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images-1Here are some issues in which men are often blamed for perpetuating, but in actuality, men may be just as susceptible to as women.

1. Body Image

Body image is not an issue that affects women only. Men hide under clothes, diet obsessively, take steroids, and suffer just as much when it comes to body image. It’s almost commonplace to hear a women tell her girlfriends or even boyfriend, “I feel fat.” But rarely do men have such a voice, or place to express this. We encourage women to embrace curvy bodies, and subtlely blame men and the media for perpetuating the size 0 image without even a second glance that men have media images and criticism from women to contend with as well. Let’s start by recognizing that body image issues affect both men and women.

2. Self Esteem

Women aren’t the only ones who suffer from low self esteem. I know this may sound like a no-brainer, but men get victimized everyday — from bullying to sexual harassment. Men are not excluded from this suffering, and it would help a great deal if men felt it was okay to share their experiences openly without being shamed.

3. Gender Roles and Identity

Fifty or sixty years ago, the rules were much simpler. Men went to work and were the bread winners, while women stayed home, raised children, cooked, and cleaned. Nowadays, with women working, men are finding themselves in more domestic roles. Although many men and women think this is acceptable and egalitarian, it is still a shift from prior decades, which can create some identity confusion for men, especially when hearing messages which may suggest otherwise. It’s important to recognize that talking about such things can help to make such negative messages less powerful.

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Ways Men Can Speak Up About Their Sexuality was originally published on wzakcleveland.com

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