Bonnie Support Services

Bonnie Support Services

What is a “Real Man”?

Recently Malcolm Turnbull said in a speech that “real men don’t hit women”. Whilst his intention may be noble, this idea of what a “real man” is, is at the heart of the issue of domestic violence. These traditional notions of masculinity are crippling us.

This recent blog is a very interesting read on this subject. It highlights the negative effects of having a standard of “manliness”.

We won’t stop violence against women by promoting gender stereotypes. The man least likely to hit or abuse a woman is someone who doesn’t care if he’s a “real man” or not. He’s found fulfilling relationships that don’t depend on other people’s assessments of his masculinity.

Dismantling these stereotypes will not be easy, educating our children would be a great start. Boys who are freed from these limiting expectations can go on to create positive, equal relationships.

It does not help that women’s bodies are commodities used by corporations to sell everything from cars to chocolate bars.

“Violence corrodes relationships and leaves men alienated, confused and dependent on empty macho displays for a momentary sense of self-esteem. That’s the cost of worrying constantly about being a ‘real man’”.

Until we also address these issues will we ever get to equality? Maybe it’s time we turned instead to a discussion of what makes a “real human”?

Written by Marryanne.

Photo: Eddie Jim.

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