Fun fact: We live in a sexist, patriarchal society that disproportionately screws over women, especially women who are multiply marginalized (women of color, LGBTQ women, poor women, etc). Yeah, sure, we can vote now, but we’re still the number one victims of domestic assault and murder, we’re still not making as much money as men, and we’re still often seen as nothing more than sex objects and potential baby incubators if we happen to be rocking a vagina. But it’s also important to acknowledge that as much as cis-het dudes can perpetuate some of the most oppressive crap ever, they’re also victims of our male-dominated culture, too.
From being unable to express emotions, getting told to man up at an early age, and not even being able to enjoy the scent of floral body wash without it being a blow to masculinity, here are eight of the saddest things about being a guy that you never thought about. It won’t make their privilege go away, but it’ll actually make you feel a little better off than them in some ways.
Their Friendships With Other Dudes Aren't As Emotionally VulnerableThe inspiration for this post came from a random thought I had recently. I thought about what I do when I'm sad, which sometimes includes texting a friend and telling them about how I feel like garbage. Sometimes, I even request something to help cheer me up. Can you imagine most dudes texting their fellow dude friend to share their feelings in that kind of way? To be that vulnerable and take down that mask? To--gasp--seek care from a friend? It's hard, right? I've even posed this scenario to two guys who were close friends, and they both admitted that they probably wouldn't even think of doing something like that. I don't envy male friendships. I don't envy any relationships in which being emotionally open and honest is seen as weird. WTF are friends for? Teen Wolf
They Can't Wear Pink Or Other Feminine ColorsPink wasn't always associated with femininity, but it is now, and its amazing how even the most "woke" dudes will shy away from the color. I get it, not everybody has to like pink, but it's not like guys have a natural aversion to it, it is learned. I refuse to believe that there aren't more guys out there who genuinely think that pink is a dope af color, but fear that wearing it will bring about false implications about their sexuality or their sanity all together. Think about how absurd that is. It's a damn color. Twitter
They Can't Cry...Unless Somebody Died (Maybe)The idea that boys don't cry is incredibly harmful. Crying is natural, but we live in a society that tells men that crying shows that they're weak. Regardless of gender, crying usually isn't all that great, but the fact that dudes can actually be mocked and feel shamed for letting water come out of their eye ducts is pathetic. Even little boys are told that they can't cry, LITTLE BOYS. What is wrong with this world? Think about how many emotionally screwed up men out there end up taking out their anger and sadness in violent ways because they weren't taught how to handle their feelings in a healthy way. I can't speak for every woman out there, but I actually like it when dudes cry. It shows that they're not an effing robot of the damn patriarchy. Romeo + Juliet
They Need Certain Items Marketed Just For ThemThe fact that everything from chocolate to soap to yogurt often goes out of its way to market toward men is pretty sad. Yes, there's plenty of gendered advertising aimed toward women that are just as puke worthy, but there's something almost more pathetic about the marketing towards men. I mean, I'm sure there's a dude out there who enjoys the smell of coconut and wouldn't mind using coconut body wash, but instead a guy has to use body wash that has dark, dim packaging and is MOUNTAIN TERRAIN scented or something ridiculous and falsely masculine like that. Another reason why it's not so bad for women: I don't think many women would hesitate to buy razors geared toward men if they had to. Maybe they even prefer them. Now, imagine a dude's willingness to cop some Venus razors. Pocky
They Have Less Leeway When It Comes To Being Experimental With Their Appearance/What They Can And Can't WearI'm not saying this as if there are never any girls out there who have gotten a hard time for wearing traditionally masculine clothes, but there's a lot more crossover appeal of things like trousers for women (this isn't the turn of the century, we can wear those now), as opposed to dresses for men. Same goes for makeup and other things generally associated with femininity. I suppose women adopting masculine clothes is more okay because masculinity in general is seen as good in our society. But femininity? Not so much. Think about how many dudes would probably want to cover up their acne scars with concealer and "can't." Think about how many want to wear a dope dress, but "can't." SMDH. That '70s Show
They're Told To Man Up As Little KidsThis is so disturbing to me, especially since a lot of women help perpetuate this as an acceptable standard. Little boys are children, not men. For example, telling a little boy to stop crying because he is a man is playing into this idea that little boys have to start exhibiting rigid expectations of gender from the jump. God forbid a boy cry after getting hurt, God forbid a boy cry after getting his feelings hurt. All kids should be treated the same, regardless of gender. The Wire
They Suffer In Silence When Dealing With Issues Normally Associated With Girls And WomenSerious issues such as eating disorders or sexual abuse are generally associated with women, an association that can prevent men suffering from those problems from reaching out for help. It wasn't until I saw an episode episode of Degrassi about a male character's laxative abuse that I even knew that dudes can have eating disorders in the first place, and it's sad that a TV show had to be my way of finding that out. Also, consider male rape victims who are probably silenced because they're told that men can't get raped, and that they should be able to fend off an attacker (unlike a woman). Thanks, toxic masculinity. Degrassi
They Always Have To Prove Their MasculinityMasculinity is like a pissing contest, and whoever shows signs of being the most macho gets all the bragging rights. Consider how dudes are pressured to talk about women in derogatory ways around each other, or when they talk about how violent they would be in some hypothetical situation. And if you're a guy who isn't into that, your masculinity is called into question. And, for a lot of dudes, they're brainwashed into thinking that nothing on this earth is worse than that. Sad, but true. Hopefully, some dudes will learn to unlearn this garbage, but I'm not holding my breath. Pinterest
What other things are next to impossible for men to do, but women can do with ease? What ways do you think we all perpetuate this BS? Tell us in the comments!