Expectations and perceptions of what is referred to as “manly” behavior play a major part in our society even in this day and age.

We live in the 21st century, an age of advanced technology and innovations, yet men and women are still boxed into presumptions placed on them by the virtue of their sex. In fact, at a very young age, boys are taught the language and behavioral patterns that fix them into society’s concept of what it means to be a man. Who says that boys can’t do something just because they are boys?
Let’s take a look at some of the stereotypes that still raise their ugly heads when it comes to how men should behave.

Men don’t cry

A man bursts into tears and his colleagues rush to support him but when a woman sobs in the same situation her anxiety is barely acknowledged. Why so? Boys are often taught that they shouldn’t cry and if they are troubled or even struggling they should instead bottle up their pain and keep a straight face. They are prepared to buck up and be a man and move on. This suppression can even lead to many emotional problems in later years.Thankfully there are some who are quietly yet surely defying the norm. It was a water cooler moment when the Bollywood superstar and one who is considered to be the meridian of masculinity, Aamir Khan didn’t mind being photographed while crying and wiping tears after watching the emotional scene in the movie “Bajrangi Bhaijaan”.

Men do not play with dolls

Why is it that Barbie dolls and kitchen sets are meant for girls alone? In fact, gender cannot determine what toys one should play with. If a girl prefers to play with GI Joes and racing cars, one shouldn’t stop her. Similarly, one cannot judge a boy if he loves playing with a doll house. Here are some pertinent questions: Do fathers hold their babies? Do fathers change diapers? Do fathers love babies? The answer is a big YES. Then why can’t a boy play with dolls?

Men do not cook or do household work

As Sanjeev Kapoor, the celebrity chef once said, “It does not matter if your little boy or girl wants to be in the kitchen with you. It is the interest level that matters.” Though we get to see more men than women as chefs in popular TV shows and star hotels, why do we expect women to do the cooking in the house? We often get to hear the stereotypical statements from prominent people on how a woman’s place is in the kitchen and not as a provider for the family. Although we see men dominating the celebrity cooking platform, why does our mindset remain the same in this regard?

Men can’t be into fashion

Whether it’s knowing how to sew or running a boutique, it is always the girls who are “supposed” to be in this field and if a boy shows interest in the fashion world, he is often discouraged from plunging into this occupation. However, men have proven themselves although the fashion industry here is dominated by women. From Prabal Gurung to Manish Malhotra, some male designers have now set an example showing that men can do pretty well in this field and can even outperform females as it has nothing to do with gender. Also not to forget our very own Astik Sherchan and Tenzin Tseten Bhutia.

Thus, it must be understood that the roles men and women play in life are interchangeable; they are more than just male or female. The old stereotypes should be laid to rest .