Role Reversal at the Gym

I ran across this video on the front page of Yahoo! News and found that they flipped the dominant script on what men and women say and how they behave at gyms.  I’m not sure if this was produced for equality sake, or just entertainment… however, I figured I’d post it up and see what MasculinityU readers think.

Flip-Side Workout

Be sure to comment in about your reactions!

Quick Thought: The Chris Brown Paradox

A few days ago Chris Brown won the BET Award for Best Male R&B Artist. Right now, his new album is on track to hit #1 on the Billboard charts. It’s easy to understand why that is. Chris Brown is immensely talented. His songs are catchy. He has a rabid and loyal fan base that rivals most this side of anyone diagnosed with Bieber Fever. Here is my problem: he’s not a good person.

Every time his fans make him number one or he sells out a show or he wins an award, all it does is reinforce to him and the rest of the world that he is above judgment. This is a man that beat his girlfriend and more recently got into a well publicized altercation at a club. The fact that we celebrate him makes me worry about the message young men are receiving about what behavior is acceptable. So long as he keeps making music with a beat we can step to, I’m not sure that it will ever change. However, we need to start thinking critically about who we idolize.

 

Donate to Domestic & Sexual Violence Shelters!

Studies show that access to shelter services leads to a 60-70% reduction in incidence and severity of re-assault during the 3-12 months’ follow up period compared to women who did not access shelter. Shelter services led to greater reduction in severe re-assault than did seeking court or law enforcement protection, or moving to a new location.

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(Campbell, JC, PhD, RN, FAAN. Anna D. Wolf, Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, Protective Action and Re-assault: Findings from the RAVE study.)

stat from: http://www.dvrc-or.org/domestic/violence/resources/C61/

Quick Thought: Marriage is So Gay

For those of us standing on the side of equality on the gay marriage debate, it has been an exciting few days. From the Vice President Joe Biden voicing his support to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to finally President Barack Obama himself, fully evolving on the issue and announcing his support for marriage equality. While this issue is not as divisive among my generation, the Millennial generation, as it among my parent’s generation or their parent’s generation, it has been disheartening to see the response from our so-called elders. Take Sen. Rand Paul for instance:

“The president recently weighed in on marriage and you know he said his views were evolving on marriage,” the Kentucky Republican said at Iowa’s Faith and Freedom Coalition meeting.  ”Call me cynical, but I wasn’t sure his views on marriage could get any gayer.”

This type of immature remark struck me as the kind of taunting I heard on the playground and in the hallways of my schools growing up. I’ve always been different and to many of my peers that translated to “gay”. Whether it was my sensitivity, willingness to listen and share my feelings or my proclivity for picking up a book  before tossing around a football, I’ve never fit into the box of stereotypical masculinity. After I heard Sen. Paul’s comments and got transported back to those dark days of bullying and torment, I started to wondered how the fact that gay has so long meant weak and less than would affect the views of men trying to hold tightly to societal norms. The most recent polling data is not reassuring:

 “Mirroring a wide gender gap in Obama’s support more generally, 54% of women respond favorably to his backing of gay marriage, compared with 37% of men.” (from ABC News)

What are we afraid of? What do we think is going to happen if we allow equal rights to win the day?

If Men Got Pregnant

What if men (we’re really talking about “males” more specifically) got pregnant?

- ‘Paternity leave’ would be months long.

- Breast feeding wouldn’t be protested against.

- Men would be hired for jobs even if they are young and of “fertile age”. The potential for pregnancy wouldn’t be a limiting factor to land the job.

- Men would be deemed “capable of loving and nurturing”.

- Men’s bare-chests would be viewed as sexual and lewd; likely to be censored on TV (before 10 pm at least).

- Men would have to buy a new size of clothing during each stage and after pregnancy.

- Men’s body’s may never look the way they did before giving birth.

- Men would be on a restricted diet and told not to smoke, drink, or eat certain foods for nine months.

- A new market would open up that would bombard men about their bodies and how working out, losing water weight, & reducing stretch marks ought to be on the forefront of their minds.

- If a man became pregnant as a result of rape, no one would force him endure the pregnancy or restrict abortion.

- Birth control would not only be legal, but would be available in vending machines next to Doritos.

If men got pregnant, things would be different…

—–
Sacchi Patel