Well / Live

A Manly Response to Disease

www.nytimes.com
3 min read
fairly difficult
A conventional model of masculinity inhibits some men from expressing their emotional responses to assaults on the body.
Unaffected by more recent gender paradigms, the standard of a strong-and-silent masculinity to which these men conform depends upon their upbringing. They are of generations of boys brought up not to cry or rant: to button up, soldier on and not indulge in messy emotions. The novelist Anthony Trollope put it best: "Men but seldom tell the truth of what is in them, even to their dearest friends; they are ashamed of having feelings, or rather of showing that they are troubled by any intensity of feeling." Though it has long roots, this model of masculinity continues to shape the identities even of people engaged in the expressive work of creative literature.

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