The women have their ‘Vagina Monologues’. What about their male counterparts? Where is the understanding and acceptance of shortcomings that every human being craves for? Gender roles in society are supremely rigid. All over the world, stereotypes have been created that define the role of a man versus a woman. From something immensely basic like ‘pink is a girlie color’ to rigidly ridiculous notions that ‘boys don’t cry’, stereotypes abound around us.
Pressure from the society one lives in leads to an internalization of these stereotypes that ultimately translates into ‘the way things are meant to be’. Women have suffered through the demands of the world for too long, but that doesn’t mean that men got a great deal either. Just like women are expected to shed tears to convey what they feel at every available opportunity, men are expected to ‘tough it out’ and without a grimace. Communication channels are limited for boys while they are growing up. Even as an adolescent, a boy learns that there are things that they must not talk about because they might then be perceived as weak.
Peer pressure instills the eternal fear of being branded a ‘weakling’. Thankfully more and more men have begun to understand the pitfalls of these traditional stereotypes. Communication is no longer a myth. It may take a while but at least the path to be trodden has begun to be hewn. Feelings of inadequacy can now be conveyed to one’s mate as well as the doctor if the need arises. Issues like erectile dysfunction (ED), impotency, and premature ejaculation, no longer point at a flaw in a man. One in every five men is believed to have suffered from ED at least once in their life spans.
Acceptance of the existence of these dysfunctions have led to the understanding that it is not ‘one’s fault’ to have a problem like this and even more important, that it can be treated by delving into its causes. Present generation is accepting it. Free from stigma, a man can now discuss his problems. Maybe it’s time for a ‘Penis Monologues’…