Masculinity, violence and the expectations of a male dominated society

Yesterday I watched a movie called ‘in a better world’, it is a Danish movie, it is so amazing and beautifully heart wrenching that it made me shed a tear or two. From a couple of months I’m watching a lot of foreign movies and upto this date I watched 2 more Danish movies- the hunt and after the wedding. Both these movie and yesterday’s movie that I watched have one thing in common that they are filled with a melancholic atmosphere, they are difficult to watch because they are heart wrenching drama about family lives. I’m NOT going to review this movie but I’ll tell you what it taught me.


The film poster

This movie, in a better world tells us the stories of two adolescent boys named Elias and Christian who share a risky friendship. Both these characters are poles apart from one another. Christian has just recently lost his mother to cancer and he is deeply disturbed by it, while Elias is a boy who is picked upon by a merciless bully in school. This film also shows the lives of their respective fathers, Christian’s father is a man who is filled with grief and guilt, he is worried about his son and his behavior, while Anton Elias’s father is a man who switched between two countries- an African country and the beautiful Denmark countryside. He too is disturbed as a result of violence during his doctor job in Africa. This movie taught me a lot of things.

The way the adolescent boys are depicted is brilliant, it makes me remember of my own mental state when I was an angst filled rebellious teenager who had hate for the entire world and was equally ineffective in distinguishing between what is good and what is bad. It also surprises me that this world is a patriarch world, where men who resort to violence are favored. This movie speaks about this and also highlights our inner dark urge for violence against a fellow human being just to exhibit dominance. This society expects that the man should be strong, dominant, cold hearted and also insensitive to emotions. These expectations are very wrong, when a man cries it doesn’t mean that he is weak it just means that he is sensitive to his emotions, and that does infer anything about his maleness at all, when a man backs out of a fight, it doesn’t mean he is coward, it rather tell his courage to not to get into trouble for the wrong reasons. All these expectations are that of a male dominated society, and they are not really the criteria for a perfect male, rather they are all signs of an irresponsible man. We should remember that man/male/boy is also a human being, he too feels emotions like pain, he is not cold hearted he too is scarred by the real world moreover he also has the right to express them. I think it is time to move on from such a hypocritic expectations, that produces a highly irresponsible man who takes up violence at the slightest instance, and gets into a fight, and move on into a world, where this society accommodates a man’s feelings, his freedom to express it and at the same time accept a man who solves problems by his wit and brain than his fist and adrenaline rush. Let’s move on to a better society and be peaceful. 🙂


9 thoughts on “Masculinity, violence and the expectations of a male dominated society”

    1. Completely agree with you. We make women dependent upon men for protection rather than making them independent, capable of defending themselves. Thank you so much for stopping by bettylouise31.

    2. We do and I feel kinda sorry for the guys today , they don’t know where they stand. The girls expect them to be caring and considerate and sometimes they also expect them to be like their fathers and provide for them this can be quite daunting in today’s society and one looks at the price of a new home,also the literature we read has an effect on what we look for in a male partner I think , omg for years I was looking for a Heathcliff after reading Wuthering Heights , Heathcliff would never have put up with me ha ha , Kind regards Kathy.

  1. I agree with you Chaitanya that the society expects that the man should be strong, dominant, cold hearted and also insensitive to the emotions. And these kind of behaviour of men causes all kinds of violences. Who preaches these kinds of bad behaviours are not a perfect male. I think they are not MAN either. I think we must teach them how to behave with other human or gender too. .

    1. Completely agree with you Nimmi I think this society should give more emphasis on imposing good ideals and morals to people than attributing masculinity to our inbuilt urge for violence. Good virtues should take a priority than other senseless characters. Thank you so much for stopping by Nimmi really appreciate it. 🙂

  2. Wonderful post here , I have 2 sons and have always tried to relate to them that it is ok to have emotions and to express them , I sometimes fear for the young men today , our society seems to hold so many different ideals of how a man should act , should he open the door for the lady, should he pay for the cinema when on a date , should he cry when watching a flim , should he be the provider in the family , where does he stand , on one hand society says of course show your emotions on the other the girl he is going out with expects him to pay for the meal because she has been brought up to think this is right , the poor guy cant do right for wrong so my advise is cry , when u feel like it guys , open those doors if poss. be considerate and find out who is on the highest income when paying for dates and share the cost if possible . Society has created a space where the young men really don’t know there role any more but I think this really is the time for young men to decide for themselves the role they want to play and have done with all that male domination stuff , it is as you say so much more beneficial to life to use one’s brains and soul rather than ones fists and adrenaline rush to solve a problem and in order for this to happen world wide education is the main ingredient , unfortunately some governments do not want the status quo to change and therefore will not accommodate the education of the those who are not able to afford an education so we will always have those who are ready to use the male dominance as there way of life , so how do we get through to people that this is not the way , well we just show by example I think and perhaps new literature with stories that emanate this philosophy instead of the usual way the classics have created some male heroes that are dominant lets create heroes that are kind considerate and use their brains rather than their fists and adrenaline to solve life.

    1. I completely agree with you preciouspen1955, we need to change the way society expects the man to act. Moreover each and every man is different, and the society shouldn’t expect all the men to act the same. Men have the right to express their feelings, and the society shouldn’t bar them from doing so. Thank you so much for stopping by preciouspen1955. 🙂

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