Open letters have become quite fashionable these days. From journalists, writers, movie stars to every other category of celebrities, everyone seems interested in letting their views known through open letters. The latest to join this group of people is the legendary Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar. He has written an open letter to men, yes, to men.
Now, you would think that this letter is about the need for men to behave better with females or make an attempt to end gender injustice or something along those lines. Surprisingly, the letter talks about something else – the need for men to stop regarding the act of crying in public as unmanly.
Issue raised by Sachin
Sachin, in this letter, which seems to be part of a campaign by Gillette called '#shavingstereotypes', writes about the expectation that men are not supposed to cry. He says this is what he too believed while growing up. Then the Master Blaster mentions the day of his retirement and says he couldn't hold back his tears but felt happy after letting them out.
Now, it is perfectly alright for Sachin to share his personal experience. However, it's hard to understand why a company is running a campaign to take the supposed stigma away from crying for men. Male sportspersons have never been shy of shedding tears, both those of joy and those of disappointment.
Making an issue where none exists
Be it sprinters, footballers, wrestlers or athletes from other codes, they have never seemed hesitant in letting their emotions flow in the form of tears. In fact, if there is to be a comparative analysis, it is likely that male athletes would be found more prone to shedding tears than their female counterparts.
Anybody who has watched Olympics can testify to this fact. So, why have Sachin and Gillette launched this campaign? Yes, these days, it has become trendy to question traditional gender roles but one cannot say that men being hesitant to cry amounts to a form of 'toxic masculinity.'
On top of that, as stated above, men seem to cry quite freely in sporting contests. Hence, this entire letter and campaign seems like a waste of time and opportunity. Perhaps, a much better thing for Gillette to do would be to motivate young men to emulate Sachin and his conduct as a gentleman throughout his life.
Alternatively, they could try and raise awareness about health problems peculiar to men – ailments like testicular cancer, depression, etc. It is to make people know more about these things that the 'Movember' movement was launched.
So, dear Sachin, don't waste your time and energy on making an issue out of a non-issue. Instead, there are various other health-related problems that he can raise a discussion about.