Way back in my day all men were real men,
We weren’t scared to help we weren’t insecure,
We were all open books but just make sure
You don’t look to come to me for advice,
About mental health or about your vice.
I’m here for you let’s be crystal clear.
I can help you if your car can’t change gear,
Or if you have a problem with the steer,
If it fails to start when you turn the key,
I’m here man, don’t worry, I have jump leads.
I told you, man, I’m always here for you,
Just don’t get the situation confused,
I don’t mean to be insincere or rude
But that feelings stuff is a load of muck.
Life is always rough, so men must be tough,
We like girls, cars and explosions and stuff,
We like fighting, football and monster trucks.
We like manly-men, men-who-don’t-feel-men,
Not as in men who don’t like to feel men,
When I was young I was the biggest fan of being “a man”,
Of being strong and never crying, because that is wrong.
Of football games and internalising pain from things that "shouldn’t hurt".
Until one day when I was sitting on my bed,
I was crying, and not because I banged my head,
Or not because of what someone said,
Or not because that character in Toy Story was dead,
But for no reason.
I just felt sad.
My Mother came in the door, looked at me,
And swore that everything was okay.
I said “I’m sorry for crying,
I don’t know what’s wrong with me today,
I just feel upset.”
She said, “Son, there hasn’t been a man yet
Who hasn’t cried because they were sad,
Most of them just don’t say.”
And see I cried in my mothers arms that day,
And I don’t see how that could have done me any harm,
To know that when I feel upset it is okay to cry.
We don’t have to put up a front and try
To act like “men” and seem just fine
When in reality we’re constantly balancing on a line
Between fear of people’s perception of us as soft
And having our emotions engulf us and finding ourselves lost.
Our culture causes confusion for little boys
Who think they have to play with army toys
And get in fights with other tikes to show their “manliness” and might,
Until their spite builds up inside them, so tight,
That it explodes down the line
When we say we’re fine
But really inside exists a mine of insecurity.
Because toxic masculinity is a sin to me
And leads to bigotry and other stupidity like
Rigidity and conformity to chauvinistic and sexist normalities.
First stanza is iambic pentameter, second one isn't