well I got into a tweeting frenzy over this topic “the effect of patriarchal masculinity on men” and i got some complaints that i should put it into a blog instead of filling up TL’s or forcing the retweet of 30 tweets lol so I thought eh, i can put it in a blog too
The Effects Of Patriarchal Masculinity On Men
—-Recently I have been reading a book called “The Will To Change” by bell hooks and it introduced me to the concept of patriarchal masculinity…it is an identity that is based solely on the will to control and the rewards for this identity are for men…there are however many drawbacks and dehumanizing consequences to these so called rewards and that is what I’ll be talking about.
Firstly Patriarchal Masculinity is set on the belief that men have the right to dominate and control women, children and some other men. Patriarchal Masculinity has promised that along with this “right” to control will come privileges and these privileges are status, power and sex. This type of masculinity has bred men and boys alike who are obsessed with these privileges….so much so that they cannot tap into a more humane identity that allows them access to LOVE. This type of masculinity also denies men natural outlets for emotional turmoil like loss, anger, pain, envy and hatred….this is one of the reasons why the impulsive response to these types of emotions are physical violence. Men hit when they get angry, hurt, confused, frustrated, they lash out. Society has taught men that lashing out is a perfectly acceptable response to emotion. In fact for a man to cry would men he is prey for other men or has lost his RIGHT to manhood. Any expression of emotion that is not sexual or violent (emotionally or physically) is seen as unmanly. This steals the humanity from men and boys. Alot of women even feed into this type of masculinity. They tell their male sons to “man up” when they cry over a skinned knee, they stand by idly when their boyfriends/husbands/uncles beat their children for expressing emotion outside of violence. Some women also believe that they can tap into the power that is promised to men if they reinforce and encourage the damaging identity that is patriarchy. When a man hits a woman for cheating, or beats another man to death for looking at his woman, he is punished but socially there is an “understanding” that THIS is the way that mean “are” …men are automatically assumed to be uncontrolled and they are given space to be uncontrolled….they are even EXPECTED to be uncontrolled and it is this expectation that keeps men from expressing their emotions healthily and humanly. Violence has no place in the expression of emotion yet if a man does not express himself violently homophobia and a hatred for all things feminine is used to reign him back into patriarchal manhood. This steals the right of men to cry, to grieve, to communicate their pain and frustration and to release their emotions in a way that wont alienate or isolate them from the people that they love. This is one of the worst effects of patriarchal masculinity on men and it is rarely talked about. Even modern day feminists recognize the need for an end to patriarchy to stop the oppression of women but ….to stop the oppression of men we must recognize that patriarchy does not only benefit men…it also hurts them. Men are dying from patriarchal masculinity from stress, murder and extended prison stays…from patriarchal guidelines that expect “toughness” so that men do not seek psychological or physical help with their health…it keeps them driving toward their goal of power….a goal that will never satisfy them….a goal that keeps them from the humanity of love.
The will to control cannot exist with the will to love and this reality has stolen the humanity from many men and some women. Patriarchy’s promises (sex, power) are always being tested by life circumstances…death, children, courtship etc. and often men HAVE to choose. either embrace the will to love which promises life and love and longevity …or embrace the will to control which promises death, bad health, isolation and fear. The will to control and the will to love do not exist on the same plane because they are the opposite of each other and patriarchal masculinity is BUILT on this will to control. Most men are raised on patriarchal masculinity and only glimpse love before they sabotage it with their will to control The very identity of most men relies on patriarchal masculinity, any threat to that identity …any loss of control or test to their control will result in violence either emotionally or physically. This violence is snatches love from men, being cold, distant, domineering or inciting fear in the people who love you drives them away or breaks their love for you into nothing but fear. Being physically violent, hitting, punching, kicking, sexual violence will get you separated from your loved ones as well…..either by jail or them leaving. The result of the will to control/dominate is LOSS. Nothing stays when the will to control is prevalent no relationship thrives…not even the relationship with the SELF when the will to control is prevalent. this problem is very deeply rooted, it is often taught by mothers and fathers alike to young boys and young girls, it is reinforced in school, college, the work place and it takes a conscious effort to battle…but battling it is essential for the survival of men and women.
WE have been fighting the oppression of men for a long time, it is time to take a different approach…men either have become or are becoming disillusioned with the promises made by patriarchal masculinity…the promise of sex is not satisfying, the promise of power is not enough…they see the people in their lives coming and going because they cannot let go of the will to control …it is time to teach a masculinity that is built on the will to love….bell hooks calls this masculinity “feminist masculinity” the word feminist tends to scare men away because they do not realize the nature of feminism so calling it “masculinity” will work just as well. This NEW masculinity calls for an ethic of love, it allows men to FEEL, it allows men an outlet for emotion that does not involve violence (emotional or physical) it allows men to maintain and uphold relationships built on love that nurture their physical, spiritual and emotional growth and most of all …..this new masculinity allows men to heal …knowing the effect of patriarchal masculinity on men is only a starting point….we must now begin to challenge this masculinity (men and women alike)
There is work to be done