Vulnerability does not make anyone weak or lesser, if anything it makes us all the more is human. It is not easy being upfront about what you are going through but it is not impossible either. The world needs more empathy and kindness. I being a student and a citizen of a society where you will be taunted irrespective of what you will do. The meaning for vulnerability may differ from person to person. For many the term invokes thoughts and feelings of discomfort, weakness, fear, pain, betrayal and uncertainty. Today I had a time off to reflect and feel compelled to share some thoughts on vulnerability.
The lesser emotion
Apart from being a highly misunderstood state of existence, vulnerability is a very real phenomenon. Least discussed reality, but reality. It is that one black sheep of the family of emotions that was never appreciated for who it was, a darker shade. Racism in the most minuscule way possible? The very fact that every incomplete, broken, weak, damaged, not-so-whole aspect of life is brushed under the umbrella of “the black sheep” speaks a lot about our society. Not to forget that this very broken, unused and mangled umbrella often accessorizes well with femininity. In layman’s terms, emotions, especially the unexplained, slightly wavering ones, are attributed to females. The lesser ones in society.
Vulnerability with w?
As much as this goes against the gender equality debate, it has done wonders to the point that it normalized women being an emotional wreck. It might seem very inappropriate and disapproving to some but that’s just the blessing in disguise from where I see. Women being, embodying and displaying incomplete emotions such as vulnerability, is not out of order anymore. They can be vulnerable and vocal at the same time and none would bat an eye. And that’s where we drew a line for vulnerability. More like a dam, In times when feminism and women’s rights blow the horns of societal change, ironically, the men suffer from vulnerability in silence. Men, the stronger, more complete half of the society according to common belief, suffer from the deadliest disease: not being vulnerable. Why do we push them to be gentlemen when there’s already so much stigma around “gentle”? Why does it have to be pushing open a door, pulling a chair, walking her down the stairs to make him a gentleman? Why is a man expressing and accepting himself to be broken, incomplete, damaged and VULNERABLE not the ultimate acts of being a “gentleman”? What is harder for us to accept? Vulnerable men OR men comfortable with their vulnerability?
You see a man wiping tears of his woman and you find it endearing. You see a girl cry her heart out and you feel her pain. But why is it so unnatural to see a man crying in uncontrollable tears and be normal about it? Why is it so unnatural that it makes you squirm? Bloodshot eyes in cinema should give a little more screen space to tear stained faces. Not just any tearstained face, a tearstained face which finds it so conventional and accepted around him that he forgets to wipe it. That before turning up at his friend’s door at 3 he does not bother to wipe it. That he does not have to put up a smile to look the strong, complete self when there’s a dam within him that could break any moment, soaking him, only to not be wiped. That he does not have to drive off to anywhere, halt abruptly, slam the car door, cry to no one and come back as if nothing happened. That he does not have to lock himself in a room to cry his heart out, only to hear himself cry alone. A tearstained face that does not shy away from his guy friends. And that his guy friends think of him as no lesser of a man when he does so.
Contrary to the common beliefs, the ensign of patriarchy that sways over has its roots cracking up the entire foundation of humanity. It has done enough damage to society. Lot lesser to men than women, but men too.
Something that was technically their creation to cease the growth of the other plant, turned out to be a weed to them. As unbelievable as that might sound, privileged are those who can be proud of the emotions they embody. No matter how incomplete that is. The bottom line is, vulnerability is beautiful. It might be unfair and unlovely, it still is beautiful. In the most unconventional, unaccepted, unfitting to the set moulds kind, but it is very human beauty. It makes none of us any lesser a man or a woman, only a lot more human