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#UnManYourself: 16-year-old poet challenges ‘a failed social system’ that sees crying men as weak

Simar Singh opens his poem by saying “Mard ko dard nahi hota (Men don’t feel pain)” is a “false preaching” that the society thrusts on men.

art and culture Updated: Aug 03, 2017 15:47 IST
how to be a man,simar singh,poetry
(Screen capture)

When was the last time you sat with your dad or brother or son to discuss how they are feeling or what they are going through? When was the last time you saw them crying in public?

Crying men are often perceived as weak in the Indian society and usually compared with women with a common Hindi saying “ladkiyon ki tarah mat ro (Don’t cry like a girl)”.

Sixteen-year-old Simar Singh explains through his English poem ‘How To Be A Man’ that the idea of a man built by our society, in which crying and expressing one’s emotions are looked down upon, is like “mental violence”. Men, he says, have become a product of “a failed social system where expressing himself was considered sin”.

Singh, who is breaking societal norms though his poetry community UnErase Poetry, opens his poem by saying “Mard ko dard nahi hota (Men don’t feel pain)” is a “false preaching” that the society thrusts on men.

“They told me I will soon be the man of the house, while I was just 6 years old. It’s not their fault you see. This is what they have been taught since centuries, that men don’t feel and men don’t cry. Man up, they told me. Man up, young boy,” Singh says while reciting his poem.

He says the pressure to be a man according to the societal norms is a torture that needs a voice against such diktats.

“When can we finally talk about mental violence? So that I can finally break this silence? So that I can unlock my door and let you in. Don’t ask me why was it shut so long and why is it so dark in here,” Singh says.

“This is for every father, every brother and every son who wet his pillow so many times, and yet he’s woken up just fine,” he adds.

This silence has to be broken, he says, adding it is time we should talk to our fathers, brothers, and sons about what they have been through.

“It will be comforting for them to know, that someone is there to listen.”

Watch Singh reciting the full poem:

First Published: Aug 03, 2017 15:47 IST