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美国的男孩垮了

更新时间:2018-2-23 19:15:59 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

The Boys Are Not All Right
美国的男孩垮了

I used to have this one-liner: “If you want to emasculate a guy friend, when you’re at a restaurant, ask him everything that he’s going to order, and then when the waitress comes … order for him.” It’s funny because it shouldn’t be that easy to rob a man of his masculinity — but it is.

我有阵子喜欢讲这么个小笑话:“要想给某个男性朋友去势,只需在餐厅里问他要点什么菜,然后等女侍者过来的时候……你来替他点餐。”笑点在于剥夺一个男人的男性气概本来不应该这么容易——但事实确实如此。

Last week, 17 people, most of them teenagers, were shot dead at a Florida school. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School now joins the ranks of Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, Columbine and too many other sites of American carnage. What do these shootings have in common? Guns, yes. But also, boys. Girls aren’t pulling the triggers. It’s boys. It’s almost always boys.

上个星期,有17人在佛罗里达州的一所学校遭到枪杀,其中大多数是青少年。马乔里·斯通曼·道格拉斯高中(Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School)如今加入了桑迪·胡克小学(Sandy Hook),弗吉尼亚理工大学(Virginia Tech),科伦拜恩(Columbine)以及众多其他美国屠杀场之列。这些枪击案有什么共同点?枪,是的。但还有一个共同点,那就是:男孩。扣动扳机的不是女孩。是男孩。几乎总是男孩。

America’s boys are broken. And it’s killing us.

美国的男孩垮了。这让我们备受折磨。

The brokenness of the country’s boys stands in contrast to its girls, who still face an abundance of obstacles but go into the world increasingly well equipped to take them on.

在这个国家,男孩的垮掉与女孩们的状况形成了鲜明对比,美国女孩依然面对着大量障碍,但在进入这个世界的时候,她们已经日益做好准备去面对这些障碍。

The past 50 years have redefined what it means to be female in America. Girls today are told that they can do anything, be anyone. They’ve absorbed the message: They’re outperforming boys in school at every level. But it isn’t just about performance. To be a girl today is to be the beneficiary of decades of conversation about the complexities of womanhood, its many forms and expressions.

过去的50年重新定义了在美国身为女性的意义。今天的女孩被告知,她们可以做任何事,成为任何人。她们已经充分接纳了这样的信息:在学校里,她们在各个方面的表现都超过男生。但重要的不只是表现。数十年来,关于女性气质的复杂性和多样的形式与表达,人们一直在展开讨论,如今的女孩都是这些讨论的受益者。

Boys, though, have been left behind. No commensurate movement has emerged to help them navigate toward a full expression of their gender. It’s no longer enough to “be a man” — we no longer even know what that means.

但是,男孩们却落后了。没有出现相应的运动来指导他们充分表达自己的性别。“做一个男人”已经不够了——我们甚至不知道这意味着什么。

Too many boys are trapped in the same suffocating, outdated model of masculinity, where manhood is measured in strength, where there is no way to be vulnerable without being emasculated, where manliness is about having power over others. They are trapped, and they don’t even have the language to talk about how they feel about being trapped, because the language that exists to discuss the full range of human emotion is still viewed as sensitive and feminine.

太多的男孩被困在同一种令人窒息、早已过时的男子气概模板之中,在这种模板里,男性气质是以力量衡量的,你不能表现出脆弱,否则等于被阉割,而男子气概意味着拥有支配他人的力量。男孩们被困住了,他们甚至没有一种语言,可以用来谈论他们被困住的感受,因为所有用来讨论各种人类情感的语言仍然被认为是敏感的、女性化的。

Men feel isolated, confused and conflicted about their natures. Many feel that the very qualities that used to define them — their strength, aggression and competitiveness — are no longer wanted or needed; many others never felt strong or aggressive or competitive to begin with. We don’t know how to be, and we’re terrified.

