Breaking down the prejudice against dewy-eyed hunks
By Julie Wright, Columnist
Have you ever stopped to think about why a lot of guys don’t show their emotions as easily as women often do? The expression “to make a grown man cry” seems like it’s a terrible thing that only happens in extreme cases. A terrible breakup or the loss of a loved one or seem like perfectly acceptable excuses, but if the reason is purely emotional the tears are expected to cease.
1. Guys are people too.Some ladies may not want to believe this, but men are the same species as us. They also have the ability to experience the same emotional range as us, yet society has made some sort of rule that they can only express the emotional range of a teaspoon. This is a travesty. Crying is extremely therapeutic and it can bring people closer together.
2. Crying lets off steam.Having something bother you can create a lot of tension, and you’ll probably feel much better after you let some of it out through your tear ducts. Even if you’ve just had a stressful day at school, crying can relieve some stress.
3. Crying creates a connection. When someone cries, they’re at their most vulnerable and you’re able to see a more exposed side of the person. If someone is willing to let down all their walls and show you their soft interior, no matter if that person is masculine, feminine, both, or neither, it’s a sign of great trust and allows you to connect on a deeper level. This deeper connection is lost however, when what we define as traditional masculinity blocks a person’s ability to tap into and express their emotions.
4. Crying allows you to be more empathetic. The experience of sobbing, or even tearing up in front of another person, allows you to empathize should anyone tear up in front of you. You’ll know exactly how to react and what to say. Chances are you’ll either take the actions that were taken, or that you wish were taken while you were crying. Again, society’s definition of masculinity does not include tearing up; it’s more of a “work-hard-make-money-and-reproduce” sort of vibe. People who identify as “traditionally masculine” aren’t as comfortable crying in front of others or accepting comfort, let alone applying the comfort they received—or wish they’d received—to their crying companion.
5. Crying really isn’t a big deal. It’s not a weakness or something bad that people have to be ashamed of; if you cry, you cry. And when you’re done crying, you feel better and you go on with your life. Instead of bottling it all up inside to potentially blow up with feelings one day, you just have to have a good cry every once in a while and you’ll feel much better.
If you identify as masculine—even if you don’t—know that it’s ok to cry. Crying doesn’t make you any less of a hunk, and everyone likes a softie.