The Student News Site of Truckee High School

The Truckee Times

Big News, Small Town

The Truckee Times

The Student News Site of Truckee High School

The Truckee Times


Big News, Small Town

Be A Man

How this simple phrase leads boys down the wrong path, and what one club is doing to correct course
Submitted to Truckee Times
Yo Bro members from left to right, Fabian Martinez, Leo Sanchez, Edgar Guzman, Alex Rodriguez, Brandon Huerta, and Aiden Berrelleza.

A fifth grade girl wins a soccer game and a boy shows anger by slapping her. The boy gets a small consequence but the girl is still told the small saying that affects so much.

Boys will be Boys.

All around the world boys are excused by the saying “boys will be boys” but what about girls? Girls must act like women. Girls must fall into submission while boys walk around like they own the place.  

As we age, the expectations of girls and boys change. Girls are taught to be polite and show empathy. While boys are taught how to fight and hide their emotions, causing toxic masculinity.

According to Dr. Caroline Heldman, “Masculinity is not organic. It’s reactive. It’s not something that just develops. It’s a rejection of everything that is feminine.” Boys at a young age are taught only three major things: how to fight, how to dominate, and to find one thing that helps them gain respect from other men. 

Football is one of the major ways to gain respect from other men as it is the epitome of masculinity in this country. People see men and they see football, so society deems it good when guys fight. Boys hit or push when a girl shows greater athletic ability they are expressing the hidden pressure and frustration that follow boys as they age. 

Yo Bro members work the Spring Festival. From left to right, Edgar Guzman, Alonso Maldonado-Silva, and Melissa Alonzo. (Submitted to Truckee Times)

Yo Bro is a club created by Mrs. Jamison at Truckee High School to reimagine what it is to be a man.

“Last year I launched ‘Yo, Bro! A Call to Men’ to give male identified students at Truckee High school a chance to redefine the ‘Man Box’,” Mrs. Jamison said. “We are accomplishing this through community service, academic achievement and striving to find a bigger purpose beyond graduation.”

The club has four goals that are made to help break down the man box. Graduate, learn that you are in this together, understand how to own the mistakes that you make, and go to college or have a job. This helps give men the responsibility to help them grow. 

According to Mrs. Jamison, “the best way for students to start to change their understanding of the ‘Man Box’ is to discuss the challenges and stigmas and overcome them through community service. In Yo, Bro! we strive to give students opportunities to give back to their community to challenge the stereotypes that may be surrounding them.”

But solutions need to come from other, more traditionally masculine places as well.

When a young boy shows any interest in feminine hobbies like dance or dolls they are teased and called “sissys” or worse.  To get the approval of other men they must join football. Football is one of the main things that creates the pressure behind the saying “Be a man.” 

The saying “Be a man” is one of the main contributing factors to why boys have the ability to excuse themselves for their actions.  

When a guy is acting cool or giving off the impression that nothing affects them, people become adapted to the fact that when boys act improperly it is neither unusual nor surprising, making the saying “Boys will be boys” so common.

To fix peoples narrow view of masculinity we need to change our perspectives. Football coaches think telling kids to “be a man” is building them up as men but it is really tearing them down.

Coaches need to be a positive influence and imply that being strong is good on the field but when it comes to having relationships having emotions make you human. 

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