I hear it a lot, (probably because I am constantly reading and watching information on feminist thought), “guys need to get with their emotions, they need to connect” this emotional suppression is toxic. Or in short terms “toxic masculinity.”
Here's a sample of feminist thought on men's emotions: feminism and men's emotions
And here's some advice giving to me about how to get in touch with your emotions https://www.mensline.org.au/emotions-and-mental-wellbeing/men-and-emotions
But I have come to the conclusion recently that the concept of “toxic masculinity” is killing men. That society is trying to put men in a situation that they are just not equipped to deal with. I know it’s so hard when guys seem emotionally distant, like one person posted here “do guys even have emotions?” https://www.girlsaskguys.com/guys-behavior/q1327548-do-guys-have-feelings But there are reasons why guys respond to stimuli differently then women. Here's a great article on why: https://www.uncommon-knowledge.co.uk/psychology_articles/men-women-emotions.html
4 things happened within the last little while that made me think a lot about my emotions, men’s emotions and the concept of “toxic masculinity.” If you will bear with me I’d like to explore some of these concepts, and what has made me think about this. I’ll start with the things that happened.
The first thing was listening to Karen Straughan’s speech about “toxic femininity” at SFU:
The feminist response, feminist response and her response to the response:
I know it’s long and I’ll just put forth the points that drove home to me, that guys are the ones who act, they repress fear and just do! She specifically refers to “unsung heroes” and how almost inevitably they are men. And also she talked about the suicide rate of men being on the rise, even though it’s becoming more and more acceptable for men to openly express their emotions.
Second I finally told my wife about my rape, what happened to me. We’ve known each other for almost 30 years and have been together for about 20 of those years, but I finally told her, not all of the details but enough to answer some of her questions, such as how did I get a shirt ironed on my back (the scars are pretty hard to miss, and when I was young you could make out the steam holes from the bottom of the iron imbedded in my flesh)
The third was going to a funeral of the son of some good friends who took his own life. I was quite aware of how stoic I was, how much I hurt for her, and her family and how much her husband also hurt, her ex, the father of the boy, All friends of mine and us guys being the rock, the shoulder to cry on. Yes we were sad, but we were the strength. And amongst my friends it was universal, guys having a shoulder, or a hand, or a handkerchief that’s what guys do.
And the fourth was Norah Vincent and her “self made man” experiment:
She lived as a man for 18 months to try and understand the male experience, and she learned a lot, but missed the point on emotions. She came to the conclusion that men are emotionally unavailable.
But all of this is from an outsiders perspective. I feel, sometimes very deeply, I am a poet a writer, an artist, a musician and I couldn’t be any of those things without an emotional connection. But I know that I must be able to be stoic, that I need sometimes to distance myself from those emotions. Otherwise I couldn’t get things done, and sometimes you have to just do! And yes the way this is taught is through social pressure, through “boys don’t cry,” through self-empowerment. Sometimes you just need to feel it and do it anyway, and without the years of learning how I know I just couldn’t do that. So I hypothesize that one of the reasons for the increase in male suicide is this trying to force a square peg into a round hole. Guys do, that’s how we relate to our emotions. I’m sorry if that seems wrong to you, and I am sorry that we are wired differently, but sometimes it is about the nail!