Posted in Gender, Mental Health

“Vulnerability is the new Macho”

Good Men Project does seem to get its act together sometimes, yet there is still too much feminist-oriented content for my liking. A site by, for and about men should not focus primarily on women and women’s needs – it should be about addressing male-specific problems without feeling the need to pander to women in general or feminists in particular.

But anyway, I had to roll my eyes at this article that suggests that “vulnerability is the new macho“. I am a big critic of imposed macho culture just as I am a critic of feminist expectations for men to be more like women. Therefore, I feel I should support articles like this, except there is one major issue.

Once again, it fails to address the issue of men’s needs in mental health issues. We are addressing men’s issues and men’s mental health as if it somehow primarily concerns other people and other people’s acceptance of men’s emotional expression – not men themselves. It also primarily blames men as a collective and a very generic “society” while conveniently ignoring the “Real Man” expectations of the other 50% of the human species.

Women are not primarily responsible for this, but men aren’t either and neither is “society” in general. However, it must be noted that it’s crass to only focus on two of these elements and ignore the other in order to avoid offending a section of your readership.

male vulnerability has become en vogue

Oh good, I’m pleased I have the permission not to fit others’ expectations of me.

Bottling it up never fails to blow up in your face one way or the other. It might not result in suicide, but you can fight against yourself for only so long. You either get real, or you become a husk. Guarded, fake, half-baked.

It’s our own fault apparently. Nothing to do with the very real double-bind that everyone places us in. Yes, ourselves included.

Unless you’re a robot, you are going to have some shit to deal with. And if you can find someone, romantically or not, to be real with, to be vulnerable with, that’s going to help you kick ass in life! Or you can Hulk out! Ask Bruce Banner how that’s working out for him.

That’s all very well and good, and something I have been saying on here for a long time now. But you are not addressing the source of the problem and turning it back against the sufferer: “victim blaming” if you will. You are also ignoring how critically we are judged in being expressive, particularly insults about our sexuality and unattractiveness to women – something that everybody is equally to blame and something for which we are all equally responsible.

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Author:

I go by the name of Frank Speaking. My blog "In the Mind of Men" (former name Chin Up, Chest High) started out as a chronicle of my mental health recovery. Now it is a forum where I discuss issues related to male mental health.

2 thoughts on ““Vulnerability is the new Macho”

    1. I think the site is improving again, but it is a lot less about men’s issues than it used to be.

      We need a rational and reasonable male advocacy voice that isn’t the MRA’s narrow right-wing view.

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