Men dominated the gender game since time immemorial. But society still has these 15 beliefs about males that can be damaging as all gender stereotypes are.
Gender stereotypes create a disadvantage for everyone. In fact, women and the LGBTQ community aren’t the only victims of the gender stereotype. It can be just as disadvantageous for men when they are stereotyped. It just as easily affects their careers, social lives, and even their safety.
Men may have the upper hand in terms of career preferences, physical strength, and cognitive abilities *says science*, but none of that matters if the stereotypes foisted on them invalidate all that they work for.
Why you should care about male gender stereotyping
You may be thinking, “Why should we care, when men get all the glory?” That’s just it, why can’t we all live a life where we’re not judged by what we do or how people perceive us?
Just because men are less likely to be stereotyped does not mean that it’s not a huge issue. Any type of stereotyping can be damaging, especially if the sentiment reflects something negative. Positive stereotypes also backfire. The idea might sound like it’s leaning in your favor, but the truth is someone on the other side might be paying for it.
For example, a negative stereotype would be men deserving a higher salary than women. That sounds advantageous for men but is extremely damaging for women.
If the system doesn’t change soon, it might do more damage than what’s already been done. Men deserve a chance to defend themselves against stereotypes.
We all do.
#1 Men in a certain industry can’t be straight. There are some industries, like fashion, cosmetics, and beauty, that portray men in a specific light. If a man works as a hairdresser, he is automatically dubbed a homosexual. The same goes for designers, nurses, and masseurs.
#2 Men leave you when you become clingy. The mind games people play turn out to be their downfall—usually because of stereotyping. Have you ever wondered what would happen if you came clean and told men how you really feel?
Yes, playing hard-to-get can be effective, but there’s no truth to the myth of men leaving the moment a woman gets emotional. It’s the biggest lie in dating, and you’re better off not using it.
#3 Men cheat on you when you ignore them. Men cheat on you when they are assholes. If you ignore them, they resent it. It makes them feel bad, but not all of them cheat because of it.
#4 Men are prone to violence and extreme anger. Anyone with an underlying aggression problem is prone to violence. The media simply portrays men as the predator in most cases. Statistically, there are more men who commit violent crimes, yes. But that doesn’t mean other genders aren’t prone to violence, as well.
#5 Men love boobs. I was a little skeptical about putting this here, but it’s still one of those commonly accepted gender stereotypes. Not all men like breasts. Some like legs, butts, and even torso curves more than they do boobs. [Read: Why men like boobs: An in-depth scientific explanation]
#6 Men don’t care about weddings. The fact that a guy asked you to marry him pretty much shows he’s into weddings. They might not be as into flowers as the bride is, but they also want to experience a nice day.
Lots of men would love to be involved in their wedding plans. You can’t imagine how psyched they can get about picking matching suits for themselves and their groomsmen.
#7 Men cannot be in a relationship without sex. Men have foregone sex until marriage since the beginning of time. This is especially true for those who are very much in love and are willing to wait and respect their partner’s beliefs about sex.
#8 Men can eat a lot and not gain weight. Have you seen the obesity statistics in some countries? Males’ metabolisms may be faster, but food is food. It hits your thighs when you least expect it.
#9 Men need to be the provider in a family. When you resent a man for not providing the majority of the family’s income, you’re effectively questioning his worth. Men are capable of doing a lot for a family, even if they don’t take care of 100% of the finances. [Read: The biggest reasons why most men feel emasculated in real life]
#10 Men forego custody of their kids. Most courtrooms favor the mother in custody cases, even if both parents are capable of taking care of their children separately. Men do want to raise their children. Sadly, even legislative forces hide behind the veil of gender stereotypes and consider men to be incompetent parents.
#11 Men should talk like men. Some men are judged for communicating “effeminately.” Poise and tact are often misconstrued as homosexuality. Again, there’s nothing wrong with being gay, but assuming a man is gay because of the way he talks is presumptuous and ignorant for both homosexual and heterosexual men alike. [Read: Defining true masculinity: What does it mean to be a man?]
#12 Men can’t be raped. This is a very dangerous stereotype, because it takes away a man’s right to voice his outrage. Rape is a violation of your whole being. A man can’t just brush it off, any more than a woman can. It is a universally traumatic event. The bigger problem is men rarely report rape because they feel ashamed.
#13 Men shouldn’t cry. Everyone needs an outlet to vent their frustrations. Crying is one of the most freeing acts anyone does to let go of pain. When we start calling men out for crying, we prevent them from expressing themselves emotionally. Yet… isn’t that one of the biggest complaints against them? We need to stop shaming men for being emotional. Allow them to express themselves—yes, even if it means shedding a few tears.
#14 Men don’t care about the feelings of women they date. They care, even if it’s just a tiny fraction of how much women expect them to care. Men, oftentimes, just don’t know how to handle emotions the way women do *see previous point*. Their decisions come off as crass or insensitive, only because that’s how it was interpreted. [Read: What to look for in a guy: 20 things that matter beyond looks]
#15 Men have to be “real” men. If you look inside their pants, you see a man is a man. The definition of a real man seems to be subjective, but the fact that there’s a search for the epitome of a real man is ludicrous. A man shouldn’t be judged for not sticking to the status quo. A man deserves to be identified as a man, regardless of his appearance or behavior.