We live in a world of labels. Filipino men, in particular, and in this day and age still tend to favor macho behavior, creating the need to discuss this toxic machismo and why it persists in a culture that supposedly values interpersonal harmony above everything else. You have probably encountered these five male stereotypes:
The “Man’s World” Man
Call him by any other label, but in a word, he's a misogynist. This is the guy who feels licensed to domineer women in every way—physically, intellectually, mentally, and emotionally—because he believes the world is structured to better serve people born with the Y chromosome.
The Boorish Bigot
We see this guy all the time on local TV. There and elsewhere, bigots poke fun at people of other ethnicities and deride members of the LGBTQ+ community. Older bigots get irrationally angry at the sight of people they perceive to be deviants, and can even turn violent when unable to process their hatred.
The Tanked Tito
There’s one in every family: the tito who drinks way too much and ends up making a fool of himself. He may have shattered your mom’s prized vase, but who cares? He’s a fun guy, and that’s what matters.
The Alpha Action Star
This type takes the axiom, “actions speak louder than words,” to an irrational extreme. He tends to emasculate those who value thoughts and emotion and is quick to label someone as “soft” when that person doesn't act swiftly and with force.
The Frustrated Father
There’s always one guy who feels like it’s his responsibility to tell everyone else how to live. He’s usually older, and that’s supposed to make him wiser. Unfortunately, this attitude tends to lead to victim-blaming and domineering behavior.
These stereotypes exist because they represent a simpler way of living: Men who adopt any of these labels don’t have to confront their self-image because their worldview excuses them from this responsibility. They don’t have to keep evaluating their interactions with women if they’re the “dominant” gender. They can hide their prejudices behind the veil of “how the world works.” They can blame alcohol for their misdemeanors, turn a poorly planned endeavor and its disastrous result into a noble effort by saying, “At least I did something,” and keep their conscience clear by telling people they've offended that they have their best interests in mind.
While subscribing to these stereotypes might make life simpler, they don't make it better. Doing so makes you act like a machine that follows an imaginary set of rules determined by inappropriate and antiquated values; as a result, you fail to look deep inside and figure out the kind of man you really want to be. And because people mimic behavior, you end up perpetuating the cycle that allows these stereotypes to flourish.
The only way to break the loop is to say, “eff the rules.” One way to start being the best version of yourself is to start evaluating yourself outside of society’s so-called norms. Run with it. Work your magic. By being the real you and by expressing that identity responsibly, you can transform yourself and the environment around you into something better. You got something. Work on it.
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