What makes a man? | DW Documentary


What does it mean to be masculine? Does it involve being tough, rational, unemotional and never crying? Or is that a stereotype that harms boys, the men they become, and the women around them? Today, men are seeking to redefine their masculinity.

More and more men – and women – want to forge a new image of masculinity. And science is on their side, showing the dangers of teaching boys to suppress emotions in order to become strong and independent. Boys can feel at fault when they experience emotions that are considered weak or feminine. Men tend to take more risks than women, pay less attention to their health, commit suicide more often, and die earlier. This is both an individual and a societal problem.

Is there a link between men’s sense of shame at feeling certain emotions, or acting in a supposedly feminine way, and male violence? Why do we as a society still find it difficult to accept compassion and caring as male strengths? What role do women play in perpetuating stereotypes about masculinity? This film is not about men versus women. It is about a long overdue social and political debate that may overcome old beliefs and enable a new way of living together.

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