Women are often told that they are being too emotional, yet they are also known to be in touch with their emotions. However, many people still hide feelings, such as anxiety, depression, loneliness, and sadness, in fear that they may be viewed as imperfect or weak. It is scary that “…1 in 3 young women 18 to 25 said they had a mental health condition in the past year” (Office on Women’s Health). There are societal expectations to be a ‘people pleaser’ and to look pretty while doing every task of life. This pressure has led to unrealistic standards that are propagated by the media and become essentially unattainable. There are constant happy faces on social media, which creates a false representation of a perfect life. There is no winning; there is only unsatisfaction and a disconnection from reality.
The word ‘crazy‘ gets floated around as a means to invalidate women’s emotions since “not only does it stigmatize people who have legitimate mental health issues, but it tells women that they don’t understand their own emotions, that their very real concerns and issues are secondary to men’s comfort. And it absolves men from having to take responsibility for how we make others feel” (O’Malley). No woman wants to be labeled as crazy and irrational, so we suppress our emotions to please others. This term signifies that “… someone can’t be emotional and rational at the same time…” (O’Malley), which is false. Women should be able to express feelings of contempt without being completely brushed aside and disregarded.
We have been guilty of suppressing our emotions. This makes us lose control of them even more, especially as they pile up and become overwhelming.
A way to start to combat this is by reminding the women around you that their emotions matter. Be an unjudgmental perspective and listen. The more people that feel comfortable knowing that the imperfect version of themselves is strong and worthy, the more confidence people will have going into the world.
November was Men’s Health Awareness Month. This included efforts to encourage more males to feel comfortable reaching out to get help with mental health issues. This is amazing; it should continued to encourage a new generation that values human emotions and empathy. Hopefully, we can foster an environment in which we work together to create a more positive society that allows people to take care of their mental health without it being talked down. Progress is needed, and it takes the work of everyone to make an impact.
Bryant Counselling Services: 401-232-6045 & [email protected]
DPS Emergency Line: 401-232-6911
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
National Crisis Text Line: Text HELLO to 741741.