“Do you ever feel pressure to not be emotional,” we asked, and Couamin immediately objected. He stated, “I have never felt pressured by society,” though he admits that society has, unfortunately, equated a man crying to him being weak. “A person crying doesn’t necessarily make them weak,” he says, “But if you’re in prison and others see you, as a man, cry, then you become prey. This world is a jungle.”.
While he sees society’s pressure on males to carry themselves with a certain attitude and ‘machismo,’ he admits that he likes things the way that they are. “A more understanding world would not be better because people will start feeling sorry for themselves. Instead of having the world feel compassionate, find a group of people, like friends and family, to support you. Or go to church and talk to someone,” he suggests. “Men don’t need more emotional freedom. I cry when I want to cry... and if I show emotion to you, then it’s because I’m comfortable around you. The world doesn’t need to be more compassionate. I like things the way they are.”
It sounds as if patriarchy works for him, but what about for women? Couamin makes mention that this system does not pressure women when it comes to being emotional since women are seen as “naturally emotional beings.” But he pushes back a bit to argue that being emotional is not beholden to women since “everyone cares about something,” he says. However, he admits that patriarchy does negatively impact a man’s ability to show emotions; however, it still begs the question: Is patriarchy within itself a bad thing?
Couamin agrees that both society and even religion has painted patriarchy with a unpopular brush. The mainstream take on patriarchy says that females should submit to their men, play a minor role, and simply serve as the nurturer to their male counterpart and family while the male should lead and dominant.
However, the definition of patriarchy, according to google, is, “A system of society or government in which the father or eldest male is the head of the family and [when] descent is traced through the male bloodline.” So based on this definition, how have we, as a society,
dominated by matriarchy, and that structure was never viewed as anti-male. In fact, many men supported matriarchy in that context. So has patriarchy and our understanding of it been one of society’s greatest faux pas?
“Submit has a negative vibe to it,” Couamin admits. “However, someone should be a leader in the relationship in order to lead and guide. Naturally, men are leaders, but it doesn’t matter. There are more things to a relationship than a man being dominant and the woman submitting.” In highlighting a woman’s role in patriarchy, he adds “Women should be able to help and assist their partner, inspire their partner, and make them better. A supporting role is important to any foundation. It should not be viewed as the lesser.”