All Voices Matter: vulnerability is not a weakness

In+her+weekly+column%2C+All+Voices+Matter%2C+staff+reporter+Aviance+Pritchett+gives+her+take+on+social+and+cultural+issues.+
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All Voices Matter: vulnerability is not a weakness

In her weekly column, All Voices Matter, staff reporter Aviance Pritchett gives her take on social and cultural issues.

In her weekly column, All Voices Matter, staff reporter Aviance Pritchett gives her take on social and cultural issues.

Prachurjya Shreya

In her weekly column, All Voices Matter, staff reporter Aviance Pritchett gives her take on social and cultural issues.

Prachurjya Shreya

Prachurjya Shreya

In her weekly column, All Voices Matter, staff reporter Aviance Pritchett gives her take on social and cultural issues.

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Society often portrays males as strong, independent individuals. They don’t cry, because only girls do that. They don’t talk about what troubles them, because only girls do that. Vulnerability is seen as weakness, something that only girls possess. And while that’s an issue to imply that girls are weak for showing their emotions, I also think it’s an issue that some guys think that way.

Regardless of one’s gender, showing vulnerability or wanting to reach out doesn’t make you weak. This is a toxic mindset that we’re pushing onto guys. We make fun of them and make them feel as though something is wrong with them for wanting to shed a tear when they’re feeling down.

Men die by suicide 3.53 times more often than women. In 2016, suicide was ranked number 2 in a list of the leading causes of death among people in the age group of 15 to 24. This is an incredibly concerning and heartbreaking issue.

I have a younger cousin who is in 6th grade, and he told me he doesn’t cry anymore because his dad and his friends say it makes him seem like a girl. He asked me if that was true, to which I replied no, and then he asked me if he was stupid for asking, if he was stupid for telling me all of this.

My heart broke, honestly.

The fact that he believes that he’s stupid for saying how he felt shows that we need to do something.

We need to teach guys that they aren’t stupid, soft, or feminine for wanting to get help. Being soft or feminine isn’t even a bad thing, no matter what your gender is.

If you’re a guy who’s sensitive, then that’s okay–you’re allowed to have feelings. Every human has them. Guys deserve as much as attention as girls when it comes to mental health discussions. I don’t think there’s enough words to stress how important it is to teach guys this, because if they don’t know this, they could possibly become another suicide statistic.