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The culture of masculinity and its negative impacts on men


>>Sreenivasan: THE SUBJECT OF MASCULINITY IS A TOPIC OF CONVERSATION THESE DAYS. IT’S SOMETHING YOU SEE FROM THE OP-ED PAGES OF NEWSPAPERS TO SHAVING COMMERCIALS.>>BULLYING.>>THE “ME TOO” MOVEMENT AGAINSTSEXUAL HARASSMENT.>>TOXIC MASCULINITY.>>IS THIS THE BEST A MAN CAN GET?>>Sreenivasan: THOSE WHO THINK MASCULINITY IS UNDER ASSAULT CRITICIZED THE AD; SOME EVEN VOWED TO BOYCOTT THE COMPANY. BUT OTHERS APPLAUDED IT. THERE IS AN EFFORT UNDER WAY TO CHANGE THE WAYS OF THE AMERICAN MALE. YOU CAN FIND IT ON THE FOOTBALL FIELD, IN THE MOSH PIT, AND IN THE WORK OF THE AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION. NEWSHOUR WEEKEND’S CHRISTOPHER BOOKER EXPLAINS. (HARD ROCK MUSIC PLAYING)>>Reporter: THE RHYTHM IS VIOLENT…>>♪ THEY LAUGH AT ME WHEN I RUN I WASTE AWAY FOR FUN. ♪>>Reporter: …AND THE PACE IS MENACING.>>♪ I AM MY FATHER’S SON HIS SHADOW WEIGHS A TON. ♪>>Reporter: BUT THERE’S A CONTRADICTION RUNNING THROUGH THE SONGS OF THE BRITISH BAND IDLES. THE SOUND MAY BE HARD, BUT IT’S DRIVEN BY COMPASSION; AN UNRELENTING CELEBRATION OF VULNERABILITY, ACCEPTANCE AND MINDFULNESS, ALL PERFORMED WITH THE INTENSITY OF A FREIGHT TRAIN. (HARD ROCK MUSIC PLAYING)>>Reporter: TONIGHT, THE BAND IS PLAYING FOR A SOLD-OUT CROWD OF 500 PEOPLE IN ALBANY, NEW YORK. JOE TALBOT IS THE LEAD SINGER AND BAND’S PRINCIPAL LYRICIST.>>IT’S A PURPOSEFUL JOURNEY WE’RE GOING ON.>>Reporter: WHAT… WHAT IS THE… THE PURPOSE?>>TO START A CONVERSATION, I THINK. I THINK ANY GOOD ART STARTS CONVERSATION. IT DOESN’T END IT.>>Reporter: THE CONVERSATION IDLES IS LOOKING TO START IS A COMPLICATED ONE. BUT AT ITS CORE, THEY ARE ASKING THE AUDIENCE– PARTICULARLY THE MEN IN THE CROWD– TO RECONSIDER HOW THEY TREAT ONE ANOTHER, HOW THEY TREAT WOMEN, AND HOW THEY TREAT THEMSELVES.>>IF YOU SHARE YOUR FEELINGS, YOUR LOAD GETS LIGHTER, AND YOU WILL HAVE A BETTER OUTCOME.>>Reporter: THROUGHOUT THEIR PERFORMANCE, TALBOT TAKES AIM AT WHAT HE SEES AS THE TRAPS OF MASCULINITY, HOW BOYS ARE TAUGHT TO BE TOUGH AND TOLD TO SWALLOW THEIR EMOTIONS.>>Reporter: WERE THESE THE KIND OF WORDS YOU HEARD AS A YOUNG KID GROWING UP IN ENGLAND?>>YEAH, YOU KNOW, “JUST PULL YOUR SOCKS UP,” “DON’T CRY.” ALL THAT STUFF IS COMPLETELY NORMAL AND NORMALIZED. I WAS DEFINITELY PART OF THAT MACHISMO, PART OF THAT DISCOURSE OF SUCKING IT UP AND, YOU KNOW, BEING TOUGH.>>Reporter: TALBOT SAYS BEING TAUGHT TO SUPPRESS HIS FEELINGS DID LITTLE TO HELP WITH WHAT WAS TO COME HIS WAY.>>♪ MY MOTHER WORKED 15 HOURS, FIVE DAYS A WEEK. ♪>>Reporter: AT 16, HIS MOTHER HAD A STROKE AND WAS PARALYZED. AND AFTER HIS STEPFATHER DIED, HE BECAME HER PRIMARY CARETAKER. DESPITE BEING TAUGHT TO BE TOUGH, TALBOT WASN’T PREPARED FOR HIS MOTHER’S DEATH IN 2015. HER PASSING WAS FOLLOWED TWO YEARS LATER BY THE STILLBIRTH OF HIS DAUGHTER.>>AFTER MY MUM DIED, BEFORE MY DAUGHTER DIED, AND I WAS JUST STRUGGLING TO SAY ALL THESE THINGS THAT I HAVE NEVER SAID. I WAS LIKE, WHY HAVEN’T I EVER SAID THEM? THAT’S MENTAL.