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Monday, April 1, 2013

masculinity or whatever

Out of all of the texts that we've read for class, I think this one--Adolescent Masculinity, Homophobia and Violence: Random School Shootings by Michael Kimmel and Matthew Mahler--is the one that I identified the most. I'm 'bout to get real personal with y'all, so I hope you can handle this.

I don't think that I've ever fit the stereotypical identity of a masculine boy/teen/young adult/man. Obviously when I was younger, I did certain things that in the end would deem me masculine, but at the end of the day I never got into a fight, I was never good at sports, I never liked sports, I never spoke about girls, I never had a girlfriend, and I was bullied (but not to an extreme extent and it only lasted through middle school - but I had friends that sometimes defended me. Well, not friends but ~peers or whatever.

I thought it was really interesting to read about resilience and what may stop those who are bullied from acting on such extreme thoughts. I had never thought about it, but I know for a fact that murder or harm to others ever crossed my mind. But then again, I've never believed that violence is a good solution for anything, regardless of how many movies I had seen where the only solution was violence. I don't know what to say in terms of this because I think that the way I was raised had a big impact on this. I don't know what the psychology behind this is, but I just have a feeling that something about being brought up the way I did had something to do with the fact that I never had ~bad thoughts about my classmates.

I still don't very much fit the image of masculinity as an adult (lol I'm an adult?), and I could not care less about about that. Something that I think we have to start deconstructing--and soon--is this idea of masculinity and femininity and how these binaries are often the cause of so much bullying in opposite genders. And the thing is that it shouldn't be that hard? I'm not saying it won't be, but I don't think it's impossible if we start teaching kids at a young age.

I don't mean to digress (except I totally do), but I had a problem with this article that I wish to discuss with the class slash I hope you guys can enlighten me because yeah... I did think it was an interesting study, and I'm glad that it focused on masculinity because it IS something that we often overlook. But I felt like this article also discredited mental illness as a whole and I don't think you can discuss one without the other. And obviously family matters as well, but that's not about the "content" as this study put it. I think mental illness is, in fact, part of the content, even if it's not exactly THE content, you know? I think that how young boys see themselves has something to do with their self esteem and how they decide to act on it.

Again, I know that this study is speaking on the CONTENT of the shootings, but something that we have to start talking about in this country is mental illness because this can play a big part of the way a violent teen thinks.

Ugh, I can't articulate what I had thought about while I was reading the article, but I just feel like we can't talk about one thing without talking about the other? I felt like this article should have hit more points. It felt short and rushed and it would have been nice to read about how some of these issues over lapped.

This is nonsense and I'm sorry I wish I could've articulated my thoughts better in order to have a better discussion on it.


  1. I totally agree with you on how the article over looked mental illness, and I think that has a lot to do with the shootings. I also linked your blog to mine :)

  2. First I want to thank you so sharing this with us.
    Second I agree that it has something to do with the way kids are brought up, that leads them to thoughts of hurting themselves and or others, and also maybe the support they may have at home or with friends.
    I also agree that if we as a generation start teaching our kids that no matter their gender or race they are no better not less than anyone else who does not identify with them in that way. And this I think might be the first step to deconstructing these structural policies and ideas put into place to confined us into a category, in other words control us within that category.

    I agree and disagree with you in a way about the article. I think that this article hit it right on the head when it said that masculinity is the problem, and I think that the way I'm taking what you are saying is that mental illness should also be part of the problem study. And I think they are both in the same, meaning that masculinity is something that you have to know and accept as you being mentally. So I think what I'm trying to say is that if young boys have the confidence mentally of what they identify as then masculinity or lack there off should not be a problem. And I think it starts by us needing to change the way we view and describe masculinity all together, and also as to who gets to identify themselves as such.
    blah! I don't know if that made any sense LOL

    Great post and thoughts!

  3. Thats what I said Daury I was like ummmmm yes the whole problem is not just masculinity and this concept gender construction it is so much more then that! and I love that this things are being taught to us and broken down for those who have no idea about the intricate ways in which the dominant society controls and manipulates our minds...but yes I would as I know you would like to see this idea of mental illnesses as a definitive aspect of the reactions of these boys... I think psychological health is effected and effects all in our society due to the dominant ideology and all of the oppressive things we must endure on a day to day basis and I think that this author could be debated for his lack there of.....

  4. Aww Daury. The beginning of you post was so touching. I'm sorry you felt a bit isolated at times and being bullied. But look at the bright side. YOU OVERCAME IT. You are a SURVIVOR. You should be proud of yourself. I 100% agree with you that there's a link to gun violence to mental illness. There's something internal that causes these individuals to burst out of their shell (Reference to Chela Blog). GREAT POST!

  5. the personal posts are the best. i can tell you felt deeply touched by this article. i also argue and agree with the points you brought up here. i feel like masculinity is a hard subject for males to talk about - but your post about it is awesome! great job :)


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