By MARK GREENE
We have all heard it said, over and over, that many men do not share their feelings. That these men can be good friends, husbands and lovers but that they remain, on some level, hidden.
That they do not communicate feelings well. The tendency to remain emotionally guarded is a matter of practical survival that men learn early in life.
They are taught that revealing their feelings is not safe. It is dangerous. It will cost them. It is result of a culture of male emotional withdrawal reinforced by generations of male traditions which value toughness and stoicism over communication and emotional connection.
While millions of men are choosing to try to move beyond these archaic ideas of what it is to be a man, millions more continue to endorse outmoded and emotionally limiting ideas of what it means to be a father, a lover, or a husband.
Leaving many men trapped in gender roles that are often brutally enforced by other men, women and sometimes, their own families. But whether one is attempting to move past old ideas or not, all of us continue to be haunted by fears born out of generations old ideas of manhood.
One result of this ongoing emotional suppression of men, is that our public dialogues (that of both men and women) are increasingly angry and binary, indicating that although both sexes are still invested on some level in our culture’s more archaic gender roles, no one’s all that happy with them anymore.