What are the main ideas of Cooper Thompson's "We Should Reject Traditional Masculinity" and how do they work or not work in the movie/play "Billy Elliot?".
Cooper Thompson discusses the stereotypical definition of masculinity in his article "We Should Reject Traditional Masculinity." He demonstrates that there are good qualities in both male and females and insists that boys should learn both qualities and combine them properly to form "new masculinity." The author depicts the traditional definitions of masculinity throughout the article and problems associated with it. He goes on to describe "traditional definitions of masculinity include attributes such as independence, pride, resiliency, self-control, and physical strength.These are desirable attributes for boys and girls. But masculinity goes beyond these qualities to stress competitiveness, toughness, aggressiveness, and power." Cooper Thompson believes that violence is the tool that maintains the two most critical socializing forces in a boys life: homophobia, the hatred of gay men (hatred of feminine qualities in men), and misogyny, the hatred of feminine qualities in women. These two socializing forces put pressure on boys to avoid femininity, even the good qualities.
Cooper Thompson argues the negative side "the traditional view of masculinity." The costs of masculinity are enormous. Believing that a boy should be tough (aggressive, competitive, and daring) can create emotional pain, as well as short term success and little security in the long run. This false view of competing to be the toughest boy can also lead to increased chance of stress, physical injury, and even early death. In contrast, nurturance, a quality not valued because it is not perceived as masculine, decreases emotional distance from others and few opportunities arise to "participate in meaningful interpersonal relationships.