“Man Box” rules

Socially there a lot of unpsoken rules about being a man. One of the main rules according to Robert Brannon includes “no sissy stuff”  or “avoid feminine behaviors”. A primary example of this is men crying publicly. Now there are exceptions to this rule especially in sports. Men are allowed to express emotion after a “heartbreaking loss” or during a retirement speech.

Culturally we are fascinated by men crying. One illustration of this is the “crying Michael Jordan” meme that is very popular on social media. The meme is funny but also shows that men expressing vulnerability can be treated as a joke. Healthy masculinity is about supporting men in expressing a wide range of emotions not just the culturally accepted ones.

crying Jordan
Michael Jordan crying during his induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009.

Conversation starter: What are some other examples of when the “man box” rule “no sissy stuff” is used for humor within popular media?