“The world is possessed as two wings, the male and the female, so long as these two wings are not equivalent in strength, the bird will not fly.” ~ the Baha’i teachings.
This quote may feel like it’s about equality between men and women in the world, but there’s an underlying meaning to it all. It’s about how the masculine and feminine inside of us also has to be balanced. The balance might be different, but there will never be only one characteristic.
The real problem is how people define masculinity. The society thinks that men shouldn’t cry, that men shouldn’t feel. This problem has been prevailing for centuries. When can we finally talk about mental violence and when will a man be free of this sentence of silence?
Women got a revolution. Sure, there’s a ton of work still pending, but they have direction. We need a revolution too. This revolution has to be, in many ways, the opposite of the women’s revolution. And for this revolution to be a success, we have to accept ourselves and break the shield.
Men are taught not to express. They say ‘mard ko dard nahi hota’ or ‘a man doesn’t feel pain’. But all of us feel emotions, all of them. Except, men bottle it up, don’t deal with it, keep it hidden. And when that bottle is overflowing, they take it out as frustration, adversely affecting those around them.
You all know what is the tough part about being a woman, right? Or atleast you have a rough idea. Have you ever thought about what is the tough part about being a man? I have an answer, the tough part about being a man is other men. This is because of a phenomenon called precarious masculinity. Men feel the pressure of showcasing their masculinity in front of other men. ‘Real men’ don’t wear makeup, don’t act like women, that’s a little unfortunate. Women have the luxury of bending gender norms and they can wear tuxedos instead of dresses and they will be called cool. This is very constraining for men.
Masculinity for men is like an inflatable toy which has a hole in it. You have to keep blowing, keep putting effort, to maintain the illusion that it’s not flawed. But, does that change the facts?
When men have ‘guy talk’ it’s not a conversation that’s very constructive. They don’t talk about their insecurities, their struggles, their issues, none of that. Instead, they often talk about women. And to be a ‘man’ you have to acquire this almost disgusted view of the feminine. This has to stop. Men’s friendships lack depth.
A study shows that men as they age, they become increasingly isolated which is an uncommon phenomenon with women. There are currently 2.5 million men in the United Kingdom alone who have no close friends.
When we see men at a diner eating together, we refuse to believe it as friendship and have to think of it as something romantic. Men have to allow other men to appear weak, to ask questions instead of always having the answer.
The three scariest words in context to this topic are ‘Be a man’. This is the scariest thing a man can hear in his life as it has a very wrong association to it and that is, to not cry or show emotion or be a sissy. And that my friends, is mental violence. Being a real man doesn’t mean having a great amount of economic success, it doesn’t mean having a muscles and/or athletic ability and it certainly does not mean having a great many sexual conquests to gratify your need. The last one is called the usage of another human being.
A man is supposed to emote, express and those things are not failures of masculinity. The men of today are a product of the failed social system. It’s time we change the system.
I’m here to say as a man that this is wrong and has to end.