Written by on September 28, 2018

Guys, do you talk to each other? And I don’t mean talk about basic banal stuff like sports, women, cars, alcohol and money; do you really talk to your guys about your fears, ambitions, feelings, health and life in general? Do you go about it with wide brush strokes or do you simply pretend that everything is good in public then go home and face your pain by yourself? If yes, I applaud and encourage you to keep it up. If not, my friend, it’s time to re-examine your life choices and redefine your definition of masculinity.

For way too long, “real men” have been defined as emotionally deprived robots who have only one purpose in life; to conquer new horizons. Fathers taught their sons to carry on their legacies with a steely face and steady hand; betraying little to no emotion. The burden of men’s emotional labor and subsequently mental health was placed squarely on the shoulders of women, who have been systemically conditioned to expect this extra baggage and work through it on behalf of men. Which is unfair to say the least, because each of us has to do our own emotional labor. We can’t outsource to anyone else because at the end of the day, it’s our health and not the community’s. Why, therefore, should men be exempted from doing their own emotional labor? They aren’t robots after all!

Studies show that men are more susceptible to suicide as a result of the current definitions of masculinity. Real men are the exact opposite of what said masculinity implies they are. Real men have emotions, and they have vulnerabilities and fears just like any other human being. Men must therefore show up for their fellow men and be the support system for each other. For once, men should talk about their feelings and their health with their peers and avoid the aesthetic of masculinity. Being real about your feelings doesn’t make you any less of a man; in any case it makes you realer than the robots. Being vulnerable doesn’t diminish your masculinity; it strengthens it. Admitting to being in a bad place mentally and needing help doesn’t weaken you as a man; it strengthens you in ways that will keep you from breaking harder than if you ignore all the warning signs. Be your guy’s guy and talk to each other. The sooner you start taking care of each other wholesomely, the better for the generations of men to come.

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