Humans of Harriton (Joel)  

By Jonathan Zamsky

“What was the inspiration for your Mr. Harriton talent?”

“I chose the song and made the video because I was really trying to convey a message, which was probably pretty clear. Something that I've questioned a lot is why being a man entails such arbitrary notions, such as being emotionally stagnant, enjoying sports, characterizing sensitivity as feminine (which is somehow viewed negatively), seeing queer men as less "manly", liking certain activities and disliking others.... Did you know that the male suicide is three times that of women? Or that men are less likely than women to volunteer time or donate money to poverty-fighting causes, which correlates to lower empathy levels? What can these statistics tell us about how we raise boys? And the worst part is that our societal role models make perpetuate this toxic masculinity by diluting sexually violent and misogynistic rhetoric as "locker room" or "boys talk". This is not what being a boy , or for that matter being a human, means. And I feel like if we're going to have a variety show with ten young men, we need to be having these discussions. More importantly, we need to be considering how we raise kids, and especially consider raising boys and girls the same way. So for my performance, I wanted to exhibit I think that there is nothing manlier than a man who expresses his truest self, whether it's by playing football or putting on makeup. And that yes, boys do cry.”