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Men should be raised to be tough. How does it impact them?

28 Mar 2017

Bachchpan main jab rona aata hai, toh bade bolte hai aasun pocho. Jab gussa aata hai, toh bade kehte hai smile taaki ghar ki shanti bani rahe. nafrat karna chahe, toh ijazat nahi di. And jab pyaar karna chahe, toh pata chala ye saala emotional system hi gadbada gaya, kaam nahi kar raha, cannot function. Rona, gussa, nafrat kuch bhi khul ke express nahi karne diya. Ab pyaar kaise express kare?”

---- Dr Jahangir Khan, Dear Zindagi


The celluloid often portrays the society with an uncanny accuracy, as revealed in the aforementioned dialogue. We Indians have curious and mind boggling ways of child rearing, the stellar aspect of it being the discrimination based on gender. We tend to overlook the fact that ‘gender’ is the social name of the biological concept ‘sex’, which simply determines the difference in some of the body organs. The gender role we thrust upon our progeny generation after generation is nothing more than a fiction created by our convoluted mind.


Going by that, we talk a lot about how the gender roles affect the fair sex negatively, but if we take a minute to ponder it might dawn upon us that the men folk have no reprieve from it as well. Rather, they might be worsely affected.


Since childhood, we expect the boys to follow a stringent set of rules. If they cry, we tell them ‘boys don’t cry’; if they are affectionate we tell them ‘why are you acting like a girl?’ if they are in pain and express it we tell them ‘men should be strong enough to handle it on their own’! Yet all the while we expect them to be attentive about our feelings and causes. Like they have to take care of the family as the provider, they have to love and support the mother; they have to protect the sister so on and so forth? Doesn’t it sound kinda contradictory? I mean, if we do not allow them to accept and experience their emotions wholly, how can they understand others emotions and act like wise?


Let us see how it affects them. When we teach them not to cry, we teach them to hold a basic emotion that is sadness as a sign of weakness. Similarly, we define yelling and sometimes beating as the sign of male prowess, which teaches them to adopt dysfunction method of reacting. They are not allowed to share the pain, not express the stress, not cry even when in agony, believe themselves to be ‘above’ their female counterparts and hence bear the cross on their own without seeking support and most importantly, they are not allowed to express love.




It creates a chronic feeling of loneliness and helplessness, making them prone to depression and anxiety. Communication is the basis of human survival, and by cutting their communication off, we overburden with the stress that surely could have lessened if was shared. In order to look ‘strong’, they become more and more vulnerable within themselves. This negatively affects their relationships as well. When a man seeks help from his wife to sort out ‘his issues’, we tag him to dependent on the wife. If he bears the burden on his own and broods within, it leaves his partner feeling isolated and abandoned. What is wrong in depending on the wife? When two people take the plunge to spend their lives together, it is only natural that they would be mutually dependent of each other!


This is how the stereotypical gender role affects the genders:

Differences between Male & Female Thought Processes

Women tend to:

Men tend to:

Blame themselves

Blame others

Feel sad, apathetic, and worthless

Feel angry, irritable, and ego inflated

Feel anxious and scared

Feel suspicious and guarded

Avoid conflicts at all costs

Create conflicts

Feel slowed down and nervous

Feel restless and agitated

Have trouble setting boundaries

Need to feel in control at all costs

Find it easy to talk about self-doubt and despair

Find it “weak” to admit self-doubt or despair

Use food, friends, and "love" to self-medicate

Use alcohol, TV, sports, and sex to self-medicate
























Take a break, society. Start evolving round the fact that men also need to express themselves emotionally as much as the women do. There is no glory in teaching your kid ‘mard rote nahin hain’, it would be much better to teach them that there is no shame in letting go and crying your heart out if you are in pain. Feel free to share your stresses and fears and other issues with your loved ones, it will not make you look weak, it will rather make you feel a lot stronger. There is no shame in accepting that you have emotions too; and there is no shame in showing them. The more you express, the more it helps others to understand you and stand by you, and trust me; it’s the togetherness that makes the world go on.


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Tags: #Men #Emotional Needs