On the radio this morning, the question of the day is 'Should Men Cry?' One of the DJ's said that he doesn't cry and he's taught his son's not to cry also. He said that crying is weak and no woman wants to be around a man that cries. Male and female callers are phoning in to voice their opinions on the subject.
I think men should be able to express their emotion and if crying is a result of that then that's fine. I think it can be unnerving to see anyone cry, man or woman. Sometimes you're caught between thinking you should reach out to comfort them to wondering if they want you to reach out to them. One of the men, that I saw cry, is the epitome of masculinity. My friends and I called him 'MAN'. When he cried, it was because he was really frustrated with some things that were going on in his life and he felt like he had little control over the outcome. Seeing him cry was difficult. I figured that if this man that can seemingly do everything, felt helpless then the situation must be worse than I ever knew. I let him cry on my shoulder for a minute or two. He composed himself and I never brought it back up to him or anyone else. I didn't think any less of him. The fact that he allowed me to see him in such a vulnerable state made him more endearing. Eventually, he was able to work through that rough situation and he came out on top. Even now, years later, after everything is all good I would never disrespect him by teasing him about how he broke down that day on my couch.
I think that's the big difference between men and women when it comes to crying. I've seen men be relentless toward a friend that has cried in front of them. I can understand why a man wouldn't want to cry. I've seen guys get teased years later about a moment of 'weakness'. Maybe if men felt more comfortable crying, they'd be more comfortable expressing other emotions.
On the flip side, sometimes I think women make it hard for a man to feel safe enough to express such extreme emotions. We want the man to be 'the man' and we can be very rigid about what that means. Maybe we need to develop a more holistic view about what man-ness is.
So, what do you think? Is it ok for a man to cry?