Ever since the evolution of human beings, society has always had a predisposition towards a role that fits everyone. This “fitting a role” goes as far back as when hunter gatherers existed. The men would gather fruits and berries and would go hunting whereas the women would cook and take care of everything else. However, the moment one acts outside their traditional set of norms, they are rather harshly penalized.

We define “traditional masculinity” and “traditional femininity” as relatively enduring characteristics encompassing traits, appearances, interests, and behaviors that have traditionally been considered relatively more typical of women and men, respectively. However, the moment one decides to not conform to these traditionally set notions and rather flouts them instead, they are mocked and ridiculed.

Traditional masculinity refers to bulged up muscles and broad chest and of course if you don’t sport a beard or a mustache, you aren’t “manly”

This gender stereotype is not just limited to women. “Be a man” or “such a sissy” are two universal and toxic statements that almost every other man hears the moment he decides to do something that is almost infinitesimally feminine in nature.

Let’s take a look at some of the stereotypes.

Pampering And Taking Care Of Yourself

Taking care of yourself is one of the most basic things that every human does. Be it a manicure or a pedicure or a spa done to the hair, whatever makes you happy. There is nothing “girly” about it. In fact, it’s actually healthy. Similarly, having a day time and a night time skincare routine does not make you any less of a man. Rather, it keeps your skin healthy, thereby paving a road to the possibility of turning a few heads!

Asian man in bathrobe facial treatment and skin rejuvenation with clay mask on face in studio brown color background.

And yes, men like to be pampered too! It’s so wrong to assume that it’s always a man who should get things for his girl. Men love it when they’re given something they love. For example, if your guy’s a fan of Barcelona, get him a t-shirt and he will worship you for the rest of his life. Get him flowers, and it’ll make him feel appreciated.

Paternity Leaves Should Genuinely Be A Thing

Even though paternity leaves do exist, most people don’t want them because apparently if the “man of the household” stops working, then how can he feed his own family? Not only is this idea toxic but also very unhealthy. A father needs just as much time with the baby and the family to recuperate just as the mother.

In fact, it is economically beneficial as well. When fathers take leave, it also helps mothers engage in paid work and go back to their respective fields of expertise, driving up their labor-force participation and wages.

Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg who is the United States Secretary of Transportation had taken a paternal leave after he adopted his baby girl. The leave was not without its fair share of criticism. In an interview with the ABC News, he said,

“We’re almost the only country left in the world that doesn’t have some kind of policy … and when parents take that parental leave, they need to be supported,” he said. “If there’s this idea that maybe men have access to paternity leave but it’s frowned on if they actually use it … that carries with it this assumption that the woman’s going to do all the work.”

This assumption of a male’s familial role of being in charge of the expenses whereas women are limited to the household stems from the patriarchal structure of the society.

Men Complimenting Other Men

No, it does not make you gay and neither is it something that only women do. Complimenting each other is such a boost to self-confidence. It doesn’t make you a sissy or a loser and definitely not gay.

I mean imagine you just bought a new pair of shades and that one dude on the street goes, “nice shades man where did you get them from?” Wouldn’t that make you feel great? You’d notice a more confident stride and even better mood. It’s good for mental health too.

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Men Can Be Sensitive And Men Can Cry Too

I have seen so many of my friends struggle with communication because they have been taught since childhood, that “men don’t cry,” “men don’t share their feelings” and the one and only “women are sensitive. Stop being a woman. Be a man.”

For starters, we are all human beings. We are not robots. Stereotyping expressing emotions as a feminine trait is a sign of toxic masculinity. It helps nobody to bottle up their feelings. Not only is it harmful for the environment around you, but it’s also harmful for the person going through it.

Crying is the most basic way of letting your feelings out. It makes you feel lighter and a lot better.

Having A Knack For The Soft Things

In Friends, episode 7 of season 6, Chandler criticizes Joey for liking flowers, hanging pictures of adorable babies and having pink cushions because of his roommate Janine. He says to Joey, “You’re becoming a woman.”

Apparently sharing something you didn’t like is “being a woman”

Flowers are aesthetically pleasing and babies are adorable. What that has anything to do with being a woman is beyond me. Men look so chic when they carry off a baby pink t-shirt with blue jeans.

What I find highly annoying and extremely weird is how everything in this generation has a gender role. If a guy were to order vodka, that’s feminine. However, if a woman were to order whisky, somehow that’s sexy. Why? Because hard drinks are for men whereas softer ones like wine, vodka, and gin are what women would want.

If a man applies makeup, he’s called a “trans” whereas if a woman dresses in shorts and tees she’s “one of the guys.”
Each and every little thing has been put into these boxes of gender roles that make absolutely no sense and is a threat to individuality. The moment you digress from the norms of the society and refuse to conform to it, you’ll be labelled a “freak” or a “weirdo.”

To conclude, just live and let live.

Disclaimer: This article is fact-checked.

Image Sources: Google Images

Feature Image designed by Saudamini Seth.

Sources: Times of India, Independent, ABC News

Find the Blogger:  @Rishita51265603

This article is tagged under gender roles, gender stereotypes, toxic masculinity, patriarchal nature, paternal leave, development of economy, increase in labor-force participation, mental health, patriarchal familial roles

We do not hold any right, copyright over any of the images used, these have been taken from Google. In case of credits or removal, the owner may kindly mail us.

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