Kelly-Ange Irakoze – Burundi

  • January 6, 2021 at 10:39 am #3037
    Huong Nguyen

    1. Stereotypes and Cultures that hurt males

    Whilst there are stereotypes that inflict great harm on the male psyche, there are some cultures that ingrain a specific response from males. Whether that males may not show emotion in a public platform, or a specific stigma about visiting a psychologist for help with mental health issues, a man is a human and deserves to be treated like such. However, this also means that there may be tension amongst males and females regarding the stereotypes that afflict males during their daily lives.

    It is with this in mind that we would like to probe further and listen to your input as Kectil Colleagues and the Kectil Generation, especially with regards to how these stereotypes and cultures can be identified and dealt with in a way that brings to life real life issues and emotions that Males are able to express openly.

    According to the Journal of Counseling Psychology, men who buy into traditional gender norms are less likely to seek out mental health support when they need it. They are also more likely to have poor outcomes from prescribed treatment when they seek help, because these mental roadblocks on what a “real man” should be doing often prevents them from fully engaging in treatment – a real detriment in any way that it is perceived.

    Please watch these two videos by Ben Hurst and Conner Beaton for a clearer vision:
    In this assignment, we also attach the article “Traditional Gender Role Beliefs and Career Attainment in STEM: A Gendered Story?” by Anna-Lena Dicke, Nayssan Safavian and Jacquelynne S. Eccles to provide you some perspectives.
    a. What male stereotypes can you identify within your immediate community? Explain why you believe these are stereotypes. (less than 200 words)
    b. What measures do you believe can be instituted in order to ensure that these stereotypes can be broken down? (less than 400 words)
    c. How do you think we can change the points of view of older generations in order to see the harm that male stereotypes are having on the younger generations’ mental health? (less than 400 words)

    2. Healthy versus Toxic masculinity

    Healthy masculinity comes from a developed and connected place, one of compassion and strength. There are several foundational elements, including grounding, presence, emotional awareness, emotional release, self-love, and compassion. Healthy masculinity exists in a man who is both grounded and present, who is aware of and able to feel and process his emotions. It exists in a man who has compassion for others and the world, and therefore has some measure of self-love. Healthy masculinity sees challenges in the world and then looks within for the solution. This man is capable of loving himself and therefore has extra love to give to others. His default is to give, not take.
    Contrastingly, unhealthy masculinity exists in a man who is unable to feel most of his emotions and who buries them instead of expressing or processing them. It exists in a man who has little compassion for others and the world and who does not love himself. This man has a fragile ego structure in place of self-love and blames others for his problems instead of looking within. This man attaches to others for support and may appear to love them, but actually just needs them. His default is to take, not give.

    a. Do you believe that toxic masculinity is still evident within today’s society? Please substantiate your answer. (less than 300 words).

    Toxic masculinity is still evident within today’s society by looking just at the fact that there are employers who decline job application of females because they think that they will be on permanent maternity leave, in some societies girls are not allowed to inherit from family’s wealth, worse fact they are not allowed to attend school, house chores are more perceived as girls’ responsibilities than men’s responsibilities. Those are some of the few examples that depict the picture of toxic masculinity in today’s societies.

    b. Can toxic masculinity be unlearnt? Please elaborate on your answer (less than 200 words).

    I believe that this can be unlearnt although it can take long as shifting one’s mindset cannot happen in one night. However, for this to happen everyone must understand that s/he has a role to play. Policies can be changed but as long as the father in the house won’t understand that he has to treat his children the same way things will not change in our societies. Rather, the toxic masculinity will keep be transmitted from one generation to another.

    c. How, as a Kectil Colleague, would you go about shifting the narrative from toxic to healthy masculinity? (less than 300 words)

    I can shift the narrative by understanding that the change starts with me and have the responsibility of walking the talk as a way of preaching my surrounding.

    d. What do you believe the benefits of integrating a sense of healthy masculinity into a community are? (less than 200 words)

    I believe that any community that has evolved; had to involve all its members so for the sake of achieving sustainable development gender equality can not be undermined. Thus, the need of striving for healthy masculinity within our communities.

    e. How do you believe we can enhance healthy masculinity practices within our communities, especially in the context of lockdown and the pandemic? (less than 300 words)

    I think some levels of sensitisation are needed on this, the same way they put efforts in the dissemination of messages about the prevention measures, they should incorporate some of the key messages on the subject in the sensitisations.

