Men should be allowed to show emotions

Miguel Cambray, Entertainment Editor

Imagine a boy named John. John wakes up this morning as an off day. He is not feeling well, he has a headache, and he is a little irritated. On the way to school John’s car is acting up again, and he barely makes it to class literally right before the bell rings. For the first period of school he receives a test that he failed from yesterday, and the darkness that looms over him grows.
The day sluggishly goes by and by the end of the day it’s pitch black darkness around John. He had a horrible day. His mind is clouded with darkness; the stress is overwhelming like a paddle boat in a tsunami. He stares at the wall for a good five seconds, his eyes growing hot. He wants to tell someone how he’s feeling, yet something is restraining him.
He’s scared. Scared that his masculinity will be compromised because he told his feelings to someone. He is scared that he will be viewed as less than a man because a man “never cries,” and he needs to “be a man.”
This is the struggle that some men go through. In society there are social expectations, or stereotypes for both men and women: women are “always emotional” but men should never cry and “be a man”. But what does it exactly mean to be a man? We don’t believe it is internalizing emotions to the point where it causes negative outlash.
To be a man isn’t to be good at sports, aggressive, and have wealth. It’s to live life with love, to be strong, and to be successful in the eyes of oneself. The male suicide rate was 22.4 per 100,000 people according to the National Insitute of Mental Health. For women it’s 6 per 100,000 people. That is really almost 4 times the amount of the female suicide rate. There are about 329.5 million people in the US. This means about 73,208 men in the US took their own lives last year alone. It truly is tragic why anyone would take their own life, and stereotypes that don’t allow for expression of emotions certainly contributes to this statistic
It is important to provide comfort to anyone who is mentally struggling, even just a bad day. Talking and letting emotions out is so important, yet most men don’t do it. A person can only contain so much, until it eventually comes out.
Solving this concern does not require major change. It requires people’s environments to be accepting that mental health is an issue, even among men. Sometimes it’s good to ask the homies how they’re doing, and it’s good to tell them the emotions. It starts with us guys, accepting, loving, and keeping each other safe.