The article, Boys and Men in Families, offers very interesting insights about the male role in families. Adams and Coltrane describe the different gender roles as “separate spheres”. They discuss how even before children are born, they are already being forced into gender norms. For example, if an expecting couple were to find out the sex of their baby, they will begin buying the appropriate clothing for the sex of their baby before its born. Even when a newborn leaves the hospital, it is adorned in the gender appropriate apparel. One interesting point that Adams and Coltrane make is that the male gender is more fragile than the female gender, and that men are forced in the “mantle od masculinity”. Inherently, we see women as the more “fragile” gender. However, according to these authors, the male gender model is more fragile than the female gender. This is because there are greater consequences for not fulfilling the male gender appropriately. This point was very interesting to me because I had never thought about the pressures that men feel to maintain their masculine identity. This shows how society is more accepting of the male identity than the female identity. If a female did not follow through with her gender norms appropriately, she is not as penalized as a male would be. Another interesting point that Adams and Coltrane discuss is the role of marriage. This article points out how marriage is geared towards men. Men have less marital dissatisfaction and lower rates of mental disorder than women. Could this be because marriage is more rewarding for men? As this article states, the male role is fairly straightforward. They go out and work and earn a salary compensation for their time. However, the female role is not as simple. It has been shown that women preform more housework than men, yet these tasks often go uncompensated and unappreciated. Therefore, this could relate to the unequal marital satisfaction between men and women.
In Kimmel’s article, Bros Before Hoes, he discusses the pressures that “guys” must face in order to maintain their manhood. One interesting point that the author makes is that it is very easy for guys to point out what makes them a man. Some of these defining phrases include “boy don’t cry”, “It’s better to be mad than sad”, and “take it like a man”. These characteristics are supposedly the “code” that real men should live by. When women were asked the same question, they refused to define what it means to be a woman. Additionally, men have a set list of insulting terms such as “faggot”, “pussy” and “wuss”. Every single insult that guys use to insult each other is an attack on their masculinity. When I was reading the section about how fathers try to parent their sons into being men it reminded me of a family I used to babysit for in high school. This family was comprised of 2 older sons, and a younger daughter. The daughter had a pink fluffy hat that she never wore. So, the middle-aged son wanted it and began wearing it constantly. He would wear it everywhere outside of the house and in the house. Eventually, the father got so upset by this that he would bribe his son into not wearing the hat. If he went the whole day without wearing the hat, he got an extra dessert before going to bed. Eventually, the boy dropped the hat gig and the father reclaimed his son’s masculinity. But it was so obvious that the father was uncomfortable with this situation and felt that it was his duty to stop his son’s pink hat desire. Overall, these two articles really highlighted how detrimental it is for men to maintain their masculine identity or else their manhood and sexuality will be questioned. Men face a lot of pressure in order to be real men.