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Expressions like ‘boys don’t cry’ send dangerous messages to our sons. Crying is, in general, a sign of asking for help. When parents teach their sons not to cry, they are more or less teaching them not to ask for help.
All this time, the most common discrimination a girl has to face is with the attitude towards crying. With the well-popularized thought that men don’t cry, or that men don’t feel pain, or ‘mard ko dard nahi hota’ , the crying is synonymous with women. Expressions like ‘cried like a woman’ abound, although there is no biological proof that men tend to cry less than women in similar situations. While women do suffer from mood swings and hormonal outbursts, it is a wrong reason to justify a gender bias that is started at a very young age.
Boys are often chided for crying for very normal reasons like pain, despair or longing. This sort of gender bias creates an acute emotional shift, where a boy learns to live in an emotionally controlled environment where crying is something that the weak does and is therefore not an option in distress, while at the same time delving into an illusion that girls, since they supposedly cry a lot, are weak.
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Crying is, in general, a sign of asking for help. When parents teach their sons not to cry, they are more or less teaching them not to ask for help. This can create a lot of pent-up emotional frustration inside a child in his growing years, and may affect his temperament and judgment in later life. He can grow with a superior outlook towards girls by thinking of them as weak.
One must understand that asking for help can never be a sign of weakness. Preparing a boy for manhood by depriving him of emotions can only weaken him. He learns to be judgmental of those who are emotional, misdirects his emotions and remains mistrustful of people. A lot of violent tendencies in men are result of an emotionally pent up childhood.
This video by Vogue India captures the way boys are taught in lots of ways not to cry, but also asks a pertinent question. What if they are taught to not make others cry? Parenthood is a difficult job, and one must think of consequences in later years before feeding all these stereotypical words to an impressionable child.
Crazy thinker, impulsive writer, schizophrenic psychopath.....what!! Ruchi, why would you write that now, huh?
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