This might offend someone somewhere and I can’t find the patience to care at this point. For years, we have heard talks and complaints about the “patriarchy” and how it has affected women’s rights and how women are viewed and treated. Almost anywhere you look, you can find women empowerment or resources to help women who feel like they aren’t heard or seen in their employment or lives in general. Now, I will say that this is an EXCELLENT thing and I am glad that women are getting all the support they can. However, I am NOT in agreement with the growing hidden sentiment that this should come at the cost of supporting and empowering men.
It’s been really hard these last couple of months just seeing the growing sentiment in regards to how men’s mental health and general wellbeing is being regarded in society. It’s almost as though men’s health (especially mental) is being pushed to the wayside in favor of bolstering women and supporting them in living their best lives. You can pretend not to see the writing on the wall, but it’s there in neon lights. You look for advice for men on how to be a great man and almost every article mentions in some way how we should treat women. You look for advice on how to parent babies and young children and it’s female centered. You look for advice on how to handle your emotions and regulate yourself and it’s directed still at women or incorporates their treatment in how men should feel.
Slowly, but surely, the importance of men’s mental health had deteriorated over time. How we feel is not important because we just need to “man up” How about fuck you and let us feel our emotions. How about creating safe spaces for men to be able to be vulnerable and let out what is stressing us. Men contribute to the status quo just as much as women and news flash: not all men benefit from the “patriarchy” as much as society thinks we do. I sure as hell don’t get ANY better treatment being a man at all. I do however feel the energy shift around me whenever I show an iota of my true emotion in any situation. That shit contributes to shutting down and negative emotional expression. It’s the reason why some men just don’t express themselves. You either hold it in and get told you need to express it or you let it out and get condemned. Even healthy expression can come across as “too much”
I have said before that mental health is a struggle. It’s a very tough fucking struggle that can straight up demoralize you if you can’t find outlets or support for it. I preach the evil of social media, yet I still indulge and seep further into its darkness. I get triggered by the posts the algorithm clearly knows I will interact with because of it’s toxic headlines that are catered to my insecurities, specifically those are tied to my manhood. I get in online fights where I need to defend the very fact that I care about men’s mental health to people who think men don’t need to care about that stuff because we should be “strong” That gaslighting bullshit is the reason why some men lash out in anger; because they feel no one cares about their feelings unless it’s displayed in the stereotypical way men do it. We need to puff out our chest and exude our masculinity to be heard. And then we get admonished for doing that when we tried more vulnerable approaches before.
The absolute worst critics of men’s mental health are men. I can’t tell you how many times I have been told to man up about almost any situation. All the forums and media that showcase these big strong men who aren’t moved by anything. The MEN who tell you about how “no one wants to listen to all that shit, man up” Let me tell you something, those kinds of men can fuck off. Matter of fact, anyone who feels that way can fuck off. You are the exact reason why men’s mental health may as well not exist. We will just continue to be told we need help and take the pills the psychiatrist prescribes while not improving in any way. Your fellow MAN doesn’t even give a fuck about how you feel, so why should you? This is one of the dilemmas of mental health. You can do all you can to improve your own, but will it matter if no one even cares? I’m still a man riding the “patriarchy” wave, so my struggle never mattered anyway.
I care. I give a fuck. I hate the state of our mental health. It pains me to my soul to see so many depressed men with no where to turn. So many men who feel like they have no support. They are just looking into the void living their lives, a slave to their emotions. Or even worse, a slave to medication and inadequate help. Or even WORSE, burdened by people around them who gaslight their plight because as men, our problems aren’t that bad compared to women. Men built this society, as much as we don’t want to admit it. What’s going to happen when the builders have no drive because they are depressed and their supposed supporters just tell them to “buck up” all the time? Let me tell you: He’ll jump off the fucking scaffolding. Men are more than 3 to 4 times more likely to die from suicide. What do you think drives someone to kill themselves? Negative mental health. What drives negative mental health? Inadequate care and concern for mental health. What is abundant in men’s society? Inadequate concern for mental health.
We need much more focus on men’s mental health if we plan to continue going anywhere in this society. Or we can just continue with this sad descent into apathy for men and watch society crumble as we hopefully wait for all men to “suck it up”