In His Own Words: Voice Through Literature
Male Characters are rarely portrayed as sensitive, unless written to show female viewers that men can be "sensitive" but more than likely, males are usually characterized as strong, sex crazed, violent, or the hero. Whether in books or films, the males protagonists is usually strong enough and always in control, but what happens when he's not? What happens when individuals decide to unmask the male persona, speak or in this case, write about a males vulnerable state. From one man's account of physical and emotional abuse by his mother to another's confession of love mistakes, here are three literary masterpieces that break the taboo of masculinity, dismantling taboos of male victims of abuse and vulnerability.
1. A Child Called It: One Child's Courage to Survive by Dave Pelzer
This book chronicles the unforgettable account of one of the most severe child abuse cases in California history. It is the story of Dave Pelzer, who was brutally beaten and starved by his emotionally unstable, alcoholic mother: a mother who played tortuous, unpredictable games--games that left him nearly dead. via Amazon
2. Man Up: Cracking the Code of Modern Manhood by Carlos Andres Gomez
Award-winning poet, actor, and writer Carlos Andrés Gómez is a supremely gifted storyteller with a captivating voice whose power resonates equally on the live stage and on the page. In one of his most moving spoken-word poems, Gómez recounts a confrontation he once had after accidentally bumping into another man at a club. Just as they were about to fight, Gómez experienced an unexplainable surge of emotion that made his eyes well up with tears. Everyone at the scene jumped back, as if crying, or showing vulnerability, was the most insane thing that Gómez could possibly have done via Amazon
3. My Heart Is an Idiot by Davy Rothbart
In My Heart Is an Idiot, Davy Rothbart is looking for love in all the wrong places. Constantly. He falls helplessly in love with pretty much every girl he meets―and rarely is the feeling reciprocated. Time after time, he hops in a car and tears halfway across America with his heart on his sleeve. He's continually coming up with outrageous schemes and adventures, which he always manages to pull off. Well, almost always. But even when things don't work out, Rothbart finds meaning and humor in every moment via Amazon
Whether they're been seen as the "other" during times of abuse, breaking taboos by showing their emotions and vulnerability, or even falling in love, losing control, and to conforming to the idea of "manliness," the definition of what it means to "be a man" is changing. With some men speaking out against societies perception of being a man and other's using pen and paper to tell their own stories and in their own words.
*This is part one of four, for our: How Society View of Masculinity Is Harmful to Male Victims Series*