Jessica Chastain wants us to stop saying a certain phrase about men. She's right.
Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images.

Expressing your emotions is a perfectly normal and healthy part of the human experience. But far too many boys and men feel as though their identity as a male depends on upholding both a tough exterior and interior — void of feelings and tears.

Actress Jessica Chastain wants that to change. Because to her, lives truly do depend on it. And the stats back her up.

In a tweet shared on April 29, the Hollywood A-lister called on all of us to challenge the stereotypes and expectations associated with masculinity — starting with one particularly harmful phrase.


"Can we please eliminate the phrase, 'Stop crying. Be a man'?" the actress wrote. "The old fashioned stereotype doesn't work."

Chastain then highlighted an alarming reality: More men die by suicide than women.

As she pointed out in her tweet citing data collected by the CDC, 121 Americans, on average, die by suicide each day — and 93 of them are men.

Men are far less likely to reach out for help if they're experiencing mental health issues. Many advocates argue there's a clear link between toxic masculinity — a set of attitudes that suggest men should be assertive and dominant, not emotional or vulnerable — and the fact men are over 3.5 times more likely to die by suicide than women.

It's a topic comedian Michael Ian Black recently explored at length in a New York Times op-ed, where he argued rigid gender norms are exacerbating America's gun violence problem:

"Too many boys are trapped in the same suffocating, outdated model of masculinity, where manhood is measured in strength, where there is no way to be vulnerable without being emasculated, where manliness is about having power over others. They are trapped, and they don’t even have the language to talk about how they feel about being trapped, because the language that exists to discuss the full range of human emotion is still viewed as sensitive and feminine."

We need to get better at allowing boys and men to be emotional, feel seen, and be comfortable opening up. We need to get better at allowing boys and men to be human.

"Let's cherish the vulnerabilities of men," Chastain wrote in her tweet. "Their lives depend on it."

If you need help, don't hesitate to reach out and get it. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, or learn more here.

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This year more than ever, many families are anticipating an empty dinner table. Shawn Kaplan lived this experience when his father passed away, leaving his mother who struggled to provide food for her two children. Shawn is now a dedicated volunteer and donor with Second Harvest Food Bank in Middle Tennessee and encourages everyone to give back this holiday season with Amazon.

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Over one million people in Tennessee are at risk of hunger every day. And since the outbreak of COVID-19, Second Harvest has seen a 50% increase in need for their services. That's why Amazon is Delivering Smiles and giving back this holiday season by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Second Harvest to feed those hit the hardest this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local food bank or charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your selected charity.

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A lot of people here are like family to me," Michelle says about Bread for the City — a community nonprofit located in Washington DC that provides local residents with food, clothing, health care, social advocacy, and legal services. And since the pandemic began, the need to support organizations like Bread for the City is greater than ever, which is why Amazon is Delivering Smiles to local charities across the country this holiday season.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is giving back by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, and donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Bread for the City provide to those disproportionately impacted this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your charity of choice.
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