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Programme Coordinator at the Heinrich Böll foundation, Russia

Irina Kosterina is a Program Coordinator for Gender Democracy at Heinrich Böll Foundation, Candidate of Social Sciences and Researcher on Masculinity.

Sometimes it seems to be better and easier to be a man than women. You have more possibilities, power, authority and resources. In patriarchal cultures men always have the last word. But is it really that better?

According to the famous American researcher Michael Kimmel, masculinity - is a complex and risky venture, a constant pressure of public opinion and the constant need to "keep face", permanently proving to everyone that you are different from women.

In an ironic remark Kimmel noted that young men think that somewhere there is a secret knowledge which allows a real man: "Men feel that all other men have read a book with the rules of how a real man should to behave. All, except them.Ф

The most important places of socialization for boys are schools, universities, sports clubs, where young people join various male unions, fraternities and groups. Here forms the view of male friendship, and above all else, the opinion of other men which is the most important reference.

The main problem of this code is that it does not recognize the emotional response and the idea of weakness, because it is not considered practical. But then another question arises: where do these boys get their ideas from? The answer is obvious: by other men - fathers, coaches, teachers, brothers and friends.

Masculinity appears to us largely as a homosocial experience. Almost everything Ц what a man takes, what is done for other men and estimated by other men.

The film raises all these questions and discusses male socialization, the communication of masculinity and violence and the possibility for the emergence of "alternative" masculinities.


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