boys don’t cry

boys don’t cry.

The boys don’t suffer. The boys are not afraid.

Because boys don’t feel. If war were a 90s love song, Miguel Bosé’s voice singing to his gender roles would rise above the sound of the bombs until it drowns it out. To the explosion, and to the singer. But these are not times to go around making war music. Nor to complain. It’s wartime and they—the boys— they have to fight.

I was going to start this article talking about how patriarchal violence is at the origin of almost all armed conflicts. In fact, I was going to start this article last week. And also the previous one. However, more or less consciously, I have been postponing it, while my thoughts have been losing simplicity and gaining nuances, flexibility, colors; filling itself with uncomfortable contradictions that now, at last, I dare to approach; in which I sit now, I let go, I let myself fall and I stretch without buts, even at the risk of stabbing myself with the pea. In this indeterminate period of story, I have gone from believing myself invincible to becoming a princess. I’ve crossed over from fighting to empathy.

There is a solid system built around what it means to be a man. Pointing cannons or tons of concrete have been responsible for shaping it throughout history, through different cultures; with the practice of imperialism as a base and extractivism as a flag. But patriarchy, to protect its foundations, not only appropriates the land and exploits the natural resources of the planet and the peoples who inhabit it. Patriarchy not only kills bodies and imposes its power on them. Beyond the colorful and bloody deeds, patriarchy also acts as an enemy against itself: every time a child -or an adult- dries his tears so as not to show “weakness” before the world, every time vulnerability is attacked of a man and this, in response, hides, represses or denies it, the whole humanity is defeated. Since there is nothing more human than a cry. And, as a result of this suppression, all of us are born victims of a tyrant called machismo. Whether we’re on your side or not.

Reality finally catches up with me: you can’t fight what you escape from. And feminism should not ignore the atrocious idea that, at this moment, several governments in the world, including Ukraine’s, are forcing their citizens to kill—and to die—for the mere fact of being men.

Those men had not enlisted. No volunteers had been offered. Most had never even picked up a gun before. And there they are now, rising against his will, and his vulnerability, into warriors to defend the country from attack by one of their own. The worst of them all.

The Government of Ukraine is a raised gun that refuses to lower. All governments are, therefore, without their cannons pointed and without their tons of concrete, without that armed system of belligerence, the patriarchy would not hold. And then the boys wouldn’t have to fight anymore. But, until we change the discourse that hate, aggressiveness and violence live within each male soul, until we transform that rejection that toxic masculinity causes us into openness, compassion and recognition to create safe spaces where they, from a young age, they are also taught and helped to express themselves emotionally, to cry for what awaits them under the mattress, boys can only dream.

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