This article resonated something deep within me.As a girl who grew up with two brothers and has seen the fact that men are not always the “rocks” of emotional and physical strength they would have us to believe I take a lot of bull for saying that I do not believe that men should pretend to be something that they are not in order to fit this toxic notion of what masculinity actually is or what it should be.I do not adhere to the notion that men are naturally less emotionally aware or empathetic than their female counterparts.I think it is society that conditions them that way, so afraid of being percieved as “weak or vulnerable” that they deny some of the best aspects of who they really are in order to please people who have no interest in actually knowing the real person. I love the fact that both of my brothers and my sons are highly in tuned to other peoples emotions.
I love to see other men whom I have come to admire defying sexist stereotypes and tropes simply by effortlessly being themselves without concern to who might be watching them when they decide that showing the more “feminine” aspects of their identity does not mean that they are “weak ” or soft. To me there is nothing better than a man who feels enough freedom to be moved by a ballad, a work of art, or a literary masterpiece. I long intently to see a day when men are as free as women have become to discuss their feelings and emotions or thoughts as unapologetically as if they were just talking about the weather. To hear a man say “that really upset me” without a hint of irony or without being “called a pansy” by one of his “buddies” for simply not denying the fact that he is human and therefore vulnerable in every way that the female of the species is. For example this idea that a man cannot cry without being percieved as Feminine why are human emotions something that men are not permitted to show? If men are human and they are then they should not be ashamed to cry, This is actually a source of contention for me as a Feminist and some of my more Conservative female friends. The notion that a man has to be tough is something I find perplexing. As women we do men and ourselves a great disservice by simultaneously complaining that men are not sensitive enough while making fun of them when they are. What we are really saying is that we want them to be Responsive to our needs while pretending that they don’t have any of their own.That is where I believe toxic masculinity comes in. The idea that a guy has to have it all figured out all of the time. The father knows best era failed for a reason: human father’s are as fragile flawed and fallen as the rest of the human race. It is only by looking to our heavenly father for guidance, assurance and hope that any of us can navigate the murky waters of Earth s ideologies. For all of us from time to time that should include the ability to weep in his arms after all even Jesus Wept.
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