Hi Jeff,

Haha 😂, do not mean to stress you out with the whole bolded/highlighting thing!

And you brought up a really relevant issue with mentioning the whole APA/traditionally masculine characteristics debate. I’ve actually been thinking on writing a piece on that topic! In any case, I think you’re definitely on to something in saying abandoning these traits may contribute to more neuroticism in men. The Stoic outlook appeals to a lot of men because of its implicit logic.

The report seems to treat “traditional masculinity”, as, of course, a social construct but does not stop to consider whether it has natural roots in biology and that in suggesting traditional masculinity is the problem, it might be alienating men and making them feel bad for who they fundamentally, naturally are.

Stoicism has a lot to do with emotional restraint, I think, which is NOT the same as emotional suppression which the APA obviously frowns upon. Emotional restraint is healthy and fine and furthermore, it is the natural choice for many people, mostly due to personality and not (as the APA would like to think) some nefarious social construct.

Now, I think everyone can benefit from “knowing themselves” and to some degree, becoming literate in their feelings. I suspect that most men have less of a natural desire to wade too far into the “feelings territory” and that’s totally fine. This has historically been the case. And men are responsible, also, for pushing a lot of society forward. Such an act requires the competitiveness, dominance, aggression, etc. that the APA technically labels harmful. I think the danger comes in labeling these traits as inherently harmful when really, they can be very “structuring” and can hone resilience.

Ultimately, if you want to “empower” men you can’t get that if you alienate them from the qualities most natural to them. But I don’t get the sense that “empowering” is what the APA is after…

Anyways, just some of my thoughts off the cuff! Thanks for taking the time to comment btw :)

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Writer of economics, psychology, and lots in between. laurennreiff@gmail.com

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