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On #9M, Let's Be Man Enough

by Hector Gutierrez

*(Para español, da click aquí)

Men are raised by their mothers, but miseducated inside locker rooms.

As a boy, all I wanted was to be accepted by other boys. I played sports my whole life, so I am familiar with the environment bred inside locker rooms. It's almost as if to fit in, you have to say things that you know are wrong.

Otherwise, you are not "man enough."

Is this what being a man truly means?

I know some men reading this will be eager to call me soft. They will say I am betraying men for believing we must be better. I know because that's what I would have done years ago to a guy like me. We are taught that anything that does not represent our toxic masculinity must represent the opposite. In this case, the opposite is femininity.

We spread the false narrative that man equals strong and woman is synonymous to weak. That pretending to be invincible makes us powerful, and speaking our insecurities into existence leaves us powerless. That taking up space is our right, and sharing that space makes us generous and deserving of praise.

But #9M is not about us. It's about the women we've been calling weak. The women that the patriarchy has sought to strip from power. The women that have to fight for space because it was never opened to them.

As men we are more afraid of being called feminine than we are of being called sexist. That has to change.

On March 9th, Mexico is performing an “exercise” as part of the feminist movement. It consists of a day when women don’t show up at work, don’t go out to the streets, nor engage on social media. It's a way to protest the years of systematic sexism and gender-based brutality that have led to a national