Men Or Women: Who is better when it comes to emotional intelligence?

Did Evolution Neglect Men When It Came To Emotions?

Just another ordinary Tuesday found my colleagues and me sitting comfortably, snacking on chips and talking about everything and nothing in the office break room. Somewhere along, the spirited discussion of music seeped into Adam Levine and steered into the treacherous topic of relationships. 

No, it wasn’t a gloomy rant show nor a standup gossip fest, but rather a casual discussion of how infidelity can trigger long-term couples from calling it quits. One thing led to the other, and the conversation stalled on the long-believed stereotype that “men are not emotionally evolved as women.”

Before you roll your eyes and oppose every other sentence that comes out of my mouth, I would like to state that I don’t believe this to be true in its entirety. Our debate squad so involved in discussing the topic would gladly agree that it’s more along the lines of, “for some men, physical relationships might not count as cheating but simply the act of having a sexual impulse satiated. While for some, even sharing thoughts with a random stranger online can be deemed taboo.”

Well, I guess it’s a rather human thing than a man thing. But somewhere along the lines, men do fall short, for maybe women express more verbally or physically. As our society narrates, men must toughen up, gulp down their tears, and wrap up their tattered hearts silently. 

As a sister to two brothers, I am relieved my parents have nurtured them in a safe space to express their feelings, to shatter years of narrated patriarchal false values of – men are strong, men don’t cry, men don’t feel pain- or as described in the popular saying “Mard ko dard nahi hota. Mard rote nahi!”

This is the exact moment when you kind of recall one of the most loved scenes of modern Hindi cinema: Tara (Deepika Padukone) and Ved (Ranbir Kapoor) in the movie Tamasha, in a bar, speaking volumes through their silences, through their tears. 

The only relevancy I would like to draw from this not even abstractly related scene with our conversation is the portrayal of men breaking down and expressing their vulnerability while keeping their macho images intact. The need to keep mum and feign ignorance despite their hearts crumbling into a million pieces is uncalled for. 

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Speaking of literary references, old-school literature has some of the best narrations of traditionalist societies around the globe, normalizing men not expressing their emotions enough as signs of supremacy. It is deemed that men need to learn to shield and harden themselves for the sake of their image.

Okonkwo never showed any emotion openly unless it was the emotion of anger. To show affection was a sign of weakness; the only thing worth demonstrating was strength.~ ‘Things Fall Apart’ by Chinua Achebe.

Set in the pre-colonial era in the southeastern part of Nigeria, the book talks about the protagonist Okonkwo. The leader of the Igbo was strong, hard-working, and strived to show no weakness or fear. However, despite that, Okonkwo feared emotions and was always on strike, adamant about being unexpressive of inner feelings and unreceptive of others’ compassion. 

It’s fair enough to state that emotions are not dictated by gender, and despite the much-stated stereotype, it is essential to nurture-

-A society that embraces people to feel safe to be authentic, regardless of societal expectations. 

-Conversations that encourage and feed our thoughts to be more progressive with the times.

-A narrative that celebrates emotional growth in all its forms. 

Together, we can build a future where emotional expression is celebrated and relationships thrive in an atmosphere of honesty, empathy, and understanding.


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