The stereotypical men are stoic, sturdy and tough as nail. The equation of being a man given by our society is to be someone who is brave, full of muscles, good looking, leader and smart. But wait.! Women too have all these traits, then what is the exact equation for being a man. Adding more on that equation, a man is who pushes back their true emotions, bottle up their feelings and don’t cry, that is what we made men to personify themselves.
“Man up.” “Boy’s don’t cry.” “Don’t cry. Are you a girl?” These are the messages we give boys, they grow up hearing these over and over again which is supposed to mean to not show their emotions because of their gender. It tells them that girls are weak, queer guys are unmanly and masculinity is better than femininity. A young boy of six year old getting vaccination started to cry and his father was saying “Common you are a man. Don’t cry”. For these reasons as no one wants to be called weak, even after years boys consciously or not they hold back tears and won’t tell their friends or parents when something is wrong. Our society has given a fake meaning to the word ‘man’, it teaches boys that crying is not a part of being a man it makes one weak and only certain types of expressions are permitted.
There aren’t enough shades of male identity, such as being angry or hyper masculinity man is acknowledged more. But it’s all about impressing not expressing.
A surprisingly fact from a psychologist is that men who bottle their feelings are 16 times more likely to have heart problems than men who express themselves. Due to the negative impact of stereotypical expectations of masculinity on boys and men, including pressure on young boys to prove their masculinity to their peers and in the society male suicide rate are three times than that of women.
Boys do want to cry when they see their mother or wife in pain, or when they see their father in trouble or when they get hurt but many of times they don’t cry. We mistake the word crying, we take it as a weakening trait, but in fact crying let one to shed all of the pain, sorrow and stress, it make one strong by heart and soft by emotions. Softness and kindness are powerful and a boy should get to decide himself as what makes him a man. No emotions can incarnate any gender, it only express the state of emotional reactions. Do not push back yourself boys from expressing your true selves, if you are hurt or you feel to cry do cry it is ok to do so because crying can relieve your pain and by this you can give your best self to you and others. Contribute to changing landscape in which masculinity is interpreted and is expressed, erase the traditional stigma by helping boys and men to be a man by letting them express a range of emotions.