In the United Kingdom women have gained rights and freedoms miles different to the social status of 1901. However the cry for help, the emotion the fear and the braveness to help themselves using logic feels the same. How easy was it for you to see the doctor after that episode of darkness or during it. How easy was it for you to hug your child and tell them you love them more than anything in the world, you will protect them and help them. This seems a little easier for a women to do, am I right? Maybe I am wrong?
My own personal biases and life experience makes it hard to understand how a man can do the above. I have seen it portrayed in that movie and that advert in the newspaper, maybe in work I have caught a glimpse between father and daughter, another man opening up to me about his emotions.
That is why I ask my self what is a man? I know what a women is and I see it everyday, we bare our emotions for the public to like and criticise, we joke about our femininity and menstrual cycle, but a man, how does he truly feel. I feel for the man. Out of love.
Men are ridiculed for sharing their emotions among their fellow men. Are laughed at by their community if they cry and worse are seen as weak if they ask for help. I am scared that mental illness among men and more particularly young men is not given its due attention. I have found a website that shocked me with its statistics, that 4 in 5 suicides are by men, that is 78% and for men under 35 suicide is the biggest cause of death. You can find more statistics here:
The strong stereotypical roles that women were defined by have reversed, how long before it does for men. It is a fearful thought. Especially if you take into account the differing ethnic and racial chunks in our society. If men have to learn to ask for help and get help from society as a women did and is doing then all men need to participate not just a small section of society. Only then will it create a change.
On a organisational level just like the domestic abuse adverts for women, translated into all types of cultures and languages. The same needs to happen for men.
Things seem to be changing slowly. It is refreshing to see a high profile celebrity such as professor green talk and promote mental illness amongst his followers and mainstream media. He has used platforms such as bbc3 and The Guardian to raise awareness around mental health and men, this is the link to the article:
In the article Professor green talks about how he didn’t know and still doesn’t know what was going through his dads head when he committed suicide. Is this because men’s feelings and societal encouragement to be open is dismissed? Or just not encouraged?
There are organisations for example in Bradford West Yorkshire that are tirelessly supporting men and helping to make a difference:
- Bradford Reducing Anger and Violent Emotions (BRAVE)
- MIND in Bradford
- Bradford Cyrenians working with men who suffer from domestic abuse
So what is a man? A human being, who needs due acknowledgement and support as a women would do.
In today’s multifaceted world we are all just humans. A man, a women, a man a women, you can go on all day, all your life but it will not make a difference. Everything a man can do a women can do better and vice versa. Largely defined roles or labels by which you would identify a man or a women have deteriorated. Thank fully!
We have to start somewhere and treat a man as a human with feelings and emotions which may be different in different circumstances but not a physically, socially or culturally defined man, just a human being who wants and needs help. Lastly I want to imagine a man to be emotional and full of empathy, I want my stereotypical ideas about a man changed, I want to see it portrayed in real life, so come on men start expressing and seeking change!
Bye for now…