The rules for "acting like a man"; the mentality, behaviors and restrictions that many men and boys are socialized to conform to. These tenets of the "cult of masculinity" are both symptoms and enablers of Dominator Culture
. They can be so pervasive as to be almost invisible; yet they lead men to disrespect, mistreat, and abuse women and each other.
THE MAN BOX
Demonstrate power/control (especially over women)
Aggression - Dominance - yell - intimidate
Do not cry openly or express emotions (except for anger)
Do not express weakness or fear - "take it"
Don't back down - don't make mistakes
Do not be "like a woman"
Have lots of sex with women - "conquests"
Do not be "like a gay man"
Make Decisions - Never ask for help
Women viewed as property/objects (especially sexual objects)
(Based largely on Tony Porter's TED talk "A Call to Men")
This is the love of my life, my daughter Jay. The world I envision for her -- how do I want men to be acting and behaving? ... I need you working with me and me working with you on how we raise our sons and teach them to be men -- that it's okay to not be dominating, that it's okay to have feelings and emotions, that it's okay to promote equality, that it's okay to have women who are just friends and that's it, that it's okay to be whole, that my liberation as a man is tied to your liberation as a woman.
I remember asking a nine-year-old boy ... "What would life be like for you, if you didn't have to adhere to this man box?" He said to me, "I would be free."