VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Despite a rapid and seismic shift in gender politics, represented in part by the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, a new survey from Chatelaine magazine suggests stereotypes about masculinity are still alive and well.
Chatelaine talked to 1,000 Canadian men ranging in age from 25 to 65, in partnership with Abacus data.
While most report feeling a combination of sad and angry when women talk about the pervasiveness of sexual harassment, one in four say they feel “nothing”, and 12 per cent report feeling “bored”.
Chatelaine editor-in-chief Lianne George says the data paints a portrait of gender stereotypes that keep men and women locked in familiar behaviour patterns.
57 percent of respondents say they grew up thinking that being a “real” man meant being physically tough. Only a quarter of men feel comfortable talking about emotions with male friends, and only one third were encouraged by both parents to talk about their fears and emotions.
While the majority think men and women should have equal rights and opportunities, only 18 per cent describe themselves as feminists.
“We know that men need to be part of the solution but a lot men aren’t sure how to do that, how to weigh in to the conversation around #MeToo,” George explains. “They worry about saying the wrong thing, and others feel kind of angry or alienated.”
“The message they hear is, you know, ‘it’s time for you to stand back’ and ‘men have done enough talking’, so kind of like, ‘shut up and listen’. But the other message is ‘stand up and speak out and be an ally.’ So I think a lot of men are just afraid of misstepping.”
George says she hopes this project provides the basis for a larger conversation about how gender stereotyping shapes the experiences of all genders.
Those surveyed include Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Masai Ujiri, the head of the Toronto Raptors.
Full survey results can be found on Chatelaine.com.