Man up.

Chin up, buttercup.

Harden up.

Boys don't cry.


If you are or ever were a young boy growing up in New Zealand, it is very likely that you were told one or all of these things at some point in your life.

These days, society is trying to break that norm and moving away from this idea that men should be disconnected from their emotional side.

A recent post from Facebook user Lyra Balearica has struck a chord with many social media users after she pointed out the problem with this toxic masculinity and with telling young boys to "man up".

"The way our culture treats boys sickens me," her post began.

"I had an 11 year old boy in my room to have blood drawn today. He was crying. Not bawling or throwing a fit, just a few nervous tears. His guardian kept telling him to 'man up' and 'stop acting like a sissy'. Then she threatened to record him crying to show it to all his friends, which made him cry more. I told her we had a strict no recording/photo policy and she got mad at me for 'ruining the joke'.

"When this woman went to the bathroom I told the kid it was okay to express his emotions however he needed to and even grown men are scared of needles. That everyone is scared of something and he was brave for doing it even though he was scared," she recalled.

Her post continued with a message to anyone reading:

"Stop. Telling. Boys. They. Aren't. Really. Boys. For expressing emotion.

"You know why women and femmes have to fear violent men? Because of this shit that represses boys and men. Crying doesn't make you weak. Fear doesn't make you weak. But berating a child for showing those things make you one weak ass adult."

The way our culture treats boys sickens me. I had an 11 year old boy( in my room to have blood drawn today. He was...

Posted by Lyra Balearica on Wednesday, 22 August 2018

The post has since gone viral with more than 115,000 shares in just a few days.

"Thank you so, so, so much for having that talk with that boy. It makes me sick, too, that our culture teaches males this! You are probably the only person he has ever heard express that, and I really hope he took your words to heart," a Facebook user commented.

"This leads to the demeaning behaviour when men refer to each other as "girls" to insult each other, or ask if they're on their periods, or any feminine reference as weakness," another one said.

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