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Rolling Meadows High School News and Media

MustangMedia

Rolling Meadows High School News and Media

MustangMedia

The Perception of Masculinity

The+Perception+of+Masculinity

I was sitting in the car, with the radio humming in the background and the familiar tune of “Boys Don’t Cry” by the Cure began to play. The other person with me in the car made a frustrating comment echoing how the lyrics were true and how men are never to show weakness; I sat there stunned… disbelief spread across my face, and it was the first of many times that I’d end up hearing similar statements. 

I don’t agree with that certain antiquated stereotype “real men don’t cry.” While there are no distinct indicators tracing back to where this saying was coined from, it speaks volumes about the rigid traditional gender norms that are ingrained in our society. This is extremely important as these norms continue to weave their way into everyday conversation and distort perceptions of strength and vulnerability.

Stigma, as described by the Oxford Dictionary is “a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person.” The statement that “men don’t cry” only continues to push false stigmas on the validity of one’s mental health and well-being.

Over and over again, I have witnessed as people struggled in silence because they were so falsely convinced that obtaining masculinity means staying stoic and pushing away vulnerability. Over and over again, deeply rooted toxic masculinity continues to impose restrictive and harmful expectations on men.

Delving into different cultures and takes on the definition of masculinity we see this pattern of masculinity tying back into this avoidance of femininity, aggression, and strength. 

Yet… when one suppresses their emotions, they risk further harming themselves. 

Perhaps it’s easier to say than to truly accept, however, searching for support is a show of strength and not weakness. In contrast to the damaging narratives and supposed gender norms, it does not damage one’s validity nor diminish one’s masculinity.



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