Essential to the psychologists’ work is the idea that machismo hurt not only women, but men, too, by confining them to a narrow set of emotions and roles — men must be strong, men cannot fail, men cannot cry — that leaves them prone to isolation, violence and social conflict.
Punishing abusers through the penal system when they commit crimes doesn’t address the cause of the problem like prevention and education do, the line’s proponents argue.
“I want you to know that this line makes no judgment on any kind of sexual orientation,” Mr. Galeano told a caller who was struggling recently to talk about a breakup with another man.
Another psychologist, Juan Francisco Valencia, 28, told a second caller: “The first thing I have to tell you is that you can’t control this. In the end, this was her decision.” He added, “What you can do in this case is think about how you’re going to handle it.”
He rarely brings up the word “machismo,” he said. “The funny thing is, as you’re talking, it’s usually the men who bring up the word themselves.”
The Calm Line is being advertised on television, radio and social media, and through an associated television mini-series, “Calm,” which features a cast of four male friends who support one another as they struggle with anger and control issues.