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The Next Time Someone Says “Man Up”, Here Are 10 Powerful Responses

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By Mayank Jain:

You can’t cry because you are a guy. You can’t wear pink because it is ‘girly’. You can’t do this, and you should always do that just because you are a ‘man’. The people around you will want you to live like one. You are made to believe that you are not a man if you are not immune to human emotions.

The social construct is a fast narrowing mould under which men and not just women are made to comply. At some point, people will tell you that you behave/act “like a girl” because you are being sensitive or not drinking enough beers. Masculinity and its notions vary but the consistency with which it is thrown upon men to behave how they are supposed to be is disturbing and damaging. These notions are not only harmful for the men who become victims to stereotypes but also women who become the benchmarks.

Slicing and packaging of someone’s behaviour into a supposedly shameful compartment of feminine behaviour is becoming extremely commonplace, which in turn brings up the ‘much needed‘ reminder for everyone; “Man up!” This video tells you why you shouldn’t.

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  1. gautam govinda

    How about no!

    1. Somia Sharma

      Hi Gautam…
      What is your problem???
      Why is it always u who has to say something Negative about everything POSITIVE.
      Neither do u agree with empowering women nor do you want boys to be free from these disconcerting stereotypes.

      Please boy GROW UP… Finding people like u in our generation makes me moan… If u cannot appreciate a good idea keep away from it… but DO NOT beguile it.

    2. Dipankar Kacharia

      Dear Somia Sharma –

      Why??? Aren’t you just being exactly who you are ridiculing right now??? Gautam has a right to express his views too, you should know that !! It is a public forum and you should be ready to take a comment.

      Besides, the article is on a lighter vein and not a SURVEY !! I wear pink shirts, t-shirts and none/NO ONE has ever said anything and even if they DO EVER – 2 things might happen: Ignore those morons OR deal with it !!

      Peace out !!

    3. Somia Sharma

      Dear Dipankar,
      Thank you very much for your advice. And i really appreciate whatever anyone is saying out here. I believe in letting people speak their mind.
      But I am not taking any of these lightly bcoz I am very serious about these issues. I respect ur point as well but wearing a pink or crying out loud or watching a saas-bahu serial would not make u any less a man.
      I consider it my responsibility to make people realize what they are doing wrong. I might have a wrong perception about things but if I am not open to it and not discuss with u guyz, how am i going to learn better things.

      So, this let it be attitude of ur’s migth be good at some places but not always so…. 🙂

  2. Somia Sharma

    Hi Mayank,
    Where do you get these videos from???
    Because they are all so inspiring and make you think and realize that there are stereotypes for everyone whether it be boys or girls.

    From the very starting the girls are told to play with dolls while boys with cars and we say we are not sexist. From the very start we categorize girls and boys and we are the ones talking about equality. From the very start the girls are asked to be shy and boys are asked to be strong and we say we are impartial.

    Why cant a girl go out and play? Why cant a boy have a dollhouse? Why cant be a boy sit back and be protected , why does he always have to protect? Why cant he cry? Why? Why? Why?
    Please people do not bind your kids. LET THEM BE. Let them experiment with things. DON’T be a initiator of conventions and nesciense.

    1. Dipankar Kacharia

      Would You like/love/marry a guy who plays with Make-up (lipstick, mascara, et al) ? You may be friends, but really???? Come on !!

      If your answer to yourself to that question is a Yes !! Then, Saalut !! If, you double Guess – Please do not !!

      BTW – The article in itself in fair and it’s focused on ‘a’ duh “Man” & besides it’s a Jest, a Satire – why’re you dragging this into Gender issue with femininity involved Again ?? Relax and enjoy the change you desire. But stop stealing it from people who care for what Men really ought to be like 🙂

    2. Somia Sharma

      I might not marry him…. but not necessarily everyone would have this idea.
      I have not once talked of femininity or masculinity…. It is just that ‘let a child be’… Why would we want to bind him in the stereotypes ever since it’s birth. Let them have their experiences..
      There have been times when i have protected my brother, I have guy friends who cry and laugh along.. All this does not make them any less a man…

      Please stop being a critic and be empathetic.
      BTW- From ur last line you seem to be a guy having the same mentality of ‘man-up’.

      Anyways thanks for ur views.

  3. Shweta Sachdeva

    I feel this is the burning issue affecting our country and also the global world. The identities and perspectives attached to gender roles. The paradoxes that we associate with a biological occurrence. The phrase is demeaning and not gender neutral at all. But then again, it has come to mean so because we have let it. Its time our thinkings and frigid reservations regarding one’s sex and all related to it alter.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

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MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

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A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

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A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

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As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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