We talk about the emotions of women, we talk about the passions of children, we talk about sentiments of elder people. If a woman cries then it is considered as ordinary because women are allowed to cry. Women are free to express themselves, people accept their moods and tears. But what about men? Let me give an example if you see a girl crying and she is going through this emotional trauma. we will completely feel regular and more sympathetic towards her but if we see a man crying or being too emotional, we will feel less sympathetic towards him. Instead, we will tell him to stop crying because ‘mard rote nahi’. we will not look deep into his emotional state we will command him to dealt with his sentiments by himself.
Our society has this tradition where men are not allowed to cry, they are not permitted to show their soft corner. Whenever they feel pain, they just can’t show it on their faces because they are afraid that people might not welcome them, that people will make fun of them.
All these concepts of patriarchy and societal norms impose heavy rules and responsibilities on men. Gender roles set by patriarchal values force men to behave in a certain manner. These societal norms have different kinds of impact on the community of men -:
- Image of a hard-hearted person– men are always forced to feel hard hearted that means they just can’t shed a tear or they cannot express their sadness, sorrow Infront of people. Our society always expect them to be more confident, to be stronger and to have this bold image which can deal with every mood swing.
- Forced gender roles/norms– patriarchal structure has set certain kinds of gender role for men and women. It defines that man is the bread-winner, he will take care of his family, he is the one who’s supposed to fulfil the needs of his family. Due to this concept, a boy during his teenage is forced to take those academic field/career which will give surplus amount of money so that he can run his family efficiently. No one dares to listen what he wants to do, what he wishes to become, if he wants to take an artistic line as his career like music, painter, designer etc. society will not give him that respect and he will not be able to achieve a deferential status for his role.
- Negligence – our society neglects feelings of a man. If a man is having mood swings and his mindset is not in stable state then people around him will get irritate and instead of understanding the reason behind his mood people start giving him names like- moody, rude, short-tempered. This negligence cause harm to their mental growth. When our feelings don’t get much attention then it turns into unstable mindset.
This concept of not giving much attention to man’s emotions and sentiments not only exist in family but exist outside of it too. In the job sphere men have to face certain restrictions because of their gender. Suppose a man is working in MNC and he wants to leave early because he wants to reach home at right time but his boss won’t let him because he is man, he can travel alone at night too. But why does he have to travel late at night? Why just he can’t leave early? all these questions are often being ignored. And if we talk about another scenario there is a man sitting in a metro going home from office after having a hectic day and then suddenly a girl appears in the metro, she’s all ready for her party and she’s lively than him but still she expects him to leave a seat for her because the social order considers this a moral gesture.
All these examples show us that we really need to put some attention forward and we all should start talking about emotions of men. A man faces different issues at different paths of his life but he never gets a chance to open about himself. He always projected to behave like a robot with no feelings. He always gets enforced to delight others.
There are few things which we can do to show our support and show that we care about their emotions too. There are ways through which this problematic situation can be removed.
- Stop ignoring and start listening- instead of ignoring his feelings we should start giving more attention to it. Ignorance is the cause of many problems but when you give your time and attention to someone, they open more about themselves. Give men some liberty to speak and let them express whatever they have in their hearts.
- Don’t judge- if a man is lost and he’s not in a good mental state and he seems to be distracted then instead of judging him we should give him hope and we should make sure that he finds what he’s looking for. We should boost his morale and we should give him time so that he can make precise decisions.
- Stop putting economic pressure on him– yes, a man has an image of breadwinner in a society. He gets too much burden on his shoulders due the societal norms. To normalise this let’s reduce this pressure and let him achieve what he wishes for. If he wants to choose painting over engineering let him be. Men are humans too they too need support. But due to some restrictions so many of them left their dreams behind. Give chance to real talents.
- Remove the burden of patriarchal norms– patriarchal values dictate a man to follow certain set of rules. Men are trapped under these set of rules. They are not allowed to get outside of it which creates so many hindrances for them. The concept of the movie ‘ki and ka’ clearly defines that man can do household too. If a man wants to stay at home and wants to household chores while manging his work from home then let him be. Society cannot remain same at some point it will take a turn. If a man wants to wear pink and purple then encourage him to do so.
If we extremely believe in the concept of equality then we really need to look into this issue. Because emotions are not linked to women they are connected to men as well.
“men can cry too because they are humans.”