Sunday, 5 January 2014

What it really means to be a man

As a feminist, I do realise that the phrase '' be a man'' connotes the oppression of men. When men are told from an early age to ''be a man''  when they are crying or showing emotions what does that do to them? I am firm believer that repression of feelings causes anger and violence in men.  That this inability to express your feelings, to know how to deal with them and to use this information as a guide is undermining man's humanity, our very reason for existence. To feel and to be able to express  is the essence of vulnerability without it we cannot truly connect with people. Without connecting with people and committing to a cause our lives are meaningless. Our destiny is to love, be loved and to leave behind a legacy. Without knowing how to handle  feelings, and ultimately knowing yourself  you will connect yourself to things and people who do not fulfil your highest calling but are mere material substitutes for it. Those things will never provide lasting fulfilment, they are merely surface needs that need to be met, way at the bottom of maslow's  pyramid of self-actualisation. Nothing can fill the void you are so desperately denying, walking around masking and refuting but knowing yourself, connecting with like-minded people and fighting a cause that you believe in, expressing every last grain of originality is what it really means to be a man. In essence to be a man is merely to be human. Men were taught three myths about masculinity that they must be athletic, sexual conquest (using women) and economic status or success. None of these make a man!

To be a man simply means to be human, nothing drives humans more to self-actualise than our emotionally tie to things. Without  knowledge of our emotions, we do not know our true passions and even when we do we will deny them if you think that it doesn't make you manly enough if you were to do them. Sure this happens to women too, it's just generally unacceptable for men to express emotions and that's why I feel the need to point this out. Men are human and without emotions and knowing how to express it they will suffer a great deal.  Have you ever noticed the suicide rates of males compared to women, when you check the rates for each country you will notice a trend that men commit suicide astronomically higher than that of women and yet more women report suicidal thoughts. Isn't that sad? I feel like we are doing a grave disservice to men when we use the phrase ''be a man'', and I know I personally have used that phrase before but it has dawned on me that these words  carry a heavy burden for men. And yes as a feminist I don't just believe that myself and fellow women deserve equality, I also believe that everyone deserves equality, equality and fairness is for all. We all ought to see through the myths of how people ''should'' be and accept people as they are. Allow people to be who they and love them for their authenticity, never shut people up when they give you a rare insight into their life. It may be the very first time they have done so, listen carefully and non-judgementally, in the process you may have helped someone unleash their greatest burden and sometimes you may discover that you are not alone here. Either way, be kind people. Seek first to understand people and how they came to be then move on from there.
I one day hope that future generations of men will cease to perpetuate in the myths taught by society and that they will figure for themselves what it truly means. When we refuse to meander in these lies we can see that we produced these empathy deficit in men and that causes us much heart-ache. We can truly be free!

Heart Follower