The Hard Truth About Societal Expectations of Boys & Men

Hey there SMP fam, you won’t know me because I’m a new face here, my name is Tom and I’m a Youth Worker in my late twenties. I love reading books (mostly the Fantasy genre), playing the occasional video game, and binge-watching television shows. So, in short, it’s safe to say that I’m a pretty big nerd.

I’m here today to talk to you about some hard truths relating to societal expectations of boys & men. What are your thoughts about living in a society which has a conflicting notion of what is considered ‘masculine’ or simply what it means to be a man in general??

It’s really sucks, right?

We don’t about you, but we think there are negative connotations that come with that label, and it’s something that some of us here at SMP HQ have struggled with growing up particularly within our own sense of masculinity.

Some of us were taught growing up that there was this very clear-cut image of what a man should look like, and anything that contradicted this pre-set notion of masculinity was frowned upon.

We were told that we have to like playing sports and be loud and boisterous and that men were at the top of the social hierarchy.

Why?

Because we had other men were telling us as boys that that’s how the world worked. We’re not in any way saying that there’s something wrong with liking sports or being a naturally boisterous person. Sports are great for so many reasons and you are who you are.

The issue is a lot more complex and involves many young men and boys feeling pressured into forcing this image of themselves because they are told that it’s the only way to fit into society and hang on to their sense of masculinity. But that couldn’t be further from the truth, don’t you think?

The fact of the matter is, it’s a systemic issue within the society where toxic men are breeding more toxic men by planting this idea into our heads from a young age which might discourage someone from chasing something they might love, whether it’s deemed ‘nerdy’, ‘quirky’, or any other label people so often put-on things. These are not negative labels.

A toxic man (or person) is abusive (physically, verbally, sexually, emotionally), and unsupportive- basically someone who brings you down more than lifts you up. It’s also someone who thinks women and children are below them and expects their partner/spouse to cook and clean up after then instead of pulling their own weight.

It’s not okay to brainwash boys into thinking women are in any way lesser to men. So, whether you’re a young male, a parent, or just a reader with a young male who looks up to you, never discourage yourself or them from pursuing what they love, because everybody is different, and we don’t need to subscribe to an archaic sense of masculinity and inequality. Let’s teach men of our future to be better than so many who came before them!

Also, at the end of the day we can all take this opportunity to be better, whether that’s righting your wrongs or becoming educated around equality!

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