The nature of masculinity is rarely a point of conversation in the day to day interactions between males as the mention of such a topic requires thought regarding emotion and identity, two topics of which analysis is explicitly frowned upon for the stereotypical male. A man should not have strong emotions or struggle with his identity. Having taken this wellness class, however, I have come to the realization that discussion of why men feel the way they do in certain situations and how society has shaped the male stereotype is not only an essential conversation that every man should have with himself, but is essential in building a positive and strong self-image. Self reflection should not be seen as a sign of weakness, but as an opportunity for growth. The ideal man is able to understand his own emotions instead of simply seeking to hide them from the world.
Given my status as a senior in my fraternity, I see a substantial opportunity to spread the things I now know about what constitutes positive masculinity to the younger members. College freshman are particularly susceptible to the more negative aspects of stereotypical masculinity. In a time when most men are starting to establish their own identities, fraternity education processes can substantially hinder such growth. However, given the vulnerability of such a group to suggestion by their older peers, the process can also substantially help their development. Underclassmen respect what the seniors in their group have to say. As such, I can open a dialogue about masculinity and identity to expose the group to the ideas explored in this class. Given such exposure, it is likely that these young men would be more open to continuing such a dialogue throughout their college career. Promoting positive masculinity begins with a willingness to discuss the nature of masculinity on an emotional level. These young men would likely be willing to do so.