Here's what men need. A story and statement by a teenage screwup.
Hey, my name's Jack. As of today, the 28th of April, 2017, I am a 6'4, very big, 17 year old male, studying for my A Levels. I'm going to be telling you my story.
January the 26th, 2017. This date marked my final day in school. It wasn't the end of the year. I hadn't completed any of my exams, and neither had I voluntarily left the school to complete other activities. I was thrown out.
I remember it clearly up to a certain point. For months upon months, I had been suffering torment from one of my so called 'friends' in school.
The torment and bullying began in late October, and had progressively got worse as the months went on. What was I being bullied over - one, for having had attraction to a transexual, and two, for every small mistake I had made. I had confronted my tormentor multiple times regarding the bullying, and had told him to stop multiple times. This didn't change how he acted and treated me though.
Over time, his constant bullying of my attraction towards someone who was born a male physically, along with every derogatory comment towards me, began to build up. I had held it in for months, the constant abuse which would occur throughout every day at school. Until two small comments, which eventually lead to me hospitalising the male for a short period of time. What he said wasn't anything more than what a small child would have said; he called me an idiot three times. But built upon a thick foundation of harassment, this word, mentioned three times, sent me into a frenzy. What I didn't know, is that I would never return to my regular Sixth Form life after that day. My school had completely abandoned me.
But what could have prevented this from happening? So many factors come into play. 'Be a man' constantly rang throughout my head. Men don't cry, do they? They don't complain. They handle issues, simply because they're men and sixty years ago, they played the dominant, bread winning role in society. They were soldiers, butchers, CEO's! Big, strong, dominating men. Unfortunately, I fit into this category particularly well, so the support towards me was never shown as much as other smaller men or women. As a 6'4ft male, I was never shown much care emotionally.
I recall a particular event where I had got upset in my school before, and asked why a female was able to do act poorly, whereas when I defended myself against her verbal abuse, I was treated like a strong warrior who should never defend myself against a female, because I was a male with thick skin!
This is the issue. Many men build up a thick wall. They distance themselves from their emotions, because men can't afford to be hurt. They have these burdens from society, burdens they are simply born into. Many women feel that they're born into a society where they have no equality. But men are also born into a society where they have no emotional equality. Where they simply have to accept that they are now males, and that they cannot feel emotion, they cannot feel x, y or z.
Men need to feel less burden from society. They need to stop hearing, 'be a big boy', 'be a man'. Men need to stop feeling ashamed to talk about their emotions (this is a huge issue I have myself). Talking to people helps, but a lot of the time men will just feel like they're complaining about things they should just accept, and that other people think they should also accept. Engagement between families and friends is important. Families need to talk to their sons, and daughters more often to find out how they're really feeling. They need to talk to them like humans who feel, have emotion, and so on.
Simply put. People need to accept men and boys as people who feel, love, care, and want to be able to express emotion. In the past, females have fought for their rights, and have been accepted, and now males need to have their human rights to feel, care, and not be ridiculed for caring, and for feeling.
This post was submitted as part of 'What Men Need’ campaign. Take a peek at our other submissions and get involved by creating your own content!
How to come out
Come out of that closet, we're here for you!
Are you feeling stressed? Don’t ignore the symptoms
Tom Pollock explores the theme of stress for this ...
Confused about sexual consent? Help is at hand.
#MyTime to rap: setting an example through music
Rapper Awate talks about #MyTime, making music and the ...
Coming out as trans at school, university or work
Read our guide to help you choose how and when is the ...