I am a man- the same man whose gender also has restrictions- working…it doesn’t matter where. I am taught to be tough, courageous and “my own man”. I am a man who is expected to be silent and never express my inner sentiment. Whenever I am upset and want to cry, I am told: “to be a man”. I express my anxiety, and depression and I am mocked at. My father calls me effeminate if I do not take curiosity in ‘masculine’ interests. I love doing calligraphy and I am passionate about belly dancing, and the world sees me as gay. I am forced to learn how to wear a mask, and conceal my true identity, suppress it and never show it to the public.
I adhere to masculinity norms and it is not my personal choice, it is imposed on me by these people living in the world from the very beginning of this universe. My adherence to norms of masculinity broadly includes being dominant, being violent, being an anti-feminist, practice emotional control and being self-reliant. I have inherent impulses which I have to deny. I cannot dress up as women, never wear short dresses, never wear makeup, never behave sophisticated and I am censored if I feel contrary to what the definition of “masculine” is. I have to behave in a risk-taking manner and that makes me feel suicidal very often, sometimes self-damaging. This made up the context of my gender eats me up sometimes, when I think of passing it on to my future generation. My genitals define me as a man and I am made to follow the pre-set rules of my gender definition. I get on messages from an early age about how to be a boy. My toys are marked differently from the opposite sex.
I have learned these conventional gender roles from family and friends. I often hear words like gay, mama’s boy, weak, pussy, homo when I try to get out of the “man box”. This is a way to punish me. My acceptable appearance and behavior are laid down and explains my gender roles. I am enforced to follow ‘self’ and ‘other’ distinctions and cross my own borders. I am always considered as a pervert who objectifies other bodies and always wants sex and physical pleasures. But, do you ever think that I may have a bucket list or priority list for myself. I have lost my contact with a natural generosity, kindness, care, and compassion. I have lost my faith in genuinity and still, I am expected to be a gentleman and behave dominantly.
Dear World, Please remember, it is not my personal choice to be a dominant creature and sensibly adhere to patriarchy. It is not my personal choice to be violent, or oppress women. With this, I want to say how mentally ill I am and how I am affected by the idea of my personal suppression in this patriarchal work. I want you to remember that not only SHE but also I am affected by this patriarchal society and what one sees me is not what my true face and true identity is.
A Dominant Man.
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Image Source – The Quint