Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Impact of Macho

I was recently talking with some folks about the services that SACC provides. This was an excellent conversation and I enjoyed it and meeting the new contacts quite a bit. A one point I was asked about statistics for sexual assault. The commenter was shocked at the 1 in 3 are/will be victims of sexual assault. "1 in 3 girls will be assaulted. This is scary."

"Actually, that is 1 in 3 people. Include boys in that stat."

"What? That many boys? Really?"


The Culture of Macho that we are currently undergoing (and have been going through for a LOOOONNGGG time) is creating a horrible silence in men.

I was watching The Quick and The Dead with some youths yesterday and I asked the kids think about the types of gender stereotypes that were being presented in the story. With the appearance of the character Cort, I asked what kind of man he was. One young man answered, "Well, he won't fight back, so he must be a pussy."

This sentiment is echoed in the recent barrage of commercials during that Super Bowl that portrayed the Uber-Tough-Man (who will suck it up only because his woman will cry if he doesn't). This image is killing us.

Men, speaking out about sexual violence does not mean you are weak. Speaking out about your experiences and trauma doesn't make you less. Speaking out means that you are helping put a stop to the culture of rape that is condoned within the uber-tough-man persona. Speaking out means little children could potential grow up with the ability to express a full range of emotions rather than limiting themselves to fearful stereotypes.

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