Why do people who know better stay silent in the face of damaging behaviors? Through engaging stories, this article in the journal Studies in Symbolic Interaction discusses how the angry expression of power over others is enabled through the silencing of those with lower status who witness its expression. Status silencing uses the fear of reprisal for speaking up with different viewpoints and/or about inappropriate behaviors. Gendered roles associated with leadership and power can create forms of toxic masculinity. Thus, status silencing and toxic masculinity are reasons why bystander intervention does not always occur when it should. As the authors note, patriarchy works best when it goes unrecognized; this article may help individuals better recognize these harmful dynamics when they happen on campus.
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