As much as we strive for progress and equality, certain behaviors and attitudes hold us back. One of these behaviors is the comments that men make amongst their peers. These seemingly harmless words can have a profound impact on those around them, particularly when it comes to respect and inclusion.
This phrase often tells someone to toughen up or be more masculine. However, this phrase perpetuates harmful stereotypes and reinforces toxic masculinity. It suggests that showing emotion or vulnerability is a sign of weakness when, in reality, it takes strength to be open and honest about one’s feelings.
Instead of telling someone to “man up,” we should encourage them to express their emotions healthily and support them through their struggles.
“Boys Will Be Boys”
This phrase is often used to excuse inappropriate or even violent behavior from men. It implies that it’s natural for men to act a certain way and excuses them from taking responsibility for their actions. This mentality perpetuates harmful gender stereotypes and also removes accountability for one’s behavior. We should instead hold all individuals accountable for their actions, regardless of gender.
“You Sound Like a Girl”
This comment is disrespectful to women and reinforces the idea that femininity is inferior. It undermines the value of a person’s thoughts or opinions based on their gender, which is unacceptable. Gender should not determine one’s worth or abilities, and we should strive to create an environment where all voices are valued and respected.
“Real Men Don’t Cry”
Similar to “man up,” this phrase perpetuates the harmful idea that men should not show emotion or vulnerability. It suggests that only certain emotions are acceptable for men to express, which can be damaging to their mental health and well-being. We should encourage men to express their feelings healthily without judgment or shame.
“She’s Just Being Emotional”
This comment is often used to dismiss women’s valid concerns or emotions. It implies that being emotional is a negative trait and undermines the importance of understanding and addressing one’s feelings. We should acknowledge and respect all emotions, regardless of gender, and work towards creating a safe space for individuals to express themselves without judgment.
“You’re Too Pretty to Be Smart”
This backhanded compliment suggests that a woman’s appearance is more valuable than intelligence. It also reinforces the idea that women can’t be both smart and attractive, which is false. We should recognize and value all aspects of an individual, including their intelligence and physical appearance.
“You’re Not Like Other Girls”
This phrase implies that there is a standard for what it means to be a woman, and anyone who doesn’t fit that mold is lesser. It also pits women against each other and reinforces harmful gender stereotypes. We should celebrate individuality and recognize that there is no “right” way to be a woman.
“You Throw/Hit Like a Girl”
This comment perpetuates the idea that femininity is weak and inferior. It also implies that masculinity is solely defined by physical strength, which is damaging to both men and women. We should recognize that strength comes in many forms and should not be limited by gender stereotypes.
“Grow Some Balls”
This phrase suggests that courage and strength are only associated with masculinity. It undermines the bravery of individuals who may not fit societal expectations of what it means to be a man. We should recognize that courage knows no gender and encourage all individuals to embrace their unique strengths.
“You’re Not a Real Man/Woman”
This comment undermines the identity of an individual and implies that there is a specific way to be a man or woman. It also reinforces harmful gender stereotypes and excludes those who do not fit into societal norms. We should celebrate and respect all identities, regardless of societal expectations or labels.
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This article was produced on Inspired by Insiders.