Do you really need to commit to this man box ?

by Unknowntoyou on November 4, 2014 - 11:26am

First, what is this man box? It's the rules that men have to obey to fit in society, and to not be criticized for being different. It ranges from how a man is supposed to act, his limitations, and his behavior towards others. This box shows men that they are not supposed to cross a certain line, or else they have to be prepared to suffer the consequences. These consequences go from personal insults, physical violence and even murder. This box is supposed to police men on how to become real ''men''. 


I feel like it's mostly women that police this man box the most. They always have their expectations set high, which is probably why a lot of young men struggle to conform to these standards. We teach our kids, mainly the boys how to be strong and how to defend themselves against their peers. Fathers that have young boys, always try to teach them how to fight and how to be protectors. It's also very important for boys not to show their true feelings. Any sign of a man crying is really bad. Because he will probably be insulted of a ''woman'' , ''pussy'', ''fag''. We need to stop dictating all these norms that men have and not to do. I personally do not fit in this man box for many reasons. It's not that I feel bad about it, it's just pathetic that we teach our youth these kind of things. To only get respect whenever you fit in this man box, is pretty disgusting. We need to let our kids enjoy their childhood and not corrupt them with these rules.


Furthermore, we tell them that a man is supposed to be strong, and a woman is supposed to be weak. What kind of example are we setting for our kids, telling them that this is what our society is mainly. Telling them that women are weak, this gives them the will power to lay their hands on them, like it doesn't mean anything.It disgusts me that these kind rules are taught to our young boys. In hoping that we can better ourselves and see that teaching our young boys to hide their feelings and to be brute against others can be distrastous.


I was skimming through a few posts and I stopped to read yours because the title triggered me. Wow! What you have written has a lot of meaning and thought to it. I totally agree with your point of view on this "man box". Men are brought up in this world to fit certain standards and like you have mentioned, if they dare to reject these "norms" then they are quickly criticized. Just like "race", gender roles and stereotypes is something that is socially constructed and causes many issues in the world. Also, I agree with what you said about the injustice of how men are always visualized as very strong, whereas women are always referred to as weak. This does create men to feel more superiority over women. As a result, this superiority can lead to men laying hands on women, like you have mentioned. I also agree with your comment on how women play a role in creating this "box" for men, however I do not think it is only women who create this issue. I think that men have a huge impact on creating this "box" as well between other guys. I think guys also give peer pressure to other guys in order to act a certain way, and if someone does not abide by these "rules", they can be teased/bullied. I think men and women both play an equal role in creating this man box, what do you think? Overall, great work!

Yes, It is both men and women that play a role towards this ''man box'', but I feel like it's slightly more girls that police it, in an indirect way. You always hear women saying ''he's so hot'', ''omg i love his body'' , and so on. I just feel like it's super damaging, and people feel really bad about it. I would love to help people have faith in themselves, but there's so much I can do.

I decided to answer to your post because I wanted to know what exactly the ‘man box’ was. Now I understand better: the Man Box is based on stereotypes about men and can be influenced by social pressure. It is based on the expectations of the society. However, don’t you agree that a lot of groups can also put in this kind of ‘box’?
Our society has high expectations about genders’ roles. Like you said, men are expected to be strong physically and mentally, and women should be passive, lovely and are seen as weak. So women also have this kind of box. Some men do not like playing sports and some are very emotive and they are still men. I somewhat agree with you when you say that women are one of the causes of this concept. Yes, women can have high expectations about men. Some expect ‘’their man’’ to be a ‘’real man’’. But what does it means? Again, like you said, a ‘’real man’’, regarding the society, is the tough guy. However, isn’t it a little bit stereotyping women saying this? I think men stressed themselves a lot with that, and not all women are looking for a tough guy. Today, women begin to be more independent, they need less protection. They want to have as much as rights as men and they want to achieve the same status. But again, it is hard to get out of this box, because it is an idea that was socially constructed, just like racism. Once an idea created, it is hard to remove it, because an idea is not concrete. Men are not the only ones that can be put in this box. Some ethnic groups are too. I think there is a link to do between genders’ roles and racism: both are based on appearance, both experience discrimination and both are stereotyped. I think there is a lot of misinterpretation in all that. People should open their eyes and understand that no groups can be put in a ‘box’. Humans created this concept; just humans invented social expectations. Therefore, the only way to get rid of these stereotypes would be to talk openly about the subject and only time will tell if human can progress.

Yes, I agree that many groups can fit in this box, just like men - women have their share of the box too, but their is much different. Furthermore, you said that men had their expectations set high, yes they do, but that's not the biggest source of their stress. At the end of the day, we humans we try to meet new people to get with. Men are pressured into finding that person, but the expectations are set so high, that it's almost impossible for the ''regular'' guys to go for. This makes me want to argue on this sentence you said, '' I think men stressed themselves a lot with that, and not all women are looking for a tough guy.''. They will find a guy that their interested in, and they will start to change how the guy is. I have seen it, women try to take advantage of the guy, and start to dictate everything he will have to do. This being said, some men will feel pressured and stop being with that person. It comes back to mainly women that dictate this, but I do not want to stereotype this, I understand that this man box is brought up in places like the locker room and the play ground. You also hear it, black men feel pressured to be in this man box, because the ''white straight male'' has the most advantage in society. I guess this is just a clarification to what I said in my 1st post.

I really loved your title because I just watched the TEDtalk by Tony Porter and learned what the “man box” meant. Your post brings up a lot of parallel issues with racism concerning how society shapes children. I feel like the “man box” is similar to what most visible minority groups face. They are restricted by society’s standards because they are not white and sometimes have to be “as white as possible” to succeed in life. I completely agree with your statement: “We need to let our kids enjoy their childhood and not corrupt them with these rules”. However, what I find sad is how racism also creates barriers for children, especially those of colour because they cannot always break through them. For example, if an African-American child decides to dress up as Cinderella, other children may tell her that she is not that princess because she is not white with blond hair and blue eyes. The discourse of equal opportunity comes into play in this issue because some children get less opportunities than others. Also, your ending made me reflect on a lot of things that touched upon racism.

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