Lou Barbero Barbero 1



Professor Garber



Hm 46



April 9th, 1999



Image and Masculinity



More and more in today?s society young men?s minds are being



polluted with societies images of what a real man should be. They are



brought up with idols such a Superman and Batman and have it pounded into



their heads that they should be muscular, drive fast cars, and save women.



This images cause boys to do things that they do not really want to, but feel



that they need to live up to their macho image, or else they will not be a



man.





It seems that when a boy is at a young age he is very susceptible to



picking up signals. Most boys grow up wanting to be like their fathers, and



wish to make their fathers happy. If his father works on cars, chances are



the boy will also want to work on cars. The same is true for the sports the



father likes and the television shows he watches. If dad comes home



everyday and watches the news with a beer in his hand, that is what the boy



will think is what a man should do. Just as if a father treats his wife badly, a



young boy will pick up on this behavior and think it is acceptable for a man



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to treat a women that way. The reverse is also true. If a boy sees his father



treat his mother with love and respect, he is likely to appreciate women.





A prominent image given to guys is that they have no



feelings and would never cry. Crying is for girls or for homosexuals, it is



thought. Over time this causes many bottled up feelings and results in a



violent temper. Men are just as prone to be hurt as women are, but often



have a harder time expressing it. The man is supposed to be the strong and



stable one, as where the women is the meek and frail one that the man must



protect. A man that can?t cry, or express the way he feels is no more a man



than one you can inflate.





Some masculine instincts are inborn, like the need for a boy to protect



his mother, but most are acquired. The image a man chooses to portray for



himself is influenced by the environment he is brought up in. Television



shows such as Married with Children depict men to treat



women terribly and only worry about their own needs. A boy who grows



up with these images will probably treat his wife the way he sees Al treating



Peggy.





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It seems that boys are much more competitive than girls and are



always striving to have the fastest car, the loudest stereo, the biggest muscles



and the best looking girlfriend. When it comes down to it, these things mean



nothing more than the image they produce, and in actuality will get you no



where in life. On the other hand however, a man that can express his



emotions without fear of what others think will more likely have a successful



marriage and family.





A young man must cope with all the images put out by society, his



peers and his own family, by deciding for himself what values are important



to him. Boys should not grow up with the feeling that they



cannot express there sensitive side or they will not be masculine. A man in



a 99? sports car is no more masculine than one in a 84? Buick, but in my



opinion, the one in the sports car is insecure about his own masculinity.