This week I’d like to discuss the toxicity in gender roles.
A year ago someone I know shared a post online stating how women don’t care about mens mental health.
I had a few things to say on this…
I think most women spend a lot of their time/ lives trying to help men with their mental state, I think that we as women were conditioned to do so & to prioritize not only men but children over our own mental health.
I think as a whole, both the men & women who came before us were not given the proper tools to cope nor communicate our needs & wants.
I think even now, as more discussions take place around the mental health topic, people still don’t know how to communicate or seek help if in need.
Women can be there for the men in their life, lend an ear, give advice, suggest healthy options, but we do not have the capacity or ability to change anyone who doesn’t want to be helped or better yet, help themselves.
So to generally state that women don’t care about mens mental health is very problematic all together.
Can a man feel like a woman doesn’t care, sure.
The same way a woman can feel those emotions.
However, to make such a blanket statement when there’s layers to this conversation is… unfair.
Especially pertaining to us black & brown people.
Our mental health has never mattered to anyone, our ancestors have endured plenty, including silent battles against themselves, & those traumas & traits have been passed down & are embedded in our DNA.
It’s no surprise that we carry some of those same emotions, traumas, traits & display them present day.
I think it’s every persons duty to tap into their emotions, feelings, traumas & to do the work it takes to transmute that.
When in a relationship of course there will be moments of frustration or anger & the need to vent to your partner presents itself but it’s another thing to emotionally dump on them which demonstrates a lack of boundaries.
This can pertain to a family or friend dynamic as well, not necessarily a romantic relationship.
I think it’s important to highlight that this conversation isn’t pertaining to just romantic relationships but relationships overall.
This also doesn’t just pertain to heterosexual relationships because gender roles can & do still apply in the LGBTQ+ community as well.
I will say that a lot of pressure is placed on both men & women of color:
Men – mainly being taught that they need to be the “provider” of all things & suppress their emotions.
Women – mainly being taught they were created to maintain a household, cook all meals, clean the house, raise the children properly, making sure their partner is satisfied, up keeping their looks/ body, making sure they’re sexy enough so their partner doesn’t step out, while also working a full time job.
These roles are exhausting & mentally draining, but they’re also unrealistic.
It makes people feel like this is their soul’s purpose & nothing outside this matters but that is untrue.
Our generation has realized we have dreams & goals of our own outside of that lifestyle & way of thinking/ living.
Family will always come first but we need to organize our thoughts & plans better so we don’t fall into the same cycles & constantly continue these toxic patterns.
This includes choosing better & healthier relationships, not having children just to say you have them, not getting married just because your peers are.
Everyone likes to compare their lives to others or think I’m ___ age so I should be doing XYZ by now or should have obtained ABC already.
Things don’t work that way.
This isn’t a race, we’re all on our own timing. – I know I’ve diverted a bit but really these things do play a major part in this topic because it’s that kind of thinking that boxes us into these expectations & roles placed upon us based on our genitals.
How can you have children when you aren’t right within yourself?
How can you marry someone or be in a relationship when you’re still trying to figure yourself out?
Adding partners or children to the equation as a way to deflect is not the answer.
All in all…
I suggest everyone heal themselves that way it doesn’t become or be expected to be the job of another to do that work for you.
The toxicity in gender roles can become debilitating, regardless of sexual orientation or whether this applies to family or friends, gender roles create a divide & unrealistic expectations for your partner, family, or friends.
Learn to be self-sufficient, create community, & stop placing expectations on the people in your life to heal you.
Guilt tripping people to care more about your needs than you do is problematic & unhealthy.