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Gendered Emotions

You see a man blaming a girl. You stop and look, you see the girl crying. Picture this in your head. Now move that image to either your left or right side of the brain (I’m being democratic, you can select which side) and picture this: you see a man blaming a boy. The boy starts crying out loud. Forget about the title of this article and forget about every radical idea and give me an honest comment of the second picture. ‘Very girly”. Isn’t that so? This is not something only you would say, this is something that will be commonly said by many. From times bygone we have grown up with the idea that most of the emotions, 99.89% are feminine. In other words, it is quite natural for a female to cry, but not so for a male. Emotions, whether we accept it or not, are highly gendered now.

So, shouldn’t men cry? Why are these emotional outbursts only classified with women? These are questions which still do not have concrete solutions, but let us try to evaluate on this.

Females are commonly and widely accepted as emotional. They cry over small things, they wail over huge matters, they drown themselves in misery. Something you might say might upset a woman, so you better watch your words when speaking in front of the fair sex. This is the stereotypical idea regarding emotions and females. But what about the males?

Don’t men feel as much as women do?

The simple answer is, yes. They do. Sometimes they feel ten times more than women, but the gender socialization has left its mark on the two sexes, that emotions are not for men. From a very young age, the children are advised how to regulate their emotions.

For a girl, it is shown that it is acceptable to cry. The tone in saying ‘Don’t cry’ for a girl will be sympathetic, and understanding. But if a boy starts to cry, he will be pushed to stop in a very strict and flat ‘Don’t cry’. Because of the ideological concepts of male vs female, common human emotions are discriminated. What is more serious is, that most of the oppressive and violent men are born as a result of these ironing out of emotions at an early period of their lives. As men learn to hold back their emotions, they start viewing emotions as something trivial and petty. This is what creates the universal criticism by men that women are always drama queens who  cry over the simplest of things.

Also, women face the eternal combat where they assume that men who do not show emotions are manly, while they often want a partner for life who will understand their emotions and will be sympathetic with them. This slowly leads for the society to use ‘emotions’ as a measurement on someone’s character, which is a bad thing. More violence is there because of lack of awareness and lack of empathy by both genders towards the common human emotions. Emotional drainage of males as well as excessive emotional encouragement of females both become unhealthy for the society.

Emotions are a large part of human psychology. In many of the psychotherapies, people are told to shout it over, or cry it out without holding in. Holding back emotions lead people to have psychological issues which eventually  might end up in grave situations. This article is not at all saying that men should start crying or women should govern their tears. No. this is to say that emotional moderation is needed for both genders. Emotions are humane. They are a part of us. Sometimes, there is no other comfort than to let out whatever we feel inside. So imagine being told to hold it in. We are unable to even hold a sneeze, so how will it be, if one is to hold back emotions that try to tear out from the repressive “i won’t be a weakling in front of the society” notion?

So, the next time you see a woman holding back her tears, do not think she is not sensitive. The next time you see a man with tears in his eyes, do not think he is weak, for more than we know, it takes so much to finally give in, than to hold on. Now, whether you who reads this is a male or a female, let yourself free. Moderate your emotions, govern your heart, but if you feel the best solution or medication is to let it all out, do it. Let it all out and start again.

About The Author

Lilani Anuruddhika

Lilani Anuruddhika is interested in composing poetry, writing stories, singing, dancing and inspiring people. She also wishes to raise social awareness about female safety and social morals. Lilani is contributing Queen of Sea with poetry and articles.

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