Opinion: If She Wanted to She Would

Men Should get Flowers too


Valentina Llano

“Bella gives me flowers all the time,” said Gasper

As I surf through Instagram reels and Tiktoks, I see this trend of young women loudly claiming the phrase, “If He Wanted To, He Would.” In these videos, they express frustration that their boyfriends are not expressing love to their girls with simple good morning texts or sending them flowers to work. But ladies, what if we flipped the roles?

“Men don’t usually get flowers on Valentine’s Day,” said senior Jaden Gasper. Do you send your man flowers to his place of work? Do you call him handsome and lovely as he wears the most casual fit ever? Are you the one to arrange and pay for the dinner date? I think not.

To me, society’s double standard on heteronormative relationships makes it very women-centric. This concept is colorfully expressed in the capitalism of Valentines Day where hoards of men are seen frantically shopping bouquets of flowers, heart-shaped boxes of chocolates and fluffy teddy bears. But where are the girls? Where are the girls getting their guy friends’ enormous arrangements of roses?

Boyfriends are rarely taken care of and this has been aided by society’s push of the concept known as Toxic Masculinity. “Men have their own emotions,” said senior Jordan Aldrich. Toxic Masculinity is defined by the Cambridge Dictionary as ideas about the way that men should behave that are seen as harmful, for example the idea that men should not or admit weakness. That boys don’t cry, should be tough but on the outside and inside, and ‘Man up!’

“I think that [Toxic Masculinity] stems from a childhood experience,” said Gasper, “like maybe their parents affected them in some way.”

The idea that ‘boys will be boys’ and never grow to be emotionally mature men is a pure, 100% bonafide manifestation of toxic masculinity. I despise it. This negative idea of how manhood should be aids the stereotypes of things such as flowers, sweets or gifts to be “girly” and that a real man should never even be tempted to like such things.

“I think it’s so stupid,” said Aldrich, “because I think that’s [Toxic Masculinity] causes a lot of misogynistic men to put up this act that they don’t need to put on.” This overwhelming wave of promoting such backwards, harmful ideas are why the awareness and teaching of gentle or soft masculinity are so important for young boys. If men are taught at a young age that it is okay to cry, to feel, to be human, to like the color pink or anything deemed as “for the opposite gender,” it can help break away the fog of toxic masculinity. “I think that by teaching men that they have the ability to share their emotions and be more open without the fear of judgment; it would help get rid of Toxic Masculinity,” said junior Laura Gonzalez

Despite it all, some examples of men experiencing “love” and receiving gifts from their significant others are already beginning to be seen. “Bella gives me flowers all the time,” said Gasper.

However, ladies, we still need to pull our weight. Take care of your boys, not just with gifts but with emotional support, giving the space for your boyfriends to express their thoughts, past traumas, memories or topics of interest to them.

Various users of Tumblr spoke on how they like to treat and support their significant others, stating: “Guys have emotional needs and want to feel loved and taken care of too yanno,” “I love when he can cry on my shoulder without hesitation if he needs to,” and “Boys deserve emotional reassurance just like anybody.” They were liked and agreed upon as the general envelope for how boyfriends can and must be treated in equal, loving and respectful relationships.

So buy that bouquet of roses for him. Pat his back as he cries and allows his vulnerability to be shown with you. Be there for them. This upcoming Valentine’s Day, ladies, let’s take care of our men!