Before I dive into things, I just want to acknowledge the fact that even though women can be considered sensitive beings, it would be rude to assume that all women have the same emotional state. Everything I talk about in this column is a personal perspective of my appreciation of women and all the powers they possess. Many women are stereotyped into specific categories but the intention of this column is not to emphasize those stereotypes, but to show my ideology of masculinity and the negative effects of hyper-masculinity.
SO, can we take a minute to just recognize that femininity and emotions are two very different things? As I was raised by many women, they’ve always shown me it’s okay to have emotion and let things out when you need to. I’m grateful to know this because it has given me the ability to get things off my chest without exploding on someone like a ticking time bomb after months of holding it in.
Being in tune with my emotions has allowed me the ability to create balance, which helps me understand what I’m actually looking for in life.
That said, sometimes I get so caught up in the socially constructed lenses of manhood I forget about what it is that makes ME a man.
Whenever I’m feeling down, the go-to ‘manly’ thing I hear ringing in my head is, ’suck it up’, or ‘get over it’, like my emotions are something that I can just separate from. News flash, you can’t just separate your brain from your thoughts. And more importantly, the longer they’re buried in the volt, the more aggressive they come out.
I find it interesting that some men don’t like to express themselves because it steers away from the hyper-masculine lens they want people to look at them from.
Personally, I gladly open my arms to the emotional sensitivity I’ve developed over the years; just knowing that I am sensitive about certain things gives me the opportunity to work around them and continue to build myself in the ways I aspire to be.
I used to bottle things up, and probably still do because I was always told by my male influences to keep things to myself especially in specific environments. Though I agree with them to a certain extent, I can’t let those words run my everyday life because they keep me from truly expressing how I feel about specific situations.
Living in that hyper-masculine lens makes me feel like I’m 10 steps back from where I should be because, everything is so bottled up inside me, never giving anyone the chance to come in and see the path I want to be on. That socially constructed ‘masculine’ lens also blinds me from a negative mental state I can be in and which doesn’t allow me the chance to realize I could be hurt.
Growing up in a household with two sisters and a loving mother, I was constantly surrounded by empowering females who truly blurred the lines of femininity and masculinity, more importantly, they showed me there’s no reason for a line in the first place.
Mom had the ability to pay bills, converse with friends, work on the house, feed the kids, work on her car and read her Peoples Magazine all in the same day. Yet, she isn’t seen as masculine because some of those things a ‘real man’ wouldn’t be caught dead doing.
As for my older sister would play sports with me, hang with ‘the guys’, and eat red meat, however, the socially constructed outlook towards her career path as a professional dancer is seen as feminine. Which is a ridiculous assumption considering she puts her blood, sweat, and tears into her craft and trains just as hard as anyone in any male-dominated sport.
Personally, I think the fact that they both have the ability to embrace their feminist’ traits while pushing through this ‘man’s world’, truly shows how masculine they really are.
They have the ability to stay true to themselves and how they feel while powering through life. To me, that’s as manly as it gets; someone who is able to do what they want and deal with the noise. I couldn’t be prouder of the girls in my life and I’m glad they paved the way for me.
Without their guidance, I wouldn’t have the ability to talk about these subjects because I don’t think I would even have the strength to find it within myself.
I’d probably have to wait until my next big blowout and at that point, it’s already too late.