When human beings first came into existence, there were no preconceived notions linked to any gender. It was a matter of time that circumstances, natures, and abilities led to the attachment of a set of characteristics getting gender-defined. As humankind progressed, both clans got identified with these characteristics. A slight deviation here and there, and you become the target of social condemnation. As for men, this condemnation goes a long way, everything comes down to proving their masculinity. Even if deep down you don’t care about it much, due to peer pressure, you bind yourself to do so. You might be alright with having a scarce beard but would worry about what people will say?
We have joined the tribe that wants to uproot this mentality. It is a fight against generalization and for the celebration of individuality. There should not be a preset that a man has to fit in necessarily. They can be ones who need protection, a hug, or a shoulder to cry on. They too have a vulnerable side to their personality which they should not be afraid to show or even realize. To further strengthen the voice that we are trying to raise, we have come up with these choices that men should be allowed to make with no questions or fingers getting raised at them.
As a man, you can be sensitive
Feelings in the heart don’t recognize gender. As a human, one of the biggest ways in which you can harm yourself is by pretending not to feel what you are feeling. The same holds true for feeling sensitive. It is the compassion that you have for someone else’s feelings that makes you sensitive. It is not easy to ignore when a person around you is experiencing sadness, breakdown or any sort of stress. The urge to display empathy is normal. Even the fear of watching a horror movie is what sensitive people go through. And it is alright if as a man who doesn’t enjoy this genre. You might decide to avoid violent accounts in news and shows just because they are too intense and put you in a state of emotional discomfort.
As a man, you can have a high emotional quotient
Feeling emotional or too much of it runs in human blood. Some of us give in to our emotions to an extent that it makes us do what we choose to do. While some of us use it to our advantage. Having a high emotional quotient can help you develop emotional intelligence. Both in the workplace and personal setting, emotional intelligence can put emotions and channelise the energy coming out of them in the right direction. It is a powerful tool to release stress, be able to communicate better, use empathy to understand people around, handle challenging situations and resolve conflict. All in all, it is a great quality to have. Nothing to be undermined here.
As a man, it is alright if you have a lady boss
Having a female superior in the workplace has got nothing to do with a dent in your masculinity. If you choose to respect her and accept her leadership as you would do in the case of a male boss, nothing changes. This mentality needs to be eradicated. A leader should be judged based on efficiency and not gender. And if you are from the pack that believes so, we are by your side.
As a man, pink can be a colour that you adore
Firstly, as a society, we really need to move on from this colour association. Pink is a colour and wouldn’t it be best if we leave it at that? Instead of using it as the definition of gender. If a nice pink colour shirt is what you like to wear to the office, there should be no right for anyone to make you think otherwise. And by pink, we mean, any pink! It is you who need to start believing that wearing pink is nothing wrong. Those who question you for that should question their own interpretations.
As a man, you can take a career break
Sometimes life fetches us to crossroads that leave everything without meaning. Be it a career, be it even relationships. In such situations, pausing things for good seems like a good option. If you are a man, you are allowed to feel so. Pulling the reins of your professional life into neutral gear can be a great place to reassess what you want to do in life. It is monotony or the lack of creative outflow that can sometimes trigger such thoughts. You need not avoid them. People around you may put you on pins and needles for harboring these thoughts, but stay strong. Try to reason it out with them. But first within yourself. If system restarts can make software and computers work properly, imagine the effect it can have on you.
As a man, you can take up being the stay-at-home partner
Taking care of your kids and their ever-changing needs, if this is what you find more befitting to your personality, so be it. We say you go ahead and do it. To start with, it isn't an easy job and requires you to be on your toes much more than sitting in front of a laptop. It calls for a lot of compassion and patience. Kudos to all the mothers and fathers who have raised their children! Also if your partner happens to be the more ambitious one amongst the two of you, this is a great way to support them. There will be brickbats around, but by the end of the day, they will all go home and eventually stop bothering you. But it is you who will be truly happy doing what you are doing.
As a man, you can take up an unconventional career
In a world where a man is entrusted with the responsibility of taking care of the family financially, making an unconventional career choice can be quite daunting. We get it! That’s how we have been socially conditioned. But for the longer run, if passion resigns, satisfaction might cease. Be courageous, have healthy conversations with your family. Explain to them why this is right for you and how you will flourish. It might be an uphill battle, but it will definitely be worth it. Take charge of your life. Talk to someone around you who is facing similar challenges and try to give them the support they are in need of. Embrace the doubts, and be so good and there isn’t any other way to be. In hindsight, your courage will empower more men around you. You will not even know and you will turn into an example that will be quoted in conversations. Be that guy!
As a man, penchant for cooking and managing household chores is cool
Now is the time when houses are run in partnership. To support each other’s careers, me-time, friendship goals, and day-to-day well-being, a house is best to run on four shoulders. Interest and willingness to cook and to look after the household does not take away from being a man. Rather it puts on display how secure you are with your masculinity. It takes a great deal of patience to cook, wait for the ingredients to get ready optimally, and if you have it, you are pretty good to go.
As a man, indulgence in art and craft is fine
Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. Now that has been a very popular statement that runs around when it comes to the appreciation for art. Who cares what gender those eyes belong to. Spending time on art and craft is one of the best ways to give your mind a nice refreshment. Pursuing it as a regular hobby and having a deep-rooted interest in it is not defined by your gender.
As a man, self-care is not something to be looked down upon
Applying sunscreen before stepping out or using a lip balm are general ways of day-to-day self-care. None should really have the right to question these attempts to take off one’s body. Giving time regularly for self-nourishment can help you relax too. A body is a body. Doesn’t matter if it belongs to a man or a woman. Just how lifting weights and working out in the gym are ways to ensure a healthy body, the same goes for using skincare products. There is nothing wrong with it. Taking some time off for self-care is completely acceptable.
If you, like us, believe in these choices too, dare to spill. We are with you. One step today will make a wonderful future ahead for generations to come. Next time you come across an incident that questions your masculinity in the name of societal norms, stand up against it. Gender stereotypes need to break and the struggle is real. They harm self-confidence, ignite self-doubt, and torment the mind. The past was bleak but the future does not need to be.