I was visiting a friend of mine who has a young son. He’s a 6 year old ball of energy and dimples and crooked teeth. We were playing an invented game of smack the hackey sack, which he was getting a little too excited about. When he inevitably ran too fast and tripped over himself and fell, he started crying. My friend came out to see what was the matter.

“Oh he just fell,” I said, stroking his leg. “He’s okay.”

My friend, on the other hand, began to quickly wipe away his son’s tears, and then proceeded to take him by the shoulders and say something that broke my heart.

“Come on now, stop crying. You’re a boy. Boys don’t cry. You’re a boy. No tears. You’re not a girl are you? Come on, stop crying.”

Now, try to imagine my friend saying this in the most loving way possible, because my friend loves his son more than anything. Maybe he thought what he was saying would help the situation. No, he definitely did. And sure enough, his son did sniffle, suck it up and stop crying. He was sad and hurt, and then told to push those feelings aside. Ignore them. Pretend they don’t exist.

Little boys have all the normal feelings of any human being, and yet they’re taught that the only two valid emotions they should have are anger and anger. Feeling sad? Punch a wall. Feeling lonely? Hit someone. Feeling lost? Get drunk. No wonder everything they’re feeling comes out all fucked up. This is no excuse, but at the same time, shouldn’t we really be looking more at how we’re raising our sons?

It isn’t just about educating men on how women should be treated. It’s also about nurturing boys so they don’t become monsters.



Writer & Comedian

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store