In the wake of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting in which 17 people died, America continues to try and understand the cause of such violence and the circumstances that make it possible. While much of the debate surrounding the United States' epidemic of gun violence has dealt with the topic of gun control, comedian Michael Ian Black highlighted the other factor each of these mass shootings has had in common in an op-ed for the New York Times:
Black believes society leaves many young men ill equipped to handle their feelings.
"To be clear, most men will never turn violent. Most men will turn out fine. Most will learn to navigate the deep waters of their feelings without ever engaging in any form of destruction. Most will grow up to be kind. But many will not." https://t.co/Wdqeou8r9C— Ananya Bhattacharya (@_ananyaaa) February 22, 2018
Twitter seemed to agree that our culture's definition of "masculinity" does more harm than good.
Too many boys are trapped in the same suffocating, outdated model of masculinity, where manhood is measured in strength, where there is no way to be vulnerable without being emasculated, where manliness is about having power over others. https://t.co/5nihHfpWpn— Samantha Barry (@samanthabarry) February 22, 2018
Some people were grateful for Black's contribution to the conversation surrounding mass shootings:
Others, however, felt Black's analysis placed too much blame on society.
The premise of this article is obviously right, men are broken in our culture. Whether it's gun violence, sexual harassment or assault, men are broken. But it's irresponsible to abstract the blame from the individual to the social construct of "culture". https://t.co/53OzuBLMKo— Alex Champe (@champeman22) February 22, 2018
Samuel Axon pointed out how feminism might help many young men.
Feminists and frustrated boys are raging against the same horrible machine, but so many boys can't see that, and turn their rage against women instead of realizing we all got a bad deal with gender essentialism and prescriptivism.— Samuel Axon (@samuelaxon) February 21, 2018
Though we're all affected differently, a patriarchal society ultimately harms everyone.
The patriarchy puts us all in an oppressive box. That plays out in different, non-equivalent ways depending on who you are, but we are all screwed by these traditionalist views, and none of us should put up with them.— Samuel Axon (@samuelaxon) February 21, 2018
Saying boys need inspiration from feminism to find their place in the 21st century is a good thought, but maybe they need more than inspiration from it. Maybe they just need feminism. Realizing that was a huge turning point in my own personal turning point as a young man.— Samuel Axon (@samuelaxon) February 21, 2018
It's time we accept a new definition of "masculine."
This piece by @michaelianblack hits home. What changed for me was the love of a strong woman who showed me true strength is the ability to care for others, and courage is doing what you know is right, even though it's often the more challenging path. https://t.co/8rVRlgpFaw— James Fell (@BodyForWife) February 22, 2018
Another great article on fractured masculinity . I want to teach my 7 year old son it’s alright to feel and be vulnerable and in doing so it will make him a better man than the previous generation . #TimeToChange #mentalhealth https://t.co/TYUma3HJiC— Stuart Fielden (@Stuartfielden29) February 22, 2018