When Quora users asked if sexism was destroying men, dual degree medical student Cassie McNaney offered her thoughts on the subject.
Yes, sexism is destroying men.
My husband has a chronic autoimmune disease that comes with cachexia (he has lost a lot of weight and “looks” sick), many blood transfusions, and constant cramping. I met him in undergrad, and many other guys thought his insecurity surrounding his prednisone-induced acne, his sensitivity, and inability to gain muscle made him less of a man. It was funny to them, and angering to me that his condition was seen as a joke.
Men are taught from a young age to “be a man.” They are taught to hold their emotions in and “suck it up.” Women are diagnosed more with depression, yet men commit suicide at a higher rate:
Regardless of the fact that so many men are survivors of rape, many individuals in today's society still believe it's impossible for a man to be sexually assaulted in the first place. This is extremely angering to me, much less to the men who have personally experienced it. I couldn't imagine what they're going through.
While I wouldn't normally recommend people read comment sections on social media sites, I can say from personal experience that whenever I would read an article about a boy who was sexually assaulted by an older female teacher, it was seen as funny to many commenters. Let me repeat that: a boy not enjoying statutory rape involved him being harassed on the internet for not enjoying being sexually assaulted by an adult.
Sexism does not help anyone. I call myself a feminist because of its definition of equality of gender, and I know saying that will offend many. One of the main reasons I became a feminist in the first place was observing how society’s expectations affected the men in my life. I am not okay with the fact that 70% of the 117 people who die every single day are men. Suicide Statistics — AFSP
We need to treat men so much better. We need to stop telling them it's not okay to cry, to feel vulnerable, or to seek help for depression. Sexism hurts men.
The article originally appeared on Quora.