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The burial of man under Toxic Expectations

Men are never asked if they want to work after marriage. They are not given seats on public transportation. They are not asked about how darkness haunts them. In their circumstances, they are not expected to sit and cry. They are not consoled and asked how they are moving ahead with the burden of all these toxic expectations we have from them. Palak Sharma has been active in her relentless pursuit of equal rights for men as well as women and Team BFH is proud to have a pro active member in the pursuit of justice for men as well as women.

International Men’s Day is celebrated on November 19th and attracts an unfairly small amount of attention. We frequently normalise our gratitude for having good men in our lives by naming it as their primary responsibility and categorising them without wasting a second.

And the irony is that we complain about how emotionally unavailable guys are. Emotional vulnerability takes time, understanding, and acceptance. Here are some toxic expectations we hold for men without even realising it.

“Physical hunk”

Have you seen any movie sequence where the hero is fighting with five goons at the same time? But not every real-life hero might be able to do that. Or, let’s face it, the majority of them won’t be able to do this. A man is expected to be physically strong.

Biologically, Because they have, on average, more total muscle mass, both in absolute terms and relative to their body weight, men are considered to be physically stronger. But this should not serve as an obligation to them.

“Doesn’t feel much.”

A guy is expected to feel less, or worse, express less. As soon as he starts stating what’s bothering him or being emotional about it, he is clingy, and it is not so manly to do that.

They are expected to act as pillars and support us when we have emotional breakdowns. But do we really do the same for them when they feel the same way?

That’s how emotional unavailability and vulnerability work. If we won’t give them a space to be vulnerable, how can they sympathise with us? All wrong and toxic expectations!

“His assets are his strength.”

The assets a man holds are typically used to determine his worth. Owning a stylish car, a spacious home, or a six-figure cash balance can be incredibly fascinating. However, it shouldn’t be at the expense of your peace. Every person has the freedom to pursue any vocation they so desire. Everybody has a unique timeline. Some people begin working at the age of 20, while others pursue their passions and toil away at them for years.

However, owning an asset cannot be the goal; it can only be a byproduct of accomplishment. Simply being a male does not guarantee that you will have everything figured out by a certain age. Don’t let materialism undermine his sense of worthiness.

“To take responsibility for the house”

Patriarchal norms have been affecting not only women but men for years too. But we don’t have the ability to notice how! A man is expected to take on the responsibility of the house, especially financially. This expectation is so normalised that we do not even address it. Similarly, the way we react when we hear “Household chores are a woman’s responsibility,” are we reacting the same way to the above-mentioned issue? And if not, is this really how we want to grow?

“He should have it figured out.”

Every human being is a cluster of failures and successes. You were not born with a plan in your hand. You try, fail, repeat, and succeed. We, as a society, assume that a man must have his things figured out all the time. The burden of this expectation results in self-doubt, the suppression of emotions, and the constant pressure to be perfect. “He will take care of it” is the notion that we tend to believe whenever we are facing a problem.

Men can fall, fail, be clueless, and rise again as much as any other gender can.

“Angry young man”

A man is seen as aggressive. But have you ever wondered why?

Expression of emotion is undoubtedly essential. And when anger is the most acceptable expression of emotion that is acknowledged by society in a man, it normalises aggressive behavior. Not every guy you know wants to indulge in a fight or an argument.

So, before you start associating anger with masculinity, think about why a man is aggressive and why he should feel more of it.

“We should always be there to help.”

Men are expected to be there as pillars. a rock-solid pillar on which anybody can rely. But how often do we forget that they have their own emotional and personal baggage to deal with? It is not possible for them to be there all the time to help. If you can’t help somebody just because you aren’t feeling well, it’s okay to heal yourself first.

But we don’t even take a moment to label such an act as being nothing but selfish.

Conclusion –

When we talk about how women have been taught to be a certain way for years, we often forget that men have also been taught to be a certain way. At the end of the day, he is also allowed to fail, choose, rest, and express. Masculinity is not about being perfect; it’s about accepting who you are and working for what you love. The math is quite simple: men in our lives deserve to be treated the way we want them to treat us. Otherwise, we’ll keep celebrating our growth while forgetting the men who are being buried under these toxic expectations of society in the pursuit of “how to be a man.”

Happy International Men’s Day!

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