robot, just that it's not socially normal to be displaying all this emotion in public over something so mundane.

    But that's just public social norms and like I said, I think the most destructive is when people can't chose careers or professions because the stereotype forces them out of it, whether the reasons themselves are internal ("I can't be a ballet dancer because it's girlie") or external ("I can't be a male nanny because everybody else thinks it's a women's job and therefore won't trust a man to do it"). When it hits professions, it forces people out of something they enjoy or are talented at, or, if they stick with it, are always going to be put down.

    I think that's truly damaging. A man shouldn't have to feel down when his date makes a funny expression when you tell her you're a male ballet dancer. But I feel he should be expected to suppress some emotion externally, just like I feel a women shouldn't be so coarse, at least if they don't want people around to be put off or irritated.

    I guess my thought here is that I don't have a problem with men and women being different. I like it that they keep their behaviours different to a certain extent. I don't think stereotyping is as damaging in that sense either. What I do think they should be exactly the same on though is personal freedom, employability etc. I think stereotypes can be very dangerous to this, because as I said they can suppress that freedom. I wouldn't be surprised if it's not viable to be a male nanny in places because the stereotype means they can't employment. That's not on, and stereotypes like that really need to go.

    I don't think I'm particularly biased saying that either, because apart from perhaps writing which might be considered a more feminine skill, it just so happens most of the things I'm interested in are pretty masculine. I just believe in that employability freedom.



    I don't know why I post in these deep threads because more often than not I spend the next half an hour prodding my own thoughts through the quick reply message box, when to be honest, I don't really think about these issues much.
     
  10. J.P.Clyde
    Offline

    J.P.Clyde Prince of Melancholy Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2011
    Messages:
    979
    Likes Received:
    44
    Location:
    Underground
    How about that the man is always the person who is saving people or the world?

    In media a woman may confront a child in her waking dreams or even find a child in the waking world. The child is lost and she helps the child along. Either way the child expresses how she lost her innocents because she had to grow up in a harsh way or grow up quickly. Or to express her nurturing side.

    But you never find a man in that situation. In most media he never directly deals with children. He always has strong viewpoints of the world. And follows a strict code of honor. He's always the one who thinks of humanity and how to save it.

    Think about it for a second here:

    -Harry Potter, all though a teenager, still a male counterpart to save the Wizarding and Muggle world from Voldemort

    -Commander Shepard [Mass Effect] all though you can make the character female, look at their trailers. Shepard is always a man. Shepard is always a man in the trailers and he is to what save the galaxy.

    -Batman, Superman, or any others are all males out to save what the galaxy and fight injustice

    We never see woman put in these situations. And when they do, they end up angry, bitter harsh woman who are more masculine than they are woman. Like we forget people have different personalities. Just once would I like to see a woman be in a role of saving the galaxy and still have some femininity to her.

    And men we never see them in a weak role. We never see them cry. He will get angry or do the rebellious thing when he gets grounded and someone tells him he cannot do something. We never see an intelligent man. Or a father figure. Or man who has a caring nature. It's always some dude who gun slings his way to saving the world.

    I try to stay away from any of this as much as I can.
     
  11. JSLCampbell
    Offline

    JSLCampbell Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2011
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    East Sussex - United Kingdom
    Although I haven't read anything that fits the bill, the best example I can think of in which a female character saves the world while maintaining her femininity is actually from Final Fantasy X in which Yuna, the main character (debatable) saves the world (irrefutable) despite being far more feminine and timid than perhaps most normals females. And the funny thing is it worked a lot better than many of "bitter harsh" female leads that float around.
     
  12. J.P.Clyde
    Offline

    J.P.Clyde Prince of Melancholy Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2011
    Messages:
    979
    Likes Received:
    44
    Location:
    Underground
    Gag me with a spoon.

    With woman they either go to the extreme of the Woman Characteristic scale.

    Timid/Nurture - Something in the Middle - Ms. Bitch of the Universe

    They always slide to the either extreme. But never have a perfect something in the middle.
     
  13. Killer300
    Offline

    Killer300 Active Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    Messages:
    1,064
    Likes Received:
    37
    Something to note is for many of us, the stereotype is so ingrained that we enforce it even though we hate it.

    Anyway, J.P. Clyde, have you ever read the Lisbeth Salander series? She isn't really masculine or femine per say, she's probably one of the most prominent examples of a middle you'll ever find. Now, she's also one of the best portrails of an autistic character I've even seen in my life. Keep in mind, I've read LOTS of stories with autistic characters, and most are far too cliche. But, this one breaks the mold, and the author maybe didn't even intend to.

