With the wave of feminism taking over the world issues pertaining to Essay

With the wave of feminism taking over the world, issues pertaining to women are discussed and

highlighted very often. Where these issues, topics, and movements are crucial in our day and

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age; such as the #metoo movement or equal pay demand; it is also important to not forget about

the other gender. Men are often neglected in comparison to women, whereas they may face

similar conflicts in life. This paper in no way tries to target feminism, rather it tries to shed light

on various stereotypes associated with men that are not discussed enough.

Statement of the Problem:

According to every society, everywhere, men are known to be the leaders, the breadwinners, the

providers. They are expected to be strong and healthy and capable. Where this may be true the

reality of the matter is that all of these expectations carry with a certain amount of burden and

pressure. This burden/pressure on men is not discussed often enough. The minimal discussion or

lack thereof is a big source adding to psychological problems in males.

Our study proposes to

investigate the severity and presence of these psychological problems in men in Pakistan.

The significance of the Study:

It is important for this study to be carried out because there is not enough research or literature

out there in regard to the problems faced by the male gender. This study aims to discuss issues

not otherwise discussed. It aims to create awareness amongst people and to act as a source

perhaps of help and reassurance for men/boys out there. This study may also act as an example

and guide of what needs to be changed in our society so that the future male generation can be

healthier and happier.

Scope:

Within this study as priorly mention we will be looking at stereotypes and certain standards

associated with men. We will specifically be discussing physical standards and stereotypes, such

as; height, build, complexion, weight, etc. Also, the expectations in regards to education and

career, such as; boys are expected to go into science fields rather than art, and men are expected

to be sole breadwinner of the family.

RESEARCH QUESTION:

Do the stereotypes, standards and expectations associated with men, impact them negatively?

HYPOTHESIS:

The standards and expectations that we have set for men in our Pakistani society, have a negative

impact on their mental health, confidence and self esteem.

LITERATURE REVIEW:

• Behold the man: the hype and selling of male beauty in media and culture (1999)

Discussing examples in which both striking men and women are regarded as “the norm,” Behold

the Man argues that men are experiencing the same injustices as women – sold on the covers of

magazines and in advertisements, based on their sex appeal, sometimes to promote nothing more

than their looks. Within this book, topics on how society portrays ‘the ideal male’ through

advertisements for clothing, cologne, sunglasses, automobiles, and shaving products are found;

how well-built males and their bodies are featured in movies, music videos, and literature; and

how advertisers and authors faithfully follow the “bigger is better” theory – for example,

“pectoral and bicep muscles.” “Revealing how men alter their bodies by dieting and cosmetic

surgery to achieve the look found in advertisements, this book also examines how today’s

growing number of male eating disorders are caused by the notion that only good-looking,

muscular men are acceptable.

• The invisible man got the whole world watching (2016)

The book’s title is a lyric from a track on “Black on Both Sides,” a 1999 album by YasiinBey,

formerly known as Mos Def, as well as a reference to the Ralph Ellison novel. Smith name-

checks others. When we say ‘a boy needs a father’ we mean ‘a boy needs someone to teach him

to be a leader,’?Smith writes. “Teach him to suppress, teach him to be unfeeling, teach him to

lead without asking, teach him solitude, teach him not to cope, teach him to explode. Just for

maintaining the myth. Every lesson my father ever taught me came back to the myth.” But,

Smith doesn’t narrate clear practices for rejecting respectability politics, confronting mental

health. And as it is acknowledged later, “the process is never complete.” Given the pressure he

wants us to apply to eliminate these negative systems, readers deserve critical ¬practices for

accomplishing this, rather than platitudes. Ultimately, “Invisible Man, Got the Whole World

Watching” is ambitious, ardent and timely. I appreciate Smith’s self-awareness, his vulnerability

and his intelligence in detailing our failures and in encouraging us to dismantle the masculinity

myth.