>>Reporter: THIS IS WHEN TALBOT DECIDED TO START THERAPY.>>AND I JUST CRUMBLED. SO, I REALIZED I HAD A LOT OF LEARNING TO DO, AND IT WAS THE BEST THING I’VE EVER DONE IN MY LIFE.>>Reporter: AND… AND SO, DO YOU THINK… DO YOU FIND YOUR PERFORMANCES AND THE EXPERIENCE OF PLAYING WITH A BAND LIKE THIS, IS IT A FORM OF CATHARSIS?>>YEAH, LEARNING HOW TO CHANNEL MY FEELINGS WITH BEHAVIOR AND ART; MINDFULNESS; PRACTICING… (SIGHS) …SELF-RESPECT AND OUTWARD RESPECT; AND LEARNING HOW TO CREATE A NEW LANGUAGE WITHIN MYSELF WHERE I CAN LIVE A BETTER LIFE AND SURVIVE WHAT I WAS GOING THROUGH.>>Reporter: RESEARCH IS INCREASINGLY SHOWING TALBOT IS CORRECT. LEARNING TO BE IN TOUCH WITH ONE’S EMOTIONS CAN CHANGE LIVES, AND THE WAY MEN ARE TRADITIONALLY TAUGHT TO HOLD THEM IN MAY BE CONNECTED TO AN AVALANCHE OF UNHEALTHY OUTCOMES. IN 2018, THE AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION PUBLISHED THE A.P.A. GUIDELINES FOR PSYCHOLOGICAL PRACTICE WITH BOYS AND MEN. THE FIRST REPORT OF ITS KIND, THE COLLECTED RESEARCH FOUND THAT “TRADITIONAL MASCULINITY– MARKED BY STOICISM, COMPETITIVENESS, DOMINANCE, AND AGGRESSION– IS, ON THE WHOLE, HARMFUL.” WRITTEN OVER 13 YEARS AND BASED ON 40 YEARS OF COMPILED RESEARCH, THE REPORT LAYS OUT SOME STRIKING MENTAL AND PHYSICAL HEALTH DISPARITIES BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN. MEN ARE 3.5 TIMES MORE LIKELY TO COMMIT SUICIDE, AND MEN DIE FROM HEART DISEASE AND CANCER AT RATES 50% AND 80% HIGHER THAN WOMEN.>>WE KNOW THAT MEN ON AVERAGE DIE FIVE TO SIX YEARS EARLIER THAN DO WOMEN.>>Reporter: PSYCHOLOGIST CHRISTOPHER LIANG IS THE CHAIRPERSON OF LEHIGH UNIVERSITY’S COLLEGE OF EDUCATION AND WAS A CO-AUTHOR OF THE A.P.A. GUIDELINES.>>WHEN BOYS ARE NOT ALLOWED TO EXPRESS THEIR SADNESS, THEIR HURTS WHEN THEY’RE GROWING UP, THEY’RE ESSENTIALLY TAUGHT THAT THEY SHOULDN’T HAVE PAIN. AND WHAT THAT DOES OVER TIME IS, IT CREATES A CONDITION WHERE BOYS WHO ARE BECOMING MEN STUFF THEIR PAIN. AND SO, THE DOCUMENT SEEKS TO HELP PEOPLE UNDERSTAND ONE POTENTIAL PATHWAY FOR HOW MEN COME TO BE AT SUCH GREATER RISK FOR EXPERIENCING GREATER HEALTH PROBLEMS, PHYSICAL HEALTH PROBLEMS, AND MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS.>>WE DON’T HAVE TO HIDE FROM IT. IT’S OKAY TO ASK FOR HELP. WE DON’T ALWAYS HAVE TO BE STOIC AND HOLD IT IN.>>Reporter: TED BUNCH HAS GIVEN THIS TALK HUNDREDS OF TIMES BEFORE TO EVERYONE FROM N.F.L. TEAMS TO LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES, AND TODAY HE’S SPEAKING TO MIAMI UNIVERSITY OF OHIO’S MEN’S FOOTBALL TEAM.>>THERE’S A LOT OF PRESSURE ON ATHLETES, AND THEY’RENOTEXPECTED TO ASK FOR HELP. AND THEY’RE… YOU KNOW, YOU DON’T WANT TO DO ANYTHING THAT’S GOING TO MAKE YOU LOOK WEAK IN THE EYES OF OTHER PLAYERS, COACHES, ANYTHING. IF WE TAKE THESE BOUNDARIES OFF, THEN THERE’S ALL THESE DOORS THAT OPEN.>>Reporter: A CO-FOUNDER OF “A CALL TO MEN,” A NON-PROFIT VIOLENCE PREVENTION ORGANIZATION, BUNCH WORKS TO TRAIN AND EDUCATE MEN AND BOYS TO EMBRACE WHAT HE CALLS “HEALTHY AND RESPECTFUL MANHOOD.”