Tuesday, 3 May 2016

To Be A Man

Photo: mirehoracio

By the time a boy is 5 yr old he's pretty much taught that it's not okay to cry in public. He may still do it, but expectation is by the time he's 10 that he's perfected it. And if he's 12 and still crying in public, there is a problem.

When I first heard it I was shocked, not because I was unaware of it but because it is one of those unsaid rules which everyone follows but when you actually hear it aloud, something feels wrong. We complain that men are insensitive and lack empathy but that's how our society has build them up to be.

Boys are not encouraged to talk about any kind of pain with anyone else. They can talk about being pissed off and angry but not about being sad. And when they do talk about pain, parents tend to focus more on how to solve that or what they are going to do or their actions. They are expected to downplay emotions which are traditionally associated with girls. How many times have you heard someone say,"Don't be a such a girl"," Man up!"," Boys don't cry".

As per the standard norm reflected by our society, men are supposed to be physically strong and powerful. They should keep a brave face and not discuss their problems and emotions with others no matter how upset or depressed they feel inside. On other times, it is misinterpreted to be valued with money and materialistic possessions. Not to forget men are expected to show their masculinity with their sexual conquest. Guy who has the hottest chick around is considered cool!

In current era, it is okay if a girl is not too "girly", in fact it is considered cool if she is tomboyish. But their is no such flexibility for boys. Boys have to be tough, into sports or video games and those who don't are bullied till they are left broken from inside.

It's unfortunate that we have made relationship, emotions, empathy such a feminine concept that being "man" means rejecting them.

So what do guys do when they are in pain or stressed out? Mostly indulge in alcohol or other substance abuse. Under the influence of alcohol it's OK to loose your guard and show your real self just a little bit.

It pains me to see a kid holding back his tears, trying to put a brave face, when asked whats wrong says, "Nothing". How lonely it must be to "be a man" ?

We are living in a very promising era, when more and more emphasis is being given on equal rights and freedom. When we can look beyond war and focus on betterment of our civilization. So I hope that, our young boys get an equal chance as our girls to figure out what they want to be in life. A chance to figure out what it really means to be a man instead of enforcing existing stereotypical notions.

The world is not going to change in one day, maybe not even in your lifetime but each one of us can do our part in expanding what it means to be a man for ourselves and the boys in our lives. Because at the end, regardless of gender we are all human beings.


  1. maybe life isnt like that fully..

    1. Not for everyone..there are all kind of people..some like such "macho" type others don't..we should let people be how they want to be..