The phrase “boys will be boys” begins to develop in the mind of young children in elementary school when girls and boys begin to interact and play with each other. A boy in your class may have pushed you, pulled your hair, or threw something at you. Upset about what happened you probably rushed to tell your teacher or parents and instead of going to talk to the boy or punishing him they tell you “oh he probably just has a little crush on you so he is being mean to you”. Or some other excuse along the lines of “boys will be boys”. And just like that you begin to accept this behavior of boys being aggressive toward you and putting his hands on you as normal. From then on when guys do these things to you at school you begin let it happen and think either they like you or its just how boys are. Over time this develops into a more serious issue of thinking its okay for a man to put his hands on you and or hit you because that may mean he likes you, cares about you, or even loves you.
The “man box” has some criteria that make a man feel they have to behave a certain way in a relationship that can result in domestic violence situations. Some such behaviors are asserting dominance, being aggressive, and demonstrate power and control. Before the feminist movement began in the 1960’s, women were raised to be less superior and supportive to the dominant head male. They were trained to be submissive to their fathers, boyfriends, and husband throughout their lives.
In the National Statistics Domestic Violence article there are some statistics about domestic violence:
- About 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the U.S.
- 1/3 women and 1/4 men have been victims of some type of violence by an intimate partner.
- 1/5 women and 1/7 men have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner.
- Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crime
Although domestic violence and abuse of men is not weighted as heavily as it should in society, domestic abuse agaisnt women are still at much higher rates and more common. This is due to issues in our society having to do with gender norms justifying certain behaviors and actions.
Jones, David. “TRIAL DYNAMICS AND FEDERAL RULE 403.” Volunteer Opportunity to Serve as Judge: 10.
Collective action is defined as “a collaborative effort that takes place in groups and diverges from the social norms of the situation” and draws attention.
Social Movements are a type of “collective action that are large groupings of individuals or organizations focusing on certain social or political issues of society.” (Raskoff, 2013) It is “a collective behavior that is purposeful, organized, and institutionalized, but not ritualized.” A social movement can begin with one person as long as they can get others to believe in what they stand for, support and join. Throughout history there have been many important role models who stood for something they believed in and began a social movement such as Martin Luther King and Gloria Steinem. Martin Luther King had the support of NAACP, Urban League, SNCC, CORE, and SCLC and all other protestors to change America’s conscience about civil rights, economic justice, poverty, and war. And Gloria Steinem popularized feminist ideas as an activist with the support of women that joined her different organizations and foundations.
Social Movements are subcategorized into four distinctive types:
- Alternative – social movements seek limited social change and tend to be focused on a narrow group of people.
- Redemptive – social movements focused on a narrow group of people, but they advocate for more radical change.
- Reformative – social movements advocate for limited social change but seek to effect that change across an entire society.
- Revolutionary – social movements seek to make radical change across an entire society.
Social norms are the unspoken understood rules of how to behave and act in a group or society that the whole community is usually aware of. I am thankful that at a young age I was made aware of social norms because as an adult I realize how much value they have in society. In today’s day and age cell phones have become a huge tool and distraction in a persons day-to-day life. Therefore, one crucial rather new social norm of politeness and respect is knowing the appropriate times to use a cell phone. Use of cell phones is rarely acceptable during work or class, as clearly expressed by Mrs. Mendoza throughout the semester. If I was to be on my phone during class, I would be committing an act of deviance by not conforming to the social norm accepted by my class setting and the society I am a part of.
Breaching a social norm is done by not conforming to a that which is accepted by your society causing what is seen as abnormal behavior or an act of deviance. In the breaching experiment we were assigned I got to decide on a social norm to break. I chose the social norm of immediately washing your hands after using the restroom in public bathrooms. This behavior is a social norm because it is an unspoken understanding of a way to remove germs from your hands order to prevent illness and spreading infections to others. If someone does not participate in this behavior it is seen as uncivilized and adding to spread of sicknesses and germs.
This was a great assignment because it allowed me to think about all the social norms that seem so second nature and obvious they are almost taken for granted. Then try to find the best deviation to one of them that will cause the greatest reaction from a large group of people.
Here is a link to a site to Norm Breaching: Social Responses to Mild Deviance where a character named Andrew Hales posted a series of YouTube videos in which he does experiments on breaching social norms to see how people react.
Wade, Lisa, and Gwen Sharp. “Sociological Images Blogging as Public Sociology.” Social Science Computer Review 31.2 (2013): 221-228.
I use to think everyone had an equal chance of getting into college. However after witnessing the process first hand with my friends, I began to question the fairness of the process. And now after our class discussion and lecture I do not believe everyone has an equal chance of getting into college. The main reason is due to affirmative action.
Affirmative action is “a set of policies that grant preferential treatment to a number of particular subgroups within the population” according to our lecture notes. This allows for preferential admissions of women, disadvantaged racial minorities, legacy, athletes, exhibiting leadership experience over equally qualified students who do not fit into one or more of these categories.
These policies were first approved in hope of expanding and diversifying the pool of students having a chance to enter the collegiate fields of study. But over time affirmative action as evolved into labeling student’s applications by their background and social class even though it should be focusing on promoting equal opportunity.
This video shows a man singing about how showing emotion is acceptable by men and woman which is breaking the boundaries of the “Man Box”.
Its alright to cry
The “man box” referenced by Tony Porter is a list of certain characteristics by which society defines a man. The picture above shows a general list of features a man should represent and personify as decided by society today. As a boy grows up, they are trained to embody these characteristics by authoritative figures and peers. Men must follow these guidelines and not behave otherwise in order to be accepted by society. This forces them to either change some of their natural behaviors in order to fit with what is accepted and has become a social norm or hide their true selves.
There are some serious issue that come about due to men suppressing their emotions such as becoming more angry and violent. This can also result in men becoming more lonely and depressed because they are not able to connect and interact with others the way they personally need to.
Although it will take time, I believe it is possible to change these social norms. Over these last couple decades we have seen so much evolving of people becoming more open minded. We must try to be more accepting of when men show emotions, weakness, or other characteristics of the “man box” and slowly take them out of this seen way of how a man should act. It is a very dangerous way to raise boys to feel they must behave in this manner or else society will not accept them which will only lead to more serious issues such as depression, anger issues, etc.
Attached is a youtube video clip of a Ted talk about the “man box”that really makes you think and question the way society has engraved in us the way a man should act and behave. A call to men: Ted Talk
After discussing the recent election and voting during elections in general I realized there are many factors that affect a person’s decision to come out to the polls on election day. These factors are classified into two categories: 1) individual factors and 2) outside factors or factors a person does not have control over.
Individual factors consist of many different parts. One being whether the issues affect them personally enough to encourage them to go vote. Another is if an individual decides to become an informed citizen and get educated enough on the issues by doing research to understand the issue and decide where they stand in order to properly vote. An additional factor occurs in elections such as this year’s election where many people did not like or agree with either candidate. Many individuals felt both Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton were both not fit candidates and would rather not vote and choose one.
Outside factors consist of multiple parts as well. Unfortunately, many jobs do not giving enough time during the day to allow for employees to go and vote. Although some give an hour or even two off, sometimes it is not enough time due to such long lines, specific voting locations, and unpredictable wait time. A lot of people can’t afford to take a day off to vote and therefore end up not voting. Another factor pertains to the way the political system is set up with electoral colleges representing voters of certain areas. Many people feel their vote does not really affect the overall result and see no point in voting. Lastly, not all people have equal access to information and knowledge of the election due to varying social classes, and therefore do not feel comfortable enough to vote on such an important issue that affects our nation as a whole.