    Now, for male characters that show vulnerablity, well... Shinji. I heavily dislike the character, he whines too much, however he defintely breaks that stereotype. Maybe not in a good way, but he does. Granted, he is part of a different stereotype, the emo character that whines too much, but that's another story. Keep in mind this is from someone who hates the term emo normally when describing characters.
    For a video game that I found broke a lot of stereotypes, many times actually poking at them with certain characters, is Persona 4. One of the characters is both very masculine and feminine,(while also throwing you for a loop in that he isn't what he seems even when you think they have revealed some things.)
     
  14. J.P.Clyde
    Offline

    J.P.Clyde Prince of Melancholy Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2011
    Messages:
    979
    Likes Received:
    44
    Location:
    Underground
    I know of Persona 4. And was upset. I only actually play male characters or even at the same time read male characters.

    And it isn't because I am male myself. Just it's default. My mom [the only parental unit I had] only had books that followed male characters and she never picked or bought games with female characters.

    But I have always wanted to find a more male character like me. I am not go out save the world type. I use my brain and knowledge and help with what I can. But I will not sit there and be like bam gun in the head.
     
  15. Killer300
    Offline

    Killer300 Active Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    Messages:
    1,064
    Likes Received:
    37
    Aww. Well, okay with Persona 4.

    As for the character type you want. Hmm. One day, I'll try to write a story that will be like that. Don't know if you will like it for sure, but I'll try.
     
  16. J.P.Clyde
    Offline

    J.P.Clyde Prince of Melancholy Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2011
    Messages:
    979
    Likes Received:
    44
    Location:
    Underground
    Well it happens a lot in the British literature and shows. They aren't afraid of showing a scientist to be the good guy. Where as America the scientist are the bad guys. It's weird.

    If you take a look at Doctor Who, he saves the galaxy, but with is brain. He uses his smarts.
     
  17. Killer300
    Offline

    Killer300 Active Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    Messages:
    1,064
    Likes Received:
    37
    True, very true. I see, I misinterpreted what you were asking for, sort of. Anyway, I'd also check out Welcome to the N.H.K., one of my favorite anime series of all time. Defintely not your typical main male character, to say the least. You may not like it, but I would like if you would at least give it a try.
     
  18. J.P.Clyde
    Offline

    J.P.Clyde Prince of Melancholy Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2011
    Messages:
    979
    Likes Received:
    44
    Location:
    Underground
    I have seen that as well. Pretty funny anime. I enjoyed it.
     
  19. Rassidan
    Offline

    Rassidan Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Messages:
    116
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Erlanger, KY , United States
    It really depends on the show you watch on the interpretation of a scientist but you are generally correct. I think it is the whole mad scientist role being over played if anything.
     
  20. NaughtyNick
    Offline

    NaughtyNick Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2011
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    UK
    There is a reason the male superhero has dominated our pages and our screens for so long. Many great authors have tried to cast a woman as the all-action hero but the key scenes always fail.

    For example, if a bomb is about to explode in a city centre, a woman would most likely sprint heroically towards the scene with the intention of diffusing the explosive only to be distracted by a 50% sale in a shoe shop. She would stare longingly at the footwear in the window, only to tear herself away too late to stop the blast, resulting in hundreds of deaths.

    Of course, you could omit the shoe shop from the scene and have the heroine save the city, but it would lack realism.
     
  21. nchahine
    Offline

    nchahine Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Jordan
    Ok, I had to laugh at this; too funny.

    On a serious note, the whole 'can't show emotion', 'got to be the world savior' stereotype is completely annoying. It's the whole alpha male thing that makes me grit my teeth. Completely one-dimensional, like Richard from the Sword of Truth series. Bah!
     
  22. Mallory
    Offline

    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    Messages:
    4,274
    Likes Received:
    191
    Location:
    Tampa Bay
    lol but when I was a kid/early teen I watched Kim Possible....and what about Wonder Woman and Catwoman? I'm not all that familiar with those two so idk if they're good superheroes or not, but I think these days the superheros and nannies are getting to see more gender equality. Although I totally see what you mean, the stereotypes do exist, and they are annoying.

    edit: forgot to quote (am on my phone and it makes quoting harder) but this is in respnse to the post about how it's always the men who are superheroes and the women who are nannies)
     

Share This Page