Why should I man up?

“Man up”
She said.
And so I put down the picture of my dead mother,
stopped crying, trembling, shaking
and smiled.
My eyes were still wet,
And all I could think about was if she had really just asked me,
to man up?
“Boys don’t cry.”
Of course they do.
We have our heart broken,
We have our trust burnt in flames,
And we live every day just like you do.
We cry.
“Don’t be such a pussy”
If protecting innocent kids from being bullied,
Talking to a girl when she feels low,
Not passing mean comments with my friends,
And actually liking a girl
Is being a pussy,
Then I will be one.
“Boys will be boys”
Not all of us will break your hearts,
Haven’t you ever spoken to the shy one?
We respect you,
I respect you.
Not all of us will break your trust,
or text you just to flirt.
We need friends too.

Had she really asked me to man up?


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32 Comments

  1. Thanks for breaking up gender assumptions and stereotypes. There is still a lot of work to to in terms of educating people. Great piece! Those sentences, spoken every day without a thought, can cause so much hurt for no other reason than cementing a status quo that ultimately doesn’t help to progress humans as a society at all.

  2. I guess “manning up” is different from when you are already a married guy. You have a lot of responsibilities already so you have to “man up.” Turn away from carelessness while you were young. Be more responsible?

  3. Great job! The world needs to hear more of what men need to say. Society seems to put you as a collective in a little box and then dismiss anything that conflicts with their ideas. Your words contradict these preconceived notions that unfairly label half of society. Keep writing! People are listening. ❤️

  4. These imposed requirements of hyper-masculinity from men are some of the worst repercussions of patriarchy. The sadder part is to see the same women who vouch for gender equality propagate these inequalities are stereotypes when men are concerned. You have expressed this sentiment in such a heartfelt manner. Kudos to that! :)

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