Men and Masculinity
Learn about the social constructs around being a man and how stereotypes negatively impact men and masculine folks. This presentation will discuss strategies to empower healthy masculinity and acknowledge the disparities between men from various backgrounds.
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[00:00:02.310]Welcome to the Men and Masculinity presentation.
[00:00:05.280]My name is Caitlin Johnson and I'm an intern for the Gender
[00:00:08.280]and Sexuality Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
[00:00:12.360]First and foremost, I want to thank you
[00:00:14.400]for all the time you've taken out of your day to be here
[00:00:16.860]and watch this presentation.
[00:00:23.790]Before we get started I would like to acknowledge the land
[00:00:26.550]that we are on right now.
[00:00:28.290]Land Acknowledgement is a traditional custom
[00:00:30.540]dating back centuries for many native communities
[00:00:33.120]and nations, and for non-indigenous communities,
[00:00:36.450]land acknowledgement is a powerful way of showing respect
[00:00:39.390]and honoring the indigenous peoples of the land
[00:00:41.700]on which we work and live.
[00:00:43.770]Acknowledgement is a simple way
[00:00:45.270]of resisting the erasure of indigenous histories,
[00:00:48.480]and working towards honoring and inviting the truth.
[00:00:51.510]The University of Nebraska's Land Grant Institution,
[00:00:54.750]for the campuses and programs on the past, present
[00:00:57.990]and future homelands of the following tribes.
[00:01:01.290]With this acknowledgement, we affirm Indigenous Sovereignty
[00:01:05.040]and we'll work to hold our community institution
[00:01:07.920]more accountable to the needs of indigenous people.
[00:01:11.400]If you're interested in learning
[00:01:12.570]and supporting the indigenous community,
[00:01:14.580]please refer to the link below.
[00:01:20.550]So who are we?
[00:01:21.660]We are the Gender and Sexuality Center.
[00:01:24.150]We are located in rooms 340, 345
[00:01:27.570]and 346 on the third floor of the Nebraska Union.
[00:01:31.440]Listed here are both our email and website.
[00:01:35.490]So what do we do?
[00:01:37.140]The center in general does a lot of different things.
[00:01:39.540]First, we do presentations just like this one,
[00:01:42.600]as well as workshops.
[00:01:44.070]There are a number of presentations
[00:01:45.540]and workshops you can request from us, and that can be done
[00:01:48.390]via the presentations form on our website,
[00:01:51.210]and we'll get back to you within a few days
[00:01:53.040]to set up a time and date for our presentation.
[00:01:57.090]Next, we have the library with resources.
[00:01:59.790]We currently have over 1500 books, CDs, DVDs, movies
[00:02:05.160]and really anything that you can imagine
[00:02:07.620]there's related to gender
[00:02:08.730]and sexuality topics which will be helpful.
[00:02:11.910]Our library also includes a children's library
[00:02:14.520]with a collection of inclusive and diverse book choices.
[00:02:18.840]We also have volunteer opportunities.
[00:02:20.970]Students can work with us to complete projects
[00:02:22.980]for classes or they can volunteer in programming
[00:02:26.850]or help us around the office to fulfill volunteer hours.
[00:02:30.870]The Gender and Sexuality Center
[00:02:32.490]also runs a learning community called Prism.
[00:02:35.280]This LC will provide a community for students who identify
[00:02:38.400]as LGBTQA+, or allies of the community.
[00:02:43.410]The learning community will be in gender inclusive housing.
[00:02:46.590]Prism will emphasize the intersectionality
[00:02:48.690]within everyone's identities
[00:02:50.370]and allow students to explore their personal identities
[00:02:53.340]in a supportive and caring space.
[00:02:56.310]The Lavender Closet clothing exchange,
[00:02:58.110]which is open during the center's hours,
[00:03:00.030]seeks to provide all UNL students, staff
[00:03:02.340]and faculty with free
[00:03:03.870]and discreet access to identity affirming clothing
[00:03:08.040]When students feel comfortable
[00:03:09.210]and validated in their expression, they're free to focus
[00:03:12.030]on forwarding their education and pursuing their dreams.
[00:03:15.600]Folks can stop by the center to request access
[00:03:18.030]to the space to donate or pick out clothes.
[00:03:21.360]There are gender neutral restrooms on the third floor
[00:03:23.820]for you to try on items if desired.
