Do Men Face More Societal Pressure Than Women?
When it comes to today’s society the pressure of gender roles weighs down on both men and women. But when it comes down to needing to fulfill those said roles, men often face the most pressure and are often forced to fit into their role whether they like it or not. This is not a knock on women to say that societal pressure does not affect them, the pressure just weighs a lot heavier on men’s shoulders.
Now women do have a lot of pressure put on them by society before they even walk out the house. Women should be looking picture perfect when they walk out of the house every day and that is not even a societal expectation, that is just the world, we live in. We live in a society based on looks and women most times have the spotlight put on them when it comes to looks. Also, women take on a lot of emotional blame when it comes to families, whether that be a mother being blamed for her kid not being raised right or a wife being blamed for her family and marriage’s emotional stability.
It takes more and more strength to be a woman as years go on, but the mental games that women must play today is a joke. They must be strong mentally and physically, but not stronger than the man. They can chase dreams and aspirations but not if that gets in the way of a man’s dreams. And even then, being women today and knowing what you want to do in the world is scary. The very well respected Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie had a Ted Talk which included this iconic quote: “Of course I am not worried about intimidating men. The type of man who will be intimidated by me is exactly the type of man I have no interest in.” This statement speaks volumes because she is a very successful woman in this world and is currently leaving her mark and that is something you are starting to see more and more. This article takes nothing away from the everyday pressure that women must go through, and let it be acknowledged that the amount of strength it takes to be a woman today is great and it should not have to be as such.
After talking about women’s societal pressure, we are switching to the opposite gender and now talking about men. First there is a lot of emotional pressure put on men from society, suppressing your emotions is what makes you a man by today’s standards. For example, the term “Man up,” is usually used when a man tries to express his emotions or becomes emotional. That is what creates an emotionally distanced person.
An emotionally distanced person is never good because they will never ask for help and that leads to more problems. In 2019 the suicide rate for males was 3.7 times higher than females and, in a study, done by Cambridge University Press, men had a higher level of suicidal intent than women. Now these statistics are almost a direct result of the societal pressure men go through. The way that men are told to bottle up emotions to make them more manly or to never ask for help because men get things done on their own, these two go hand in hand in making depression and suicide a real possibility for men.
So, often times the only emotion that seems socially acceptable for men to have is anger, and that anger leads to violence. Societal pressures have even found their way into the workplace. In a study done by The Leadership Quarterly when male leaders ask for help, they are seen as less capable and less confident. The societal pressure follows a man from childhood to adulthood and it has just been accepted as the way things are. A man is supposed to be able to financially support his family while having a respectable job and maintain his relationship with his significant other. If a woman makes more money than the man, the man’s masculinity and manhood is being questioned.
While feminism has done a great job changing things for women and breaking mold the same cannot be said for men. We are stuck in the mold of being angry loners that are supposed to take care of others. A second thought is never given to how a man feels and if it is, it is often too late. And so, while women have a lot on their plate in terms of societal pressure, being a man in today’s world has a lot more loops and sharp turns than one might imagine.
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