Toxic Mascs

Be with yourself for a minute

Be yourself for a minute.

Self-isolating but boy have you ever taken the time

to know your

self? To sit with yourself?

I mean, I guess you were never taught,

because boys at school got to play all the good sports,

but teachers never taught you these lessons.

You learnt how to survive,

build blocks and bridges, roads and plans with

your strong hands,

but never how to care for the body that homes them.

And young boy who fell over

kicking footballs and playing basketball,

was told to dust off,

get up and just carry on.

Swallow those emotions whole,

and man up,

because big boys don’t cry,

your dad said his dad and his dad

didn’t cry.

And the more times you hear it, the more you believe it.

And you were taught to do all those things men do.

Opening IKEA flat-packs,

you learnt how to build drawers,

but never how to open yours,

and never how to battle those demons hiding behind

all the trap doors.

And, you, are, fractured.

Confused,

because toxic society’s been preaching toxic masculinity,

silencing your cries with toxic mascs

and never letting you show true vulnerability.

You, are, lost.

Because the patriarchy’s made society so focused on writing her-story,

but we’re slowly forgetting his-story.

And although you support the me-too movement,

you’re struggling in the dark

with a caged heart

wondering why they don’t talk about you-too.

Why don’t they let you share your pain too?

In 2015, MacMillan wrote,

‘The men are weeping in the gym’.

But it’s 2020 and I can still hear the cries,

from the pumped-up guys,

working out whilst nothing’s working out.

Trying to achieve society’s preconceived

testosterone injected form.

Because the media shows

carved abs structured like armour,

keeping battered hearts in cages,

and plastic smiles pasted like clown faces.

The men are weeping in the gym,

and crying hard sweaty tears,

because that changing room mirror,

always feels like one of those

distorting mirrors.

You see warped figures.

And they call that body dysmorphia

but we only ever speak about girls

with anorexia.

So, to all the guys struggling with it,

I’m sorry we don’t do more for you.

I’m sorry society taught you not to cry.

I’m sorry the patriarchy made you build this hard

exterior.

In fact, I’m sorry society has failed you.

So, be with yourself for a minute.

Just be yourself for a minute.

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