Remember ‘Start With The Boys’, a short film directed by Vinil Mathew and produced by Alex Kuruvilla, wherein, it is repeatedly said, “Ladke Rote Nahi Hain!” It went viral in no time because it highlighted women issue, but what most people missed was, how this video stereotyped men.
Often parents trot these stale words, which silently means, “Don’t behave like a girl” or “Are you a girl?” at crying male child. What does this mean? Boys or men cannot cry and they are meant to be tough unlike the ‘weaker sex’. With the introduction of the word ‘Machoism’ in the industrial age, men were demanded to behave like machines. Emotionally, this has wreaked a havoc and has severe psychological consequences.
Many men suffer in silence just because they are told ‘men don’t cry’. They are unable to be at ease with displaying the emotions. This gender stereotype and societal pressure, hit men hard and often affect them emotionally and physically.
Right from the childhood, boys are told that they should not show their emotions in public. Isn’t this a stupid idea? In reality, you are taking your child far from his own emotions. And the worst, is its outcome! Suddenly, you will find your child becomes violent. (How to control a violent child? Read here)
It is important to change this prejudice, and the best part is that men are slowly accepting that it is normal to cry. We often see athletes and sports icon shed tears of joy or sorrow. And who can forget US President Barack Obama crying after his re-election for the second term. Crying did not make them less of a man, rather it just established that they are good and normal human beings. However, in today’s age, gender roles aren’t very strictly defined. And you might see a few men shedding tears of joy when they are overwhelmed when a child is born or are heartbroken when their loved ones are in severe pain.
One thing is for sure, men do cry, but they prefer crying in private as crying men are deemed to be incompetent, weak and unstable. Blame your upbringing for this thought, as the truth is far from this.
Studies show that crying is always accompanied with activities in the parasympathetic nervous system. The main purpose is to calm the body after a nerve-wracking event, thereby causing a drop in the heart rate. Thus, crying occasionally is very important for staying healthy.
Your man might like you to believe he is as hard as a diamond, but don’t be fooled by his tough exterior, a research highlight that men are more emotional than women. Though, most men will deny this fact.
Neuropsychologist Dr. David Lewis said, ‘Gender stereotypes about men being stoic and women being emotional are reinforced by our day to day consumption of media and our social interactions. Men feel emotions just as much as women, sometimes more strongly, but are less willing to express these emotions openly due to the expectations put on them by society.”
If you care for your well-being and heart’s health, it is time to shed some tears that you have been holding back for long!