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Part 2 of who am I really - Masculinity 1/2

In the process of this journey, I've had to deconstruct certain aspects of how I am with certain people. I ended up on the subject of male vulnerability and men's issues, and how they're perceived by others. My experiences have highlighted a large issue, that there is no space socially for us to talk about our emotions that is truly socially acceptable outside of close friends.

Do a lot of women actually want us to be vulnerable?. In my experience, I've opened up to a partner about my emotions and I could tell afterwards she had lost respect for me like I wasn't a man anymore in her eyes. There are so many experiences like that out there. That is one of the dimensions of "toxic masculinity" that men are oppressed by the standards men have for themselves and that women have for them.

There is a reason I don't talk about this stuff to even some of my male friends, I feel like I'll be judged and shamed by women and sometimes other men. When we talk about male issues it's usually compared to female issues and then looked down upon as a result, or we are only allowed to criticise, people don't seek to actually understand most of the time. We are told one thing by society and then socially we are looked down upon for it. I just realised that today, I'm not comfortable opening up about male issues for these reasons. I feel like I have to package it in a certain way for it to be socially pallettable, but if people want to hear and be ready for actual vulnerability then they need to seek to understand and not judge.

Men are always told in messaging to "do better" or "men need to be better" when most aspects of how we perceive masculinity affect men themselves and come from the female perception of men. My experiences show that society and a lot of women aren't ready for men to "be better" in that way. Our emotions are fetishized, people need to understand that we'll open up when we're ready on individual levels, when we want to and how we want to. I hear women telling men how they should be in terms of vulnerability but they don't understand the male experience, people need to understand this. There's a reason women talk to women about certain things, because they understand where men don't and vice versa. Our ideas and dimensions of vulnerability and how they relate to our social and societal experience are different.

Through these thoughts, I've come to accept that nobody needs to understand my sense of masculinity because while some parts of it are inherent, a lot of it is personal to me. I'm happy to be a man, but I wish I could talk about it to the people in my life without feeling shamed or judged by others.

I'll do another part about what my experience of finding my masculinity has been but I have things to do atm so I'll do it later.
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Gaiia · F
I don't see why anyone should lose respect for a man simply because he opens up, but yes it happens, because of the silly stereotypes that say that men are expected to not show their emotions, worse crying , even when they are children because they're seen as weak if they do. Doesn't make sense and bottling things up isn't healthy.
I think that generally speaking though, people deal better with what they consider positive emotions in others than negative. With themselves and other people.
Also it's just better to show certain aspects of yourself to people who you really trust, for the same reason that they will be more understanding.
Konicha605 · 18-21, F
that's really bad because this is really not fair. You are a person and u have to express your feelings, I would say it's pretty normal. At some point you just have to be yourself and do whatever you feel like doing, because honestly that's so stupid to define a person less masculine if they talk about their feelings. that's maybe a common thought the society is spreading but it's toxic and false af. just be yourself and don't let society, partners, friends or whoever to let u think those kind of things. I personally think that if someone believes that men who talk about their feelings are less masculine, then they're not mature. maybe you've found just toxic and not mature people
Xipooh · 26-30, M
[@1178595,Konicha605] I do express my emotions, but just with close friends who are male most of the time. It's not extreme to the point where I won't say something made me sad, but I won't ever show my hand if you get me. What I'm really thinking and feeling, things that actually matter to me.
Konicha605 · 18-21, F
[@877165,Xipooh] i know how you feel, and I am saying it's wrong to feel like that just because of society and stereotypes. when u talked about having opened urself up with ur ex partner, I kinda felt like it had a sort of impact on you. What I am trying to say is that if u feel like ur masculinity is "getting hurt" from these kinds of thought then all of them are just toxic. also, personally that would be kinda hypocrite from ur feminists female friends not to understand how you feel, i mean it's the same issue they're fighting for, but just on the male side lol
Xipooh · 26-30, M
[@1178595,Konicha605] Yeah I get what you're saying. I don't feel like my masculinity is under attack or anything like that. Masculinity to me is about being strong for yourself and others, responsibility, family, and being able to be supportive to others. Nobody can attack that.

It's more so that socially there is discomfort, I've been hurt in the past by other people's reaction to me, not because my sense of masculinity was judged, but by the fact that I was judged in the first place by someone I felt was close to me.

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