Following on from my previous post – Why Crying Like A Little Girl Is The Manliest Thing You Can Do – I want to talk a little more about how that relates to feminism.
I feel we need to be very careful about what we tell ALL children, including our young girls. To make sure the false narratives that have so visibly divided the sexes throughout history, doesn’t continue to be the narrative that writes our children’s future.
It’s a well worn discussion that bears repeating, and for that reason I’ll keep my thoughts and this post short. That said I do want to raise a point that’s maybe been missed in our attempts to rewrite the story for our future girls.
With regards to the feminist movement in particular, we need to be especially careful about how we manage its evolution.
When I think about the way in which mainstream media has started to reflect this changing narrative, I wonder if we are unwittingly going down a dangerous path.
Not because we are telling young girls to stand up for themselves more.
Not because we are telling women they’re every bit as capable as men.
Not because we are telling them to be their own heroines – not to expect that they will be saved by some bullshit knight in shining armour.
These are undeniably good things to teach our young girls in order to find greater equality going forward.
What I’m taking about is something more subtle.
The well worn narrative of what it means to be a man – macho and independent – to not need anybody’s help. Specifically that asking for help is a sign of weakness (Something I talked about at length in my previous post).
This is exactly the kind of narrative responsible for the statistic that men are 3 to 4 times more likely to commit suicide than women, despite being nearly half as likely to develop depression. For the undeniable fact that us ‘macho men’ are actually less emotionally resilient than women.
I think it’s this narrative that has put distance between many of today’s male leaders and their own hearts. It’s acting in the pretence of what society believes to be strong that is, in no small way, dividing nations and destroying our earth.
There’s nothing wrong with challenging the narrative women are less capable than men which, of course, is complete BS, but to teach our girls the same things we’ve been teaching our boys is not a smart move.
The way we teach girls to have greater emotional intelligence. To pick them up and hold them when they cry. To let them understand the importance of knowing their emotions intimately.
This is a great thing.
We need to teach and show our boys more of this. Not women less.
To teach them not to cry and be like a man, or grow a pair, so to speak, would be a disaster.
A world in which neither sex is able to properly process or access their own emotions – where girls are told ‘not to cry’ – is a world we cannot allow.
We must stop denying our children their true nature.
(As always I welcome ALL opinions and thoughts. I’m always keen for a dialogue and to be told where and in what ways I’m wrong so I may grow. Thank for taking the time to read.)