As the world reels from the verdict of the Oscar Pistorius trial and the videotape of American footballer Ray Rice beating his fiancée, the pervasiveness of domestic violence once again becomes clear. Why do men harm their partners? What is it about masculinity that makes men the perpetrators in the majority of domestic abuse cases? What are men learning about what it means to be a man in modern society, and why does that so often lead to violence, repressed feelings, an obsession with status symbols and power?
Adam Jukes has made a long-term study of masculinity, and in his book, Is There a Cure for Masculinity?, he shares the results of years of research. As the title of the book implies, Jukes sees masculinity as an illness, and it’s one that boys contract early in their childhood. When boys are encouraged to ‘man up’, or to stop acting ‘girly’, they’re being taught the divide between the masculine and the feminine. Men learn from an early age that their feminine side must always be repressed, and this results in a lack of intimacy with their partners and their own children, and an inability to express themselves. They feel vulnerable, a state which they have learned to despise, and because masculinity only allows men a limited scope of emotions, they react with risky and often violent, destructive behaviour.
Masculinity makes men sick, and symptoms of that sickness include workaholism, heavy drinking, infidelity, and the kind of vicious violence seen most recently in the cases of Pistorius and Rice. Yet Jukes says there is hope. Men can get involved in talk therapy, and it is vitally important that we raise our boys to be open to vulnerability. If men start spending more time with their families and raise their boys to be kind, we just might be able to answer the question with a resounding yes—there is a cure for masculinity.
Is There a Cure for Masculinity? is now available at a special discount of 35% plus free UK P&P from direct from NBN International – CLICK HERE to purchase at this special price, and use the promotion code JUKES001 . Also available from Amazon.
by Lisa Findley