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Influencing a Positive Image of Masculinity

Research has shown that young men today face challenges in determining what “authentic” masculinity looks like. Society promotes several conflicting images of what a “real man” is or should be. Richmond College promotes the idea that “being a man” is about discovering your best self. The elements of the Positive Image of Masculinity provide a framework for our students to find their own authentic brand of masculinity.

The first element of the Positive Image of Masculinity is to act with sound judgment. We challenge our students to think about the consequences of their actions, the impact of their words and actions on others, and to make decisions grounded in their personal ethical/moral framework.

The second element is to demonstrate a generosity of self. Students are encouraged to include and support every other member of the community. We ask our students to think about how they can contribute to the greater good of the College, University, and the world beyond our gates.

The final element is to live with confidence. College is a period where young men not only come to grips with what it means to be a man, but also what type of person they want to be. Our work involves helping our students be comfortable with the person they are becoming. Authenticity begins with an understanding and acceptance of the values, qualities, and beliefs that are unique to each person.

In truth, the Positive Image of Masculinity could easily be called the Positive Image of Humanity, as these are not characteristics exclusive to men. Men are often confronted with the phrase “Man Up,” which carries the connotation that they are not being “manly” enough. Richmond College students are asked to look at masculinity in a different way. The Positive Image of Masculinity provides our students with a blueprint to “Man Up” in a way that does not deny the humanity of any other person.

Richmond College students are unique: They are scholars, they are leaders, and they are Spiders. Even more, they are a diverse community of authentic men.