It’s hard to promote positive masculinity in a way that can be a large-scale difference on society, especially as college students. I guess the first thing I can do is in the subtle ways I carry myself. I can make sure that I do not make inappropriate comments, or support others who do things that many may consider to masculine or macho, when in reality it may be harming someone else. I can also call out my friends for their behavior. Last year, a few of my friends started calling people out whenever they would use the words “gay” or “fag” in sentences, especially since they were almost never used to refer to homosexuals. People say these things and do not realize the potential affects they can have on others who are listening, and some people here these things and think that it is ok to say them themselves, when in reality it is not ok. I can hope that my actions and the way I carry myself as a man rub off on others around me.
As a long-term thing, I think that it is hard to escape the culture that we live in where children grow up wanting to be superheroes, and are not expected to show their emotions or look weak because that makes them girls in the eyes of their friends. I think that one father we saw in a video in class had a good approach to raising his child as a single father who grew up in a neighborhood where he was expected to abide by these cultural norms: he would stop and ask his son how he was feeling, and what things may be bothering him in his life. When I have kids, I can only hope that I could be as good as a father as that man is.