We’ve heard it all before, “real men don’t cry”, “you throw like a girl”, phrases used to keep women and men in different categories. Men have to be strong, ready to protect and never allowed to show any feeling or sensitivity. Men are expected to never cry and many times we shun young boys for expressing their feelings. The exact opposite is expected of women, women are assumed to be dainty. Throwing like a girl is used as a negative connotation because women are not supposed to know how to throw a ball, they’d be too delicate to do so.
Many times we find ourselves changing who we are in order to fit into the ideals of our society, but at what cost? To make someone other than yourself satisfied? Don’t look at yourself as having to fit into this cookie cutter ideal of what a woman or man should look and act like. Act the way you want to and be the person that makes you feel the most comfortable. We waste away so much of our lives trying to satisfy the needs of others that we forget that in the end the only opinions that matter should be our own.
This mindset has been long engraved into our minds and the only way to end it is to change the way we see it. This begins as early as childhood, allowing the children in our lives to cry, to play, to be themselves without trying to force them into being replicas of each other. In ourselves we have to stop thinking stereotypical thoughts about each gender, no not all men are stronger than women, no women do not ‘belong’ in the kitchen, and yes men can cry too. Free yourself from these outdated ideas!
Cristina Ferreira Intern