Jessica Chastain Wants Us To Stop Saying This Particular Phrase To Men... Here's Why She's Right.
Men expressing emotion has always been seen as a big no-no. Most of the time, when a man expresses any amount of vulnerabilty, his feelings are immediately disregarded and he is told to "man up." But do we ever take the time to think about what the phrase "be a man" even really means?
Expressing emotion is seen as feminine trait. Unfortunately, we have normalized a society where men expressing any femininity is a very negative thing. This type of toxic masculinity exemplifies itself in phrases like "man up" and "stop being a pussy." The phrases mean exactly what they say: be more masculine. Do not be feminine.
What people do not realize when they repeat what they think to be harmless phrases, is that these the types of gender norms are causing a lot more damage than we think.
On April 29th, actress Jessica Chastain took to Twitter to discuss her feelings on the harmful phrase "be a man." She made some very valid points— and even came prepared with some shocking statistics.
Can we please eliminate the phrase, "Stop crying. Be a man"?— Jessica Chastain (@jes_chastain) April 29, 2018
The old fashioned stereotype doesnt work. Let's cherish the vulnerabilities of men. Their lives depend on it.
121 Americans die by suicide each day, according to the Centers for Disease Control — and 93 of them are men.
Comedian Michael Ian Black recently touched on this subject at length in an Op-Ed piece for the New York Times, where he highlights the many dangers of toxic masculinity in relation to the recent rise of gun violence in the U.S. Black is no stranger to the subject of masculinity, as it's a subject he's also tweeted about in the past.
The language of masculinity is hopelessly entwined with sexuality, and the language of sexuality in hopelessly entwined with power, agency, and self-worth.— Michael Ian Black (@michaelianblack) February 15, 2018
We’re terrified of being viewed as something other than men. We know ourselves to be men, but don’t know how to be our whole selves. A lot of us (me included) either shut off or experience deep shame or rage. Or all three. Again: men are terrified.— Michael Ian Black (@michaelianblack) February 15, 2018
Something we can start doing as a society is illiminating harmful phrases like "Be a man" or "Stop being a pussy." As Chastain says in her tweet: "Let's cherish the vulnerabilities of men, their lives depend on it."