Final paper Com. 3088 Fall 2022
Due before midnight Nov. 20. No late papers will be accepted.
“I had never told my father the Three Words until the moment I placed a stuffed polar bear
alongside him in his casket. That was almost two decades ago, but even today I find myself
burying the Three Words under mumbles mouthed at my brother when I visit him and my two
The Three Words seem to make time stand still, for a brief moment, whenever men say them to
one another outside of a romantic or sexual relationship. They are said platonically, but with
the most sincere passion. Yet, throughout the chapters of my life there have been many men I
never said the words to, and wish I had.
The Three Words: ‘I love you.’”
(Written by motivational speaker Jeff Perera, who previously worked for the White Ribbon
Campaign, the world’s largest grassroots effort to engage men in ending violence against
women, and Next Gen Men, as well as founded and curated the What Makes A Man conference
for four years which featured actor Terry Crews in 2014.)
Men have been stereotyped for generations to be stoic, unemotional (except for showing
anger), and strong (see our textbook’s Chapter 4). Showing emotions brings accusations of
weakness and scorn from other men (Jackson Katz, co-founder of Mentors in Violence
Prevention [MVP], has written about this and made educational videos – among them “Tough
Guise,” which is available in the Video Module in this course). Media’s long-standing portrayals
of masculinity have cemented these stereotypes for generations.
But men and boys are beginning to see images in the media of men who embrace emotions,
who verbalize emotions, who display them in public. A fairly recent and very
influential example of this was when famed basketball star Shaquille O’Neal couldn’t hold back
tears when talking about his love for teammate Kobe Bryant, after Kobe died in a helicopter
crash. Former President Barack Obama cried openly while giving a speech about gun violence,
and again when talking about his love for his wife, Michelle.
But these are infrequent examples in the media of men displaying the types of emotions long
relegated to women. In this 8-page paper, with 5 articles from peer-reviewed journals,
investigate the newer images in the media of men and boys who openly display emotions
such as love, empathy, sadness, and tenderness, to name a few. These images may be in
sports media, the news, films, and TV shows. Are these increasing in numbers and variety?
Are these images influencing male behavior today?
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