The rules were simple, clearly laid out and very different for my brother and I all the while we were growing up. While my brother was expected to be strong, independent, blunt, less vain and career driven, I was expected to be polite, amicable, obedient and nurturing. It took me a while to realise that the only reason driving such bias was not based on how much or less my parents loved me. But on the simple fact that I was born a girl and he, a boy.
And even though I spent most of my childhood reaching to fill the gap and bickering about all that my parents would allow my brother to do in a split second, be it taking trips, staying out till late at night, having a drink or two at home, but never me. I have come to realise that despite being able to do so much that I couldn’t, there was a lot more that he wasn’t allowed to do.
These were the things that actually mattered, the ones he truly yearned for but was never shown approval towards. These were the things that would call him feminie. But the real question is, why do feminine traits have to take away from one’s manhood rather than adding to it?
Here are 5 such qualities that men are often shamed for, but need to be normalised.Crying
‘Men don’t cry’, ‘Don’t be such a *****’, ‘Quit acting like a girl’, seemingly casual yet pretty damaging comments that are often hurled at men for simply being human. Thanks to society and its belief about men having to be strong at all times, it has nearly made it impossible for men to show their emotional quotient without the fear of being shamed for it.
For the longest time, beauty and cosmetics have been associated with just women. Any man who even dared to fall out of line and showed interest in beauty was often deemed either ‘gay’ or a disgrace to men and the likes of them. Yet again taking away from men the right to practice and experience beauty.
One of the most believed and circulated stereotypes in the fashion industry is that the men part of it are lady-like. Not only is fashion in general associated with the female gender, but men who even take a slight interest in the field are shamed for possessing ladylike qualities and interests.
Owing to the social image of a man that society has created in our heads, an ideal man must be strong and together at every point in his life. So much so that even a slight detour from acting unassailable, to show compassion or empathy to someone ends up in them being called ‘soft’ and ‘girly’.
A quality that essentially should be mandatory to possess, is infact often used to diss men for being less manly. Instead of being looked at as someone who is secure, full of integrity and has the courage to stand up for a cause, being feminist comes at the cost of being called feminine by men.