Hana Shafi Tissue For Your Issue*

I am a woman. I’m supposed to be the emotional one. I’m supposed to be the one who gets very worked up and sensitive and cries a lot and can’t make up her mind and finds love to be awfully complicated and oh woe is me, my broken heart! 

And I will wholeheartedly admit that I can be like that. I can get really sensitive, I have written mushy poetry (you heard me), I can get these intense mood swings. Okay, so I don’t cry very much, only when Boromir dies at the end of The Fellowship of The Ring. Even so, as a woman, I am first put into the category of being “the emotional one” and then further berated for being emotional.

Often times, a woman’s anger in a discussion is not validated or is regarded as nothing more than an emotional, PMS-induced rant, whereas a man’s anger in an argument is perceived as passionate and commanding. A man’s anger is more likely to be taken seriously and acknowledged as strong conviction, whereas a woman’s anger may be deemed irrational altogether. So what ultimately happens is while both parties are essentially, expressing emotion, it is the only woman who is deemed hysterically emotional, even when this so-called hysteric display of emotions might be completely fair in the context of the discussion.

Why is being emotionally expressive a bad thing? Expressing your emotions is how you relieve pent-up anger, frustration, or sadness without actually aggressively lashing out on the people around you. And the truth is, men can be just as emotional as woman; I’ve seen my father cry many times, but I’ve never seen my mother cry. Like almost any other stereotypically assigned trait, it can always go both ways. And yet even so, emotionally expressive men are portrayed in a different light than emotionally expressive women: they are either a) ridiculed, harassed, and bullied for behaving in a “feminine” manner (because we all know the worst thing you could be is a woman!!!) or b) their emotion is regarded as a manifestation of strength and bravery, their tears show great struggle and sacrifice, whereas a woman’s tear are just: attention-seeker or on their period. 

De-bunking these gender stereotypes isn’t just beneficial to women, but also beneficial to men who at some point in their life will be put down for acting in a way that isn’t 100% fueled by a sudden surplus in testosterone, as well as beneficial to breaking down the idea of a polarized gender binary that not everyone fits into. 

Being emotionally expressive is not a negative quality, in face it’s one that some people even crave because they have such a hard time expressing how they feel. Go ahead and cry your eyes out, the really nasty booger-infested crying too. 

Comments

Wow something on this website actually worth reading.
Really good article.

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