In my opinion, our society can be very tough and unfair towards men when it comes to certain things. This affects how they are treated and are seen by people. Men are told things like, “Real men don’t cry.” From a young age, boys are told crying is a sign of weakness. This may be why most men don’t like to shed tears. However, when boys or men don’t cry, people will then accuse them, us, me, of being a heartless human. When we hold our tears back and don’t talk about our feelings, eventually we tend to breakdown. If we do cry, we are laughed at and taunted for being a baby.
Another misconception, “All men are dogs.” Some women classify all men as dogs due to an experience of one man cheating or leaving the relationship. How does one man cheating or leaving, lead to negatively classifying an entire gender? There are so many men that are faithful and good human beings but are being shamed upon because of the wrongdoings of some men. Nowadays, some girls and women will leave a good man for the “bad boy” and then when he leaves, all men are labeled as dogs. How is that fair?
“Real men finish last.” When a man shows love, compassion, and care, he is taken advantage of and often stepped on. He is seen as a stone that people can walk on and kick around. This is why some men and boys are afraid to share love, compassion, and care with someone other than family. It’s like giving that person a loaded gun and trusting they won’t pull the trigger.
In some cases, women physically abuse men. Yes, it does happen! If a man is beaten by a woman and he runs away to avoid her he is seen as a wimp. However, if that same man retaliates, the woman will report that she was beaten and often no one believe the man was protecting himself. So you know what happens? The man is put in jail for domestic violence. In an abusive situation like this, the man loses either way.
Finally, a man is supposed to be a provider, and if he cannot pay the bills or put food on the table, he is unwanted. It is a lot of pressure to put the running of a house on one person’s shoulders. Metaphorically, the house will fall and crush him. If a man doesn’t have a lot of money, women won’t bother to look in his direction.
I believe that we need to change the way we as a society, see and value men. Men have it difficult as well with double standards and gender generalization. There are emotional, caring, and supportive men in our society and together we can change the structure of society’s norms. Together we can prevent the dangerous effects of toxic masculinity and normalize men being loving, vulnerable and emotional human beings.