Men shouldn’t cry. It is an age old saying. Young boys are told from their childhood that ‘Boys don’t cry’ every time they pour out their emotions. In Indian society, a male human being is expected to suppress his tear glands and it’s considered as a sign of weakness. Woman posses the sole right to pour out their emotions in the form of tears, any man who cries is considered as weak, and is bullied down until he stop doing that. But we should not forget that crying is only an emotion, and I am proud to say that I do cry and never tried to hold it back.
In our society, the word masculinity is equated with strength and femininity is equated with weakness, a guy is bullied and looked down upon if he shows anything slightly similar to femininity. I am not sure when was the first I was instructed that ‘boys don’t cry’ maybe at the age of five or four. It was given from all angels; teachers, friends, relatives but fortunately my parents never told me to hold my feelings. I remember them saying that ‘Let him cry and get rid of his feelings’ Add to that the conditioning that seeps in with remarks like ‘Act like a man!’ or ‘Boys don’t cry
When we take closer look at things we get to see that how our patriarchal society has made a generation of men moreover like zombies with no emotions on their face. Same men get themselves drowned in alcohol for getting off their emotions but will not let out their emotions in the open. We can see that women are more sensitive over men, because they face no barriers and can emote themselves.
We have created a generation of men dealing with an epidemic, maybe something worse than that. This suppression of individuals can lead to male self-destructive behavior like heavy drinking, drug addiction, suicide, and even refusing psychiatric help. This reminds of a old video by Madhuri Dixit which talks about ‘Boys don’t cry’ being the reason for young men indulging violence against woman. The video don’t surprise me in any way, what can we expect from a society that expect only emotion expected from men are anger and aggression.
The real reason for men indulging in violence is as result of acting out of underlying feelings, which they have no other means of taking it out because years of suppression and conditioning not to express it. The toxicity imposed by the society on men, has dehumanized them, and woman have to face burn of it in the form of violence.
There is no simple solution to the problem we have created over the past several years, but we can start with the basics where boys are allowed to connect with their emotions than suppressing it. Men have feelings; men can feel fear and pain. There is nothing like real men don’t cry. Its real men do cry, they are not afraid to express their emotions. Let’s be the agents of change towards a more gender equitable society than get ourselves drowned and stuck in a patriarchal society which spreads toxicity.