PRESENTATION: Real Men Don’t Cry and Other Lies They Told Me
The messages we received from society in boyhood about being a man are confusing. This confusion affects not just our personal lives, but also our relationships, our work, and the world around us. While research shows that there is little difference between a male and female brain at birth, we are socialized into gender roles beginning at a very young age.
While biological and cultural forces are real and powerful, we also have a very real choice in how we present ourselves to the world—but how do college men interpret what it means to be a man? What influences these interpretations? What are the consequences – on campus communities, on people of all genders, on the men themselves? Do we go along with stereotypical male roles, even when we do not personally agree with them—or do we push back against society’s rules and be our authentic selves?
Using storytelling to spark conversation, this program will seek to answer these questions and challenge each student to have a deeper understanding of masculine gender roles and how they affect our everyday lives.
By the end of the presentation, participants will be able to:
1. Identify norms around gender identity (specifically masculinity) and where these norms come from.
2. Recognize shifting definitions of “men” and “women” in relation to evolving notions of “masculinity” and “femininity.”
3. Understand intersectionality and how an individual’s multiple identities affect their view of masculinity.
4. Identify the connection between traditional masculinity and negative or risky behaviors.
5. Understand how to express masculinity in a healthy way and challenge others to do the same.