A Different Perspective
"Grow a pair"
"Be a man"
"He hits like a girl"
These are examples of the typical phrases we all hear, and have maybe even said at times without thinking twice about their impact. I myself hear this almost daily, but it's never been said to me. This is because I am female.
My group of friends are all male. All hilarious. All kind when they want to be. And all just as responsible of dishing out comments that make others feel as though they have to act "like a man" as they are of receiving these.
I am fortunate enough to have to be the 'annoying little sister' figure within the group, which means my role is to find almost anything funny and to be teased beyond breaking point by their ridiculous jokes. But it also means that I have the privilege of having a gang of brother like figures who can stick up for me, who give honest advice, and who trust me.
However, despite this they never share anything personal with each other. I am also appear to have the role of the group therapist, nursing each individual through their problems, which I am almost more than happy to do as they are with me, but what I could never understand is why they were so reluctant to share these things with each other. Particularly when the problems concern one another.
Then I realised. Society does not allow them. According to today's social norms, men are not allowed to share personal issues with one another. It is considered petty to get upset with one another for any length of time, not right to talk about mental health issues, and not right to have personal conversations regarding relationships. In other words men are expected to be emotionless beings who throw around insults and laugh about things, but this isn't the reality. And who would want it to be?
I like guys for their compassion. Their honesty, openness and consideration for others, not just whether or not they fit in with the other guys, or if they can dead-lift the heaviest weights in the gym. I can't think of any girl who would, so who exactly is forcing this out of place idea of what a man should be on society? I sadly do not yet have an answer to that, all I know is I do not want it to be me.
There is no quick fix to society's idealisms for either sex, but if everyone tried just that little bit harder, perhaps we'd be one step closer to true equality between men and women. One step closer to a world in which men can cry and be met with open arms as girls are, not offensive hand gestures and laughter.
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