Have you ever wondered why the idiom ‘Wearing the pants in a relationship’ was coined? Back in the day, who usually took decisions in a family?
Well, it was either the father or the oldest male member.
As men wore pants and women only wore dresses, pants became a defining feature of the head of a home. In a situation where the woman was accustomed to making the decisions rather than the man, it was said that she was the one ‘wearing the pants’.
There’s masculine and feminine. And then there’s ‘Be a man’.
More often than not we come across certain phrases like “man up”, “grow a pair” or “don’t be a p*ssy”. We hear these words when we don’t live up to the hypothetical benchmark set by masculinity. More than women, men are the receivers of these terms for the mere reason that men are supposed to be tough. And by tough, what is implied is invulnerable, aggressive and dominant.
The word ‘emotions’ simply did not exist in the dictionary of a man, because this dictionary was handed over by the society we operate in - a male-dominated one we might add. From childhood, boys are taught how to hide their emotions and that crying is a sign of weakness. This deliberate attempt to gulp down your emotions has jeopardized the average male mind to a level one cannot imagine. If only, to be a man or woman simply meant being human, treating everyone equally and being free of biases based on sexual orientation.
Boys Don’t Cry
It all started a long time ago when men were boys. Since the very beginning, boys have been molded to believe that their emotions are their biggest nemesis, through statements like ‘Boys don’t cry!’ or ‘Be a big boy’. Over the years, the constant suppression of emotions, loneliness, depression, and pain, cumulated and mutated into aggressiveness which came out in the most disastrous ways. Did you know, compared to girls, boys are more prone to learning disorders like ADHD and psychological disorders that make life a bigger challenge for them? As adults, this results in binge drinking and a greater inclination towards suicide. If this is the cost to “be a man”, then the price we are paying is too high.
Adversely, men aren’t even cognizant to this issue. This obliviousness leads them to be more violent, especially towards ‘easy’ targets like women and children, thus validating the already existing leech of male dominance within our society.
Don’t Buy Flowers; Do the Laundry
As Sheryl Sandberg quotes, “There is no such thing as masculine and feminine skills; there are only human skills.”
In an ideal parallel universe, all men would identify as feminists. By definition, feminism is fundamentally about equality. Moreover, it means that gender does not impair progress. The bifurcation of skills into masculine and feminine and the classification of gender-specific jobs is an archaic concept that humans developed based on orthodox values. Through this, a pre-conceived mindset is established and molded in a way that belittles a gender emotionally or physically.
Masculinity is also often confused with sex. A person’s sex is a natural formation of their biological characteristics. These characteristics in no way define the thinking and being of a person. The trick here is to steer clear of these baseless assumptions that can hamper personal growth and make people turn into something they are not destined to be. Because if this isn’t human destruction, then what is!
How about a day when we don’t put our trust in gender-based biases?
How about creating a world without pants?