Stoic, Strong, Stereotype

The following is my response from a discussion question proposed by my psychology of women professor.  The question referred to whether the stoic and strong stereotype of men was beneficial or harmful to them.  
I feel that stereotypes about men are more hurtful than beneficial.  In a matter of fact I think it’s impossible for a stereotype to be purely beneficial.  For example, there is a known stereotype that all Asians are good at math.  But what about my friend, who’s Korean, and is in the same boat as I am when it comes to math—there are other subjects worth killing ourselves over.  What is to become of her?  Is she suddenly ‘less’ Asian for not meeting such a rigid criteria?
No, even the complimentary stereotypes are just a back hand for if you don’t meet them you’re suddenly different, the other one, the deviant one.
The ‘stoic and strong,’ the ‘unemotional and unaffected’ stereotype does not benefit men.  In ways it harms them by hampering their abilities to fully express and report their feelings in an appropriate and consistent manner.  Thinking about how boys are taught from an early age to not cry when they get hurt, to suck it up and get over it and on top of this encouraged to play aggressively, makes me think about their childhood in its totality.  By teaching and early socializing boys to be “stoic and strong” are we taking away from their childhood?  Think about it.  Girls are allowed more emotional leeway for example if a girl falls off her bike and cries she most likely to be given a hug and a tender voice of encouragement were as boys may be given a command, ‘get back on,’ as if their accidental error has arisen frustrations in the parent.  If we are asking for our sons to be men before time then aren’t we cutting their childhood short, thieving from the carefree and playful years that are already the shortest time in human life span?
 What’s to come of a man who is stoic and strong?  How is he to find a love if he refuses to first show that he is vulnerable?  Yes, he’ll serve as a good protector but what about the time after the house has been secure what is his worth after that?  Even the martial arts ask for emotions, controlled, yes, but always balanced.
Takashi Morinozuka a.k.a “Mori-senpai” from the anime Ouran High School Host Club. He is noted as the “strong and silent” type in the anime.  His character rarely speaks or show emotional range.
Funny enough Mori is actually part of my top 5 “Attractive Anime Character” list.

I hope this to be the start of my essays about stereotypes (particular about women especially those of African and Asian decent) as well as a look into the ‘model minority’.  I find the these topics are most interesting and worth an exploration.

2 thoughts on “Stoic, Strong, Stereotype

  1. I dont have an isse with this. Asians or Chinese specifically, are naturally quiet because of our culture. We prefer action than talk. Deeds rather than yak. Thats why we get the job done.Its the same reason why Clint Eastwood is popular. Because he stole the tall silent stranger idea from Toshiro Mifune and the countless Samurai movies.Its only a racist western west expects you to talk talk talk with absolutely nothing to say.

  2. That's fine but I'm not concern with cultural differences but more so with gender differences. In studies and in day to day life men, as a whole, have been perceived as having an inability to communicate. I think we can both agree that there is a difference between "talking" and "communicating." One takes a lot more effort than the other.

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