For those of you who took Dr. Benn and Clint Michael’s class, you will be familiar with this video. Nevertheless, I felt the need to share it because it moves me every time I watch it. Guante does a great job of exposing masculinity and calling those out who subscribe to it. As he points out, you can’t just solve problems by “growing a pair”. What does that even mean? Does it mean to just suppress your feelings and suck it up? If so, there is no way that this is healthy for the men of America. I also love how he asks why you never hear the phrase “Woman Up”. It is as though “Man Up” is implying that characteristics of being a man are superior to women and that you should not be a woman with all of your “feelings”. It suggests that there are traits that are inherently masculine. Instead, we cannot just be ourselves. We are forced to put on a mask and façade 24/7, careful not to let our guard down for fear of exposure of being less masculine. As Guante also points out, this culture drives many boys and men to take their life, as they may feel that they can never be a true “man” or are bullied to the point that they cannot take it anymore. These are all inherent in man culture. Just as he states, how many more boys and men have to die before we finally get the message that the culture of masculinity is poisonous, dangerous, and detrimental?
For me, this video explains my life growing up. I was constantly told by my friends to “Man Up” and to hide my emotions. It was detrimental to me in retrospect, as I always felt I had no one to talk to when I wanted help emotionally. I guess man culture just taught me that it was normal to “Man Up” and “suck it up.” Now, I wish someone had told me that I am great the way I was and that I did not have to conform to be accepted by the people that truly matter in my life. As student affairs professionals, we have to be cognizant that men grow up in this culture and must reach out to these men, because it is often that no one else will. Suicides in college are unfortunately not too uncommon. We can try to help and prevent these unfortunate events by being there for our male students and making sure they are able to freely express themselves and that they do not get swallowed up by male culture and Guyland.