The Women’s Center at Vanderbilt University recently sponsored “Healthy Masculinity Week,” a week-long series of events dedicated to telling men how to be masculine.
The event featured lectures and forums dedicated to showing men the error of their ways and replacing traditional masculine values with characteristics more amenable to feminists.
A documentary that was featured at the event, titled The Mask You Live In, blames “America’s narrow definition of masculinity” for the deteriorating mental health of boys and men and claims athletes and fraternity members are a risk to themselves and others because of the pressure put on them to act masculine.
“The three most destructive words that every man receives when he’s a boy is when he’s told to ‘be a man,’” former NFL player Joe Ehrmann says in the film.
“Whether it’s homicidal violence or suicidal violence, people resort to such desperate behavior only when they are feeling shamed and humiliated, or feel that they would be if they didn’t prove they were real men,” psychiatrist James Gilligan, a professor at New York University, says in the documentary.
“I should have hung myself or jumped out a window from my involvement in athletics,” a Vanderbilt professor whose research focuses on race and sports told the audience Following the screening.
Another professor blamed the hyper-masculinized sporting culture in the U.S. for the intense pressure he faced.
Being a woman is more predictable than being a man because men constantly have to be ready to “prove it,” said Gilman Whiting, who teaches a class called Black Masculinity: Social Imagery and Public Policy.
Jackson Katz, a film maker and self-described “anti-sexist activist,” argued during his seminar, titled The Macho Paradox: Why some men hurt and how all men can help, that pop culture also has a destructive effect on masculinity.
He complained about how Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone biceps were much larger in their iconic roles as the Terminator and Rambo than did Humphrey Bogart’s in his 1930s and 1940s film roles.
Katz also slammed supporters of presidential candidate Donald Trump. They say they like him for “not being politically correct,” Katz argued, but what they really mean is they like him “for saying racist and sexist comments.”
Interfraternity Council Vice President Jay Reynolds said during a panel discussion titled “Maintaining Bro Status” that he sees unhealthy masculinity in some form daily and suggested that everyone in the audience should get therapy so they can better understand their own minds.
This is the second consecutive year Vanderbilt has hosted a discussion about masculinity. The Center for Medicine, Health, and Society hosted “The Politics of Masculinity” last year… because Men aren’t allowed to be men in 21st century America because feminists don’t like it.
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