[00:03:27.120]An additional resource provided by the Gender
[00:03:28.890]and Sexuality Center is a distribution of safer sex kits.
[00:03:33.030]These kits contain both condoms and lubricant.
[00:03:35.940]Other supplies such as dental dams
[00:03:37.740]and internal condoms are also available.
[00:03:40.830]We also include a number of events
[00:03:42.240]as part of our programming.
[00:03:43.800]These include the History Month dinner,
[00:03:45.900]drag shows, lavender graduation
[00:03:48.420]and smaller community-building and educational events.
[00:03:53.100]Other events we run include the Gender Equity Conference,
[00:03:56.310]the Women's History Month celebration
[00:03:58.350]and the Growing Your Identity Event.
[00:04:04.860]By the end of our time today
[00:04:06.480]you will have walked away with the following objectives met.
[00:04:09.810]You'll have learned to foster
[00:04:10.920]a positive sense of self ownership and belonging.
[00:04:14.610]You'll learn about strategies
[00:04:15.870]to empower healthy masculinity.
[00:04:18.810]You'll understand barriers to seeking support from campus
[00:04:21.900]and community resources
[00:04:23.730]and you'll be able to discuss disparities
[00:04:25.740]for trans men in American society.
[00:04:32.070]As we get started, we just wanna give you a heads up
[00:04:34.530]that this presentation contains content related to rape,
[00:04:37.770]sexual assault, violence, self-harm, suicide, transphobia,
[00:04:43.500]trans misogyny, and homophobia.
[00:04:46.590]So throughout this presentation
[00:04:48.180]we encourage you to take care of yourself as you need to.
[00:04:53.160]Social constructs are a concept in which humans agree
[00:04:55.950]on something existing based off social interactions.
[00:04:59.190]An example of this would be the agreement
[00:05:01.020]on the value of money
[00:05:02.370]and the difference in value between a one dollar bill
[00:05:04.560]and a hundred dollar bill.
[00:05:06.210]Both are just simple pieces of paper
[00:05:08.280]but we have agreed as a society
[00:05:09.900]in them being assigned a different monetary value.
[00:05:13.110]The idea of social constructs plays
[00:05:14.760]into our discussion today about masculinity
[00:05:17.280]because society gives different messages
[00:05:19.260]of what masculinity looks like,
[00:05:21.210]and this can lead to harmful consequences in men
[00:05:23.490]and masculine folks.
[00:05:26.100]As we begin to discuss the experiences of men
[00:05:28.320]and masculine folks,
[00:05:29.700]it's important to review the problems they can face.
[00:05:32.700]First, did you know that 51%
[00:05:35.060]of trans men have reported attempting suicide,
[00:05:39.510]that men are four times more likely to die
[00:05:42.060]by suicide compared to women?
[00:05:44.640]That 79% of violent crimes are committed by men,
[00:05:48.660]that men are two times as likely to abuse
[00:05:50.700]or become dependent on drugs and alcohol,
[00:05:53.880]and that 97% of mass shootings are committed by men.
[00:05:58.500]Next, we'll discuss gender roles and stereotypes.
[00:06:02.370]Like many other identities,
[00:06:04.050]intersecting identities can play a role
[00:06:06.000]in the stereotypes placed on men.
[00:06:08.430]These intersecting identities can include
[00:06:10.860]but are not limited to,
[00:06:12.480]race, class, culture, sexuality, and religion.
[00:06:17.790]The different combination of identities
[00:06:19.590]in different settings can have an impact
[00:06:21.690]on how an individual's individuality
[00:06:24.180]and masculinity is treated and perceived.
[00:06:28.560]As we look to build healthy masculinity,
[00:06:30.930]it's important to recognize
[00:06:32.280]and unpack the stereotypical qualities that make a real man.
[00:06:36.450]These different stereotypes include the following:
[00:06:39.300]do not cry openly or express emotions.
[00:06:42.570]Do not express weakness or fear.
[00:06:45.270]Demonstrate power and control, especially over women.
[00:06:49.440]Real men must be aggressive and dominant.
[00:06:52.320]Real men must be the protector and provide.
[00:06:55.950]Do not be like a woman and do not be like a gay man,
[00:06:59.430]and that real men cannot be feminine.
