I tweeted out a twitter poll for this question (@baysegenc) and 100% of the responses were ‘No’. However, when thinking of patriarchal values the answer becomes more complex.
In modern times I think the notion of a ‘patriarchal England’ has inevitably weakened, but an age-old parasitical element of society cannot lose its grip so easily. I’m not presenting this opinion as an expert in the topic (I am most certainly not), but as a spectator of such things (just like you).
Traditional gender stereotypes dictate that women are more emotional than men, and more importantly that this makes us weak. Boys from a young age are told not to cry, to toughen up, to ‘man’ up. Men mature to believe that expressing emotions are a weakness. Although, this doesn’t appear to apply to anger. Anger is viewed as a strong and powerful sentiment when it is being expressed by a man. On the other hand, women are viewed as irrationally emotional. If we are angry about something, it is more likely to be dismissed as an overreaction, like we are not aware of our own emotions. I believe women are more empathetic and sympathetic than men, but I don’t think this is a weakness. On the contrary, it is an unimaginable strength. Experiencing emotion is an unimaginable strength.
It is true. We all die alone. I don’t mean this in a pessimistic sense but rather a rational one. No other individual on this planet can feel exactly how we feel and experience life as we do. Let me put this into context. Theoretically speaking, if two children were brought up in the same house, attended the same school and spent their free time doing the same activities, would they have the same experience of life? Absolutely not. This can be exhilarating, a truly unique adventure, a life that is all yours. However, it can also make it difficult to explain your emotions accurately.
Sometimes you may find yourself trying to reach for the right words to express your emotions and realise how tough it really is. Sometimes no worldly language can convey your anger or your pain, or even your happiness. You can feel these emotions so strongly in your very core, and yet you already know they are trapped there forever, never to be touched by another. No one can truly understand why something upsets you the way that it does, and they shouldn’t be blamed for it. You are more complex than you could ever imagine, we all are. This doesn’t mean that these emotions are invalid just because you cannot express them exactly how you would like to. You can feel them.
I believe ultimately our lives are a series of emotions and feelings strung together. We eventually stop recalling particular events properly, but more of how they made us feel. What took place isn’t important, but how it impacted on you. In my humble opinion, emotion is the essence of life and should therefore be held in the highest regard. Emotion is the strongest thing one has in this life. Love, happiness, pain, they are unparalleled. Written about and experienced since the dawn of time.
Women are not weak for expressing emotion, and men are not strong for withholding it. In a life that can sometimes seem monotonous, emotion is the one thing that makes it worthwhile. We can extend love and compassion to anyone. Emotion is the one thing that can connect us all.
A post giving you some food for thought, or maybe just the ramblings of a nineteenager, either way thank you for reading.