What is the impact of patriarchy on present-day adolescent males?

The negative impact of patriarchy on women is widely accepted, however, I would argue that patriarchy is equally as destructive for men. It is my opinion that patriarchy is a life sentence given to men at birth and is unwanted by the majority. The relentless pressure to live up to the unrealistic male stereotype is too much for some, with men in the UK being three times more likely to end their own life than women. 

There have been many positive advancements in regard to challenging the female stereotype; while some men, currently living in a state of flux, are resisting change, clinging onto a nostalgic past when men’s authority went unchallenged. It is now possible to look our daughters in the eye and tell them, honestly, they can be anything; however, the same cannot be said for our sons. A society still governed by patriarchy, prevents men and boys from achieving their full potential and living a rewarding, fulfilled life.         

In recent years, society has put masculinity under the spotlight, with concerns being raised by various academics, artists and celebrities. Unfortunately, the movement tends to favour highlighting the toxic side to masculinity, pushing the notion that all men are to blame, or at least are beneficiaries of a patriarchal society. Whereas, I would argue, that only a small proportion of men are bettered by patriarchy, while the rest are destined to live out their life feeling inadequately masculine and due to the rules governing masculinity, they feel unable to express their feelings.

It is still true today that marketers exploit the notion of masculinity with the intention of profit. Toys are heavily focussed towards boys and girls, with products such as Lego, which promote spacial awareness, being aimed at boys, while the role-playing dolls pushed towards girls. It is then no surprise that boys typically grow up aspiring to be engineers or scientists and the girls homemakers. Societal roles in nurturing our young extend deeper than a naïve argument of pink or blue; the way in which we tell our boys that they should favour power, control and dominance over emotions or tolerance, encourages boys to develop a strong sense of entitlement, which can be responsible for a life of violence, sexual abuse or misogyny, something which is supported in numerous academic writings.      

It is my opinion that men are raised to resent weakness, whether female, other males or in themselves; it is through my body of work, I will attempt to address these issues by creating a discourse around the subject of masculinity, focussing on the negative impact of patriarchy on the next generation of men.

If you would like to support me with this project, please visit my Go Fund Me page. 

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