By: Mostafa Hesham

I usually opt for a sarcastic tone when writing articles, but this time you will find something else under my name. Today, I address something that I’ve been hearing about for a while and has been causing me an internal struggle.

It all started on a random Thursday outing. I overheard the woman at the table next to me telling her friend, “Men are so lucky to have the chance to pursue a career without being concerned about raising kids or running a house”. She continued to say that men don’t face sexist concerns and they don’t have to fight hard to be recognized due to their gender. Their conversation went on about how a guy she knew is actually lucky enough to not face the same problems that she as a woman has to face every day of her life. While I agree that these problems exist, I do have to ask: Don’t guys have to deal with different concerns? Aren’t we human beings who also face a gender issue of our own?

Before I continue, I would like to make it clear that my debate doesn’t address everyone. Lots of people may find what I’m about to say irrelevant to their beliefs and surroundings. However, you could relate it to an uncle, a brother, a zoned bff or a male friend. I want to discuss the stigma associated with the male-career. As male teenagers, we grow up in Egypt with all doors of interests open for us to study whatever we choose, right? Well, not exactly! Let me correct that.

The Egyptian society forces the male teenager who hasn’t yet fully weighed what his options are to study maybe Business/Engineering or Medicine, because you want to be on the safe side when it comes to landing a job!

Your parents will tell you that no father will trust you with his beloved daughter if you don’t work in a company and earn yourself el malaleem el kolena benakhodha! We, male Egyptians, have grown up to fill roles that have been destined for us before we even consider them. What if I wanted to become an artist? A cook? Or even a fashion designer? We label those who do choose any of these professions as risk takers who tracked off the road and are therefore ineligible for marrying any sensible man’s daughter, bearing in mind that this potential father in law has also fulfilled the role he was destined to fill without a doubt.

Money and company names define an Egyptian guy’s life today, but never interest or work atmosphere. Lots of guys get married at an early age nowadays, yet they would tell you it’s not what they initially had on their bucket list. The social stigma doesn’t allow girls who have graduated to build an even respectful relationship without commitment, and that leaves a guy with no choice rather than hunting down the perfect shabka! It’s becoming a social stigma that we as males have to pay for, because we don’t want to fail our girlfriends at the very end. How is that not a problem? Is it even our own fault for not stopping for a moment and reflecting or fighting back?

I’m not asking all the guys out there to leave their well-paying jobs, break up to travel the world or give up on the high end job they just nailed! I’m just asking people to understand that because we’re not complaining or pursuing interesting jobs doesn’t meant that we are the happiest and most satisfied human beings.

The fact is, we have learned to adapt. Life can be harsh and that needs a guy who is ready to sacrifice his priorities, and that will remain a man’s hardest challenge! I’m just asking the guys reading this to refuse to fill in a role or accept a stereotype without being fully convinced or satisfied. I would say rather be smart and take risks in the best timing. To the girls reading this, have a hand in appreciating that so they can change the social stigmas out there, because it’s coming right out of reality to the pen and paper!

On a side note, to make it clear, if your salary is more than your body weight in thousands, then screw all what I just said in this article. You are on the right track man, no matter what anyone tells you! Hahaha, have a good day!