>>WHEN WE EXPERIENCE OTHER THINGS LIKE DISAPPOINTMENT, SADNESS, HURT AND PAIN, AND WE WERE THAT LITTLE BOY WHO WANTED TO… WHO WANTED TO EXPRESS THAT, LIKE, BY CRYING, WHAT… WHAT WERE WE TOLD?>>STOP CRYING.>>STOP CRYING. WHAT ELSE WERE WE TOLD?>>SUCK IT UP.>>SUCK IT UP. WHAT ELSE WERE WE TOLD?>>DON’T SHOW IT.>>DON’T SHOW IT. THAT’S RIGHT. WE WERE TOLD ALL THOSE THINGS.>>Reporter: BUT THE EMPHASIS ISN’T SOLELY ON EXPANDING THE EMOTIONAL RANGE OF MEN; IT’S ALSO FOCUSED ON HOW MALE SOCIALIZATION CAN BE HARMFUL TO WOMEN.>>WE’RE TAUGHT THAT WOMEN AND GIRLS HAVE LESS VALUE THAN MEN AND BOYS, RIGHT? WE GIVE THOSE MESSAGES ALL THE TIME. SAYING THINGS LIKE, “YOU THROW LIKE A GIRL.” WHAT DOES THAT LITTLE BOY LEAVE THAT INTERACTION THINKING GIRLS ARE EQUAL TO HIM OR LESS THAN HIM? WHEN WE TALK ABOUT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND SEXUAL ASSAULT, WHILE MOST OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND SEXUAL ASSAULT IS PERPETRATED BY MEN, THAT’S TRUE. MOST OF IT’S DONE BY MEN, BUT MOST MEN DON’T DO IT. BUT WE’RE SILENT ABOUT THOSE THAT DO, AND THAT’S AS MUCH OF A PROBLEM AS THE VIOLENCE IS. DOES THAT MAKE SENSE, FOLKS?>>Reporter: BUNCH BELIEVES THE OPPORTUNITY FOR CHANGE IS NOW.>>WE’RE THE FIRST GENERATION OF MEN BEING HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR SOMETHING MEN HAVE ALWAYS GOTTEN AWAY WITH. AND WE’RE GOING TO DECONSTRUCT MANHOOD. WE’RE GOING TO DECONSTRUCT IT. WE’RE GOING TO LIFT IT UP, RIGHT, BECAUSE THIS ISNOTAN INDICTMENT ON MANHOOD. IT’S ACTUALLY AN INVITATION TO MEN.>>Reporter: THAT SEEMS LIKE A REMARKABLY DIFFICULT TASK TO ASK WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF THE AMERICAN FOLKLORE. THINKING ABOUT THE AMERICAN WEST, JOHN WAYNE, ALL THESE IDEAS OF SELF-MADE…>>YEAH.>>Reporter: …SELF-DRIVEN EXISTENCE.>>YEAH.>>Reporter: YOU KNOW, IT’S IN OUR D.N.A., FOR LACK OF A BETTER TERM.>>IN OUR SOCIAL D.N.A. BUT WHAT WE’RE WANTING FOR BOYS AND MEN IS FOR THEM TO UNDERSTAND THAT SELF RELIANCEISGOOD. ITISHEALTHY. ITISIMPORTANT. BUT THAT THEY DON’T NEED TO CONFORM TO IT SO RIGIDLY THAT THEY CAN’T ASK FOR HELP WHEN THEY NEED TO.>>Reporter: AND THIS IS WHAT IDLES IS BRINGING TO ITS AUDIENCE NIGHT AFTER NIGHT, A CELEBRATION OF THE RELIEF THAT CAN COME FROM LETTING GO. (HARD ROCK MUSIC PLAYING) TWO DAYS AFTER THEIR SHOW IN ALBANY, THE BAND IS IN BROOKLYN, PLAYING ANOTHER SOLD-OUT SHOW– THIS TIME, FOR 1,800 PEOPLE.>>WE’RE NOT SAYING THAT YOU, LIKE, YOU CAN’T BE MASCULINE NOW. JUST ALLOW YOURSELF THE ROOM TO LISTEN TO YOURSELF AND BREATHE AND FIND OUT WHO YOUACTUALLYARE.>>Reporter: HOWEVER YOU DEFINE WHAT THEY’RE DOING, IDLES HAS FOUND AN AUDIENCE. THEY WERE NOMINATED AS THE BEST BRITISH BREAKOUT ARTIST FOR THIS YEAR’S BRIT AWARDS. EARLIER THIS YEAR, THEY PLAYED IN CHICAGO AT THE LOLLAPALOOZA FESTIVAL. AND IN JUNE, THEY PLAYED THE LARGEST GIG OF THEIR CAREERS AT GLASTONBURY, ENGLAND’S ANNUAL MEGA FESTIVAL THAT HOSTS OVER 200,000 PEOPLE. (AUDIENCE CHEERING)>>THE FEELING, I… I CANNOT EXPLAIN TO SOMEONE THE PHYSICALITY OF ALLEVIATING THAT PAIN, OF JUST TALKING ABOUT YOUR FEELINGS. IT’S LIFE-CHANGING. IT IS. (AUDIENCE CHEERING)

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