12 Things All Men Deserve To Hear
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Politics and Activism

12 Things All Men Deserve To Hear

Because they might not hear these kind things from the male figures in their lives.

12 Things All Men Deserve To Hear
Everyday Feminism

This week, I decided that there are a few things men deserve to be told once in a while. These are things they won't always get to hear from their parents or their friends. In fact, they might hear the exact opposite of a lot of these things throughout their life times. But this is all about breaking down antiquated gender roles and just making sure that we're accepting people for who they are.

1. Rape happens to men, too.

Let's get one of the biggest ones out of the way here. Rape can happen to anyone. Men can be raped by other men and women, but often men who come forward about being raped are humiliated, shamed, and told they should be grateful they got laid. This is a disgusting side effect of labeling all men as sex-crazed and emotionless. One out of every 10 rape victims is male and they are just as important as any other victim of sexual assault. Let's start acting like it.

2. Men can be (and are) victims of abuse.

This fact might get even less attention than #1, but it's just as true. Men can be abused just as brutally and in just as many ways as women. Men can be verbally, mentally, emotionally, sexually, and physically abused just like anyone else on the planet. However, their cases are often thrown out (or again, laughed at) because men are supposed to be tough and strong and a weak woman shouldn't be able to hurt a man. Men are victims of domestic abuse, too, and just like any other person, that doesn't make them weak.

3. It's OK not to like sports.

This one is pretty basic. Do what makes you happy. If sports make you happy, great. If theatre, or dance, or science, or literally anything else make you happy, great. Go with it. We need to stop forcing boys into sports at a young age and putting pressure on them to be hyper-masculine or telling them not to get involved with 'girly' activities. You do you.

4. It's not your job to be the breadwinner.

Society puts a lot of pressure on men to be the sole/main provider for their families. Not only is this a ton of stress to put on anybody, but it's just plain unnecessary. It's not a bad thing if your SO makes more money than you, just like it's not a bad thing if you make more money than them. In fact, it's not bad if your SO is the sole provider for your family; being a househusband is a perfectly acceptable way to contribute to your family, and by doing that, you're probably being exactly what you need to be. Lots of times this arrangement is just the most logical, but of course it will vary with every family and every individual. Do what will make you happy.

5. Liking 'girly' things is perfectly acceptable.

We'll ignore the fact that we need to stop labeling things by gender and just let people enjoy whatever the hell they want to enjoy without shaming them. I cannot stress how much boys should be allowed to partake in whatever activities they want without having to feel like they aren't masculine enough or like they're 'too girly.' Dolls, cooking, make-up, singing, whatever. If it makes you happy, then that should be enough for the people around you. They should not be concerning themselves with how they think you need to portray yourself.

6. It's healthy to cry.

Crying is good for the soul, if that's how you express yourself. Whether they are happy tears or sad tears, they're all good. Don't let people tell you men/boys aren't supposed to cry, because that's just not true. We all express emotions differently as individuals, and suppressing your emotions to please the toxic masculinity of a few of your peers isn't healthy and can actually be far more hurtful than helpful in the long run.

7. Showing affection is also healthy.

Show affection to everyone! Affection is good for the mind. Give affection to you parents, your siblings, your pets, your friends, everyone who is important to you. Tell them how much you love and appreciate them, hug them, hold hands, kiss cheeks, be kind. Teach your sons and younger sibling that showing affection is a good thing and not something to ever feel self-conscious about.

8. Fathers are just as important as mothers.

I can't imagine how frustrating it must be to have a child you love with all your heart, a child you take care of and work hard for all the time, and then listen to people who assume you've never changed a diaper or you can't pack a school lunch. Treating dads like they're lazy and don't play with and care for their children creates a culture of treating fathers like they don't know anything and creating an unpleasant home environment, to say the least. Dads in sitcoms are particularly portrayed this way, but that treatment is way more harmful in real life.

9. You don't have to sleep with someone to 'prove your manhood.'

Can this stupid stereotype die already? So many movies, books, TV shows, and just people in general make a huge deal about boys not really becoming a man until they have sex with a woman. First off, this is just plain heterocentric. And misogynistic. And rude. Sex does not make you an adult. Sex is not a requirement for anything. Don't have it because you feel pressured to lose your virginity. Have it because you and your partner have discussed it and are truly ready for it.

10. You are an individual.

No, all men are not the same. A phrase that gets used far too often and does more damage than it does good. You are an individual and you deserve to be treated as such.

11. You are completely loved.

Every man deserves to be told how important and special he is. You are loved, you matter, you make a difference in the world, and nothing can change that.

12. There is nothing you have to do to be a 'real man.'

There's no step by step list that explains 'How To Be A Real Man.' You are who you want to be, and nothing anyone says can take that away from you. No one can say you aren't a real man because you haven't slept with a hundred women, or because you don't like football. No one has the right to tell you that you're not a real man because you're a trans man, or gay, or bi, or ace. You are real and valid, and no one gets to decide the terms of your existence. You are here, you exist, and you are accepted for who you are.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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