    3. How Males can use their innate skills to protect females and advance/improve society

    While masculinity and femininity can be perceived as biological concepts, they are rather social constructs and differ from one culture to another. Community development requires both the efforts of men and women, but men and boys play an important part not only in achieving gender equity but in other political and economic affairs as well.
    Males are especially well-positioned to supporting women and development. By virtue of the massive circulation of testosterone in male bodies and the vast amount of muscles, they are relatively stronger than women in terms of physical activity. On the other hand, women have been found to live longer than men and are more resistant to infections. According to a WHO report, in 2016, the global life expectancy was 74.2 years for females and 69.8 years for males.

    a. What natural abilities do you think men have to support females and transform the community? (not more than 100 words)

    Men are called to be women’s partners as there are some abilities, they have got that can be used to supplement women’s efforts in their strive for development. In a context of construction, women can not for instance lift blocs of stones but thanks to men’s muscles they can be of great support on this.

    b. Comment on how males are using their natural abilities in your community (not more than 150 words)

    Experience has shown that development projects can not succeed without the involvement of both parties. From the previous example, we learnt that a school cannot be built up to its completion without the participation of men. So, we try to involve them as much as possible. It is always good to identify the abilities of everyone and use them to the best.

    c. The world has seen great milestones in the area of women empowerment. This came with a shift in roles among men and women. What impacts do you see women liberation movements have on males in your society? (less than 500 words)

    Men feel threatened by the movements as a negative thing that came to shake their comfort zones.

    d. Single out an outstanding young male in your country/ region who you believe is putting their abilities to good use. Write about what this person is doing (with facts) and why you chose them among the many (less than 300 words)

    I can nominate here my father who has done tremendous work by striving to give same chances to both of us his children.

    e. How do you think women and men can work together to develop the community they live in? (not more than 200 words)

    I think identifying everyone’s abilities and how this can be conjugated to others ‘efforts is key before calling for a collaboration. I, then, would suggest that everyone should be conscious that s/he has something to contribute towards the development of his/her community.

    f. What shape should an ideal women liberation movement in the contemporary world take Physical ability (less than 200 words)

    I think that calling each other trash or any rude name won’t take us anywhere. The focus should rather be put on actions that will bring any advancement in this battle. I can suggest here to have open discussions with all the parties where they will get to name all the things that keep us behind and how this can be dealt with. This can help us to draw actionable plans.
    Assemble 4-6 of your peers between the ages 18-26 for a discussion session that you lead on the situation of male roles in society in your country. Although the lockdown order may have been relaxed in some countries, we do not want any of you to risk your health. Please do not organize face-to-face panel discussions. We highly recommend you to do online meetings on Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp or alternative channels convenient for you.

    Discuss the following and submit a short report of the outcome.
    Over the past two years, Kectil has run the male promise leaders’ campaign in order to ensure that men are held accountable to both their actions, as well as educating other men on how to break destructive stereotypes whilst establishing prosperity within their communities. It is such a good time to be a part of the Kectil Generation, especially as the Male Promise consists of very important, and for some uncomfortable, discussions. To give you some context, this is what the Kectil Male Promise entails:

    i) When you see a female you find attractive, you must ask yourself this VERY important question. “If I am with this female and she gets pregnant, would I be willing to take care of her and the baby with a full commitment?” If the answer is no, then put your hands in your pocket and walk away.
    ii) I agree not to hit or physically or mentally attack a female.
    iii) I agree to keep my eyes open as a protector to identify situations in which a female is at risk and will try to take reasonable steps to help if possible.
    iv) I will encourage other males to take the Kectil Promise Leaders Pledge.

    a. Does the panel agree with this pledge?
    b. How would you go about encouraging males to take the ‘Kectil Male Promise?’
    c. What do you believe can be added to the Male Promise, and why?

    d. What responsible steps do you believe are constituted in facilitating other females who find themselves in risky situations?

    Note. I tried to reach out to other peers via social media, but I could not get their feedback before the due date. I apologise for this. I prefer then not to share my own opinions.

    • This topic was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by Huong Nguyen.

The forum ‘Assignment 4’ is closed to new topics and replies.