Why are men so often left out of our conversations about gender? While examining the impact of sexist stereotypes on women is crucial, it's only half of the story.
Patriarchal notions of manhood don't just harm women, they hurt men. Toxic definitions of masculinity lead to well-documented problems like high rates of gun violence, suicide and sexual violence. That's why organizations like the Representation Project are committed to advancing the discussion about how gender limits the freedoms of both women and men. They recognize that society's gender ideals aren't only damaging for women; they're universally harmful.
Image Credit: the Representation Project
Their latest video examines how stereotypes constrain all people from the moment they are born.
Imran Siddiquee, the director of communications at the Representation Project, told PolicyMic he hopes the video sparks a dialogue about what sexism looks like. "We're really committed to opening the doors to this conversation about gender — to create[sic] a space where we can discuss these limiting stereotypes, and the negative impact they're having on all of us, in the mainstream," he wrote in an email.
Image Credit: AP
Women often dominate conversations online in feminist circles, but it's important to include men so they can see how the fight for equality affects them too. "We want women and men to join us in challenging the idea that there is only one way to be a man, or only one way to be a woman, or that you must fulfill either gender ideal in order to be valued by society. The media plays such a large role in perpetuating that limiting gender narrative — and limiting stereotypes of all kinds — so our movement is creating its own media and writing its own, more diverse, story," Siddiquee wrote.
In the video, Rosario Dawson explains why we need to address stereotypes that bind all genders.
It's time we bring every gender to the table to discuss ways to release ourselves from outdated scripts that restrict us all.