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‘Boys are broken’: Comedian Michael Ian Black nails why ‘rigid masculinity’ is ‘killing us’ in the wake of Florida massacre

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Comedian Michael Ian Black had a powerful statement in response to the latest school shooting to shock America.

“Deeper even than the gun problem is this: boys are broken,” Black tweeted. “Until we fix men, we need to fix the gun problem.”

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“The last 50 years redefined womanhood: women were taught they can be anything. No commensurate movement for men who are still generally locked into the same rigid, outdated model of masculinity and it’s killing us,” he continued.

“If you want to hurt a man, the first thing you do is attack his masculinity. Men don’t have the language to understand masculinity as anything other than some version of a caveman because no language exists,” he noted. “The language of masculinity is hopelessly entwined with sexuality, and the language of sexuality in hopelessly entwined with power, agency, and self-worth.”

“So men (and boys before that) don’t have language for modes of expression that don’t readily conform to traditional standards. To step outside those norms is to take a risk most of us are afraid to take. As a result, a lot of guys spend their lives terrified,” Black suggested. “We’re terrified of being viewed as something other than men. We know ourselves to be men, but don’t know how to be our whole selves. A lot of us (me included) either shut off or experience deep shame or rage. Or all three. Again: men are terrified.”

“Even talking about this topic invites ridicule because it’s so scary for most men (and women). Men are adrift and nobody is talking about it and nobody’s doing anything about it and it’s killing us,” he concluded.

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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