Boys will be boys…

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.

 

The Man Box And Its Affects On The Boys Of Our Generation

Untitled.png

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