Photo by Zach Petersen

Mass Shootings and Man Box Culture

The logical outcome of dominance-based masculine culture is gun violence.

Boys/men in Man Box culture are bullied into believing that showing dominance over others is the only way to validate our masculinity. Guns are an overt expression of dominance. Which is why 99% mass shooters are men. Mass shootings are born out of our dominance-based culture of masculinity

Our dominance-based culture of masculinity is also why boys in the US and Europe are vulnerable to white and male supremacist recruitment. Both extremist groups promise disaffected young men power and dominance over women, BIPOC, immigrants, LGBTQI+ people, other religions.

Dominance-based masculine culture isn’t limited to the West. Man Box culture is global. Some version of it exists everywhere. Dominance can show up as religious nationalism, authoritarianism anywhere across the globe. Dominance culture is the source of every problem threatening our long term survival as a species.

The solution to breaking out of Man Box culure, and reducing the violence that it gives rise to, is to create a healthy culture of masculine expression and connection. We can invite boys into conversations where they bring their whole selves before dominance culture strips them of their natural joy in connection. We can do this in our families, in our schools, scout troops, sports teams, anywhere that boys are spending time. Mothers, fathers, older siblings, teachers, coaches all have a role to play in this work.

We can invite boys into conversations where they can share what’s going on for them and the ways they are making sense of the world. We can create a container that allows boys the explore and grow their connection in the world. Ashanti Branch does exactly this work beautifully in educational contexts. The Mankind Project invites adult men into men’s circles to do this same work.

Millions of men are working to create a healthy culture of masculinity that normalizes a vast range of masculinities, within which boys and men can choose the version that fits best for us. This single idea, that there is a vast range of equally valid ways to be a man, shatters the bullying conformity of the Man Box culture. It validates men’s masculinity in our rich capacities for connection, not dominance.

There are endless resources for breaking out of Men Box culture and creating healthy masculinity. Search for and find a men’s group, therapist, book, podcast that fits for you. Our resources are here: linktr.ee/RemakingManhood

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Mark Greene

Mark Greene

Working toward a culture of healthy masculinity. Links to our books, podcasts, Youtube and more: http://linktr.ee/RemakingManhood.