There’s a classic song by ‘The Cure’ that goes “So I try to laugh about it, cover it all up with lies. I try to laugh about it, hiding the tears in my eyes. Cause boys don’t cry, boys don’t cry.” It portrays an attitude that is being recognized as causing great harm at young males as they grow up, as it pressurizes them into feeling ‘weak’ or ‘guilty’ for expressing their emotions in a healthy and natural way.
Lyra Balearica decided to share a story on her Facebook profile about a woman who chose to berate a boy for his nervous tears before getting blood drawn, and she told him to ‘man up’. It’s not just men that sustain this damaging cycle, though. It is very far ingrained into the western culture, and many women are just as responsible.
Balearica says that she’s a phlebotomist, and almost everything she does all day is ‘draw blood’.
“I don’t know if the woman was his mother, aunt, sister, etc for sure as I don’t like to assume stuff like that without knowing for sure. But during the blood draw the kid did a really good job of holding it together. I hope my words helped him. He seemed to light up a bit after but was still visibly nervous even after it was all done.” – she adds.
Attitudes do not change overnight. The only way to begin the process of ‘normalizing’ the freedom for boys (and men) to express themselves as they wish is by having this kind of conversations. The damage that emotional suppression can have in the later life is enormous, so it’s vital for a child to learn how to respond to and regulate emotions accordingly. Toxic masculinity has a lot to answer for.
“I definitely see feminism as a force that wants to allow men to be who they are and to form emotional bonds without stigmas.” – says Balearica.
She thinks that it has negative consequences for all genders, and it is absolutely important to understand that boys and men are victims of s*xual assault. And it’s also very important to understand that most perpetrators of assault, are, in fact, men themselves. So, it all leads to a pretty bad place.
Check out her post for yourself below, and feel free to tell us what you think about the matter in the comments!
People quickly responded to her post, adding their own personal thoughts and experiences.