Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Oct. 8, 1979)
monday, October 8,1079
UNL Men's Support Group liberating macho image
By Nancy Brumbaugh '
"Every man ought to be a macho man, to live a life of
freedom, machos make a stand, have their own style and
Ideals, possess the strength and confidence, life's a steal,
you can best believe he's a macho man, he's a fecial
person In anybody i land, "
-ung by Th Villaga Ptopl, Wordi and muitc by
I Morall, H. Dtlolo, V. Willis and f, Whltahtad.
The macho man. The burly object of female adoration.
The Invincible pillar of itrength. Unemotional. Domineer
lng. Alwayi In control.
There is a crowing number of men in the United States
who believe the macho man image is a suffocating stereo
type. Books and articles are being written, conferences are
being held, consciousness-raising groups are being formed
to discuss the problem of stereotyping. It's akin to the
women's movement, a kind of men's liberation.
Roger Day, member of the Men's Support Group at
UNL, said of the group, "We don't necessarily see ours
selves as men's liberationists. Men's movement might be a
"We get together to share common concerns," Day
said. He said they discussed what they thought were "the
changing issues, relationships between men and women,
and society's expectations of men ."
DAY, WHO is a full-time student at UNL, mentioned
some of the standards that society sets for men. He said
there is the "expectation that men are always responsible
for supporting the family" and the "idea of always being
in control." He also said that society expected men to be
There are other Nebraska men who are concerned with
"I think that men need to look at some of the stereo
types that have bound them," said Bruce Berggren,
minister at the Lutheran Student Center on the city
campus. 'There are a lot of stereotypes that I grew up
with that 1 hope my sons won't have to grow up with."
Tim Watt man, Parish Pastor in Benedict and Polk,
Neb., named what he thought were the two basic stereo
types, the "John Wayne style" and the "sensitive man
style." Wattmari described the "John Wayne" type as the
strong, tough man, and the "sensitive man" as the roman
tic lover type.
Berggren said ho grew up in a "pre-liberation period,"
and was brought up with stereotypes. He added that he
was told, "Young man, do you know that you will be
responsible for raising your family? That will be your
male responsibility in the world, to be the breadwinner in
CHANGES HAVE occurred in Berggren's thinking.
"I have learned to let a woman open a door for me and
not feel apologetic," he said. Berggren said that at home
he feels "comfortable accepting some of the responsibility
that was once a woman's job "
He mentioned different household chores, such as
doing dishes. "I came out of the old school, but I appreci
ate ... changes," he said.
Wattman laid that his experience was different, in that
the women's lib movement was prevalent when he was in
his teens. "I grew up in a period of liberation," he said. "I
had to find a way to live honestly with myself with these
Wattman said that the key to freeing himself of the
stereotypes was to discover his strengths and weaknesses.
"Liberation is the acceptance of strength and weakness
in you, finding the balance that is you, and expecting that
the balance will change " Wattman said.
Wattman said that tne acceptance of weaknesses would
allow men to talk openly with other people, freeing them
selves from the belief that men should always be strong.
"Our oppression is strength and superiority," he said.
"The goal of liberation for me is mutal Interdependence.
That is impossible when we're caught up in our weak
nesses and false strengths. That means being honest."
IT IS DIFFICULT for men to talk to other men, Watt
"It's very hard to get men together.
He cited the fear of being labelled a homosexual as one
reason, and the fear of admitting weaknesses as another.
Berggren agreed that It was difficult for men to talk
about their problems.
"I see more women In my office because there is more
permission for women to share the pain in their life than
for men," Berggren said.
The purpose of the Men's Support Group is to help
men learn to talk to each other, Day say. He added their
goal is to "break down barriers, to be friends at a deeper
level than a slap on the back."
"Having close male friendships is important to me,"
Day said. "It's really satisfying to have supportive male
"It's neat to share with men and not be thought of as
weak or a homosexual," Berggren said. He said that he
appreciated being able to "share with men what was once
the place for women."
Berggren said he thought changes were needed in the
way some males and females view each other. He said that
looking at the opposite sex primarily as a sexual object
was harmful to human relationships.
"In i sense, male and female have been dehumanized,"
he said. 'The minute I make you into an object, you are
DAY SAID he saw a need for an "increasing role of the
father in parenting. I don't want to be the stereotyped
father." He said that fathers who say 'There's a baby in
the house. That's the woman's job" are missing Important
experiences. "I don't think that's rightihe said.
It's real important to change the way we handle our
families," Day added.
Berggren said he wanted men to evaluate the stereo,
type roles they are placed in "so they can develop healthy
relationships with both men and women. In the long run.
you end up feeling better about yourself as a person."
As a minister. Berggren said that he was interested in
the issue of men s role in society because "it's part of our
goal to help people achieve wholeness."
Wattman said, "I'm a minister. Ministry is basically a
revolution. My hope is that a revolution will take place so
we can be freer."
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