Metropolitan Digital

The Conversation

  • Written by Deana Rohlinger, Professor of Sociology, Florida State University
Galentine's Day has become a thing – why hasn't Malentine's Day?

On Feb. 13, women will celebrate Galentine’s Day, a holiday trumpeting the joys of female friendships.

The holiday can trace its origins to a 2010 episode[1] of “Parks and Rec,” in which the main character, Leslie Knope, decides that the day before Valentine’s Day should be an opportunity to celebrate the platonic love among women, ideally with booze and breakfast food.

In the years since the episode aired, the fictional holiday has caught[2] on in the real world.

But why hasn’t there been a male equivalent?

If anything, it seems that men should crave such a holiday. As a sociologist who studies gender[3], culture[4] and politics[5], I know that men are reporting[6] that they feel increasingly isolated[7] as they age[8], and that this isolation can negatively affect their physical[9] and mental health[10].

But it seems that a set of cultural pressures prevent a holiday like “Malentine’s Day” from catching on.

Age and isolation

For one, men have more difficulty making and keeping friends as they age.

This could be due to the fact that male friendships are often activity-based[11], with men often bonding[12] while participating in shared social activities, whether it’s playing cards or watching sports. But as men enter the workforce, their availability[13] for clubs, sports teams and social groups ebbs. As they find themselves increasingly focusing on their careers and families, it virtually disappears.

Other men have noted[14] that they’re afraid that close male friendships will be perceived as “girly.” Similarly, openly admitting that you crave close relationships might be seen as weak or needy – the opposite of the stoic male celebrated in American culture[15].

Whatever the reason, men report that the number of close friends they have shrinks dramatically[16] during middle age.

The really bad news for men is that their friendship networks rarely strengthen after the kids are out of the house and they retire.

And a reversal of fortune in men’s friendships seems unlikely. In fact, men seem to be getting more socially isolated[17] over time. Men report having fewer friends in 2004 than they did in 1985.

Friendship out of the spotlight

Even for men that do have a big group of male friends, there seem to be some cultural barriers that prevent the full-throated, public celebration of male affinity and companionship.

One is the cultural expectation that “real men” aren’t supposed to be emotional – something that’s hammered into boys from a young age[18]. So even when men have close male friend groups, a public celebration might be seen as sappy and antithetical to real manhood.

Even men who try to break the mold of gender stereotypes[19] or show that they are in touch with their feminine sides still feel pressured to demonstrate their manhood to others. For example, men can be supportive and caring, but still feel compelled to prove that they are the breadwinners for their families.

This doesn’t mean that men’s relationships are doomed to be shallow. Men often prefer actions over words to signal that they care about someone, and these performances – particularly ones involving friendship and love – tend to be understated[20]. Men might show friends they care by helping them move furniture, or show partners affection by running errands or doing chores around the house.

In other words, the ways men form and celebrate friendship don’t lend themselves well to boozy group breakfasts that can be photographed and liked on social media.

[ Like what you’ve read? Want more? Sign up for The Conversation’s daily newsletter[21]. ]

References

  1. ^ a 2010 episode (www.imdb.com)
  2. ^ caught (www.insider.com)
  3. ^ gender (link.springer.com)
  4. ^ culture (www.journals.uchicago.edu)
  5. ^ politics (www.tandfonline.com)
  6. ^ are reporting (onlinelibrary.wiley.com)
  7. ^ increasingly isolated (www.jstor.org)
  8. ^ they age (academic.oup.com)
  9. ^ physical (kopernio.com)
  10. ^ mental health (www.annualreviews.org)
  11. ^ activity-based (journals.sagepub.com)
  12. ^ often bonding (www.oxfordscholarship.com)
  13. ^ availability (books.google.com)
  14. ^ have noted (www.huffpost.com)
  15. ^ the opposite of the stoic male celebrated in American culture (melmagazine.com)
  16. ^ shrinks dramatically (onlinelibrary.wiley.com)
  17. ^ socially isolated (www.jstor.org)
  18. ^ something that’s hammered into boys from a young age (journals.sagepub.com)
  19. ^ break the mold of gender stereotypes (journals.sagepub.com)
  20. ^ tend to be understated (theconversation.com)
  21. ^ Sign up for The Conversation’s daily newsletter (theconversation.com)

Authors: Deana Rohlinger, Professor of Sociology, Florida State University

Read more https://theconversation.com/galentines-day-has-become-a-thing-why-hasnt-malentines-day-130862

Metropolitan republishes selected articles from The Conversation USA with permission

Visit The Conversation to see more

Entertainment News

Why We’re Committed to Puerto Rico

First let me say again that it’s an honor and a privilege to have the opportunity to serve the people of Puerto Rico with our God-given talents at Pure Mission Entertainment (PME). However, it sad...

Willie J Pure Mission Entertainment - avatar Willie J Pure Mission Entertainment

DARRELL KELLEY GETS BUSY

A true socially conscious Renaissance man for our time, Darrell Kelley has been an unstoppable creative and grooving force of nature since getting back to his first love of music and dropping his ...

Tom Estey - avatar Tom Estey

Destiny Malibu, one of the year’s 25 break-out artists

POP SINGER, SONGWRITER SET TO RELEASE "LO SIENTO" ON FEBRUARY 28th, 2020 ‘Destiny Malibu, one of the year’s 25 break-out artists’ - Shutter16.com ‘Independent singer, songwriter, talent, inspirat...

Tom Estey - avatar Tom Estey

Metropolitan Business News

Impact of good marketing on sales

Sales and marketing are brothers as they go hand and in hand. The job of both of these departments is to generate revenue so that an organization can make money. A company that does not generate rev...

News Company - avatar News Company

7 effective tips for increasing sales in retail

It seems that retailers have drawn a difficult lot in the 21st century: competition from online retail is growing steadily. After all, Internet retailers can sell your products at significantly lowe...

News Company - avatar News Company

10 Reasons to Use Labels

People cannot stop biting their nails, considering the messy condition of their homes. You open your kitchen drawer to grab some utensils, but instead, you take a glance at toys lying inside that dr...

News Company - avatar News Company

15 ways to encourage your office employees

We often get so busy managing our companies and business that we forget about the most important resource that is making our business reach new height every day, our employees. Support of the manage...

News Company - avatar News Company

FAQs About Forex Trading

Today everything is so easily accessible, perfect, and glamorous. Have you ever wondered living in a time with no money? Well, let's just go back in the ancient times when a valuable piece of paper ...

News Company - avatar News Company

RETIREMENT FINANCIAL EXPERT RYAN SKINNER - A STEP ABOVE THE REST

The name of my Woburn, MA retirement services firm is Summit Financial Partners for a very good reason -because the clients I work with have either reached their retirement summit (i.e. they’re re...

Tom Estey - avatar Tom Estey

Holidays

New Baggage Regulations to Help Aussie Parents Travel with Infants

Travelling around the globe has never been easy, especially when infants tag along for the trip. One of the main issues that parents often have to deal with is the need to bring extra item...

News Company - avatar News Company

Maya Beach Opens to Tourists

Despite recent reports that Southern Thailand's famous Maya Beach will close for three months this year, in fact no decision to this effect has been made by Thai authorities. Phi Phi Nati...

Maevadi Rosenfeldt - avatar Maevadi Rosenfeldt

SKYN LAUNCHES GUIDE TO THE BEST PLACES TO GET INTIMATE

SKYN®, Australia’s best-selling condom*, today launches its very first SKYN® Places of Intimacy Guide.   Curated in partnership with GQ Magazine and Conde Nast, the Guide features 30 lux...

SKYN - avatar SKYN