I hesitated to post this because I feel like there's probably a lot of criticism about a video like this (and some language, sorry!!), but I felt like after working with young adolescent boys in a juvenile detention center, I saw this problem. It was so real. After getting to know the boys in my group at the detention center, I realized there was an emotional side to them that had been neglected. They feared being made fun of by peers for having emotions other than frustration. They always felt like they had something to prove. I know each individual's particular story and circumstances are different, and there are contributing factors to each scenario, but I fear that there is too much emphasis on "being a MAN". I think it's important for men just like women, to feel confident and empowered, but there are different ways for them to be empowered than telling them to "suck it up and be a MAN." As if there if some expectation they need to live up to. There is place though for being responsible for your actions, doing the best you can to take care of yourself and your family, and not backing down from hard things because it's the right thing to do (not for fear of being labeled a "wuss").
Having a son now, I feel like I thought about Riggs and how we'll teach him compassion, strength, and perseverance. Without making him feel like he has some sort of wordly "manhood" to live up to. When all is said and done, I don't want Riggs to be scared to be a good man. To be a man that stands for what is right. A man that cares for others without fear of being "soft". A man that expresses how he's feeling through words instead of resorting to violence or bottling it up. I hope I can teach him to have a drive to succeed honestly, responsibly, and for the right reasons. Not to prove anything. The best guy friends I have had (my husband the front-runner) in my life have not been afraid of their emotions. They care deeply, talk about their experiences with others, and most importantly they aren't embarrassed or ashamed of who they are. You can be a tough guy and a sweetheart.
I want Riggs to be proud of who he is. Whoever that may be. I know he'll go through phases where it'll be hard not to care what people think of him, but I pray that over time he can learn to NOT care what others think of him but more importantly how he feels about himself.