[00:07:02.100]By building awareness of these stereotypes
[00:07:04.140]and how they play into your life,
[00:07:05.640]you can build awareness in the ways
[00:07:07.230]in which you challenge them.
[00:07:10.680]While we list out and learn about these stereotypes,
[00:07:12.900]it's important that we take time to reflect
[00:07:14.820]how these impact men.
[00:07:16.590]So what do men and masculine folks deal with?
[00:07:21.240]masculine individuals are faced with isolation
[00:07:23.820]and competitiveness, loneliness
[00:07:26.280]and lack of friendship with other men
[00:07:28.680]because the message of masculinity is to not ask for help,
[00:07:31.560]and to prioritize autonomy, it can take away opportunities
[00:07:34.980]for genuine connection with others.
[00:07:37.950]Third, men and masculine folks may deal
[00:07:40.200]with over emotional dependence on women.
[00:07:42.810]In a heterosexual relationship.
[00:07:44.910]This could look like a man using his female partners
[00:07:47.790]to meet all his emotional needs,
[00:07:50.460]such as immediately turning to his partner
[00:07:52.200]in times of emotional distress
[00:07:54.030]before using his own coping skills.
[00:07:57.660]The fourth thing that men
[00:07:58.650]and masculine folks might deal with
[00:08:00.390]is a lack of positive masculine identity.
[00:08:03.330]The ideals of toxic masculinity can cause them
[00:08:05.910]to associate masculinity with negative traits,
[00:08:09.360]which can build into a negative view of identity.
[00:08:13.350]And last in our list is masculine folks
[00:08:15.540]and men can deal with cycles of control, depression
[00:08:18.960]and inappropriate expression of anger.
[00:08:21.660]Not expressing emotions can lead to a decreased knowledge
[00:08:24.390]of how to cope with emotions leading to these outcomes.
[00:08:29.130]Next, let's discuss toxic masculinity.
[00:08:32.880]In our time together today, we'll define toxic masculinity
[00:08:36.810]as cultural pressures for men to behave in a certain way.
[00:08:40.530]The notion that some people's ideas of manliness
[00:08:43.110]perpetuates domination, homophobia, and aggression.
[00:08:46.890]When unchecked, toxic masculinity can lead to a list
[00:08:50.160]of negative impacts in one's life, we'll explore these next.
[00:08:55.680]toxic masculinity can lead to bullying, school discipline,
[00:08:59.430]domestic violence, sexual assault, risky behavior
[00:09:03.420]and a lack of genuine connections with others.
[00:09:07.020]A tool for combating these negative outcomes
[00:09:09.480]is taking time to develop a healthy masculinity.
[00:09:13.440]As we build mindful masculinity,
[00:09:15.540]there are five tenets that we'll build upon.
[00:09:17.880]Our first is awareness.
[00:09:19.500]Start by being aware of yourself, others,
[00:09:22.230]and the larger systems you are operating in.
[00:09:25.200]Our second is connection,
[00:09:26.820]which involves understanding oneself
[00:09:28.800]and how your individual lives touch the lives of others,
[00:09:31.950]which builds community.
[00:09:34.230]Our third is accountability,
[00:09:35.820]in which we're making sure to stay aware
[00:09:37.650]and open to non-judgmental curiosity.
[00:09:40.650]Our fourth tenet, empathy,
[00:09:42.540]involves seeing the struggles of others
[00:09:44.340]and finding commonality and co feeling.
[00:09:47.700]And our last tenet is solidarity.
[00:09:49.890]Recognizing that another person struggles is yours as well
[00:09:53.070]to be in solidarity with them.
[00:09:56.220]As part of developing mindful masculinity
[00:09:58.650]is creating an emotional intelligence toolkit.
[00:10:01.680]As men and masculine folks,
[00:10:03.600]the toolkit they may have been given is to not cry
[00:10:06.660]and show emotions,
[00:10:08.070]and that the only emotions permissible is to show
[00:10:11.310]are those involving anger and frustration.
[00:10:14.280]The step to break away from this
[00:10:15.750]is to develop the emotional intelligence toolkit.
[00:10:18.900]The steps in our toolkit will involve learning
[00:10:20.820]to quickly relieve stress, building emotional intelligence,
[00:10:24.570]meditating or conducting a breathing exercise
[00:10:27.390]and continuing to practice these developed skills.
