First Draft

This form or game scenarios attempt to raise awareness about toxic masculinity which is something that almost all men around the world suffer from without realizing which then produces even bigger problems that women suffer from too. This is called The Man Challenge.

11 thoughts on “First Draft

  1. Hi Ihab – so much about this game is good, but one of the issues with it is that it doesn’t show any negative consequences for when someone acts NOT like a man, and how repeatedly NOT acting like a man may make you start behaving differently in order to fit in. E.g. if you keep leaving certain conversations, many of your friends may not change, and just prefer not to have you there, right? Things like that…
    Also towards the end when you include links to videos, you might want to tell the player what is in the videos and how long it is so they can decide whether to watch or not.


  2. This is an interesting game and one that has a lot of possibility in helping people reflect on toxic masculinity; though I feel that concept could be strung more strongly throughout each question. Here are some other thoughts in relation to specific questions:

    “If you are a male answer the following questions as honestly as possible and if you are a female then answer these questions how you feel men would respond. ”

    This was confusing…does it mean in terms of what we as individuals think a “real man” should be or what the culture thinks a “real man” should be? Because for me those are 2 different things. It might be smart (and also gender-inclusive) to just tell participants what they think as individuals (or culturally) what a “real man” should be.

    Imagine walking down the street and you see a guy verbally harassing a girl in a sexual manner, what do you do? *
    Options 2 & 3 are splitting hairs and highly contextual as to whether what would be best and safest to do–so it might need more details clarify the scenario. Also, by comforting the person, you are still communicating that what is being done isn’t acceptable; confronting someone (who has a toxic form of masculinity) may only reinforce it and not stop the harrasser from doing it again.

    “You and your friends are having a boys’ night out and the conversation shifted to talking about girls in a sexual manner, do you: ”

    You might add another option “Raise the question about why there is a need of a “boys’ night out”–when in fact, they’re all “adult males” and by excluding those who identify as female, are already indicating a problematic gendered relationship.

    “Your girlfriend/fiancee/wife is acting in a manner that you don’t like or has a male university/work colleague that you don’t like even though he is decent with no bad intentions. This issue starts to make you feel irritated and angry, what do you do? *”

    Another healthy option might be to do a good amount of reflection about the situation and figure out why you have a problem. Bringing in the partner to talk is a good approach BUT it implies that it’s something she has to fix or navigate RATHER than the male recognizing and addressing his toxic masculinity (that is, it still puts much of the responsibility for HIS feelings on HER).

    “You were playing and running around then suddenly you feel and hurt your knee. Automatically you started crying and your parents ran to you, what did they do? *”

    Should be “fell”


    1. Thanks so much, Lance for the detailed feedback! I agree with most of it, and especially about the reinforcement of toxic masculinity in the more aggressive reaction to observing harassment…
      Not so sure regarding boys’ night out :)) I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing to do every now and then… so not sure where you were going with this one 🙂


      1. my pleasure…with the “boy’s night out”, my experience with such things is that by defining it as “boys”, there’s a reiteration of gender and gender assumptions–which in a patriarchal society usually means a need to act in ways that are not acceptable around women. It seems to come with implicit assumptions about how males and females act and those assumptions are often grounded in sexist ways of view men and women. Of course, this is me speaking from my limited US lens…where most “boys nights out” usually entail men getting together to look at women, talk about women, or get into activities to which they don’t want women to be a part of–and that leads me to think that there’s some element of declaring boy’s night out as something that likely contributes to toxic masculinity.

        In fact, that might be a good scenario in this game: Some friends have decided to hang out and it’s all men. A woman friend asks if she can join in but one of the friends declare’s it a “boy’s night out”. What do you do?


      2. Ah. Well it might also be that there’s a scenario before that… is the boys night out going for dinner (which my husband does w his friends and am pretty sure they’re not girl watching) versus something else that’s a nightlife/women-watching type of activity. I see what you meant there.

        Ihab will know what he meant and perhaps clarify to the player better.


      3. Here a “boys night out” is more because of the traditions we have such as girls usually have curfews earlier than boys, so having this night out is usually because we want to hang out late after studying. Still, you are right because even though I thought of it from my experiences that these nights out don’t revolve around talking about women, others might have their nights out in that fashion.


  3. Hi Ihab. You chose a great topic as well as a catchy title for the game. I agree with Dr. Bali’s assessment that there should be some choices about what happens when a man does not act in a stereotypical fashion. If you are going to cite to scholarly research, you should give proper and full citations. Also, your videos were great; if you could find some way of embedding them directly in the game, that would be great so the viewer can have a reference right away as to what they are watching. #unboundeq


  4. Dear Ihab, before anything i absolutely appreciate the amount of thought and effort put into this draft, pretty inspiring.
    Now i still had a few comments to share with you:

    – I was finding some of the terminology a little problematic, something like how we refer to “real men” or “men cause violence” we alarming in my head. I recommend that you instead use things like “traditions masculinity” and “some “types of masculinity may turn violent”. This is because I think we need not alienate some of the male participants.

    – I had fun reading the feedback you gave for each answer because i am personally interested in the topic. However, I still felt that at times I needed an extra incentive to keep going. What if the questions were made in a more linear pattern similar to a story? Maybe then I would be willing to continue reading and answering because i want to know (and maybe affect?) the rest of the story. Of course this all depends on the nature of this project.

    I am looking forward to seeing the final draft because it very clearly has great potential and impact.

    Best wishes!


    1. I intentionally used the term “real men” because this is a stereotype that I want for us to eradicate. As for making the game linear, this is something that I agree with you and in fact I wanted to do it this way, but I was tight in time. Thank you so much for taking the time and playing the game and also giving me your feedback.


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