Boys don’t cry? Don’t be a ‘sissy’! In a society with rudimentary views about masculinity, Sachin Tendulkar gave a strong message about why it’s okay for men to show their emotions.
We live in a society where young men are told not to cry. And, if they do, then our patriarchal society is ready to question their masculinity. Sadly, Patriarchy is not only harmful to women, but it also chains men and forces them to behave in a certain way.
As we teach our boys that men must be strong, dominating and warrior-like, we expect them to adhere to these masculine ideas. It leads to an emotional vacuum in their later years. This attitude makes them grow into men, who are afraid to appear caring or scared to express their emotions.
Recently, Sachin Tendulkar took to Twitter to share an important message on how his belief that crying makes a man weak has changed over time. And, we feel it is a must-read for every parent and kid.
During the ongoing International Men’s Week, Sachin Tendulkar, shared an open letter to all men of today and tomorrow. He opened his heart in a letter on his Instagram, saying:
“You’ll soon be fathers and husbands. Brothers and friends. Mentors and teachers. You’re going to lead by example. You’re going to be courageous and strong. Brave and resilient.And you will also face fear, doubts and experience great tribulations. Undoubtedly, there will be times when you fail, and you will feel like crying and letting it all out.”
Calling out the stereotype and unnecessary pressure that society puts on men, he mentioned,
“But sure enough, you’ll hold back the tears and pretend to be tough. Because that’s what men do. Because that’s what we are brought up to believe – that men are not supposed to cry. That crying makes a man weak. “I grew up believing this. And the reason I’m writing to you today, is because I realized that I was wrong. My struggles and my pain made me who I am, shaping me into a better man.”
While sharing his personal moment of his retirement when he didn’t fight back his emotions, he added,
“16/11/2013. I still remember that day on the field. I had thought about it for a long time but nothing could prepare me for that last walk back to the pavilion. With each step it started sinking in. I felt a lump in my throat, the fear of it all ending. There was so much going through my head in that moment. I just couldn’t keep it in. And I didn’t fight it. I let go in front of the world, and surprisingly, I felt a certain peace. I felt stronger for putting myself out there and grateful for everything that I had received. I realized I was man enough,” he added.
Concluding his letter, the 46-year-old the cricket legend, said crying does not mean weakness.
“There’s no shame in showing your tears. So why hide a part of you that actually makes you stronger? Why hide your tears? It takes a lot of courage to show your pain and your vulnerability. But just as sure as the morning, you’ll emerge from it tougher and better. So I encourage you to move past these stereotypes and notions of what men can or cannot do. Whoever you are, wherever you are, I wish you this courage.”
Recently Ayushmman Khurrana also shared a heart-touching poem – Gentleman Kisse Kehtey Hain – that explored various unrealistic expectations that society holds from man.
In a society, that preaches Boys don’t cry? or Mard ko dard nahin hota, we are grateful to people like Sachin Tendulkar and Ayushmann Khurrana, who are breaking stereotypes about men.
At IFORHER, we have a humble request to every mother and father, to let their boys feel the emotions. Because there’s no shame in showing your tears. It takes a lot of courage to show your pain and your vulnerability.