#BeADude. That’s the current mantra of the Boston College football team and a hashtag that trends locally on Twitter every weekend during their games. The slogan originated with and is promoted the school’s own coaches.
This week, in the school’s student newspaper, writer Evan Goldstein called out the hashtag’s sexism, saying that it promoted “the narrow stereotype of machismo-laden masculinity that plagues our society.” He went on to say:
“News flash: women like football, too. So what message are we sending by sticking “#BeADude” on the promotional poster for BC football?”
It was a brave move but, unfortunately, not one universally well received. Comments on the paper’s website and especially on the site Barstool Sports – where the op-ed was later mocked – took aim at Goldstein and began implying that he himself was less of a man for writing the piece.
The visceral reactions, some including gay and ethnic slurs, remind us again how pervasive and influential hypermasculinity is in our culture. Especially in certain pockets of sports culture.
Goldstein titled his piece “#BeAnExample,” calling on the football team – with their enormous influence – to join him in creating a real conversation around masculinity. While certain Internet commentators reject his idea, we want to support it. It’s exactly the kind of discussion we hope to expand with our next film, The Mask You Live In.
This week, share Goldstein’s article, with hashtag #BeAnExample, to challenge Boston College’s use of limiting masculine stereotypes and to encourage more young men and women to see themselves as leaders in the fight for gender equity.