The only standard a man should be held to is to be a good person.
Toxic masculinity should not be an expectation. It's damaging to a man's self-esteem to have manliness held over his head all of the time. Men are self-conscious of the way they walk, sit, speak, stand, and act in general. They're expected to bottle up their emotions because "real men don't cry." It isn't fair.
With the movement of women's equality, we forget that men deserve equality as well.
Women are pushing past the idea that they're supposed to be housewives and mothers, so men should no longer be expected to know how to change tires and be the breadwinners. There's give and take involved. If we expect equal pay and opportunity, they should be allowed to cry. We can lift each other up.
I made a promise to myself that I would never expect anything of a man that I wouldn't expect of myself. As long as the man I choose to spend the rest of my life with is a genuine and honest person, nothing else will matter. The heart contains so much more of a good man than anything else.
I won't need a provider, just a person to share my life with. I want to laugh with them and share every thought and struggle with them. That shouldn't require any masculinity from them or feminity from me.
All men should be allowed to be vulnerable.
In fact, vulnerability should be encouraged. They should share their feelings and be expressive. It feels good to let everything out and some men will never get the chance to know that firsthand because they were taught to not show weakness.
I pray whoever I choose to spend my life with is in touch with his feelings. I hope he can cook better than me. I hope he cries when he's upset and smiles every chance he gets. I hope he is confident and comfortable with who he is, regardless of what he knows, what he does, or how he thinks. And I truly hope, above all things, that he knows the support and love I will have for all he is. Every shortcoming, every feeling, and every expression.
I hope that my future is full of balance and sharing. There should be an exchange of struggles, a lot of figuring things out as we go, and equal standards.
Previous generations were always too busy separating duties 50/50 and making sure everything was appropriate for the rules of gender when it should just be about getting things done and using each others' strengths. If we focus more on what we're good at and less on gender roles and expectations of society, everyone would be better off.
I could not care less about what society thinks about whatever man I choose. Society isn't the one who will share a life with him. I know what works for me and I know where my heart is. I know if I'm going to ever raise a child with anyone, it has to be with someone encouraging and supportive of emotion and creativity.
Masculinity is so useless compared to everything else.
Sorry not sorry.