Boys Don’t Cry by The Cure is playing in the back of my head as I type this out. It seems that men and mental health have never gotten along, and that society has only just now started to acknowledge the effects of toxic masculinity.
According to the BBC, suicide is the biggest killer of men under the age of 45. Suicidal depression, being the mysterious and heinous beast it is to the human spirit, is difficult to pinpoint why suicide rates are such a gendered issue. Regardless of the case, one thing must change. And that is how society views men stating their emotions.
There is an inherent stigma, for the modern man to feel good about himself. Men are stereotyped as belligerent, stupid, ugly, and the source of all problems (which, historically, is not completely false). For a man, to admit to himself that he is good looking, it is a cry to everyone around him that he is arrogant. When really, it’s healthy self-love needed to produce the confidence necessary to function today (i.e. walking around town, going to school/work, and even asking someone out).
It is difficult for men to show emotions. I am lucky enough to not have this problem, but I also mainly hang out with girls, which is its own personal problem for me, and definitely does not show any precedent on society, or how I feel about showing other guys emotion. Obviously, around “the boys” you wouldn’t want to seem soft or like a pansy, but really, what’s wrong with being soft? It is extremely stupid for a society that has become more open to mental health and the importance of it to be biased to one sex.
Boys, should cry. It’s healthy. Talking about your emotions to a friend is normal, and everyone should do it (sidenote: you are never a burden). It does not make you less masculine to share emotions, and they are just as valid as any girl ranting on her spam account. And if you really want to, open your own spam account! Why let only girls plague your feed?
What society needs to do is just be open to sharing emotions from all sides. All of our struggles are unique and some are addressed more than others. Do not let the struggle of being a man be one of them. If you ridicule a man for being emotional, you are part of the problem. If you get angry at a guy for just being confident in himself, you are part of the problem. And if you ever call a guy a F-boy, you’re probably right, but you could also be part of the problem.
“I’m a real boy, boy, and I cry
I love myself and I want to try
This is why you never see your father cry”