A Plea to New Moms

Written January 5th, 2012:

I spent the other night with a friend of mine, who would definitely prefer to remain fully anonymous, not even a cute little nickname. We went and got some food before impulsively taking a trip to a bar and drinking. At the bar, a bar I’ve gotten way too drunk at on a couple of occasions now, I promised to not go past the second drink – the third always took me past buzzed and into retard drunk. My friend always has three without problem, so he had his three.

Except he used well instead of his favorite brand.

And ate a very small meal before we went, and no food before.

My poor friend got so smashed, that the better word is obliterated. I had to aid a man twice my size in walking through Downtown. Very slowly.

Abruptly, after a few blocks of giggling and silliness, he said, “sometimes, I get emotional when I drink too much.”

“It’s okay love,” I replied, “emotions do not bother me.”

We got about three steps before he broke the fuck down. In the middle of the sidewalk. Huge heartbreaking sobs. He sounded like a completely different human being.

One by one, he cried out all of his problems, but coming back to the same note in between: I’m supposed to be a man. I’m supposed to never cry. I’m supposed to control my emotions. I’m supposed to be there for others. I’m supposed to put myself second. I’m supposed to not need consoling.

And I’m a failure, because here I am, crying.

(Even though he cried about all the things the rest of us do, especially in our early twenties: heartbreak, complex family dynamics, and the fear of being himself to all people.)

So here’s where the plea comes in:

Hi new mothers! (or perhaps new fathers!)

Your child is somewhere between a newborn and two. Or, hey, my message doesn’t discriminate that badly, maybe your amazing bundle of youth and beauty is under five. Maybe you have a son, maybe you’re pregnant with a son. Maybe you don’t have sons at all, but a daughter, who is also a member of society and our culture.

STOP THIS CYCLE.

Seriously. Fuck the tradition you were raised in. Fuck what you know. Fuck patriarch. Find a new approach.

We are raising our male children, as a whole, to be unhealthy. We’re doing it with a fear and oppression of women. We have a list we keep in our head of things that are feminine, and they are bad and to be avoided at all times, number one being emotion. Because emotion means crazy.

EXCEPT IT DOESN’T.

Name to me one animal in the kingdom, besides us homo sapiens or even our near dear close relative chimpanzee, that cries. I bet you can’t. BECAUSE THEY DON’T FUCKING EXIST. You know why? Because to cry over something, to express emotion and understanding about it, requires communication more complex than survival purposes. Two animals can do that: the chimpanzee, and the human being. Perhaps there’s another primate who is capable, but it’s still within our family. And when compared the hundreds of thousands of creatures in this world, perhaps millions even, two to five species is a drop in the ocean.

Our thumbs, our emotions, and our language have created the world around us; and separated us from the animal kingdom.

I’d love (sarcastically speaking) to see a revolution in humanity that required the removal of thumbs in girls, because they are tied to hard manual labor and minimal thought, and thus are masculine and disgusting. I’d love to see droves of women get drunk and cry over their missing thumbs, how they always wanted to do manual labor but their parents insisted it was *shudder* not what good little girls do. They don’t trouble their families that way, no no. Women stay women, and men strive to be women to better fit in society. So lose the damn masculine thumbs.

Does this analogy make it seem as ridiculous to you as the original, currently existing concept does to me? Obviously thumbs don’t equal those things. Thumbs do all sorts of cool fucking shit, man. It’s not just manual labor: it’s writing. It’s reading. It’s holding a hand. It’s opening a jar. It’s a necessity to life, these not fingers.

Emotions aren’t *just* when you cry because shit’s hard. Emotions are when you laugh. Emotions are when you fall in love. Emotions are when you wake up and you just feel … good. Emotions are also, in their most erratic form, when you’re mad. Not only a little mad, but livid. You can feel the adrenaline tingle in your extremities, and you don’t know who, but you’re hurting fucking somebody.

Yet, laughing isn’t considered crazy. Love is considered crazy, but not in an avoided sense. We live through the shitty days just for those few days when you wake up positive. In fact, I’d argue that anger is the craziest, most frightening emotion, yet it’s male. It’s acceptable.

Crying, that thing you do when life gets to be too much and you need a release, the thing somebody does solely for their own sake, that’s feminine and crazy?

My plea to you, parents of a new and hopeful generation, is let go of the fear of feminine. That thing that’s been driven into you since birth, that thing that you’ve now internalized into a fear of yourself, don’t pass it on. Acknowledge how unhealthy it’s made you.

But have emphasized awareness on what it could do to your beautiful bouncing boy. An inability to express one’s whole emotional spectrum is unhealthy, to say the least. I learned my friend can only cry when drunk. How long do you think it will take my friend before he’s a full on alcoholic? It seems unavoidable to me, although the concept to him is absurd. And I hate to scare tactic you, beautiful parent, but the inability to deal with emotions is often what causes substance addiction, male or female. I fear my friend isn’t some standalone story, no matter how much he thinks he is.

With love for you and your new generation bundle,
Stefani

PS: did you notice how my analogy was as impactful to the oppressing women as the oppressed man? That’s because the shutting down of emotions in boys is still tied to a hate of what is feminine. Oppression hurts all of us.

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~ by Stefani Vonne on 01/12/2012.

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