Men on Twitter are revealing the most difficult thing about being a guy in 2018
Everybody has problems. Everybody struggles sometimes, either on a small or a large scale. A lot of the time, though, we tend to ignore the people we don't think have anything to worry about - maybe because they're famous, or wealthy, or simply because, on relative terms, they seem to have things pretty good.
In 2018, a lot of men tend to fall into this last category. They don't really have to deal with problems like sexism or sexual harassment as much as the rest of us, and - judging by statistics of people in power - they seem to basically be in charge of running the world. But that doesn't mean they don't struggle.
In a recent Twitter thread, renowned feminist and writer, Caitlyn Moran, decided to flip the script a little and ask the men of the internet what they found was the most difficult thing about being male - and some of the responses were very surprising.
Some guys commented with funny things:
"When my wife leaves the room she blows out the expensive candles as they're 'wasted' on me on my own..."
Others with tongue-in-cheek comments about enjoying "girly" stuff:
"Realise that this is extremely minor but I am sick of being shamed for enjoying fancy bubble baths or having a Lush loyalty card."
But one issue that came up more than any other was the pressure on men to "be manly".
"Emotional repression. Competition. Pressure to behave as an extrovert," wrote Twitter user, @northernluke. "Valued by looks and economic success not humanity. Scared to approach women for fear of harassment. Value by physically being able to stand ground. Value by height and hair."
And so many other guys agreed with him.
"Young boys are often told they can’t show feelings if they want to be a 'man,'" wrote @KeiynanLonsdale. "We then live a life of fear, trying to be something we aren’t... machines. Such inner tension causes our collective heart to break, & in a long ass rage of confusion, we take it out on everyone else."
"The idea that if you're not: drinking heavily, trying to shag everything that moves, living and breathing sport, solving problems with violence, competing with other men to be the "alpha", and /or severely repressing mental health issues, then you're not a man," added Neil Walsh.
And one user, Aaron Smith, picked out the top three issues of being "manly": "1. Growing up in a culture that doesn't teach you how to properly express emotion. 2. Trying to have a conversation with other men about something besides sports or video games. 3. Men don't talk about problems. Bottling up emotions is the normal thing to do."
Moran's tweet has attracted thousands of comments and been shared tens of thousands of times, indicating that this is a subject that men do want to talk about.
And, speaking as a woman, I just want to let those guys out there know that it's cool to express emotion. It's fine to give your friend a hug if he needs it, or cry if you feel upset. You don't have to like sport or video games or any other "masculine" thing in order to be a man. You get to decide what manliness is, it doesn't get to decide you.
Oh, and bubblebaths? Those are for everyone.