Who said men have no feelings?
A friend of mine from diaspora once told me that he was feeling ashamed because he couldn’t make it on several dates on February 13 this year. There were certain big dates that he had to miss: birthday, Valentine’s Day, that major work event, anniversary; he had been invited in advance by his very close friends, but due to unavoidable circumstances he failed. Due to this, he could not face his friends because he felt that he had failed them. He even confessed that on several occasion he cried for not honoring the invite.
That is a white man. How about African men? Many a time, growing up I would hear “Men do not cry, it is wrong and unethical no matter the situation, men are meant to be strong and never to show tears” This was so tormenting to many boys. You are beaten, don’t cry. A girl fights you and yet you can’t show tears. You lose a very close relative but as a man don’t cry. Is that even normal?
Do we even have real and fake men? A real man does not derive his power from chasing women down streets. He does not need to drink himself silly to feel powerful, nor does he need a band of ‘Yes Men’ to boost his morale. A real man does not derive validation from female attention, nor does he derive his sense of power from his politician father! Now you can tell who a fake man is.
It is very true that men cry less than women because of reasons linked to both nature and nurture. Men have significantly lower levels of prolactin (a hormone found in emotional tears) compared with women. So, the physiological explanation is hormone related. But there’s an obvious cultural reason too. In short, men have less of the hormone that enables humans to cry emotional tears, and when they do, society judges them for it.
We all are the creation of nature. No one can suppress his or her feeling based on gender.
By shedding precious pearls in the form of tears, many feel better. Sometimes a person can be in a condition so bad that without being emotional or rather crying he cannot overcome his feelings. There always comes a points (incident) in everyone’s life that hits you so hard that without crying it may be impossible to move on.
It is just the other day I saw a man crying in the name of love. His wife had left him, carried his children and never explained the reason behind leaving him. According to the man, they had been happily married for twelve years. They loved each and supported each other, and their neighbors knew it. This man could not hold the tears; he broke down.
Whatever big dates exist in your relationship, if your guy can’t make it due to a family or work thing, he’s definitely going to feel guilty for a long time to come. You don’t need to say anything; he knows he’s done wrong and will ideally try to make it up to you. Actually, maybe that’s something women don’t hear enough. Men feel bad about things. We may seem like we don’t, but we do. In fact, I polled a bunch of my friends to find out the most common causes—and their answers might surprise you.
It is very true that men are known as the less emotional sex; they are supposed to be bastions of stability; the rock in the middle of a storm; unflappably cool no matter what the circumstance. Of course, it’s not wrong for men to get emotional. It’s unhealthy to keep one’s feelings bottled up and shoved deep down inside.
But when is it okay for a man to display his emotions through crying?
In the New Testament, it is prudent to say that the ancient Hebrews wept as part of their supplications to God and before going to battle. The Gospel writers did not feel that tears were a threat to either the manhood or godhood of Christ and dutifully recorded that “Jesus wept.” Perhaps drawing inspiration from this emotional display, early church thinkers considered tears a gift and a natural accompaniment to spiritual, even transcendent, experiences.
In my research on this article, I was amazed to note that the great theologian Thomas Aquinas, like the ancient Greeks, made the distinction between the very public weeping that had characterized Hebraic culture, and the idea that it was frequently best to cry away from people’s prying eyes. With this I have to agree that many men cry but few are seen crying so as not to be characterized with women who are weak in their emotions.
Culture’s view of male crying has continued to evolve into our day. While we still expect men to cry less than women, in some cases it has now become more acceptable for a man to cry than a woman, at least when it comes to our public officials. There is a time when Hillary Clinton publicly cried and her tears in New Hampshire brought some compassion, but also criticism that such vulnerability made her ill-suited for leadership.
You will have to agree with me that many see tears as proof that a man is sensitive and humble and thus well-rounded.
In our today’s life, people do encourage men to let loose whenever the urge hits. Some adhere to the “you can’t squeeze tears from a stone” philosophy. I think the key to male crying lies somewhere between these two edicts. A man need not be perpetually stoic. There are, of course, times when we feel sorrow or frustration so acutely that it must be let out. Yet there’s a balance between being so sensitive that a Hallmark commercial can make you weep and shedding some tears over something truly significant. Just as there is a balance between releasing some man tears and turning into the kind of blubbering mess that makes everyone feel uncomfortable. Here are some appropriate and inappropriate times to get your cry on.
According to me and I believe that many will agree with me;
- The death of a loved one. There are few things more painful than the thought of separation from those dearest to our hearts. Telling a man not to cry during this time is useless and it does not help. Let him cry because tears are a way of healing.
- When you first see the new life you and your wife created. Many a man has found himself choked up as they cradle their newborn son or daughter. A man staying in a marriage without a child for over ten years, you expect him not to cry as he receive a child in a labor word from his wife? Be serious for once.
- When you propose to the love of your life and she says yes. This should be one of the happiest days of your life. You found your best friend. Yes, you may not cry for people to see, but this is a very emotional experience when a lady says “Yes, I will”.
- At the altar as you get married. Everyone in attendance loves to see the husband-to-be get a little misty-eyed as his blushing bride walks down the aisle. How many men do cry as they see their love of lives walking on the isle to say yes I do? There are a number of them.
- When your beloved car or truck, especially your first one, gets totaled. There’s a bond between a man and his wheels that when severed, can really sting.
- Describing a really spiritual experience. Feeling touched by a higher power can be really affecting. In the most holy place praising and worshiping the Most High God for His mercy and Grace upon your life. He has done it again. You look back at your life and all you can do is to cry as a way of appreciating God.
- As an athlete, after the final game/match/event that you will ever play in. You’ll never be in as good shape again. You’ll never experience this level of camaraderie again. You’ll never push yourself so hard every day. Go on and let it out. It is during Athletics games when many Kenyans after winning go down on their knees and cry the tears of joy for making it.
But Men should not cry for things like these;
- When you favorite sports team loses. I get really into sports. But crying when men who don’t know you from Europe lose a game means you’ve got way too much invested.
- When those around you are looking to you as a source of calmness and strength. Sometimes your loved ones need you to be a rock.
- When you don’t get your way. Little boys cry when they don’t get what they want. Men are disappointed, but resilient.
- When you’re frustrated. Crying because your overwhelmed and don’t know what to do is a cop out. You don’t have the strength to think of a solution, so you cry so you don’t have to think at all. Man up and figure out your next move.
There are many reasons as to when men should not cry, but as for
me, the above are the major one.
My fellow men please come out and be human. Do not pretend to be strong in public but very weak when you are alone. Just like women, we are human beings; who are complete and capable of all human weaknesses. Being real is better than being fake.
“Sometimes crying doesn’t mean a person is weak, but it means they have a heart”- Abishek Tiwari