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‘Boys don’t cry because they are strong’ is a line all of us heard since we were little kids. If that is right, being a man is easier than being a woman. But in reality, that line becomes a stigma when we are growing that actually makes men themselves also think they should be stronger than women, not only about physical strength, but in mental state as well, the society often treats them based on the line too. Here I have few reasons why being a man is harder than we used to think.

The first, it’s awkward to see a man cry, but not when a woman cry. Actually, there is an invisible cultural pressure to bottle up sadness for men than women, while crying is a normal response of body if you are feeling too emotional. Here the thing, men are expected to be emotionless, put an act of being tough all the time even when they are feeling insecure, and to be shy if they are feeling weak. They have been taught that feminine is the opposite of masculine, and because they want to be accepted by the other boys, they view feminine as a disgusted view. While human have both sides, the feminine and the masculine side, so they have a conflict with who they feel they are in their core and who the world tell them as men should be.

The second, a man needs to be braver than a woman. Back again to the line ‘Because boys are strong’, they feel the need to be braver than women. While fear is a common thing for human, everyone has their own fear Men should embrace it. That’s okay, but it doesn’t mean that’s okay to be scared of everything, we do need to learn to control the fear, that’s what all human do, not only men.

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The third, a man is the one who needs to provide the money for his family. Actually, this point is starting to change, as many women now also have good positions at work. Money is not really the issue here, but it’s all about the society’s judgement: if men don’t have good positions at work, then they are not worth as men. While it’s about the couple’s agreement about the money and jobs, it is not how to value people’s worth.

The fourth, double standard of abuse. It’s surprising that nearly 1 of 4 men are being abused in relationships, but many of the victims are too afraid to talk, or when they talk about it, people around them not taking it seriously and laugh at the story. It’s a serious matter, while in Indonesia, boys have a bigger risk to be assaulted rather than girls as kids, and they suffer the traumas too.

In the end, men are human and they need to learn to be good humans. How? I believe the only way to learn to be good humans are to embrace the qualities that they were told are feminine in them, to be brave enough to be vulnerable, to ask for help when they need it, to be sensitive enough to cry when they are sad or happy, even though it makes them look weak. Maybe after all of that, the society will change their thinking about men.

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