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Stereotypes Of Men That Everyone Should Abandon

Stereotypes Of Men That Everyone Should Abandon

Every Sunday evening on Italian TV, a female comic, Luciana Littizzetto, makes fun of men and repeats incredibly funny and ridiculous stereotypes. She mocks men as being incapable, hopeless at domestic tasks and in bed as well as being hypochondriacs. What is more, she gets away with it and has done so for several years. She also mocks ridiculous TV commercials, politicians and anything else that she finds absurd. The only thing is that her male stereotypes are repeated again and again. Imagine a male comedian spouting stereotypes about women. I doubt if he would get out of the TV studio alive!

What is the problem with stereotypes of men or women? They are usually simplistic, untrue and are based on certain assumptions we make which are shakily based on gender. They assume that men and women will behave according to the gender role. They forget one key fact which is that each person is an individual. These stereotypes are “sweeping generalizations” as my father used to say. He was right.

Now that gender differences are less rigid and women start to gain equality, isn’t it time to abandon some common stereotypes about men and lay them to rest for good? Here are the top 7 that I want dead and buried!

1. Men don’t cry

Unfortunately, when a man cries, it is still regarded as a weakness. But this is changing and a caring man is not so rare nowadays, thank goodness. A man who can deal with emotions is not weak. He is simply mature and is not a robot. He is in touch with his feelings, emotions and will ask himself whether he is a caring partner, friend and parent.

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“Boys don’t cry, but men do.”- Malorie Blackman, Boys Don’t Cry

2. Men never notice how women look

It would seem that men never notice when a woman gets her hair done. The truth is though that many men really do notice and that they will get real pleasure in telling their partner how great she looks. But split ends and botox injections might go unnoticed. I love the joke,

Husband: “Honey, you seem strangely unmoved by the fact that the dog just ate a carving knife.”

Wife: “I’m furrowing my brow with concern… on the inside.”

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3. Men are aggressive

If the stereotypes are right, they are likely to follow the trend and abuse their partners emotionally and physically. After all, that fits in with the myth that they are demanding, hard and physically strong. Wife batterers often justify their actions by saying, “she wouldn’t stop nagging me,” another stereotype, according to one research study on why men abuse women, published in the Harvard University Gazette. Fortunately, there are millions of loving, caring men who never need to resort to bullying and violent behavior.

4. Men don’t do housework

How many men still feel that housework is beneath them because that is women’s work? Start counting in billions and trillions. The stats here are pretty damning in that 83% of women compared to 65% of men are actively doing all the household chores. But look at the 2010 figures on how many women are breadwinners – 60%!

Now look at all the stay at home dads who are doing an awful lot of housework and child minding. Latest figures show that the number of househusbands has doubled since the 1970s and is now estimated at 550,000. Some things do change, albeit slowly. Stay-at-home dads are the pioneers of gender equality and Anne Marie Slaughter’s husband, Andrew Moravcsik, has written convincingly about this in the article, Why I Put My Wife’s Career First

“A female executive needs what male CEOs have always had: a spouse who bears the burden at home.” – Andrew Moravcsik

5. Men decide and tell women what to do

“You’re a man. Whoever the woman is, it’s their responsibility to listen to what you say.”- Quote from MenEngage.org

This is so widespread that the MenEngage.org have joined forces with over 600 organizations worldwide to enlist the help of men and boys because this is the key to equality. Watch the video here about what male stereotypes are still floating around. Long way to go.

6. Men don’t do girlie things with their daughters

Dads will play soccer with their boys and will not be bothered with playing with their daughters. Playing and bonding with kids should not be based on rigid gender lines. It is reinforcing gender stereotypes from a very early age.

Nathan is a single dad who lost his wife to cancer last year. He has decided that one of the best ways to bond with his daughter is to let her paint his nails and also help his daughter with hers. Watch the touching video here of a great dad who is not afraid of stereotypes and is perfectly happy to go against the tide. An awesome dad teaching his daughter a wonderful life lesson.

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7. Men love sports

I hated school sports and spent many an hour inventing excuses to escape or praying for heavy rain. But I still grew up to be a balanced and happy person. It is comforting to know that there are men who are not so addicted to sports as society would have us believe. They can gainfully use their time doing things they are really keen on, such as writing. Milton James, the Man Booker winner for 2015 has remarked:

“I was the nerd. Because I was reading. I wasn’t into sports. I was really into art. Very geekish about comics. Assumed gay.”- Marlon James,

He was bullied of course because he did not fit into the male stereotype. In order to cope with that he started to read more and more and write.

“I’m tired of stories that use race to define someone’s character—that help brew suspicion, contempt, and anger among people. How long is it going to take for all stories to be told without a color bias? In the end, aren’t we just human beings under the same skies?”- Shalita Grant

Just substitute the words ‘race’ and ‘color’ with anything like ‘age’, ‘sex’, ‘men’, ‘women’, and you will see that we still have a long way to go!

Featured photo credit: Househusbands on the morning jog/Matthew Rutledge via flickr.com

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Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on January 24, 2021

How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

Do you say yes so often that you no longer feel that your own needs are being met? Are you wondering how to say no to people?

For years, I was a serial people pleaser[1]. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time, especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

It took a long while, but I learned the art of saying no. Saying no meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. When that happened, I became a lot happier.

And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

The Importance of Saying No

When you learn the art of saying no, you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey, considered one of the most successful women in the world, confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything.

Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

Warren Buffett views “no” as essential to his success. He said:

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

When I made “no” a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success, focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say no.

From an early age, we are conditioned to say yes. We said yes probably hundreds of times in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work, to get a promotion, to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

We say yes because we feel good when we help someone, because it can seem like the right thing to do, because we think that is key to success, and because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist.

And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves.

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At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we are feeling bad that we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

The message, no matter where we turn, is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

How Do You Say No Without Feeling Guilty?

Deciding to add the word “no” to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say no, but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of no that you could finally create more time for things you care about.

But let’s be honest, using the word “no” doesn’t come easily for many people.

3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time, especially you haven’t done it much in the past, will feel awkward. Your comfort zone is “yes,” so it’s time to challenge that and step outside that.

If you need help getting out of your comfort zone, check out this article.

2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

When you want to learn how to say no, remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it: who else knows about all of the demands in your life? No one.

Only you are at the center of all of these requests. You are the only one that understands what time you really have.

3. Saying No Means Saying Yes to Something That Matters

When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else that we may care more about. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

6 Ways to Start Saying No

Incorporating that little word “no” into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

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1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

One of the biggest challenges to saying no is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no will reflect poorly on you?

Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because of FOMO, even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better[2].

3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say No

Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say yes because we worry about how others will respond or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose their respect. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

Keep in mind that saying no can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way.

You might disappoint someone initially, but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to. And it will often help others have more respect for you and your boundaries, not less.

4. When the Request Comes in, Sit on It

Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say no. There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

5. Communicate Your “No” with Transparency and Kindness

When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest[3] to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

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How do you say no? 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

    Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

    Clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

    6. Consider How to Use a Modified No

    If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” as this will give you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

    Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task, but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

    Final Thoughts

    Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

    Use the request as a way to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself.

    Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project, but not by working all weekend. You’ll find yourself much happier.

    More Tips on How to Say No

    Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Science of People: 11 Expert Tips to Stop Being a People Pleaser and Start Doing You
    [2] Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Tips to Get Over Your FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out
    [3] Cooks Hill Counseling: 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

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