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I wasn't expecting that...

This week something hit me right in the feels - and it came out of nowhere... literally it floored me!

I expected the girls to hit puberty. I expected the hormones, the cravings, the cramps, the periods. I expected it all. I was excited for them that they were becoming young women.

I did not expect my baby boy to hit puberty. Somehow I missed the memo that he too would grow up. I was stunned when, just like his sisters did at his age, he entered the land of emotions, hormones, cravings, growth spurts.

Now, I know you might be sitting here thinking, Missy, why are you talking about your kids hitting puberty? Here is why...toxic masculinity and male sensitivity.

Boys are SO MUCH MORE SENSITIVE than girls.

They have these incredibly complex emotions. Compassion. Empathy.

Imagine my shock, dear reader, when my first reaction as his mama was not to embrace his sensitivity, but to almost tell him to stop being a drama queen.... Yes my friends, I almost fell right on into the internalized misogyny in my brain.

I was stunned that the words, “Get it together” almost left my mouth. 👀

Thank goodness I stopped myself and started asking him questions. He said he was stuffing his emotions because he didn’t want to cry. And then he cried and cried for an hour, just like my girls do.

Y’all, the patriarchy comes calling like a many-headed hydra in all forms. It is insidious in how it manifests itself in all sorts of ways.

If we are truly going to create a beloved, redemptive community that dismantles all forms of oppression, I would invite us to think about how we literally eliminate the recognition of sensitivity in men, from the time they are wee babes.

My friends, I have a request for all of us this week...

Ask the young men in your life how their sensitivity has been converted to anger in order to fit in.

Talk to the men in your life about all the times they had a mix of emotions that they had to shove down, hide, run away from. Notice if the words, “man up” ever enter your thoughts when you are interacting with little boys?

We all want to be seen in the colorful kaleidoscope of all of our emotions.

If being seen equals danger, that is the wickedness of misogyny playing out before our eyes. The Graceful Revolution invites us to move towards a more transformative way of being, and today I invite us all to inquire and understand emotions a little bit more. ❤️

Yours in rebellion,

Dr. Melissa Bird


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