Masculinity is something that has consistently evolved over the years. As we have evolved as people, the idea that men should be stoic, emotionless being has been–thankfully–challenged and mostly dismissed. There are still some who cling to that idea as if they are willing to die on the hill of men bottling up their emotions until they come out in a sea of rage or despair.
Honestly, that just isn’t healthy.
R.LUM.R’s latest visuals for his song “Boys Should Never Cry” play with this idea. R.LUM.R literally gives us a stone bust destroying itself due to the welled-up pressure of “being a ‘man.'” This is placed against lyrics such as “don’t be a pussy or a bitch” and “don’t complain, you’re not hurting.” It’s a bit on the nose, but sometimes, you need things to be on the nose. This is especially because keeping feelings inside can ruin a man’s emotional and mental well-being.
This hits closer than I expected because I saw my own father be the “stone man” towards so many things. Since he was from an older generation (he was born in 1920), he had this whole mentality that men–and by extension, their sons–should just either fight their emotions or mask them. It drove him to abuse alcohol and become violent towards my mother and me. I swore that, if I ever had kids, I’d teach them it was okay to let their feelings out (even if it involved a bit of yelling). I hated my father for being this way and, though I sometimes acted similarly, I strove to not follow his footsteps.
As a father, I’ve struggled a bit (sometimes, parents yell or get frustrated) with this. But I’ve made damn sure that my kids know that they can–and should–get through things without being self-destructive.
Check out R.LUM.R’s track below and remember to support dope music in all its forms…and that it’s okay to emote.