In chapter 8 of "The Will to Change" bell hooks explores how media portrays masculinity and the effect on our societies expectations of men. In summary she finds that media does not believe in an alternative to patriarchy. In most situations media perpetuates patriarchy with hyper violent male heroes. Hooks offers an analysis of the hulk as an example. Young boys when asked what they would do if they were the hulk said they would smash their mommies.
This theme of rage is a focus of Ch. 9 in which hooks discusses the lie of the patriarchy. She quotes Barbara Deming: "I think the reason that men are so very violent is that they
know deep in themselves, that they're acting a lie, and so they're
furious. You can't be hapy living a lie, and so they're furious at being
caught in the lie. But they dont know how to break out of it, so they
just go further into it."
She also criticizes women for their reactions to moments of vulnerability from our partners. If men turn to women to express emotions women are often
unable to hear because it breaks with their ideas of the patriarchal
masculinity, because women have bought into patriarchal masculinity. She says this of herself: "I
did not want to hear the pain of my male partner because hearing it
required that I surrender my investment in the patriarchal ideal of the
male as protector of the wourded. If he was wounded, then how could he
However, women will benefit from accepting men as emotional beings. Hooks claims that the love women experience with patriarchal men is a lie because we cannot truly know men, all of men.