A boy, barely of age 5, came running towards his house as soon as he fell and hurt his knee. No sooner did he started bleeding than his ultimate goal was to rush back home. And, that was not to wash his wound or perhaps for a band-aid. He wanted to cry and was eager for his mother’s warm hug which according to him would set things straight. As he went around the house looking for his mother, he saw his dad. He was looking for some kind words but all he got was a stern, “Big boys don’t cry. ”
Isn’t this what society has taught us since the beginning of time?
“Boys don’t cry”, “Don’t be a sissy”, “Act like a man”, “Don’t be needy”, “Are you a girl?” and the list is endless.
These are signs of ingrown toxic masculinity in our society that has not only tainted the older generations but also the younger ones.Toxic masculinity is destroying men and we need to start talking about this.It starts at a very young age, even before kids can form their own thought process. A boy is handed over a truck or a superhero figure or probably a remote-controlled car in order to keep the “masculinity” intact. Even the toys aren’t spared and left to be gender-neutral as whenever a guy tries to play with a doll, he’s told that “boys don’t play with that”
Similarly, they are taught to be strong and warrior-like whatever the situation be and are not encouraged to let their emotions flow because that’s a sign of “weakness” or being “soft”.This creates a problematic situation for those who cannot/do not adhere to these gender norms.Patriarchy is not harmful only for women but it also dictates men how they are supposed to behave because of which a lot of problems that are prevailing in the society now keeping making relapses time and again.
Young boys are taught to adhere to masculine ideals and that kind of creates an emotional vacuum because of which at a later stage in life they start thinking that it’s cool to not care or to break somebody’s heart or be a “bad boy”.Trust me, the drama that we face now can be cut at the source from a very young age we actually try to.Suppression of emotions, bottling them up, thinking that sharing is a sign of a coward; all of this leads to aggression because of which they are unable to handle themselves properly, thus an unstable life, unstable relationships, and a total MESS!
And, you thought they live a great life?
Wait, there’s more.
All of this drama can lead to suicidal thoughts and actions which again is a sign for the society to STOP. THE. TOXIC. MASCULINITY!
It not only affects the straight, cis-gendered men but also causes a massive impact on homosexuals and transgender people as well.Toxic masculinity might be a problem for others, but for these people, it’s a poison that they have to consume every day.
To all the men reading this, I want to tell you that:
-It’s okay to cry. Please cry. Let your feelings out. It’s healthy.
-It’s okay to express emotions. Suppression is toxic.
-It’s okay to care. In this evil world, it’s good to be the caring person you are. So if you want to show your care or affection towards somebody, do it TODAY before they leave.
-It’s okay to love the color pink because COLORS. ARE. GENDER. NEUTRAL. In fact, everything can be gender-neutral if we stop judging it beforehand.
-It’s okay for your kids/siblings/nieces/nephews to play with whatever toys they want to. Let toys and things of amusement and recreation be gender-neutral.
-It’s okay to take care of your body, your skin, your health. You’re not a “sissy” to wash your face twice. The next time anybody calls you so, tell them yes you are a “sissy”, now what?
-And, again it’s okay NOT to do these things. You are all human beings. What is not okay is being an intrusive, annoying person and poking your nose into why a person does/does not do something.
Bonus note for you all : You’re allowed to be the little spoon too.
Happy International Men’s Day!