Why we should never expect anyone to 'man up'
Updated: Sep 17, 2020
I once had a delivery driver stood on my doorstep as my son (who was 6 at the time) came hurtling down the hallway and stubbed his toe on a box left on the floor. He yelled and cried at the pain of it, at which point the delivery man told my son to "man up" At the time this happened I was so angry that I slammed the door in his face, flattening his nose no doubt which suddenly would have been against the door. Comforted my little boy and allowed him to cry and shout it out. And this is why...
In the U.K. men are three times more likely to take their own lives than women. Yet we still have a culture of toxic masculinity, where boys and men are made to to ‘man up’. With the age of equality upon us let’s get to grips with this - if you are raising young men, living with men or are a man, let’s not conform to the masculine stereotype that is so poisonous.
The dictionary defines "man up" as to... demonstrate toughness or courage when faced with a difficult situation, so the use of the word can be severely damaging and can leave a feeling of insecurity and shame causes men to curl in on themselves, forcing themselves in to the stereotype, the hyper-masculine ideal and disconnect from who they really are. By doing this they are repressing their emotions and any paths to be the person they want to be, affecting their whole lives.
So next time you see a boy or man showing their emotions whether at home or at work... offer them support, put your arm around them and give them a hug, or ear to listen, reach out and talk. But please.... think twice about saying these two destructive words!
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