The Dangers Of Masculinity

The Dangers Of Masculinity

What does it mean to "be a man?"
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We are born into a system of twos. One of the first things children are taught is good from bad, right from wrong, and left from right. They are also taught the difference between male and female. This distinction defines our lives and shapes our personalities. For boys, being told to “be a man” can have multiple meanings, and not all of them are good. Men have many expectations and masculine roles pushed upon them by society, telling them who they should be and how they should act. However, this can have negative effects and even affect men’s health. Men need to be aware of these pressures and demands so that they can fight damaging stereotypes and overcome the binary.

What does it mean to “be a man?” People especially have been wondering, who has it worse, men or women? Results have shown that both genders have their own difficulties to contend with, and that as much as women face, men do have a lot of societal problems of their own. From a very young age, little boys are told to be “little men,” with all of the pressures and expectations that comes with. Many are forced into sports and stereotypical “boy” pursuits that they may not want to do, but are expected to because of their gender. Boys are told not to cry or show emotion, and thus “be a man” or “man up.” Men are forced into a set of expectations from birth. No man can be the perfect husband, be CEO, have the perfect body, be beautiful, athletic, intelligent, political, assertive, and rough at the same time. Our society still upholds this ideal and it is evidenced in our media, advertising, and merchandise. Magazines and TV show how to change diets, workouts, and sex lives to try to sell a version of this ideal to the "regular" man. Movies try to model their own versions of this in the form of James Bond, Indiana Jones, Rambo, and Prince Charming. Some of the most important gender roles exemplified in this archetype is being strong, aggressive, confident, sexual, and unemotional.

Hyper-masculinity is dangerous for men because it creates tension in themselves and can lead to harmful behavior. Men are risk-takers. They are more likely to die of occupational deaths and not wear seat belts and die in accidents. It becomes "cool," especially for young men, to put themselves in harm's way to show off and prove themselves. There is also less attention called to men’s health issues, such as testicular cancer and prostate cancer. Many people are unaware that men can get breast cancer, too, even though there is so much awareness now about women getting it. They also self-repress. Men are just as emotional as women; they are just told not to show it. Men are told that they are supposed to be cold, callous, and inept at understanding feelings, and this makes them suffer in important relationships in their lives such as with parents, lovers, and children. As the dominant sex, men are expected to do everything -- to provide, to fix problems, to be CEO, and to answer questions. This puts a lot of pressure on them. This could be why they have more frequent heart attacks, high blood pressure, and die earlier. Men also stratify themselves, based on where they fit in the gender binary and how masculine they are. So many pressures are put on men that this is often called "toxic masculinity," showing how dangerous it is for men's mental and physical health.

Cover Image Credit: ilovehdwallpapers

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10 Things I Threw Out AFTER Freshman Year Of College

Guess half the stuff on your packing list doesn't really matter
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I spent the entire summer before my freshman year of college so WORRIED.

I also spent most of my money that summer on miscellaneous dorm stuff. I packed the car when the time finally came to move in, and spent the drive up excited and confused about what the heck was actually going on.

Freshman year came and went, and as I get ready to go back to school in just a few short weeks (!!), I'm starting to realize there's just a whole bunch of crap I just don't need.

After freshman year, I threw out:

1. Half my wardrobe.

I don't really know what I was thinking of owning 13 sweaters and 25 T-shirts in the first place. I wear the same five T-shirts until I magically find a new one that I probably got for free, and I put on jeans maybe four times. One pair is enough.

2. Half my makeup.

Following in the theme of #1, if I put on makeup, it's the same eyeliner-mascara combination as always. Sometimes I spice it up and add lipstick or eyeshadow.

3. My vacuum.

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One, I basically never did it. Two, if I REALLY needed to vacuum, dorms rent out cleaning supplies.

4. Most of my photos from high school.

I didn't throw them ALL away, but most of them won't be making a return to college. Things change, people change, your friends change. And that's okay.

5. Excess school supplies.

Binders are heavy and I am lazy. I surprisingly didn't lose that many pens, so I don't need the fifty pack anymore. I could probably do without the crayons.

6. Cups/Plates/Bowls/Silverware.

Again, I am lazy. I cannot be bothered to wash dishes that often. I'll stick to water bottles and maybe one coffee cup. Paper plates/bowls can always be bought, and plastic silverware can always be stolen from different places on campus.

7. Books.

I love to read, but I really don't understand why I thought I'd have the time to actually do it. I think I read one book all year, and that's just a maybe.

8. A sewing kit.

I don't even know how to sew.

9. Excessive decorations.

It's nice to make your space feel a little more cozy, but not every inch of the wall needs to be covered.

10. Throw pillows.

At night, these cute little pillows just got tossed to the floor, and they'd sit there for days if I didn't make my bed.

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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We're All Thinking It, I'm Saying It: Too Many People Are Running For President

I'm all for options, but man, do we really need 24? I mean, I can barely pick a flavor of ice cream at Baskin Robbins let alone a potential President.

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There are, currently, 23 Democrats running for President. On the Republican side, there's, of course, Trump, but only one other candidate, former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld. Democrats have a whole range of people running, from senators to congressmen, a former vice-president, and even a spiritual advisor. We can now say that there are DOZENS of people running for President in 2020.

Joe Biden has been leading the pack for quite some time now. He was even leading polls before he announced his campaign. Although he is the frontrunner, there really is no big favorite to win the nomination. Biden has been hovering around the mid-30s in most polls, with Bernie Sanders coming in second. Other minor candidates in the hunt are Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, and Kamala Harris.

After the surprising defeat of Hillary Clinton in 2016, Democrats have become electrified and have a mission to take back the White House after winning back the House of Representatives in 2018. There are so many people running in 2020, it seems that it will be hard to focus on who is saying what and why someone believes in something, but in the end, there can only be one candidate. This is the most diverse group of candidates ever, several women are running, people of color, the first out gay candidate, and several more.

There could be a problem when it comes to debate time. I mean, the first debate is next month. Having around 20-plus people on stage at the same time, debating each other kinda sounds like a nightmare. How can someone get their point across in the right amount of time when someone else is going to cut them off? Debates are usually around an hour and a half. So, if you divide it up, each candidate would get just under five minutes to speak. That would be in a perfect world of course.

Democrats seriously believe that they can beat Trump in 2020. They say they have learned from the mistakes of 2016, and have the guts and the momentum to storm back into the White House. By July of next year, there will be only one candidate left. Will they be able to reconcile the divide during the primaries? We will see. It will surely be a fun election cycle, so make sure to have your popcorn ready and your ballot at hand to pick your favorite candidate, no matter what party you lean towards.

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