I absolutely detest having to mask the way I feel.
It’s just not in my nature.
But, in the African culture which I am fully entrenched in, there are certain things that must not be done, said, or even thought.
The patriarch of the family must act masculine, without a single speck of weakness or fragility. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
It only goes to highlight a larger issue- how our preceding generations have influenced us to live in a culture of conformity, for better or for worse. Anybody who disagrees or deviates from that is ridiculed, lambasted, and harshly dismissed from the flock.
The thing is; we do not share the same truths. What is right for me might not be right for Ed next door. And if we want to evolve as a world, we cannot promote the oppression of one group by another. Sadly, older generations see oppression as ‘normal’.
That’s why you have minority groups such as women- ironic because they outnumber men- relegated to being housewives and mothers, and not much else. You have gay men criticized for their lack of manhood, and met with overall disgust from society over what they do in bed. You have lesbian women objectified, lusted over, but never taken seriously, because, see, ‘woman was made for man’. You have people with disabilities placed in the proverbial corner, shunned to the side and ignored. You have those with mental illnesses as the subject of ridicule during tea parties that serve to do nothing but bring other people down.
I have feelings, and I’d like to express them. I shouldn’t have to lock myself in the bathroom, in order to cry. I shouldn’t have to bottle up my emotions, and smile through my pain. Such behavior is emotionally unhealthy.
And so, along with a bunch of other things, I’d like to ask the powers-that-be for the freedom to feel my feelings, and express them whichever way I feel inclined to.