The Guy On The Screen
There are a lot of versions of the same portrayal of men in entertainment today. Men are typically portrayed as stoic, tuff, and emotionally detached, expressing only anger and elation. You can see this in the main characters in TV shows going as far back as the cowboy era with John Wayne and Clint Eastwood, all the way up to the shows of today like Tim Allen and Charlie Hunnam’s character in the Son’s of Anarchy
Rarely do we see these men crying or showing fear, instead we see them abusing alcohol or other substances to bury their pain deep within. Movie men are often portrayed handling the death of loved ones or other emotionally charged, potentially traumatic events, with a sense of detachment, anger, or vows of vengeance.
For many men today, there is a strict set of rules that govern how a man or a boy should behave. When a man or a boy steps out of these media-prescribed roles he is seen as weak. While many men can probably remember a handful of times where they were told something along the lines of “boys don't cry,” “suck it up,” or “stop being a baby.” Where does this leave the men in society today?
The reality is, the media rarely shows us how to be “men” without being angry jerks, and honestly it’s exhausting! Do you know how difficult it is to always be angry, it just ends up making men feel inadequate and ultimately depressed. Here’s the thing about anger/ aggression- it’s a secondary emotion, meaning it happens as a response to some other stimuli. Something occurs that makes you feel embarrassed, or ashamed, or number of things that just don’t feel great. Instead of showing that emotion to the offender, we get angry to mask the true emotion. Anger is a temporary fix, it served to protect us when we were still dragging our knuckles on the ground. Puffing up a chest and turning red to intimidate a competitor. But those initial feelings of embarrassment, shame, or any number of terrible things, still exists. The true reason you’re angry never gets addressed and it turns into pain… and we have come full circle.
Next time you are watching the latest repeat of the same story from Marvel, take note of the incredibly unnecessary levels of anger and aggression- and remember that not even The Hulk could stay mad for all that long. Let go of the anger. It wasn’t until Robert Bruce Banner let go of his anger that he could actually live his life.
At The Lodge, we have built this organization to help men overcome these roles and help them identify other role models that they would rather emulate.