Crying is the way that I best express my emotions. And honestly? It is the easiest way for me to express my feelings, so whenever I feel overwhelmed or have any extreme emotion, my first response is to cry. Sadly, some of us do not have that liberty, by which I mean boys. The male section of our society has long since been portrayed as uncharacteristically emotionless or barely feeling anything, especially in media. Although more and more sensitive characters are portrayed in recent years, we mostly end up with a Gary Stu on our hands. (Male counterpart of Mary Sue.) We have ingrained the message of “Boys don’t cry” into the minds of young children from the day they were born, so much so that at this point, a lot of boys entirely ignore their emotional needs and lock it up. The song: Boys Will Be Bugs by Cavetown explores this theme of toxic masculinity that is promoted everywhere.
“Don’t mess with me I’m a big boy now and I’m very scary
I punch my walls, stay out at night, and I do karate
Don’t message me cause I won’t reply, I wanna make you cry
Ain’t that how its s’posed to be? Though it isn’t me
Boys will be bugs right?”
The chorus talks about how a teenage boy who is not mean and is quite sweet but forces himself to act a certain way to fit into society’s ‘ideal boy’.
“The other boys at school
Think it’s cool to hate your parents
But they’re lying all the time
The bugs advised that I should let ’em
And if you wanna cry
Make sure that they never see it
Or even better yet
Block it out and never feel it.”
(Link to the full song: https://open.spotify.com/track/6suYoN4gFkanqOBn5yRnJC?si=d34b4f4a73c44438 )
The song tackles the issue pretty well and discusses it in a way most boys would be able to relate to.
But this. This is exactly what young children pick up from the popular culture of “boys don’t cry”. Due to these misconceptions, some boys grow up emotionally repressed, don’t share their feelings (at least compared to females) and that is probably why a lot of boys might have a lower tendency to recognise and face emotions, others’ and their own. Is this what we want the youth to be like? Non-receptive to feelings and emotions?
The scene is changing, however. Boys have started accepting emotions but it’s still a minority. I wholeheartedly believe that we should stop telling our boys, “boys don’t cry,” because, with all due respect, that is a bunch of bull. Everyone is free to express emotions however they want, regardless of their gender. So, let us start accepting that boys can also cry.