Editor’s Note: This post is a part of What's A Man, a series exploring masculinity in India, in collaboration with Dr. Deepa Narayan. Join the conversation here!
This is a subjective topic, being a man/boy has more to it than just what society says.
I don’t know what exactly means to be a man/boy but I know what it doesn’t mean.
Being a man/boy doesn’t mean you have to “man-up” or hide your feelings.
Crying doesn’t make you less of a man/boy. It shows that you are strong and you are emotionally available.
The statement “real men don’t cry” is bullshit. As an Indian teenager, I have heard the phrase “kya ladkiyo jaise ro raha hai” (why are you crying like a girl?) said to men a lot! It’s normalised so much. Even the media shows that men have to be the strong pillar of the family. And in order to do that, you are supposed to be the alpha male who doesn’t cry, who doesn’t get hurt, who doesn’t have feelings which is even scientifically wrong.
Every human has feelings and expressing them is what makes you strong and not the other way around.
People have now forgotten the difference between ‘masculinity’ and ‘toxic masculinity’.
People have even assigned gender to clothes.
Being a man/boy doesn’t have anything to do with clothes. WEAR WHAT YOU WANT! No one else has the right to decide what you wear. If you are comfortable with what you wear, wear it!
Don’t be one of the toxic men because of the conditioning of society.
If you are a man, don’t hesitate to cry.
If you are a man, don’t hesitate to do what you actually love.
If you are a man, don’t be scared to wear clothes that society doesn’t approve of.
If you are a man, wear as much makeup you want or don’t.
Be someone you actually are and not what society is trying to make you.
Sending all the hugs and love! Stay safe and do what you love❤️