Growing up, I loved that people saw me as a masculine man. I loved the power, the access, the respect and the perceived safety that masculinity provided me. So in late 2015, when the University of Florida asked me to give a Ted style talk at their 2016 TedX Conference in March, I decided to call it “The Mask of Masculinity.”
As I wrote in my recent essay explaining, why more Black men should be feminists, I wanted to use personal narrative to highlight the big problem with masculinity.
Here’s a hint: It’s NOT real.
“We raise young boys to wear a mask of toughness in order to be a man, and we rob them of their childhood and their innocence.”
Masculinity is a performance and a mask we, men, wear to shield ourselves from pain, and the performance of masculinity never ever means freedom and self-love.
It’s time to get free.
Former NFL Player Wade Davis is a thought leader, writer, public speaker, and educator on gender, race, and orientation equality. Davis is currently a senior consultant at YSC, a global leadership consulting firm, as well as the NFL’s first LGBT Diversity and Inclusion consultant, and the Executive Director of the You Can.