[00:10:30.750]Our first step in our emotional intelligence toolkit
[00:10:33.210]is finding ways to quickly relieve stress.
[00:10:35.970]Stress can exacerbate other emotions such as anger,
[00:10:39.570]and make them more difficult to cope with.
[00:10:42.150]By identifying ways to cope with stress,
[00:10:44.310]the severity of other emotions may be lessened.
[00:10:47.640]So first, we may want to look
[00:10:48.930]at ways to cope with stress in the long term.
[00:10:51.660]This can help in lessening the instances
[00:10:53.850]where we feel overwhelming instances of stress.
[00:10:56.880]These types of coping skills are ones you can incorporate
[00:10:59.370]into your daily routine, such as prioritizing sleep,
[00:11:02.940]getting in regular physical activity
[00:11:04.770]and focusing on problems within your control.
[00:11:07.950]Second is learning to quickly relieve stress as it arises.
[00:11:11.520]Some strategies for this include practicing deep breathing,
[00:11:14.940]getting in physical activity, playing with the pet,
[00:11:18.660]giving yourself a hand massage,
[00:11:20.640]and writing down what stress you're feeling.
[00:11:23.430]Trying these strategies
[00:11:24.570]and others out,
[00:11:25.403]can be a great way in coping in stressful situations.
[00:11:29.550]As we discuss emotional intelligence,
[00:11:31.740]there are four different attributes that compose it.
[00:11:34.470]The first is self-management.
[00:11:36.360]This is the ability to control impulsive feelings
[00:11:38.760]and behaviors and managing your emotions in healthy ways.
[00:11:42.630]The second is self-awareness, recognizing your own emotions
[00:11:46.320]and how they affect your thoughts and behavior.
[00:11:49.230]Then we have social awareness
[00:11:50.970]which is understanding the emotions, needs
[00:11:52.800]and concerns of other people and recognizing power dynamics.
[00:11:57.060]Our fourth and final attribute is relationship management.
[00:12:00.630]The ability to develop
[00:12:01.830]and maintain good relationships,
[00:12:03.720]communicate clearly and work well on a team.
[00:12:07.260]Oftentimes, emotions such as anger
[00:12:09.390]and irritation are caused by other emotions
[00:12:12.000]that we may be feeling.
[00:12:13.560]For example, I may feel anger on the surface,
[00:12:16.440]but underneath the anger, I'm feeling disappointed
[00:12:19.020]or hurt because of how someone treated me.
[00:12:21.870]In learning to cope with this anger
[00:12:23.640]I can address the underlying problem
[00:12:25.620]which is disappointment.
[00:12:28.140]To assist in identifying these underlying emotions,
[00:12:30.660]we can use tools such as a feelings wheel.
[00:12:33.450]A feelings wheel is a great tool
[00:12:34.920]for expanding our emotional vocabulary.
[00:12:37.920]With a feelings wheel, we can identify the first emotion
[00:12:41.280]which is written in the center,
[00:12:43.290]and get more specific as we move towards the outside.
[00:12:48.090]the initial feeling I may be experiencing is bad,
[00:12:51.150]in response to managing lots of homework assignments.
[00:12:54.810]This emotion word is seen in the center in green.
[00:12:58.230]When I move to the middle ring
[00:12:59.820]I see more descriptive words other than the word bad,
[00:13:02.820]such as stressed and tired.
[00:13:05.400]As I sit with how I feel,
[00:13:07.260]I may further identify that I feel stressed.
[00:13:10.380]Then as we move to the outermost ring of the feelings wheel,
[00:13:13.980]we can see that overwhelmed
[00:13:15.270]and out of control are words provided
[00:13:17.490]to be more specific than stress.
[00:13:20.130]With our example, I may feel
[00:13:21.870]that all my homework assignments are a lot to manage,
[00:13:24.660]and I may pick the word overwhelmed to describe my emotion.
[00:13:28.620]Now that I've identified that I'm feeling overwhelmed,
[00:13:31.500]I can make a plan to manage this feeling,
[00:13:33.540]such as making a plan to tackle my assignments,
[00:13:36.960]or scheduling my day in my calendar.
[00:13:40.530]Another way to be mindful
[00:13:41.610]of our emotions is identifying what we feel
[00:13:44.190]in our body with our emotions.
[00:13:46.500]To do a body scan,
[00:13:47.790]we take a pause to identify any emotional, physical,
[00:13:51.330]mental sensations that arise in how those present.
