Why Do Some Men (and Women) Think Face Masks Show Vulnerability?
As social animals, our need to belong and be liked is natural and deep. The human race has thrived because we work together to get ourselves safe and fed. The strongest societies carefully define expectations to keep things working smoothly ensuring that the culture survives.
From very early on in our lives, cultures drill into us what boys do and what girls do. By the time we reach adolescence, we have been encouraged to migrate toward the stereotypes – manly men and girly girls (yes, I know I used girls instead of women). Whether consciously or not, men have a sense that failure to live up to that standard somehow threatens their ability to mate and reproduce.
We also know that men who compromise accepted definitions of masculine behavior risk being mocked or ostracized by other men. Even men who would privately encourage the fullest range of expressions of sexuality feel pressure to join in the teasing lest their own sexuality get questioned.
So here we are. Many men are proudly and comfortably wearing masks, expressing their respect for others in their communities. And others – well – not so much. Check out this article from Psychology Today for a deeper exploration. – SA