Blue Stockings Society hosts first masculinity panel


Co-president of Blue Stockings Society, Harry Olafsen, conducted a discussion panel on April 23 dealing with masculinity and its portrayal between both genders. Freshman occupational therapy and women’s studies major Sydney Missouri moderated this event.

The panel featured several faculty members and students such as Dr. Olivia Pethel, Dr. Arthur Remillard, Dr. Michael McKale, SFU student Adonte Haddox, Dr. Denise Damico and SFU student Abby Bowen.

Missouri led the panel in a variety of topics from talking about the definition of masculinity to how masculinity manifests into the youth and the topic of bullying.

“I think a lot of it has to do with strength,” said Dr. Pethel when asked to define masculinity. “Men never really reveal their weaknesses to other men.”

Haddox gave his impression on the term and what society’s perception of masculinity has taught him. He stated that dominance and success are the two aspects that shape masculinity.

“Emotions are for females,” Haddox said. “That’s what masculinity has taught me.”

Haddox gave an example of how masculinity depletes the sentimental and emotional aspect in the relationship with others. “You don’t have best friends, you have boys,” said Haddox.

When shifting the topic to how manhood plays into the competitiveness in sports, the panelists shared how the will to win and be the best player on the field is where masculinity presents itself. “Masculinity comes from how many games you can win,” said Dr. Pethel.

Haddox stated that when it comes to women integrating into a male-dominated team, they have to work twice as hard in order to share the same space with the men. Dr. Remillard stated that as a society we “segregate both genders out of fear.”

Dr. McKale gave his input on the subject matter, discussing the ways in which men and women are confined to uphold labels. “We’re put in boxes and prisons and we can never get out of it,” said Dr. McKale.

Toward the end of the event, the audience asked various questions about other avenues of masculinity and how it shapes men in our society.

“I thought it was very interesting to hear the different perspectives on masculinity and how that affects everyone,” said sophomore physical therapy major Danielle Humbert. “I also liked that we had an environment that was open to discussion and questions.”