Even in today’s society, many people have this mentality “boys do not cry” or “boys should not show their emotions”. Crying and emotion are associated with vulnerability, it is obviously not characteristic of a “real man”.
Teaching young boys not to talk about their feelings and to always show they are doing well is probably the worst thing of all time. This can lead to misunderstanding, stress, and even depression. These people, who think that real men are strong and should never be vulnerable, do not really understand what it really means to be a man.
William Pollack wrote a book in 1998 titled “The Real Boys: Saving Boys from Early Childhood Myths”. His book explains the boys’ code that forces boys to be stoic, independent, macho, powerful and dominant. The requirement also included the avoidance of all female traits, such as attention, warmth, sensitivity and empathy.
Unfortunately, most boys are still raised by this boys’ code, and too little attention is paid to their inner selves: their thoughts, feelings, and emotions.
A recent analysis of the shooting at an Orlando discotheque described this masculinity as toxic. It has been said that this model of masculinity includes being dominant and controlling, and when you do not follow this pattern, you should be ashamed. This shame quickly turns into resentment, hatred and disgust, which is a dangerous mix with guns and social media.
There is a new documentary that shows young boys from different cultural backgrounds and explains their challenges and difficulties. This documentary describes the meaning of masculinity in different cultures. The documentary is called “The Mask You Live In” and should be a must for everyone.
What is most dangerous when boys suppress their feelings is that later in life, they feel that kind of feeling, and do not know how to deal with it. They feel bad about feeling hurt, which makes the pain and confusion even worse. It is important to teach all children, boys and girls, how to deal with negative emotions and how to accept the things that life sends us.
On the other hand, when these people express no emotion, they find it hard to engage with someone or find someone willing to engage with them. Being in a relationship requires love, understanding, empathy, vulnerability and sensitivity. But when we have taught someone to always avoid expressing their feelings, they can not handle a real relationship.
There are also stereotypical pressures for girls. For example, always be friendly, charming, kind and slim. These criteria can also have an unhealthy effect on them because they never feel well enough or appreciated.
The solutions seem pretty simple. Our society should cancel all typed pressures and focus solely on educating happy and healthy children. They should all have the freedom to think what they want, to wear what they like and to feel all the emotions that are normal in humans.
Not knowing how to deal with feelings can lead to stress, depression and even violence. So, if we want to raise good men, good husbands and loving dads, we need to rethink how we teach masculinity, feelings and emotions to boys. It is important to teach them the right values.
After Boys can grow up frustrated because of toxic masculinity and boys’ code see also: