By: Nazly Abdelrahman
What most people assume is that feminism is just about girls and their mistreatment by boys. Though this constructs a huge part of feminism, it is not the entire purpose. Feminism also fights for boys to be treated equally. For boys to be able to pursue their dreams or dress how they want without being judged.
One of the quickest replies to hearing about something that a guy has done is to claim that “boys will be boys”. Moreover, if a boy shows his feelings, he is lashed out at since “boys don’t cry”. When a guy dresses and accesorizes as he likes – whether it’s skinny jeans, long hair, makeup, or “god forbid” skirts – he is immideately told to “man up”.
Living in Egypt is not easy for men; they are brought up with the idea that they need to be doctors, engineers and much more in order to inherit their fathers’ businesses. It is extremely rare to hear of a guy pursuing an art or music career. And even if this happens, most people would react by saying something like “da shaz dah wala eh?”.
Men are taught to completely hide their feelings, to stand their ground, and to be possessive and agressive. They have to be the strict husbands el “beymasho kelmethom”. They’re not allowed to dress how they like, but are “supposed” to dress like everyone else.
Screw the stereotypical generalizations. Boys will not “be boys”; treating a person badly is not due to boys being boys. It is due to the way that specific person was brought up, to what they were taught and forced to memorize. It is due to falsely associating specific actions with femininity or masculinity. A huge number of girls are rude and treat others badly- but no one claims that girls will be girls.
To all the boys reading this, it is completely acceptable to show feelings. It is okay to be vulnerable, and it is okay to dress in a different way. If you want to get treatment done to straighten your hair cause you don’t like it, go for it. If you’re pissed from your unibrow and you want to get your eyebrows done, don’t let anyone stop you. If you wanna become an artist instead of a doctor, do so even if your parents stand in your way.
Instead of not hitting a girl since “boys don’t hit girls”, don’t hit a girl since this is the right thing to do. If you want to be firm and careless, then it is up to you at the end. But do not force yourself to become a person that you do not want to be in order to please society.
You may receive negative comments, but they are all out of ignorance and societal misconceptions. If everyone takes a stand, people will slowly begin to accept the fact that being a boy does not come with an instruction manual that must be followed rule by rule.
Be yourself, and do not let anyone stand in your way. Ignore the stereotypes and the pressure that you receive, and focus on growing as a person instead.