对于自己的天性,男人们感到孤立、困惑和矛盾。许多人认为,那些曾经被用来定义男人的品质——力量、侵略性和竞争意识——已经不再被人渴望或需要;还有很多人从一开始就不觉得自己拥有强大的力量,或者拥有侵略性和竞争意识。我们无所适从,而且我们很害怕。

But to even admit our terror is to be reduced, because we don’t have a model of masculinity that allows for fear or grief or tenderness or the day-to-day sadness that sometimes overtakes us all.

但是,即使承认我们的恐惧也等于示弱,因为任何男性气质的模板都不允许男人感到恐惧、悲伤或温柔,或者有时会压倒我们所有人的那种日复一日的悲伤。

Case in point: A few days ago, I posted a brief thread about these thoughts on Twitter, knowing I would receive hateful replies in response. I got dozens of messages impugning my manhood; the mildest of them called me a “soy boy” (a common insult among the alt-right that links soy intake to estrogen).

举例来说:前几天,我在Twitter上发布了一则关于这些想法的简短概括,我知道自己会收到一些充满恶意的回复。后来我收到了数十条信息,质疑我的男性气概;其中最温和的一则说我是“豆男”(这是另类右翼经常使用的一种侮辱,把大豆摄入和雌性激素联系起来)。

And so the man who feels lost but wishes to preserve his fully masculine self has only two choices: withdrawal or rage. We’ve seen what withdrawal and rage have the potential to do. School shootings are only the most public of tragedies. Others, on a smaller scale, take place across the country daily; another commonality among shooters is a history of abuse toward women.

因此,那些感到失落但希望保持充分阳刚气概的男人只有两种选择:退缩或愤怒。而我们已经看到退缩和愤怒这两种情绪的潜力。学校枪击案只是最公开的悲剧。其他规模较小的悲剧每一天都在全国各地发生;枪手们的另一个共同点是:都有虐待女性的劣迹。

To be clear, most men will never turn violent. Most men will turn out fine. Most will learn to navigate the deep waters of their feelings without ever engaging in any form of destruction. Most will grow up to be kind. But many will not.

要澄清一点,大多数男人绝不会变得暴力。大多数男人最后都没什么问题。大多数男人将学会趟过自我感受的深水,而不会进行任何形式的破坏。大多数人会成长为善良的人。但也有许多人不会。

We will probably never understand why any one young man decides to end the lives of others. But we can see at least one pattern and that pattern is glaringly obvious. It’s boys.

我们可能永远不会理解为什么任何一个年轻男人决定结束他人的生命。但我们至少可以看到一种规律,而且这种规律非常明显。是男孩。

I believe in boys. I believe in my son. Sometimes, though, I see him, 16 years old, swallowing his frustration, burying his worry, stomping up the stairs without telling us what’s wrong, and I want to show him what it looks like to be vulnerable and open but I can’t. Because I was a boy once, too.

我信任男孩们。我信任我的儿子。但有时候,我看到16岁的他吞下自己的挫折感,掩饰自己的忧虑,迈着沉重的步伐踏上楼梯,却不告诉我们有什么事情不对劲,我想告诉他,既脆弱又开放是一种什么样的感觉,但是我不能。因为我也曾是一个男孩。

There has to be a way to expand what it means to be a man without losing our masculinity. I don’t know how we open ourselves to the rich complexity of our manhood. I think we would benefit from the same conversations girls and women have been having for these past 50 years.

必须有一种方法来扩展身为男人的意义,同时又不会让我们丧失男子气概。我不知道我们应该如何打开自己,去面对身为男人的丰富复杂性。我想我们可以从过去50年来女孩与女人的类似对话中受益。

I would like men to use feminism as an inspiration, in the same way that feminists used the civil rights movement as theirs. I’m not advocating a quick fix. There isn’t one. But we have to start the conversation. Boys are broken, and I want to help.

我希望男人能把女权主义作为一种启发,就像女权主义者把民权运动作为启发一样。我不是在鼓吹快速的解决方案。世上没有什么快速的解决方案。但是我们必须开始这种对话。男孩们垮了,我想帮助他们。

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