What it’s like to “be man” in today’s world?
What it’s like to “be man” in today’s world?
Be a man.
Every single male in the world has heard these three words in some form or another: “Don’t be behave like girl”; “grow a pair”; “man up.”
We hear these words when we don’t live up to prescribed notions of masculinity. After all, men are supposed to be tough.
And by tough we mean stoic, invulnerable and violent when necessary. We’re not allowed to exhibit emotions. Crying is out of the question. This mentality is doing more damage to humanity than most of us likely realize.
People confuse masculinity with sex, but it’s not a solid argument. A person’s sex is natural. It’s a product of his or her innate biological characteristics.
Gender roles, however, or masculinity and femininity, are a set of guidelines we’ve imposed upon men and women as a consequence of culture and history.
We’ve created and perpetuated a masculine ideal preventing man from being true to themselves.
And we haven’t just stopped there: Traditional perceptions of masculinity have continued to foster the idea male dominance is the “natural order” of the world. As a result, gender roles are holding both men and women back.
Gender roles are holding society back.
Most men refuse to talk about their emotions; it’s no secret. They hold in feelings of loneliness, pain and sorrow for so long, they evolve into rage and depression. All of this is a product of the way we view masculinity, and it begins during boyhood.
It all goes back to the way we’re told to “be a man,” and “boys don’t cry; man up.” From the moment we can talk, we’re taught our natural emotions are a form of weakness. Hence, gender roles are holding out young men back, and preventing them from reaching their full potential.
Boys are twice as likely as girls to be diagnosed with a learning disorder or ADHD. They’re more likely to act out in class, and are 30 percent more likely than girls to drop out school.
Tragically, they grow up into men who are also more likely to binge drink and around four times more likely than females to commit suicide. If this is the cost of what it means to “be a man,” we’re paying too high a price.
There’s a pervading sense of powerlessness among men, and it’s a consequence of their inability to express themselves.
Most men would likely not admit to this, and perhaps aren’t even cognizant of it. Yet, these are precisely the sentiments forcing men to seek other means of feeling powerful.
It’s why many men are prone to violence, particularly against “easy” targets, such as women and children.
As feminist icon Gloria Steinem aptly stated at the International Conference on Masculinities on March 5: Dominance… is a drug. It’s addictive.
Violence can make a person feel superior to others, but in reality, it’s damaging to both the perpetrators and victims. The way we define gender roles is also holding women back in countless ways. This is precisely why gender equality is so important.
And it’s not only the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do, in terms of both economics and sustainability.
Women are vital to the growth and progress of this world. At present, they aren’t equal partners in its development.Women across the globe face violence on a daily basis, as well as massive obstacles to receiving an education. Women also don’t receive equal pay for equal work, and this isn’t just true in developing countries, it’s also the case in the big powers like United States.
Not to mention, domestic violence, rape and genital mutilation are daily realities for women all over the world.We also don’t have enough female leaders. This is true in both business and politics.
In the process, they’ll create a more egalitarian, safe, sustainable and productive world.We have the capacity to change and make things better for everyone.
It’s important fathers play an active role in the lives of their children, while also assisting in day-to-day chores in the home. There are certainly men who already do this, but we have to admit it’s not necessarily the standard.
There is no such thing as masculine and feminine skills; there are human skills.
Today, it’s unfortunate being a man too often means adhering to standards fostering oppression, inequality depression, violence and ignorance.
In an ideal world, all men would identify as feminists. Feminism, by definition, is fundamentally about equality.
It’s the idea we shouldn’t make presumptions about a person or place limits on him or her based on his or her sex. Most importantly, it means gender wouldn’t be an impediment to progress.
If we were to truly adopt this mentality, being a man would have nothing to do with traditional notions of masculinity.
Rather, to be man would simply mean to be human, and to treat everyone else, regardless of sex, race, religion, age or sexual orientation, as such.
And what a wonderful world that would be.
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Smart Sidhu have diverse industry exposure and extensive professional experience under the belt. Smartsidhu is multi-tasking team leader with high sense of responsibility towards deadlines and have an ability to present concepts and ideas with full conviction.
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