On Losing the Stigma of What Real Men Do and Don’t Do

Over the past few decades there has been a huge push to neutralize the roles of men and women in society in order to become more ‘equal’ in terms of basic human rights. Women’s rights movements called for equal pay for equal jobs and other issues in which they were not being treated with the same level of respect as their male counterparts.

Every Coin Has a Flip Side

But on the flip side, men have been trying to overcome the stigma of being a ‘man’ in a world where equality is supreme and somehow this got lost in the translation. In fact, by the very attempt to show their previously perceived ‘feminine side’ they have also lost that which traditionally and biologically made them men and this, in turn, has created issues for both men and women.

Has the Line Been Blurred?

Has the line between the sexes become so blurred that we are creating a cultural identity crisis? Some believe this is the case and the reason why social workers are studying the effects of this ‘neutral zone,’ many of whom are doing their masters in social work thesis papers on overcoming the stigma of being a man in a world where testosterone is still the defining factor. Men have 40 to 50 times the amount of testosterone as women and that is a biological fact – and one that defines them as being man. So should they deny sexual urges, competitiveness and other qualities brought about by high levels of this hormone? The answer isn’t an easy one!

Why Are You Stigmatized for Being a Man’s Man or a Womanly Man?

There are still social norms which, though most won’t admit it, are the underpinning of society as it still stands and it is this that stigmatizes manly men, feminine men, manly women and well, females in general! If you are studying in an online social work masters program, this is something you may want to do some further research on, as there is yet to be a definitive answer. Why, if we are working so hard to blur the line between that which is male and that which is female are there still stigmas attached?

When Asked What Makes Them Manly….

In a recent article in Psychology Today written by Aqualus M Gordon Ph.D., the author referred to a survey conducted by The Good Men Project in which men were asked to list their manliest traits. The majority responded, according to Dr. Gordon, listing traits that were traditionally feminine. They said they were compassionate, able to openly express feelings such as pain and sadness and were able to cry in public. These are stereotypically female characteristics and so the author concludes that the line between the sexes has become blurred.

So then, is it possible to lose the stigma of being a man? Or even, why is it a stigma to be a man and live in accordance with those high levels of testosterone coursing through your body? Is it not alright to be competitive? Is there something wrong with sexual longings for a person of the opposite sex? The questions raised by these findings are far-reaching but they do need to be answered because we seem to be losing our identity in all this. It is the hope that some graduate student somewhere in an MSW online program can help us overcome stigmas so that the sexes can live in peace without craving something that may not be natural to them. If you are gay, that’s fine. If you are a straight man, that’s fine. Don’t let social stigmas define you as a person. You are who you are and that’s all that you can be expected to be.

Speak Your Mind