Joshua Walsh (age 16), St Benildus College, Kilmacud West, Dublin 14


“Manliness”– the characteristics of being a man

Since when do we live our lives based on a definition

Everything’s also based on our reputation

To be a shoulder to cry on yet we have no shoulders to cry on

Our shoulders carry the weight of a family, both emotionally and financially

While we hide our feelings so casually

Behind a false personality

Of objectifying women

To impress our fellow men

While being told by these men to man up instead of open up

This leads to many giving up

As 70 per cent of suicide victims

Are men

Let that sink in

A man at the edge of his life being told to man up

And not to fess up

That he’s not okay

He’s not alright

That he needs help

Help that would be on offer to a woman before the first tear

While many people steer clear

Of an emotional man looking for affection

To be told it’s alright, I’m here for you

It would mean the world to a man

Yet to the world it would mean

He’s not a man