“Act like a man, p**** a** b****!” This universal saying reminds every man that he has to be dominant in a society where he will be called upon to act according to stereotypes.
This is for every father, every brother, and every son who has wet his pillow so many times because he has been brought up in a household where he has been taught that “a man doesn’t cry.”
A man has buried himself inside all of the silence and yet has carried his kin because no one has ever thought that even a man can have problems.
I remember every time I used to cry as a child: I was told that boys are meant to be strong, boys are meant to be protectors. I have tried to fit in so hard that I have to be arrogant and rude to keep that image.
As a man, I had no alternative but to turn insensitive to myself and the people around me, as no one is there to acknowledge what I really want. My parents want me to focus on my career: they send me to a counselor for my academics and not my relationships.
I am asked to keep my pain and trauma behind my own bedroom door because it is important to be the class clown and show everyone that I am living a happy life.
I was told by my father that I was going to be the man of the house since I was only eight years old.
Little did I know that I had been forced to prematurely accept the responsibility of taking care of this family.
My father had the courage to deal with difficulty, pain, and danger despite his fear of always being criticized and judged.
I am scared of the day that I am seen around as a liability because I am not as strong as my father.
He hardly ever talks about his problems to me. His voice resonates of a teenager who was forced in the concept of marriage, adulthood, and manliness, which trapped him to be selfless and sacrifice all his ambitions.
He has to work every day to ensure that I can spend it all away. He has to care about me till his last breath and come solve every situation I f*** up.
He is not my servant, he is my father and just like him, many other men who face a time in their life when they get married are immediately expected to run the perfect household and financially secure the entire family.
The worth of a man is determined by the money he makes. The value of his personalities is increasingly treated as juvenile and unnecessary.
I don’t blame my family because this is a tradition going on from centuries. My father is a victim to it and he can’t do anything else but expect the same from me.
I want to be my father’s best friend, but I feel like I am his worst enemy as it is a constant struggle between me wanting to hide everything from him to ensure that his son is the best possible version of him.
This is not just a mood swing but something that actually happens in the real world where you cannot hide behind the latest Instagram filter.
A man can be brutally exploited in a relationship and have no way of recourse because, as men, we are inherently supposed to move on. Our entire social hierarchy is really hypocritical as it is not about who one is but about who other people want one to be.
Save India Family Foundation (SIFF) is a prominent Men’s Rights Organization in India. It fights for men’s human rights and seeks to protect men and their families from government-sponsored anti-democratic social experiments.
As an institution, SIFF, provides guidance and support to men and their families who face domestic violence and false cases of dowry harassment.
It protects these men and their families from extortion by the corrupt police and court system, as many laws are used to force men to give up a huge amount of money.
Additionally, SIFF works to prevent suicides of men, who are victims of domestic violence and false cases filed by their wives.
Men are expected to “suck it up” when something is unfair. The media and society at large portray men as potential dangers and predators but we can’t blame the women for being a little precautious when it comes to men.
A man never shows it but he just wants to be wanted. A man does not want to act tough but his circumstances force him to have that certain behavior.
So, talk to your father about how he did not buy that car because he had to pay for your education. Talk to your brother about how he never got the dream job he desired. Most importantly, talk to your son, tell him that:
“It’s OK to cry sometimes.”
As a child, I always looked forward to the validation of being a man. But, I have gradually realized that every man that owns his mustache is still a child.
We are products of a failed system where expressing our feelings will always be considered a sin.
2 thoughts on “Boys don’t cry … and other lies”
Well-written, Harsh. I hope that you’re wrong when you write, “[men] expressing [their] feelings will always be considered a sin.”
Have you heard of the Good Men Project (https://goodmenproject.com/)? It’s an organization that works to fight toxic masculinity, and its articles describe many male role models who are kind and emotionally vulnerable instead of tough and emotionally suppressed.
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I really appreciate this article! I think people often think that gender equality and feminism only works to uplift women, but I also think these ideas play a huge part in breaking down gender norms, and help people in thinking outside heteronormative gender roles. Breaking down gender stereotypes is positive for all genders!
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