By ALEXIS CAREY
This list of things a group of nine-year-old boys dislike about being male will make the inside of throat tense up and turn the corners of your lips decidedly down.
The list, which was created during a workshop held by White Ribbon community engagement manager Jeff Perera, clearly shows the range of pressures facing men and boys today.
“Boys are pressured to assert their masculinity and prove their manhood in everyday activities everyday all day. This leaves us with a world of boys and men pretending: trying to achieve an unattainable state of manhood,” he said.
The young boys showed they felt pressured not to cry or show emotion, and that they were concerned by the expectation that men enjoy violence as well as their gender’s “automatic bad reputation”.
The boys were concerned about their gender’s use of violence.
They were also upset that they could never be mothers (or cheerleaders, for that matter) along with more superficial worries like “smelling bad” and “growing hair everywhere”.
They also felt they missed out on motherhood.
We might often joke about it still being “a man’s world” – but this list is a clear wakeup call to the issues facing modern masculinity.
It is fitting that the list went viral in time for the annual #InternationalMensDay, which aims to raise awareness of what it means to be male today and highlight the unique pressures faced by men and boys.