In a campaign aimed to redefine masculinity, the well-known beer brand, Carling Black Label of SAB recently took the words ‘bold’, ‘brave’ and ‘strong’ and used them to try conquer what I would say is men’s biggest fear… vulnerability.
In a sit down on the 19th of November, momentusly on #InternationalMensDay, the brand enlisted a panel of well-known personalities in South africa to discuss what is the meaning of masculinity and if it might be time to redefine it. Hosted by popular TV personality, Masechaba Ndlovu, she engaged the panel ranging from #DadCoach to sports anchors Donovan Goliath and Robert Marawa, who opened up about their experience with emotions and how they were taught to suppress them.
Watch a clip of the discussion below:
A hard truth that we at GA have noticed, is that the stoic standards of what it means to be ‘bold’ and ‘strong’ on men, have also been at the hands of women too. It happens everytime your boy child falls and hurts themselves and we say “big boys don’t cry” yet comfort our girl child in the same instance. It happens when we teach them that their sadness is not valid when they are disappointed, and remind them to toughen up and try harder without complaining.
And while the lessons we teach are not wrong or laced in ill-intentions, the results however have proven to be a much larger damage to society than we think. Women and girls are taught the same lessons, to toughen up and try harder, but we teach them this after we have allowed her time to express her emotions. We let her cry first before we tell her that she has the power to change her circumstances; We teach her to be brave and go after what she seeks, and yet we give her room to fail and try again. The lessons seldom compromise or risk a healthy relationship to showing emotion for women, and yet we don’t award males the same room for expressing their feelings. If we reimagined masculinity and allowed men to show a wider range other than anger, imagine what impact it would be on decreasing the rising statistics on violence against women and children.
So, African Woman… do you let your man cry?
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