Inside the World of Boys
Timmy is eight years old and was participating in this first-ever track competition. Just before he would have finished third in the race, Timmy fell flat on his face in front of the audience. Small for his age, Timmy did not know what to do except to get up and feel absolutely embarrassed. His mother immediately rushed down the bleachers to console his son. “Not here, Mom,” he said. Later, his mother can hear him whisper to himself while trying to restrain his tears, “big boys don’t cry.” Twelve years later, Timmy does not regret telling his mother that he did not need her console. However, he no longer hides his emotion. Instead, he expresses them freely to friends, family and college advisor. I am Timmy. Often time, boys avoid expressing feelings because of boys are shame-phobic. Because shame is such an undesirable experience, most boys (and men) will do anything to avoid the possibility of experience it (Pollack 33). Society often underestimates all the emotional needs of boys. Many of the boys today live behind a mask of masculine bravado that hides the genuine self to conform to our society’s expectations (Pollack 5). Boys are taught at a very young age to be more independent or their peers will call the sissies and make fun of them (Pollack 21). We restrict how much affection boys show one another and that boys are less in need of friends, close personal bonds, or connections. One can say being a guy is hard because society expects guys not talk about their feelings and that guys are supposed to deal with everything themselves. Statistic has shown that when girl infants expressed painful states, mothers responded only twenty-two percent of the time, but when their sons showed negative feelings, the ignored them altogether (Pollack 41). Boys are encouraged not to talk about problems, especially problems that expose their feelings of worry, doubt, or sadness, for fear of seen as weak, vulnerable, or needy-traits of...
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