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Humans tend to adapt to their surroundings and work under the influence of their environment. It is a common fact that we humans are actively evolving and learning as the time is passing by and we take actions according to our needs and requirements. These actions define and differentiate us from each other as it is implied by the term Tough Guise. It implies that men wear a cloak of toughness and masculinity and use it to their advantage. They do that especially against women as it has been a norm for centuries. The American culture predicted that a macho man is more respected in society than a person who is not tough or strong. Most of the times children, teenagers, and young adults tend to follow these macho men more as this persona is depicted by many of the Hollywood movies. However, American culture has changed and is more different now. Masculinity is not a culture that was specifically defined by America, it is, in fact, a common norm all around the world. Men and teenage boys find themselves attracted to such cloaks of masculinity and shame others who are emotional, less manly or neutral.
The famous notion “Let boys be boys” is what needs to be addressed here. This concept has proven the fact that men learn the art of violence from their childhood. The behavior that they learn is from their surroundings and that is mostly their family. Having an abusive relationship with parents and family members from the stages of early childhood is one of the core reasons for young boys to deviate from society and commit crimes (Bell & Bayliss, 2015). A good example of it is gun shootings at schools and colleges. Letting boys be boys is still haunting our nation as the daily activities of the youth are not being monitored by parents and relatives. This kind of childhood makes them prone to becoming more violent. They learn from their parents the gruesome acts of hitting and abusing others especially women. Parents who have an abusive relationship with one another make young boys adopt this evil element. They end up having no respect whatsoever for women in society. This makes them a discriminating and sexist part of the already doomed civilization. Early childhood education is always important as it leaves a lasting impact on the life of a child. The environment in which a child is bought up in can make or break them.
The young boys and adults who have deviated from society are more prone to committing crimes. If that is not enough, they make drugs and alcohol also a part of their life. These individuals tend to become drug abusers. They commit hefty or small crimes just to get their hands on some drugs or alcohol. In society, tough guise means a man who can withstand any sort of drug and alcohol. Drug lords and underworld kingpins have been linked with drugs and alcohols (Green et al., 2016). It is a sad reality that being a tough guy means to drink and smoke. Many of the prisoners and inmates are guilty of drug abuse and especially the usage of marijuana and cocaine has been linked to the convicts. Street criminals who call themselves thugs and dons have been involved in the usage and smuggling of these drugs for many years. Their actions have been linked with masculinity because supposedly selling drugs is not a job for weak men. Science has also examined the impact of smoking marijuana on the brain. It is a known fact that smoking in public areas especially inhaling anything drug-related is termed as the deviation from the norms of a society. Alcohol, on the other hand, has been regulated in all parts of the country so it is not available to minors. Proof of identity with the legal age limit is required before a person can buy an alcoholic beverage. While other drugs are readily available, making it easier for minors to get involved in the evil of drug abuse.
Males for many centuries have been involved in most of the crimes because supposedly delinquencies make them manlier. This has been the case all around the world. Men are more prone to commit crimes rather than females. It has been labeled right from the start that a man is a person who is tougher and can take harsh steps in the face of any adversity. Men also believe that being independent makes them manlier. This cloak of masculinity is present in every single man out there, but how we use our masculinity is a different thing on a whole new level. Some men take their masculinity and toughness very seriously that they start deviating from their society. This can be related to their learning process and how they have spent their lives around people. Their gathering and friends define their use of masculinity (Ellis, 2015). It has been reported that men commit crimes against men more rather than women. It is so because evidently, men are more involved in crimes than women. Interview from prisoners and inmates have proved that toughness, being independent and not being afraid makes them more manly and this in return causes them to commit crimes. Fights at bars, games, workplaces and community gatherings, at family crowds and so on. All these acts are done by men to prove that they are masculine and that they are not afraid to take any kind of action when required. This behavior and attitude of certain men takes a massive toll on children. This fact makes them more prone to becoming violent and committing criminal acts when they grow up and even as teenagers. The suicidal acts of gun shootings have been mostly committed by boys and not by girls.
Michael Kimmel’s view: “men and their behavior is in accordance with what they learn when they are socializing,” is true. It is due to the fact that we as humans are in a constant phase of learning (Kimmel, 2017). It is evident that we as being social animals execute our plans the way we want them to be implemented. Again, the notion of “Let boys be boys” comes here as this idea depicts that we are letting young boys and minors commit something bad and no one can do anything about it. This behavior when becomes a habit and is not taken care of, makes men commit serious crimes and felonies (Hirschi, 2017). Socialization is something we cannot run away from; we make friends and peers with whom we feel comfortable. A criminal will mostly befriend an individual who has felonious tendencies. A felon will never befriend a person who follows the law, as such people are not beneficial to them. The men who wear the cloak of masculinity only consider those worthy of respect who are like them or tougher and stronger than them. It seems logical in a way that to gain another person’s respect, men wear a fake cloak of toughness and hide other aspects of their life from people around them because they are ashamed of who they are. Pleasing others and getting respect from them is something that has been around for a long time and it has ruined a lot of lives in return. It is unfortunate that men targeting women was and still is considered an act of manliness as it proves authority and dominance. Many individuals are working on this issue and the current time has helped in changing and directing things in a very positive direction. Having said that, the vile act of beating up women and having authority over them has been driven down generation after generation as women were considered weak. It was considered wrong for men to show their feminist side.
This study on the masculine side of men has been deliberated for a long time. Criminal acts and deeds of violence are considered manly. However, the consequences are not considered to be masculine by the same men. People deviate from societies all the time and commit crimes. It is not that women do not commit felonies, they do but the ratio of crimes and violence among men is higher as opposed to women. This fact is only present because men like to be men and they like taking control over things in a negative way. The only thing that can be done is to allow men to understand the consequences of their actions first. Then the society needs to work on educating them on how the culture reflects upon their actions and thinking. There are many programs available that are helping prisoners and people who are serving a sentence. These programs are making the lives of the prisoners better and they are able to live a better life when they leave and are free once again (Kimmel, 2017). One main issue that males face is that they think they have lost their identity as men. The stereotypes have made their life so hard that taking a positive step might make their existence more miserable. Tough guise not only made it hard for men to realize their importance in society but also made it worse to put trust in their identity. Real men do cry, having emotions and showing feelings is something that differentiates us from the dead. These small steps are not enough for males to become real men. It will take a lot of effort for all the men to step away from the set stereotypical image that society has painted for centuries.
Bell, M., & Bayliss, N. (2015). The Tough Guise: Teaching Violent Masculinity as the Only Way to Be a Man. Sex Roles, 72(11-12), 566-568.
Green, K. M., Musci, R. J., Johnson, R. M., Matson, P. A., Reboussin, B. A., & Ialongo, N. S. (2016). Outcomes associated with adolescent marijuana and alcohol use among urban young adults: A prospective study. Addictive behaviors, 53, 155-160.
Ellis, A. (2015). Men, masculinities and violence: An ethnographic study. Routledge.
Hirschi, T. (2017). On the compatibility of rational choice and social control theories of crime. In The reasoning criminal (pp. 105-118). Routledge.
Kimmel, M. (2017). Angry white men: American masculinity at the end of an era. Hachette UK.
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