Knowing your gender, and the discrimination that comes with it
People say that being a man is a walk in the park in today’s world. My Mum used to say, yep, Raymond, it’s a man’s world. And I would agree with her on certain aspects of that statement. You know? Higher pay in the workplace for men in some cases, better opportunity in the workplace being a man. I’ve heard some women really have to work twice as hard. Then there’s periods, and yeah, women are expected to just get on with it, Pregnancy, Birth, Maternity leave abuse, and a plethora of other things I won’t bother to get into. But being a man has it’s certain downfalls too, I mean did you know that we suck with our emotional intelligence? How often have you asked your partner how he “feels” on a certain subject only to be grunted at and watch him retreat back to his cave.
Us men suck with our feelings. We really do. We find it hard to talk about our emotions and how we generally feel. When was the last time you heard a guy say, “Well, yeah, I feel what you said there really hurt me”. I was wearing pink the other day (I love Pink, I suit it), My 5 year old Son and I had just painted our fingernails and toenails yellow and pink because that’s what he wanted to do and I was carrying the wife’s wallet. The amount of disapproving looks I got from other men were unbelievable. Why is it so wrong to appeal to your feminine side in another man’s eyes? Why can’t I just be myself and do what I want with my Son? I mean it’s not as if I’m going to suddenly break out into a Y.M.C.A dance and swap my wife for a heavy-set builder. I’m comfortable with my sexuality.
You see I don’t blame men today, or yesteryear. There was a time where it was strictly socially unacceptable for men to display any emotion, femininity or the softer side of life. The Victorian times where you had to “keep the stiff upper lip”, stupid bloody saying that is. Us modern men seriously lack empowering male figures in our life. And it’s because our Dads lacked the same things as we do. Yes, we were taught how to burp and fart and swear like sailors, oh and build the occasional thing. But when I was a little boy, not much younger than my Son now – whenever I was caught crying, seven bells of shit were knocked out of me (for those of you that don’t know, that means I was beaten). The result? No matter how stressful a situation becomes I can’t for the life of me cry. I can’t, not even when my Dad died. Crying is a release of excessive emotion. It’s a good thing. Have you never heard that crying cleanses the soul?
I remember when we lost our first child, my wife had a miscarriage at 4 months and we were absolutely devastated. We had been gunning for a child and to lose our first was a heartbreak story. The turmoil I felt inside was unbelievable. I had my wife that was struggling to cope physically and mentally, and I had to still go to work and get on with daily life. The sympathy from friends, family, strangers all cuddled around Natalie like a lovely bubble of warmth and love. Then there was me, outside the bubble, dark, gloomy, cold, and distant. No-one wanted to console me – obviously because I was male, and we deal with that shit alone. It’s fine, I was able to keep the stiff upper lip, right? Luckily, Natalie knew this and I did get lots of love. But, I feel many men are not as lucky as me, and suffer in complete silence, unnoticed. Stiff upper lip
Women impress me. They really do. When they go out with their friends they go and talk about their men and how they feel and how their men make them feel and lots more. If I was to take a bunch of my mates out and say, “I feel Natalie just isn’t getting me right now” they would probably ask me if I had my period on or something. It’s heartbreaking really because I would love to open up to friends and family but I feel the world just decompartmentalises everyone into neat little gender types and roles. “Women do this, and men do that.” What about if we both do this and that?
So here we are today. An entire generation of men that are emotionally challenged. It’s not all bad though; people are getting involved, mental health care is on the improvement, voluntary sector movements are really making big strides in the continual development of our species, and things like counselling and one on one therapy isn’t looked upon as that strange. We need to all stand up and get involved. Stop squashing our feelings because of social etiquette. Emotions are completely natural. By trying to squash emotions you are basically saying, “I don’t like the way I am”. Learn to trust your emotions and go with the flow.
Ok. Long one today. I hope you enjoyed reading this. Please feel free to comment below 🙂