We live in a very rigid society; we are surrounded by baseless stereotypes and concepts that have no significant values. One of such brainless clichés is the concept that men have to be ‘macho’ men. They cannot cry, they cannot express their emotions like women do. They cannot look after their homes or cook. They cannot want their hands and feet to be pretty. They just have to be strong. They have to learn things like working with machines or moving heavy furniture. They have to be physically very strong as it is okay for them to fight.
We are born and then grow up in this world; we learn and believe these concepts by heart quite involuntarily. When we are young we are supposed to play hardcore physical games with boys. Firstly, it’s wrong to play with dolls, kitchen toys or make up toys. Secondly, we are expected to play only with boys.
We are even taught to pretend to be strong. Not because we need strength as a human. But more importantly, because we need to prove our masculinity. We are shunned from crying. A boy, a man doesn’t cry: is the favorite quote of everyone around us if we shed a single tear. We are teased to be a girl if we like the color pink. Since childhood, we see ourselves dressed in brown and all the other sober colors just because we are not girls. And girls got to wear all the pretty clothes in beautiful rainbow hues. Very later in life we realize that this conserved ideology of our society has sunk too deep in our minds. And until then, it gets too late to like pink.
We need to be strong as a human, because we need to prove our masculinity by being inexpressive.
Being a father unbolt some really new windows in your mind. Especially when you become a father of a daughter, you experience some truly different matters. When my daughter came in this world I was introduced to a whole new meaning of femininity. And the difference it had with masculinity.
The man stuff
My daughter always asked me to play with her Barbie dolls and the doll’s house. But how can, a man ever do that. I always refused her and tried to explain that I cannot. She started begging me and these little angels can convince you to do anything in this world, I tell you. So, I did the man stuff. I looked after the things that need to be fixed. Just like we men do in our homes. I secure the roof, I repair the walls and I even at times wash the Barbie’s car.
Isn’t that how it works in our social order? Isn’t that we men are supposed to do? I thought that this is exactly needs to be done. I thought that I do all the right things and refrain myself from all the wrong doings, all the girly things to be exact.
It was until sometime when my daughter started to show interest in manly things. She liked to climb, she enjoyed playing with cars and she loved to watch boxing on television. It was then when I started to ponder that she doesn’t want anything wrong. It’s just that she likes the stuff that is labeled ‘not for her’.
Rules are never gender biased
I began to question the ideology behind this set list of rules that says that boys and girls cannot like nor do the same things. I wanted my baby girl to be happy and I wanted to be able to play with her with whatever in the world she liked me to play with. Slowly things started to get change.
I have now understood that the amount of masculinity is not in the truth that I don’t cry. It’s more in the fact that I don’t make women cry.
Now there are times when I can be found making imaginary tea in those cute little toy cups. I can be found applying make up to the doll’s face and brushing her hair. And I can be seen wearing shirts in a very girlish pink color, because my girl’s favorite color is pink. And nothing gives me more satisfaction and pleasure than the smile in her eyes.
I read a quote somewhere which said that a lady should know how to change a tyre, but a lady should not change a tyre. Today, I want to state the counter quote for this one. I say that a man should know how to cook, how to wash clothes and how to keep himself clean and beautiful. But a man may not. It should be his choice. Rather than the choice of the culture he lives in. Because at the end of the day what matters is being happy and content with what you do and for who you are.