Guys Have Problems Too, You Know

Lili Rivas, Web Editor

Girls have it tough. Periods. Mood swings. Keeping up with the Kardashians. It’s heavy stuff to handle on a personal level, let alone battling with society’s views of women being weak and below men. Now there is feminism, which by definition means an advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes according to the Oxford dictionary.  Feminism has become such a familiar word, the public can get a good image just thinking about the word. This uprising of women is something to celebrate, but many women have turned to man hate rather than equality.

Though girls have dealt with unfair gender expectations for centuries, boys have also dealt with their own gender role difficulties that have gone unspoken.  Things such as self expression, body image, and work selection have controlled the lives of many men, especially young men.

Junior Amar Delic has opened up about what he believes masculinity means to him. “I don’t think it’s necessarily muscles or how [men] look, I think it’s more like how they treat people and the way they are. You can be a scrawny little dude, but you can still be masculine if you can treat people right,” said Delic. Doing a simple internet search of the word “masculinity” will show images objectifying the meaning of the word: muscles, beards, and an emotionless gaze.

Most boys struggle with building muscle and growing facial hair. Men also have feelings just like women do, but because of social standards, they often don’t express their emotions in public.  “I cry a lot. I’m going to be honest, I do. I try not to talk about it too much but people think guys don’t cry and a lot of people think they shouldn’t cry because they’re male,” said Delic. According to the Family Doctor webpage, holding in emotions can cause physical health problems such as high blood pressure and stomach ulcers. Avoiding emotional release can cause serious damage to the body and mind.

The pressure of male gender roles can’t be completely blamed on the population. A big contribution can be related back to what is fed to the public through the media. Products and ads play a big role in how men think they should be viewed.

Senior Theatre president, Wyatt Stensrud, shared his thoughts on the way the media displays male gender roles. “I think [advertising for men] is slowly getting better, but I know the farther back you go, the media shows women in the kitchen […]. I think that as time progresses it’s slowly getting better,” said Stensrud.

A good example of the progress being made for advertising companies is the men’s body spray, Axe, pulling into the complete opposite direction for their ads. The commercials went from attracting women to questioning what is masculine.

Junior football player, Chris Kerr, fits what would be considered acceptable masculinity by being an athlete, but he chooses to focus on those who don’t fit the expectations and how they should be treated. Kerr believes there are ways to stop the spread of sexist gender roles that are simple enough for everyone to do. “Just become less compulsive,” said Kerr. “Just put your ideas in the back seat for a little bit and try to understand where someone else is coming from.”