Video: The 3 most destructive words a boy ever hears

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(WARNING: While the video is not graphic or vulgar in nature, there is at least one use of profanity.)

This video from The Representation Project takes a look at societal pressure on boys to be hyper-masculine and the ways that can lead to violence, depression and other dangers.

Do you agree with the argument made in the video? Let us know in the comment section.

11 comments

    • jake

      Having a father is part of kids acting the way the act but you can’t blame it all on that. Sounds to me like what you’re trying to say is if a kid doesn’t have a father or father figure they shouldn’t know how to act, which is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. I see my father 12 times a year but that hasn’t made me behave like a juvenile. I know how I should behave because of my mother, teachers, aunts, uncles and partially my father. (I’m 17 btw)

      I think people need to have a different understanding of ‘manning up’. We don’t live in medieval times anymore, when ‘manning up’ required you to be more violent or tougher. We live in a time were manning up should consist of being what we call a gentleman, not a barbarian.

      When you’re told to man up you’re going to act tougher, and eventually always acting like that because you keep getting told to man up.

    • Jordan Allen

      yours is incredibly ignorant response.I would submit that just as many boys who do have Fathers feel these feelings as do not. in fact, I know many more boys who have these problems that do have Fathers than don’t. Fathers often cause this misunderstanding. I didn’t have a father, and was taught by my mother how to be a man. I know I definitely am more comfortable expressing my feelings than many men. society teaches us that manliness is the same as masculinity and unfortunately that is not correct. my mind, being a man is more about how you treat other people than it is about how masculine you are. it is our responsibility as men in the community worldwide, to teach our boys how to become men and how to treat one another.

  • Eden Bodily Gillespie

    Saw part of an awesome documentary about this a few years ago called Tough Guise– shows how images of men are getting bigger muscles and bigger weapons, while women keep getting smaller. (Think original James Bond to current, or TV Tarzan to Rambo to … pick one. And women’s /clothes/ are even getting smaller — I think sweaters stop at the ribs now? :P)

    Maybe Fox 13 can buy some rights to Tough Guise and show it so I can see the whole thing! :D

  • Jeremy

    Total BS! Pass the blame on the fathers? No! Blame society. I have seen kids with great parents make wrong decisions. Most kids entering junior high are introduced to “peer pressure”. A kid will do what they want regardless of what parents or mentors tell them! In my opinion telling boys to not cry and to be tough sets them up to get thru school and life. Bullying for example. How would you feel if your child was humiliated for crying when he is bullied? I rather have a son that can stand up and fight when nessesary. Way to show you rather have spineless kids! This article is so weak on so many levels!

  • Joshua Dutson

    The real problem is that we live in a society that shuns and demonizes masculinity. Kids are punished for standing up for themselves against bullies. Kids are punished for playing Cowboys & Indians, Cops & Robbers, or Army. Kids are punished for playing with water guns, nerf guns, or toy guns. Kids are discouraged from participating in out doors activities or sports. But kids are encouraged to be more emotional, submissive, and femanant.

  • 606-679-0167

    I think it is the idea that in order to be perceived as “masculine” a young man is taught by peers, media, parents and others that that means being “tough” If tough means you cant show emotions or be supportive of others then it prevents us from being who we are. If being a father is only defined in those terms as well, where does being a loving, caring, sensitive human being fit. For me “manning up” means learning how to accept personal responsibility for choices we make and attempting to make good sound choices more than being the “big, bad, tough guy.” Don’t tough guys “feel” too? Yet they often do not have an outlet for those feelings because that flies in the face of the stereotype and who wants to be ridiculed for stepping outside of that box when you are still young enough to want the approval of your peers? I think it leads to a kind of dishonesty and also to minimalizing of a young mans emotions.

  • Molly

    This is a VERY sad but ACCURATE representation of how we socialize our boys in American society. I am a mental health therapist that works with men who have ended up in trouble with the law for a variety of reasons, and crimes against other persons is a major result of this type of socialization. It happens with boys who have fathers and boys who don’t. It can be a message inflicted on boys at an early age by mother’s who don’t understnad the damage they are doing, as well as male role models who believe that they are preparing their little boys for the tough world our society is. Trying to help men change their views about what it is to be a man, and to realize that a whole, “real” man includes having tenderness and feelings as well as being able to appropriately manage and express a wide range of emotion is very difficult but is done daily in a variety of programs around the world. But if we could start at home, with our precious little boys and help them be whole, well rounded, and accept them for ALL of their characteristics as valuable then we would have a much gentler and peaceful society. Actually the same thing goes for girls these days…

  • Bret

    The majority are good kids and grow up to be good men. This is all hindsight and blaming some words on someones issues. It’s never one thing, being called names is not going to put suicidal thoughts in anyones head. It’s an accumulation of many things. The name could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back but never a name alone.

  • Paula

    I’ve heard my husband say this very thing to our 6 yr old son. I’ve always hated the phrase ‘be a man’ or ‘tough it out’.
    It has bothered me to the core when I watch our little boy run to his room and close the door before he cries. Even if its over a lost lego or stubbing his toe.
    This video hit a home run for me, and I will definitely play it for my husband when he gets home.

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