Hello dear reader,
I was recently at a poetry slam event and I was massively inspired by a young man who was speaking about the problem of gender roles and what kind of trouble that means for men.
While I am a big supporter of the feminism movement I was actually never thinking about if men have as well some kind of revolution in front of them to reach equal treatment and understanding in a few parts of their lives.
Obviously this is a different kind of revolution, while we girls fight to be treated equally and paid fairly, boys might need to fight for their right to feel, to be soft and that this is ok for us too. This young man at the event, who spoke in a very humorous way, made us aware that it is not ok to ask him how he would rate his girlfriend on a scale from 1-10 and to be pushed to do so doesn’t feel right. He was making a case that he would rate her a 3 when they fight and a 12 in the happy moments, what kind of one-dimensional feedback is one number for a new partner? It made me laugh at first but the longer I thought about it the more it struck me that we expect man to be manly, to be strong, to man up. And on the other side that we kind of accept as price for it a maybe bit one-dimensional view on ourselves.
Kind of ashamed I needed to admit that I at least thought that about some men I encountered in my life.
And while I was wondering how difficult it must be to be a feeling human being but still you are expected to be always in control, always strong and never whiny or weak, I thought about relationships in all this context.
The outcome was rather frustrating I have to say. As I think we are stuck in a mindset bound to older times with more clear gender roles while we are constantly moving forward to an situation where gender in itself might be not the important thing but the human being you have in front of you. Times where women needed protection are gone, and men want now more than someone who bares their children. So unfortunately we are still bombarded by this old-fashioned picture of how relationships are supposed to be and how we are supposed to behave but we are not this kind of people anymore.
So making it personal 🙂
If I think about the perfect partner, I picture a man, strong and tall and able to challenge me intellectual and on a spiritual/emotional level. So how can I at the same time expect this person to man up and ignore feelings when he needs to be aware of them to grow and to learn? How can man be the sensitive and understanding partners we all dream of when they are told to man up if they show weakness?
On the other side how can it still be considered unsuitable for me to ask someone out or to start a conversation with a guy? Is this not girly enough, not submissive enough? Does that show I am a strong woman and guys get intimidated by it?
I hope that future generations will grow in a more open mindset while we are challenged with the task to break old expectations. I hope we will be able to live in a world where your emotions are not dictated by society regarding your sex. Where it doesn’t matter if you are male or female you can openly express your feelings without being judged for it. Following that thought I believe that a lot of women, me including, are or were guilty in judging men for not being manly enough. How we shovel our own grave…we want to talk about feelings, and complain quiet bitterly that men don’t want to talk about it, well they have learned that this is not the accepted behaviour for them and we supported that.
So what will I do now with all this thoughts and confusion?
My dear lost boys…I will try to be more understanding of the trouble the other sex goes to, without forgetting or belittling the feminism movement of course.
By the way do you remember the lost boys from peter pan and how they became lost? They fell out of their prams when the nurse looked the other way and if they were not claimed in 7 days they became lost boys. Well metaphorically spoken a lot of boys fall out of the emotion buggy and obviously they were never claimed. If they fell or were tempted to jump is another story however.
And while I am typing this I dream of a man who is not a lost boy anymore. Who maned up but in a way that means he faced his emotions and he grew with them, he doesn’t need to fulfil a stereotypical gender role of a strong man to feel good about himself. If that would mean he would need to walk alone as the flock is running in another direction he would be comfortable in himself to do so. He would be able to discuss topics like this with me in an equal and respectful relationship….
Well a girl is allowed to dream while rising social issues right?
“think a happy thought!”