Masculinity: Gender and Violence Essay

2138 Words9 Pages
Being a male in today’s society is not about living and enjoyment, it has become more of a task. Social pressures and media have made it difficult for males to live a life in which they are not being pressured to act or perform a certain way. In order to reassure themselves of their masculinity, violence has become the main method in assuring themselves and those around them that they are powerful. Not only is this violence being perpetrated against others, but self-inflicted violence also exists. The violence being used is not only physical but it is emotional abuse as well. Masculinity has forced many males to perform in ways that are detrimental to their own health as well as their loved ones. Furthermore, it has also put males in the…show more content…
The definition of masculinity shows young males that in order to be respected, power must be applied upon others and intimidation is the only method of gaining this respect. Through the use of this power and intimidation, females are often oppressed and kept under the control of men. Woman has need of the male in order to gain human dignity, to eat, to enjoy life, to procreate; it is through the service of sex that she gets these benefits; because she is confined to that function, she is wholly an instrumentality of exploitation (De Beauvoir, 360). Males use power over women to reassure their manliness and to portray their masculinity. This violence is not only present in households. It is also present in masculinity versus nature in a capitalist society, where the environment must be altered and destroyed for economic gains. It appears that violence against nature-that is, the impossible and disastrous drive to dominate and conquer the natural world-is integrally connected with domination among humans (Kaufman, 7). Another example of showing this power is through rape and sexual abuse. Through rape, men display their dominance in the most violent and gruesome ways. As Kaufman notes, in the testimonies of rapists on hears over and over again expressions of inferiority, powerlessness, anger (15). By committing this crime, males display their physical strength upon the victim and this is what masculinity is defined as, a display of power and
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