Dear man they tell to ‘man up’,
I want you to ask yourself, what is the exact definition of ‘man up’? What defines a man? Do you really think, deep within your soul, that a man is this dominant, fearless character who shows no signs of emotions or feelings because he fears that it will tarnish his masculinity? It baffles me that we still live in a society where men are constantly told to hide their emotions. Here you will find information about the true struggles men face daily. Did you know that an estimated 6 million men suffer from depression yearly? And of those 6 million, did you know that in 2011 it was reported that men accounted for approximately 76% of the suicide rate? 72% of those men did not seek help for their mental disorders. Why are these facts not alarming enough? Why is society still promoting this ‘masculinity’ that means men are not allowed to show their true feelings or speak up about their issues in case they are labelled as ‘weak’? I find myself reading comments regularly on social media platforms where women are being incredibly hypocritical – and just a disclaimer, this is not all women. I am well aware of the majority who encourage men to be themselves. I must admit, we have come quite far as a society. However, there is still that percentage that believe men should hide their emotions. Let us also take into consideration the issue of domestic violence and the constant protection against women, but hardly any consideration for the men whose gender actually accounts for one in three victims of family violence. Men are often seen as the pillars in life. They must stay strong. They must not cry. From a child, I have witnessed many young boys showing emotions at as young as three or four years old, who have been told by their parents ‘men don’t cry’. Through my teenage years, I had discovered how many of my friends felt this need to hide how they were feeling from their family. It is disheartening to see, as we live in a world where all sorts of people can feel, why should only one gender be allowed to express it?
To the man who they continuously tell to ‘man up’. Yes, be a man. Be a gentleman. Be respectful. Love those who love you. Respect those who love you. Treat with dignity those who treat you with dignity. Because those qualities are what make you a man.
If you’ve had your heartbroken, let it out.
If you had a bad day at work, let it out.
If your parents are going through a divorce, let it out.
If you have lost a loved one, let it out.
Don’t be afraid to express how you feel because others may judge you. Those who really love you would rather have you cry than dead. Don’t bottle things in until you’re at the point of suicide. Your life is worth a lot more than some ignorant person’s judgemental opinion of you. So please, if you are a man who feels as though you cannot be yourself, or you’re constantly having to wear a mask around others to hide your true feelings, then pull yourself away and surround yourself with people who truly love and care about you, who you can openly vent to about your problems and who would never consider you a nuisance. If you still can’t find any people in your life, there are numerous support groups available on social media where you can either reveal your identity or post anonymously and chat with other people who are going through the same things that you’re going through.
Just remember that you are never alone, you just need to keep fighting.
A person who would never tell you to ‘man up’.