Males are inaccurately portrayed by media


Photo Credit: cristian

Paige Tillinghast – Special to the Southern News

In the past year, issues concerning feminism and women’s rights have become more outspoken and discussed. Whether it’s the misinformation about what feminism actually means or just the back and forth debate on what’s appropriate and what’s just flaunting your body, the media has covered it all. However, one main goal that most people do not understand about feminism is that it stands for the equality between men and women.

In her United Nations speech, Emma Watson spoke about how there are stereotypes and expectations for not solely women, but men as well. Men are expected to be strong all the time and they’re seen as the rock of the family or even society itself. Watson stated that men should be allowed to express themselves and not be afraid to show how they’re feeling.

Society has created this stigma that men being emotional shows that they’re weak when in fact that is the furthest thing from being true; if a man shows his emotions it simply means that he’s human.

The portrayal of men in the media is just as big of an issue as how women are portrayed. These issues go hand in hand, and nothing will change if people do not open their eyes to this concept.

Break Media CEO Keith Richman said, “The media industry has tended to characterize men as macho guys, skirt chasers and inept at parenting and relationships. While this may have historically been true, what our results showed is that these characterizations aren’t reflecting the behavior and aspirations of today’s men.”

While this idea of the stereotypical man no doubt still exists, the media needs to be aware that there are other kinds of men in the world.

In an article by Austin Silver he writes, “In every TV commercial I see nowadays, men are controlled by either their cars, their hormones, their need for a brewski, their appetites or all of the above.”

Of course stereotypes exist for a reason and that’s because some of these characteristics of men may be true, however, the point is that we’ll never have a broader scope of men if we don’t acknowledge that different kinds of men exist.

Furthermore, while body and mental issues concerning women are more commonly discussed and acknowledged in today’s society, it is rare for people to hear about the same issues when dealing with men.

According to the National Eating Disorders Association, “Large scale surveys concluded that male body image concerns have dramatically increased over the past three decades from 15 percent to 43 percent of men being dissatisfied with their bodies; rates that are comparable to those found in women.”

The idea that men don’t suffer from depression, eating disorders, body image issues, etcetera is ridiculous and completely untrue. The only reason why we don’t hear about such topics as frequently is because society has brainwashed us into believing that men always have to be strong and shouldn’t complain about emotional or mental issues.

NEDA goes on to say, “men, while also influenced by our culture’s over-valuing of thinness, are often more concerned with a combination of issues related to weight, body shape and function. Generally, men believe they need to be both lean and muscular to meet perceived societal expectations.”

So while our society is slowly getting better with women’s issues and showing that we are not treated equally to men, I think it’s just as important to let men know that they are accepted as well.

The only way to truly reach equality is if people actually treat others equally and fairly. We need to change the population’s view and show them what kinds of people exist in our world and that everyone should be allowed to express himself or herself fully and freely.

 

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