The article “How Men Get Penalised for Straying from Masculine Norms,” by David M. Mayer, is focused on how men are punished or mistreated when they exhibit norms that are not thought of as being masculine, such as when they show vulnerability, act nicer, show empathy, express sadness, show modesty, or declare that they are feminists. This is problematic because it deters guys from working in a way that might benefit their teams and careers. Conversely, when women exhibit standards that go against their gender stereotypes, they are perceived as less acceptable.
To assist men and their teams in performing better and fostering a culture that promotes gender equality, the article offers solutions to this issue. It first argues that organizations are responsible for ensuring men are not punished for engaging in these behaviors. Recognizing and applauding males who act positively is also a good idea. Men who exhibit these “nice guy” traits must be well-liked by their organizations’ leadership. Additionally, given the numerous advantages of humility, businesses should foster a culture where men who exhibit humility are valued. Corporate leaders may support men by sharing tales of how their vulnerability improved the company’s performance.
Thirdly, students need to learn more about gender norms in general. Focusing on how gender stereotypes about women and men affect expectations for their behavior is one strategy to deal with this problem. Organizations should also not “gender police.” Gender policing means imposing normative gender expressions in terms of behavior or appearance. Workplaces that allow for authentic expression in terms of dress and demeanor will be more attractive to employees, especially millennials. It is a necessary time to encourage a more modern form of masculinity. Organizations can and should celebrate traditional aspects of masculinity, such as responsibility, assertiveness, competitiveness, compassion, humility, and kindness. This is not only the right thing to do but will also create an environment where men, women, and organizations will thrive.
Strengths and Weaknesses of the Arguments Presented
I agree with most of the points highlighted by the article as they reflect the current state of affairs that affect the male gender in workplaces. Men have had to adjust their personalities to fit the ‘requirement’ of being entirely masculine to impress their workmates and employers. Some individuals go up to the extent of not participating in the decision-making process, fearing that their opinions may not be masculine enough as society requires. With the vast amount of research the author has highlighted, the points are agreeable and entirely accurate.
According to research, men also encounter resistance when they reject patriarchal gender norms and exhibit traits associated with women, such as sensitivity, kindness, empathy, melancholy, and modesty (David, 2018). This point is quite strong as it is true according to my personal experience. I have been in several product promotion projects and experienced how the male gender is treated weirdly due to employers requiring them to show their masculine traits. An instance is when clients become too harsh or violent when we approach them. The team leaders would receive these complaints but tell the male employees to be strong and not pose such complaints since they were men and shake off the fear.
On the other hand, the female employees would be advised to avoid approaching any clients that appeared violent or unfriendly. Additionally, an article by Dennis Velco (2018) states that men who identify as heterosexual might experience discrimination similarly just by being seen as kind, a little effeminate, or generally not macho manly. Letting others know where they stand on feminism, being a kind man, revealing vulnerability, demonstrating empathy for others, expressing melancholy, and being modest are some traits in males that are seen as effeminate.
To top on this, regardless of the person’s actual sexual orientation, a University of Surrey study found that anyone, male or female, might risk facing being less likely to be recruited, paid less, and not promoted simply by the way they seem and the sound of their voice. This can be detrimental to a person’s career and the company’s ability to progress since it deters men from acting in ways known to increase teamwork and productivity. The author has genuinely outlined a strong point on this matter.
David M. Mayer also gives several strong points of traits that most workplaces deem contradictory to masculinity, such include showing vulnerability, being more sociable, displaying empathy, expressing sadness, exhibiting modesty, and being a feminist or feminine. In most social setups, these traits are highly discriminated against when displayed by the male gender. It is common to hear sayings like, Hello, friend! Why do you act so delicately? You appear very girly, huh? “Bro! How come you are crying? “Why do you constantly get along with ladies instead of men? “, “Hahaha a mewling girl wannabe now? Do you have anything to say to us? Society has related weakness and vulnerability to the female gender and strength to the male gender to the point that this toxic masculinity hurts most individuals socially, politically, and economically.
Each person in society will undoubtedly view the situation differently. Hearing those statements from others is undoubtedly depressing and disheartening; it saps one’s self-confidence and causes one to feel alienated, alone, and unlike others (Change.org. 2023). The author also strongly suggests ending toxic masculinity and states that organizations should celebrate men who engage in positive behaviors and train more broadly about gender stereotypes and not gender police (David, 2018). I feel that it is high time that society stops the toxic masculine culture and starts accepting that everyone is unique in their way. It was never necessary to rant about the reasoning behind why some individuals act that way or why other people do not.
The idea of masculinity as it exists today also has to evolve. Doing so will drastically reduce intolerance and the number of closed-minded individuals who only seek pleasure in demeaning others. Everyone intentionally coexists with one another, but this does not mean that we automatically have the highest credibility to doubt how other people present themselves to the world irrationally (Harrington, 2021). These aspects need to be translated to workplaces too. As the author says, workplaces that allow for authentic expression in terms of dress and demeanor will be more attractive to employees, especially millennials (David, 2018). It is a necessary time to encourage a more modern form of masculinity. Organizations can and should celebrate traditional aspects of masculinity, such as responsibility, assertiveness, competitiveness, compassion, humility, and kindness.
The points given by the author display no form of weakness at any point. The facts are true and accurate and supported by other research material used in this article review.
David M. Mayer has outlined how men are punished or mistreated when they exhibit norms that are not considered masculine, such as when they show vulnerability, act nicer, show empathy, express sadness, show modesty, or declare that they are feminists. Given the above-mentioned strong point, this piece is highly appealing. It depicts the dilemma that exists in both society and the workplace. To impress their coworkers and bosses, males have had to change their personalities to conform to the “requirement” of being entirely masculine. Some people even go as far as to abstain from decision-making out of concern that their viewpoints would not be sufficiently manly by societal expectations. Everyone must attempt to combat this toxic masculinity.
Change.org. (2023.). Sign the petition
David M. Mayer, (2018). How Men Get Penalized for Straying from Masculine Norms
Dennis Velco, (2018). Studies Show Men Get Penalized for Not Holding to Masculine Norms in the Office
Harrington, C. (2021). What is “toxic masculinity” and why does it matter? Men and Masculinities, 24(2), 345-352.