“Do not cry like a girl”, “Only girls cry like that”, “Be a man, be brave” and so on are some of the rhetoric that goes on continuously inside a man – a male – every time he feels pain and needs to express it. Awkward as it may sound but these sentences are part of a so-called normal upbringing of men in society without even realizing the psychological impacts and sociological consequences of these dangerous statements or emotional time bombs as I call them (explained later in the article).
When a 5 year old boy suddenly falls down while playing and starts crying due to the pain he is showered with these emotional time bombs, time and again. The psyche of a 5 year old is still developing. Least aware that he is supposed to don the role of a FREE ATM MACHINE and an UNPAID BODYGUARD as he grows up to a man, the little boy is not able to comprehend the devastating psychological effect of the emotional time bombs, he starts developing a small story inside his mind which I prefer to call as the PROTECTOR STORY and that story is:
“I am a man, crying is a feminine trait and its weak to be a feminine being a man and I have to be strong no matter what the circumstances. Also, women are weak because they cry and I have to protect women.”
Although the thought may seem outdated but it is not so; earlier men were expected to protect women physically, now they are expected to do so emotionally. Whilst one may argue that it is nothing wrong to do so as men have always been ascribed the role of a PROTECTOR and it is also not wrong to say so because ultimately it’s the men who have predominantly dominated the protectionist bastions – the police, the armed forces, the judiciary, the legislative, etc. However, it’s pertinent to note here that while it was natural for men to protect women physically since men have been physically stronger than women. But the moot question that remains is – “Are men emotionally stronger than women?”
And the answer is a blunt NO. And the reason for the answer is very simple – a boy’s life starts with one of the emotional time bombs thrown on him. Typically it’s said memories prior to 5 years of age have little/no influence on the development of psyche of an individual. It’s the ones that accumulate post 5 years, especially in the age range of 7 – 12, that significantly contribute to the development of psyche of an individual. And it is at this time that the emotional time bombs viz. “Do not cry like a girl”, etc. are thrown on him which get planted inside his psyche and keep ticking and explode at situations unwanted – thus time bombs (will be elaborated later).
These dangerous emotional time bombs sit like a virus inside a man’s emotional brain and eat it out leading to a murder of the emotions of a boy at a tender age of 6 – popularly known as “emotional castration” – leading to austere psycho-emotional health of boys as they grow to become men. Ironical as it may sound, life of men starts with violence – the murder of their emotions.
And this psycho-emotional violence is committed on men (actually boys) as a clan because boys (men when they grow up) are expected to be ruthless protectors and also they are expected to undertake huge risks – social, personal, physical, financial, intellectual to name a few – as progress depends on risks.
So predominantly the human civilization’s progress is a function of the ruthlessness with which men undertake risks and that, in turn, is a function of the severity with which their emotions are castrated in childhood or in other words the severity with which emotional violence is committed on them.
Because of this severe emotional violence on boys since childhood – something which happens as a normal social norm (hence goes unnoticed at best and unchallenged at worst) – boys also develop another story inside their minds, similar to the PROTECTOR STORY referred to earlier, which I prefer to call as the GAGGED STORY and the story is:
“I am not supposed to share problems until they are solved and I am not supposed to open myself too much.”
This story essentially burns the bridges of communication of the man’s internal world from the external world as if someone who is gagged and the screeches cannot pierce the walls and call out for help. And this burning of bridges, leads to an absence of a communication channel for men – a communication channel that curtails expectations and entails acceptance.
Hence, we see two dangerous psychological patterns here – emotional castration and absence of a communication channel – and both these patterns share a symbiotic relationship; both dependent on each other and feeding each other.
The combined effect of these patterns makes emotional confrontations extremely difficult for men as each time they have to make an emotional confrontation they have to fight themselves and defeat the age-old indoctrination and their own upbringing in order to do so. This makes emotional confrontations extremely taxing psychologically for men and thus they tend to avoid it. However, that’s a pain killer and not a long-term solution.
Moreover, emotional confrontations makes men look weak and society does not support weak men, thanks to the male disposability syndrome as defined here:
Male Disposability is a psychological behavioral and attitudinal syndrome that considers Men as “Disposable and Expendable” and invests very low emotional resources with males which ultimately leads to an environment insensitive to the problems of the male world or one that automatically eliminates weak men (or men finished off with their utility) viewing them as liability.
Fearing being disposed off, men refrain from expressing themselves and avoid emotional confrontations till the break-even point arrives and the break-even point i.e. expression of anger is used against a man. This also makes it easy for the society to practice misandry and sexism against men at will because an angry man is made to feel guilty for being angry and there is no opposition to it.
Before progressing further, it’s pertinent to mention that by nature, all anger is quintessentially residual in nature. This means that the particular instance when anger surfaces, that or the recent incidences are never responsible for the buildup of the anger. Anger builds it up over a period of time – an accumulation of numerous instances of avoided emotional confrontations – which just gets the spark from the current circumstances.
Hence, we see a direct connection between the violence committed by men and the violence committed on men (or rather boys).
Because of the emotional violence committed on boys – emotional castration during childhood – boys develop the PROTECTOR and the GAGGED story. This ultimately stops them or rather strongly discourages them from emotional confrontations – buildup of anger and foundation of the absence of communication channel.
Slowly the burden of the buildup and the avoided emotional confrontations becomes unbearable and results in violence – often physical – by men. And then the same men are punished for his last speck of violence by way of unconstitutional anti-male laws without realizing the entire trail of violence which actually started with violence on men.
Everyone conveniently ignores the emotional violence committed on boys during childhood – rather encourage it under the guise of making “strong men” and punishes the same boys (when they grow up as men) for the violence they commit which was in fact initiated, fertilized, nurtured and nourished by the planting of the emotional time bombs inside their psyche.
Men are thus not only victims of unaddressed gruesome emotional violence since millennia but also of a double jeopardy wherein they are subjected to skyrocketing misandry and sexism. As explained earlier the time bombs explode at situations unwanted. The explosion of these emotional time bombs is nothing but a desperate attempt by men to break off the chains of forced slavery.
If the society wants to stop violence by men, it must stop violence on men. Emotional confrontations by men should be encouraged and then only the society reserves any right, whatsoever to punish men. Before that, any punishment mechanisms (read anti-male laws) are not only unconstitutional but also a crime against humanity.
Choice belies with the society.
PS: The newly proposed Workplace Sexual Harassment Bill is the latest addition to unconstitutional laws and is another instance of crime against humanity.