For a while now, the news, memes, talk shows and social media posts have been focusing on putting social and governmental pressure to create and enforce gender equality. Reducing the wage gap, sexism, pink tax and increasing the presence of women in politics and positions of power in corporations is a necessity! It is a battle that’s been going on for several decades now. We need to guarantee for future generations of women equality in every area of their lives. But what about men?
If we’re truly fighting for gender equality, then we need to set our foot down and truly work towards creating the same possibilities and the same treatment for both genders. We do live in a patriarchal society in many ways, however, men don’t have it as easy as many women around the world might think.
Men suffer as well as a result of gender inequality, just not in the same way as women do.
How are men suffering because of gender inequality?
- Men are expected to bottle up their emotions
Since children, boys are taught to be brave. That one of the qualities that men should have is to be able to put a fight and not shed a tear, to take the punches and never show their weakness or their pain.
This internalization of emotions gets rooted deep into men’s psyche, turning them into emotionally crippled adults.
How many wives and girlfriends complain about their husbands and boyfriends not being able to open up to them? Millions if not billions, and you can blame their mothers for that.
When a girl or a woman cries she gets sympathy and condolences, but when a man cries he can be judged for lacking character or for being weak.
We all suffer, whether you’re rich or poor, French or Colombian, male or female. We need to create a society that is also empathetic towards men’s suffering and remove the stigma that a man always needs to be brave. Showing your emotions is not a weakness.
- Problems in the bedroom
If a woman is not feeling up to sex is completely understandable (the famous headache will never go out of fashion). A woman seems to be allowed to not want sex. If a lady has trouble reaching climax or she’s having issues in the southern department, she gets empathy from her partner. Even from a societal point of view, she is encouraged to speak openly about it.
On the other hand, men don’t have it as easy. Men are expected to be ready for sex at any moment, any day and at any hour. If a man can’t perform in the bedroom he can be heavily shamed, as if his trouser-snake should be ready to bite at request. It can be difficult for men to reach out for help with ED.
Both genders can have emotional, psychological or physical issues that can get in the way of enjoying a healthy sex life, both genders should be able to talk openly about it without fear of shame or stigma.
- Mental illness
As we discussed in the first point, men are taught from a young age to repress their emotions, which can become life-threatening when they reach adulthood and are struggling with mental illness. Men find it harder than women to identify dangerous thoughts and emotions that can be a symptom of mental illness. It’s dangerously normal for men to internalize emotions and thoughts that might make them seem as weak.
According to an article by the BBC, suicide is the single biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK. For UK women, the rate is a third of men’s 4.9 suicides per 100,000.
These number might baffle many since statistics show that women are twice as likely to suffer from depression than men, then why is the male suicide rate higher? In part because men tend to opt for more violent methods of suicide, versus women. But one of the biggest factors is the lack of mental and emotional health education that men get since infancy.
- Lack of compliments
“You look so pretty today”, “I love your shoes” or “that haircut shapes your face really well”. Women are used to getting compliments, on many occasions is even expected, like when a woman gets a new haircut or is wearing a different style of clothes.
But if a guy shows up to work with a new haircut most co-workers will just mention it “oh, you got a haircut” and that’s it.
Compliments are nice! Women can get compliments without it being romantic or a pickup line. But men rarely get compliments. Women are afraid that it might make them flirty and men are afraid that giving another guy a compliment might seem gay.
Either way, men go through life lifting their own self-esteem. Let’s make them equal for men and women, we all need a nice compliment from time to time.
- Expecting to initiate any romantic aspect of life
Women are used to being swept off their feet and getting all the romantic demonstrations from men, being addressed to in a bar and having the power of rejecting. Romantically and socially speaking men are expected to be the ones to initiate the romance and make the approach. But what many people tend to forget is that shyness and introversion do not discriminate by gender. It can be excruciatingly annoying to always be expected to make “the move” and subject yourself to a possible rejection.
No one likes rejection, whether you’re young or old, male or female. We all know that rejection feels like a slap on the face. Women get to be the ones to, generally, play the rejecter, while men end up being rejected.
If a man can’t find it in himself to approach a woman, he is quickly labelled as a coward. Women want gender equality, so it would only be fair to let them play in different roles in the romantic field as well.