Expressing one’s emotions is an essential, intrinsic human trait. To suppress a natural occurrence is abnormal. In expressing emotions, there is a release of tension, pent-up feelings and according to an interviewee, one is able to return to a “rational state,” or process one’s emotions constructively. Expressing emotions is not just to release negative emotions, but it is also important to achieve a deep and meaningful connection with others and to facilitate a genuine understanding between people. Be mindful, however, that expressing one’s self should be done in a balanced and healthy way. Emotional expression should not be in the form of explosions and having a destructive impact; emotional expression is for a wholesome and constructive interaction.
Men Express, Do Not Suppress is a social media campaign led by Jade Cross, a high school teacher of English, and Yasean Doghaimat, a game developer. They are on a mission to effect social change through an effective communication campaign. Society has been brainwashed to believe that men ought to be tough, strong, and austere. Their emotional self should not be known, acknowledged, or expressed or else they will be seen as weak. Consequently, we have some men who are emotionally unavailable, some men who may eventually explode violently and at the extreme fatally. We have some men who are not sensitive to their loved ones’ overall needs or desires. Some are simply not emotionally intelligent. We have men who need to understand the basic fact that they are human beings with a heart, feelings, and the need to release or express those feelings.
With the observation of these crippling issues, one of the main objectives of this social media campaign is to communicate and encourage men to recognize and acknowledge their feelings, as well as to express them (constructively). In addition, it is important that the female population understand that they can help to affect change by not perpetuating the belief that men should be tough and void of expression. This means they should instill in their sons, brothers, partners, etc. that it is okay to cry or show emotions. They will provide that safe space for expression and not shame, ridicule, or emasculate the males in their lives whenever they are ‘emotional.’ Ultimately, we hope this campaign will be a rebirth of emotionally available men, men who are able to express themselves and not suppress their emotions, men who are emotionally intelligent and can show their humane side and allow for deeper and more meaningful connections or relationships.
This campaign will engage the audience through a social media page; particularly Facebook. On this social media page, the content will be in the form of graphics, videos, and a virtual public speaking event. There will be additional media releases, and public service announcements to overall communicate the value of emotional expression in men and its positive impact.
According to Sam Dekin, a behavior health specialist: “When we avoid… emotions, it can lead to a number of consequences, including mental health disorders. Suppressing emotions can lead to depression and anxiety, but for men especially, it can also increase their risk of suicide. Men are much more likely to commit suicide than women. In 2018, men died by suicide about 3.56 more times than women did.” Let us stop the cycle of toxic masculinity and remember, Men Express, Do Not Suppress!