>Boys get depressed
>Boys get eating disorders
>*Boys commit suicide
>Boys get called fat
>Boys get called ugly
>Boys get hit/abused by girls
>*Boys get suicidal
>Boys feel pain
>It’s NOT just girls that go through a hard time, it’s boys too. People need to start realizing this.
This message is important. That toxic masculinity has feminized these issues means that boys continue to be told to pretend they don't suffer them and to stay emotionally illiterate. And we refuse to support them. And they become men without emotional tools.
It is important to reject false equivalencies.
But it is also important to recognize unheard pain.
Women and girls suffer under patriarchy. But so do men and boys.
This principle is a difficult one to navigate, because it requires naming and holding accountable the groups complicit in systemic oppression while also recognizing that their suffering under it is intertwined with our own and that individuals in that system require compassion.
Patriarchy and toxic masculinity feed off of the generational reinforcement and normalization of unethical practices and beliefs as natural truths.
Boys are not born patriarchal.
So when boys cry out "I hurt!" in a world where they feel men telling them that to do so diminishes their masculinity and they feel women are telling them that their pain isn't prioritized, it does not leave much practical space.
Now it is illegitimate to raise issues affecting boys and men either for the purpose of derailing or silencing feminist discussion. This has no place. But the problems exist. And they deserve attention.
This gap is where the MRA set do their recruiting.
Tapping into the real pain of boys without emotional literacy and confusion about their identity.
They pretend to care about them, but really just weaponize them against women and feminism.
We must provide boys with the resources, tools, language, space and safety to discuss their trauma, abuse, fear and pain.
We cannot pretend that the suffering they experience is not real.
Or that there will not be consequences to the unacknowledged pain of a generation of boys