• Stereotype content across cultures by ST Fiske (2016)

The stereotype content model discusses potentially universal principles of societal stereotypes

and their relation to social structure. It reveals theoretically grounded, cross-cultural, cross-

groups similarities and one difference across 10 non-US nations.

People all over the world make sense of their society’s groups by consulting tow perception:

What is the other’s intent (warm and trustworthy or not), and can the other enact that intent

(competent or not)? Distinct stereotypes, prejudices, and discrimination follow from these

warmth-by-competences combinations, themselves predicted respectively by perceived

competition and status. Evidence supports the stereotypes’ hypothesized antecedents (social

structure) and distinct consequences (emotions and behaviors). After describing internal validity,

the chapter addresses external validity and then moderating variables. Finally, the chapter takes

up cultural variation: Collectivist culture show less in-group favoritism, high-status societies

favor themselves on competence and low-status

Societies favor themselves on warmth. More unequal societies describe more groups with

ambivalence (high on one dimension but low on the on the other). More equal societies, but also

more conflictual societies, show less ambivalence, in an apparently curvilinear peace-

ambivalence pattern. The chapter closes with implications and future directions.

• The Decent of Man By Grayson Perry (2016)

Rather brief and pertinent little book about the history, nature and future of masculinity

wound around Grayson Perry’s own struggle with his masculinity. The best part of the

book is when Perry talks about his own life, the abuse from his stepfather, his teenage

self as a skinhead and skateboarder, his passion for motor biking and mountain biking,

his transvestitism and his own struggles with masculinity.

His analysis of the problem is pretty much spot on as you would expect; nearly all crime

and violence can be laid at the door of men as can wars and the way societies are run.

Men are often emotionally closed and distant. Perry writes all this pretty well:

“

Examining masculinity can seem like a luxury problem, a pastime for wealthy, well-

educated, peaceful society, but I would argue the opposite: the poorer, the more

undeveloped, the more uneducated a society is, the more masculinity needs realigning

with the modern world, because masculinity is probably holding back that society. All

over the globe, crimes are committed, wars are started, women are being held back and

economies are disastrously distorted by men, because of their outdated version of

masculinity.”

Perry argues that genetics plays a very small role in this and conditioning and society’s

expectations are the central problems and will hinder any solutions:

“We need to firm up what it is to be a man in the 21st century, because other retrograde

forces are happy to promote a seductive, familiar, easy-to-assemble package.”

Perry’s solutions though tend towards self-reflection, men meeting in groups and talking

the solution being inside men’s heads. This may miss the point that our economic system

depends very much on competition and division; all very much part of the male psyche.

The analysis of the problem by Perry in the first half of the book is very much better than

The solutions in the second half which is quite rambling. Perry is however quite funny

and incisive; his musings about clothing are particularly funny; he refers to ties as

“colourful textile phalluses” and “Men are into frippery as much as women, but they

cloak it under spurious function.

Perry’s new list of men’s rights at the end are fairly uncontroversial:

1) The right to be vulnerable 2) The right to be wrong

3) The right to be weak 4) The right to be flexible

5) The right to be intuitive 6) The right to be uncertain

7) The right not to know 8) The right not to be ashamed of any of these

But his solutions are not radical enough.

DESIGN/METHODOLOGY:

Sample:

• Pakistani men of ages 15 – 35 living both in Pakistan and abroad.

• Sample size is undetermined.

Data Collection Procedures:

• Primary data collected through questionnaires and interviews.

• Secondary data collected from other researches, studies and literature found.

EXPECTED FINDINGS/IMPLICATIONS ON SOCIETY:

Through this study we expect to find that a high percentage of men and boys in Pakistan are

subjected to various stereotypes. We expect to find that said stereotypes affect their mental

health, confidence and self esteem negatively. We hope that these findings can be applied in life

to perhaps reduce some of the burden that said stereotypes put on men further resulting in

improved male psychology longterm.

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