“The three most destructive words that every man receives when he’s a boy is when he’s told to ‘be a man’…” – Joe Ehrmann, Coach for America.
My son, Henry, is almost 3-years-old. He loves nail polish, his sister’s purple Dora nightgown, trucks, dinosaurs, Peppa Pig, Jake and the Neverland Pirates and putting on Mom’s make-up so Dad can tell him he looks “boo-tee-full.”
He is this lovely, little human being who likes what he likes based on his own very raw reaction to those things and not society’s rules of what constitutes masculine or feminine. His love and enjoyment of things is pure. But society will get to him and ruin that pure love, just like it did for millions of boys before him. Boys who turned into men who are now raising little boys of their own.
Be a man.
Boys don’t cry.
That’s what will happen. The world will tell my beautiful little boy to ‘be a man’ or ‘man up’ and there’s nothing I can do about it. There’s nothing I can do about society but I can do my damnedest to raise up a thoughtful man who knows it’s okay to cry when he’s upset and that the concept of masculinity foisted upon him by the world-at-large is complete and utter B.S.
That’s why I’m so impressed by the trailer for “The Mask You Live In”, a film created by The Representation Project.
On its website the group says they are “a movement that uses film and media content to expose injustices created by gender stereotypes and to shift people’s consciousness towards change.”
I came to the video via Joseph Lamour from Upworthy.com who notes, “Be a man” is something we’ve all heard at one time or another, even a few of the women reading this right now. Being a “man” in that sense means something completely different to me (and maybe you, too) than what that phrase implies. I can’t even begin to describe the toll that the concept of masculinity has taken on my life. And it’s felt everywhere. It’s time we make changes, starting from within ourselves.”
Change within ourselves that radiates outward and onto our children. Don’t ‘be a man’ or ‘act like a lady’… BE WHO YOU ARE. ACT HOW YOU FEEL.
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