Available for Interviews: Dr. Colleen Cira, Psy.D.
Dr. Colleen Cira, Psy.D., is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist who specializes in Women and Trauma, and has worked with hundreds of people struggling with mental health issues.
What Dr. Colleen Cira can say in an interview
on Toxix Masculinity and the US Capital Siege:
- What is toxic masculinity? Wikipedia defines it as the adherence to traditional male gender roles that consequently stigmatize and limit the emotions boys and men may comfortably express while elevating other emotions such as anger.
- I want to add on to the definition of toxic masculinity as it applies to white boys and men which can include vast amounts of privilege and racism, overtly and/or covertly.
- And that’s what we saw at The Capitol yesterday. Mostly white men who were behaving violently and aggressively. Why is that?
- The long story put short is that they are scared. Society teaches them that fear is weak. Society does NOT teach them how to talk about their feelings. So when white men are scared, all of their fear winds up showing up as anger and violence.
- And why are they scared? Well, humans are often scared of what they don’t know. This is baked into our DNA from a millennia ago when novelty could mean death (Watch the Dad in The Croods and you’ll get a comical idea of what I’m talking about.). That’s why change often makes us so uncomfortable. Many of us would rather choose the devil we know versus the devil we don’t. So some of that is human nature.
- But some of this is also the fact that we don’t allow boys to be fully human. We don’t allow them to experience and express the full range of emotions lest he be accused of being gay or a pussy.
- Because of this societal pressure, we also don’t teach them about their emotions. Instead of helping them understand that emotions are data meant to help us, we simply shut their emotions down—leaving them no guidance and no practice at feeling their feelings, which is a major problem. Because feelings don’t go away when we push them down, they go underground and wind up leaking or exploding in problematic ways down the road.
- And last, but certainly not least, is the issue of White Privilege and White Supremacy. We need to be talking to our white brothers not only about THEIR feelings but about OTHER people’s feelings too. About OTHER people’s experiences, perspectives, and histories. We need to teach them about racism and how our white ancestors have been and we continue to be the perpetrators.
- Bottom line: we need to raise all of our boys to be all of the things society tells them they cannot: sensitive, thoughtful, considerate, empathic, interdependent, and that they are no better than anyone else.
Interview: Dr. Colleen Cira, Psy.D.
Dr. Colleen Cira received both her Masters and Doctorate from The Illinois School of Professional Psychology and is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist in the State of Illinois. She’s the Founder and Executive Director of Cira Center for Behavioral Health, PC, a boutique group practice specializing in Women and Trauma with locations in Chicago and Oak Park.
She was named one of the “Top 100 Women in Chicago Making a Difference,” by Today’s Chicago Woman. Dr. Cira is a trauma and anxiety expert, clinical supervisor, writer, speaker, consultant, activist, wife, and Mommy to two little ones.
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