There is a minority in our society who are six times more likely to kill others, four times more likely to kill themselves, and twelve times more likely to be jailed. This minority is large, comprising 49% of the population.
I'm talking about men, but we needn't blame the individuals (because that's never helped. Ever). There’s a crisis with traditional masculinity, and there’s recent evidence that directly connects the pressure of traditional roles and the effect it has on depression, and ultimately, suicide.
“The three most destructive words that every man receives when he’s a boy is when he’s told to 'be a man,'” —Joe Ehrmann, coach and former NFL player.
That quote was in this article on Alternet, which adds: "...social constructions of masculinity demand that men constantly prove and re-prove the very fact that they are, well, men."
If this were any other group in society, there would be outrage, action, and condemnation of the culture that supports it. But because of a ‘that’s the way it's always been’ mentality, there’s reluctance to see it as the pressing problem that it is.
We could speculate as to why masculinity is traditionally more violent. Perhaps violent cultures required it. But the question for today is: should we keep this anachronistic, unnecessarily violent tendency? Or should we put it under the microscope and propose a new masculinity, and check in with what women are doing that makes them so substantially less inclined toward violence.
Traditional masculinity is a monster. Often we hear what women can do to prevent violence against them. But it's got nothing to do with women; they're just collateral damage caught in the path of this destructive beast that is hurting itself as much as anyone else.