On masculine stereotypes.

Sent along by one of your classmates (thanks!) with this note:

I thought it was an interesting article because the whole time I was reading it I kept thinking that he was going to talk about how he was homosexual or something (because you don't expect heterosexual males to express themselves like that) but then I realized that that's the whole point right, that it doesn't really matter what his orientation is, because there should be nothing defining how he expresses himself as a human, but we have these gender roles so engrained in us that it is difficult not to bring them up.

From Sex, Love, Liberation:

The Lie of Masculinity

(Note: This is a post from my husband, Jonathan Mead, in parallel to a piece I wrote a few months ago.)

Tears were streaming down my face. I was 10 years old, sitting in our antique Oldsmobile, outside the parking lot of an ice cream shop. My dad and I regularly had father and son nights, and on this particular one I gathered the courage to make a confession:

“I don’t know how to not cry. I wish I could stop but sometimes I just feel like crying, and I know boys aren’t supposed to do that.”

My dad consoled me and told me that it was all right. It was perfectly natural for boys to cry. “If you need to cry, just let it out, son. You have nothing to be ashamed of,” he reassured me.

I felt a little better after that, but it still didn’t shake my discomfort. I didn’t realize it then, but somewhere deep within in me I knew what a man was supposed to be, and I felt that I wasn’t it.

It was around that time that I can recall my first encounter with the lie of masculinity.

Over the course of many years, I came across many other lies that one by one began to build a skeleton of falsehoods living within my consciousness.

And being an innocent child, I accepted those lies. I knew intuitively that they were wrong, but I felt like I was being wound up with a key, predestined to follow a path set before me.

My male identity was being created, and I was slowly learning that men are supposed to be strong, not vulnerable & aren’t expected to express their emotions.

I was learning that men are considered queer if they don’t act brash and overbearing; that men are supposed to be dominant, not submissive.

I was learning that men are horny, not sensual.

Read the rest here.