Are men’s emotions being overlooked?


Alyssa Durkin, Reporter

For generations, we have used words such as “macho”, “gallant”, and various other words to describe masculinity. The term “toxic masculinity” wasn’t brought up until the 1980s to 1990s during the mythopoetic men’s movement. Even though there wasn’t a term for toxic masculinity until much later, it has been part of our society for much longer. 

So what is toxic masculinity exactly? Toxic masculinity is when men are encouraged to suppress their emotions, maintain a certain tough look, and use violence as an indicator of power. Men’s emotions have always been overlooked and they are told to “suck it up and be a man” or “men can’t cry”. 

In society, men were supposed to be primary breadwinners and were supposed to hold a high position of authority in the household. In that era, men were painted to be “superior” to women, which may have seemed like a personal gain for them but ultimately it came with a downfall in mental health. 

Men’s mental health plays a role in toxic masculinity, the men’s mental health is often overlooked. They are supposed to play the role of the tough guy who doesn’t let his emotions get the best of him. According to the American Psychological Association, the suicide rate for American Men is four times higher than for women. 

Talking about emotions is important. Having built emotions can lead up to a number of things, some being aggression, anxiety, and depression. Expressing emotions is also crucial for keeping relationships healthy and when not expressing them can impact both the person hiding their emotions and the other person. 

Men should be able to express their emotions without being called names or being told to suck it up. You can still be a strong person while also being able to express your emotions. Being able to verbalize your feelings and emotions, makes a person stronger and makes them intact with who they are. Being able to be vulnerable is not a weakness, it is a strength. 

Men should not have this immense pressure on their shoulders to feel like they can’t open up to anyone, they should be able to express their emotions and be vulnerable to those who care about them. They should be able to cry without being told to be manly and tough. 

Why is it that men can’t express their emotions, what makes their emotions have any less value? In the long run, it’s not healthy for them or for others around them.