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Purple 50/50 Is it okay for men to cry? [Episode 1]

Pulse strivia team interviewed Nigerians across four states and asked them questions that revealed their awareness or lack thereof of gender equality.

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Is it OK for a man to cry?

Nigeria’s ranking on the Gender Equality Index is at 118 out of 134 countries. A low ranking that means men and women in Nigeria are consistently trapped in stereotypical roles in order to conform to expectation. The ranking shows that we still have a very long way to go as regards gender equality and all gender related issues.

For the men, there is great pressure to meet societal demands and stereotypes of the idea of masculinity. With labels such as provider, strong, aggressive etc. placed on them, it is a battle for them too. While it is easy to think that patriarchy and misogyny affect only women, men are also victims of these flawed ideologies. There is a lot of expectation and pressure on them to be macho, to puff their chests out like King Kong and disregard their feminine side. This leads to a lot of bottled up emotions which could be disastrous to mental health.

For women, there are negative stereotypes and perceptions that categorize them as weak, deceptive, naïve and dependent. They are also expected to repress their sexuality as any woman who is expressive and assertive of her sexuality is immediately branded loose a whore.

This is why ‘The 50/50’ campaign was developed. Courtesy of the organisers of the 50/50 campaign, Pulse strivia team visited four states across Nigeria; Kano, Kaduna, Enugu and Lagos, representing East, West, North and South, focusing on questions that challenge the stereotypes associated with men and women in Nigeria.

Pulse strivia asked both men and women the same question, "is it okay for men to cry?'' Since human beings- both male and female have tear ducts and eyes, it should be pretty obvious that men can and should cry, just like women can. however, because of stereotypes and faulty assumptions that only weak ,men cry, it has become necessary to ask this type of question.

Crying is something every human being, and even some animals are capable of doing, however, due to societal expectations and expectations of gender roles, some people believe crying is a thing for women alone. We decided to ask Nigerians what they think, and if it is okay for men to express emotions by crying.

The answers and opinions were different and varied from individual to individual, but they reveal a lot about the state of gender issues in our society. It also helped that the team spoke to Nigerian from different cultures and backgrounds, so the information collected is not limited to a particular region or tribe, but representative of different Nigerians.

For more information, visit www.iampurple.ng

See episode one and watch out for more episodes in the coming weeks.

This is feature by Purple.

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