It is my belief that men face more emotional hurdles than women. I’m sure my feminist ancestors such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Josephine Butler just rolled in their graves, but bear with me. Many societies place emotional restrictions on males, leading to a skewed belief of what a man is. Some believe that “manly” means being stoic, callous, and full of machismo. Society looks down on men who seek help or talk about their problems. Growing up, my family was very different from traditional Asian families. My father, grandfather, and uncles had dignity and integrity as well as empathy and believed that girls can achieve just as much as boys, if not more. They were not afraid to show love and support while expressing their feelings.
I want to dedicate this issue to all the men we work with. On the outside, they may look like boys, some of whom have grown up too quickly. But inside, they are resilient and kind. They embody the true meaning of what it means to be a man. Due to the hardships they have faced, they are able to see past the surface, are able to own up to their mistakes, and face the future with courage. Our Hero, Kerry Cook, is an innocent man who survived 21 years on Death Row. He was mentally, emotionally, and physically tortured yet he retained his sense of self and hope.
My hope for all of us is that we are able to read these writers’ stories and find ways to change society’s perceptions of what being a real man means.
Thank you and happy reading!