[00:13:54.810]To do this, we first begin
[00:13:56.460]by sitting or lying in a comfortable position.
[00:13:59.460]Next, you can either close your eyes
[00:14:01.470]or keep them open, whichever you prefer.
[00:14:04.800]Then take a few breaths
[00:14:06.510]and focus on your breathing as you breathe in and out.
[00:14:11.070]As you start your body scan,
[00:14:12.780]start from the far end of your body at your feet
[00:14:15.570]and work your way towards your head.
[00:14:18.390]As you partake in your body scan, thoughts may come,
[00:14:21.750]but just treat them as if you walked by a person
[00:14:23.940]in the park.
[00:14:25.230]You can say hi to the person as you pass each other
[00:14:28.200]but do not need to engage in conversation.
[00:14:31.350]Similar with your thoughts,
[00:14:32.970]you can acknowledge they're there, but not engage.
[00:14:36.750]Doing a body scan can make you aware
[00:14:38.580]of the physical sensations of your emotions
[00:14:40.920]and give them less control in your reaction.
[00:14:44.730]As we identify our emotions
[00:14:46.290]and become aware of how they feel,
[00:14:48.540]using additional tools like a mood chart
[00:14:50.730]can help you be aware of patterns in your emotions
[00:14:53.250]and what provokes different feelings.
[00:14:55.260]There are a number of different free
[00:14:56.520]and paid apps that can be helpful in this.
[00:14:59.070]These apps include PTSD Coach,
[00:15:01.710]an app geared towards military service members,
[00:15:04.800]Daylio, Moodfit, MoodTools, and Mindshift CBT.
[00:15:10.380]As we discussed earlier, one of the messages resulting
[00:15:13.260]from toxic masculinity is that men can make advancements
[00:15:16.560]or moves without first receiving a yes.
[00:15:19.110]However, these actions are all done
[00:15:20.760]without the consent of other people.
[00:15:23.040]Consent comes in many different forms.
[00:15:25.050]There are not only for bedroom or sexual acts.
[00:15:28.050]It can look like bodily autonomy or healthy conversations,
[00:15:31.740]it can also be respecting a person's yes or no.
[00:15:34.680]No matter what the question is, yes
[00:15:36.600]and no are complete sentences.
[00:15:39.720]In addition to developing an emotional toolkit,
[00:15:42.300]another step for men is to identify
[00:15:44.040]their areas of privilege.
[00:15:45.660]Examples of privilege, men
[00:15:46.980]and masculine folks may experience
[00:15:48.990]include being much less likely to be afraid of walking alone
[00:15:52.170]in the dark, being paid more for doing the same job,
[00:15:56.160]not having the capability of their ability
[00:15:59.490]to make decisions,
[00:16:00.720]be questioned by what time of the month it is,
[00:16:03.930]not fearing getting into a cab or ride share
[00:16:06.900]not fearing their drink will be drugged at a bar,
[00:16:09.990]and having the privilege to not be aware of male privilege.
[00:16:14.460]It's also important to note
[00:16:15.870]that these privileges may be new to trans men,
[00:16:18.660]depending where they are in their transition.
[00:16:23.040]Now that we've built awareness
[00:16:24.330]on the different ways privilege can look for men,
[00:16:26.760]we can look at how to incorporate this awareness
[00:16:29.010]into healthy masculinity.
[00:16:31.080]These ways include identifying your privilege
[00:16:33.420]and how it gives you an advantage, undertaking the hardships
[00:16:36.900]and aggression that other people face,
[00:16:39.330]support others who do not have your advantages.
[00:16:42.840]just simply acknowledging the hardships of others.
[00:16:46.020]Asking for help does not make you less of a man.
[00:16:48.810]Understand that you are not alone in your struggles,
[00:16:51.300]and that you're not defined by whatever problem it is
[00:16:53.550]that you're facing.
[00:16:54.840]Being well is doing well.
[00:16:56.970]When you ask for help
[00:16:58.320]you're combating the stigmas that men can't ask for help
[00:17:01.350]and that they need to be facing everything alone,
[00:17:04.530]and know that there are resources available to you for,
[00:17:06.780]and for you to receive them.
[00:17:08.730]Thank you for tuning in
[00:17:09.930]and we hope to see you at one of our future presentations.
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