Please be sweet to the boys in your life. You do not need to toughen them up, there are enough TV shows, movies, video games and other men who buy into hyper-masculine patriarchy to teach them that sort of thing.
I implore you to teach the young boys in your life to learn their emotional landscape. Teach them to cry while holding their heads high. Teach them that it is not a crime to desire affection from others. Show them that it is not weakness to empathize and be graceful with their power. Men, I’m asking you to show more of yourselves than was shown to you.
I know it is hard to give gentle sympathy for the little bruises, both physical and emotional that the boys suffer, but we deserved that then and they deserve it now. We are human, they are human, and we can show them how to become men who do not hold in the pain that erupts into violence, bitterness, and isolation.
I ask you to honor the boy you once were by being gentle and emotionally encouraging to the male children in your life.
Makana M. Grant