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Men don’t cry

I raised four boys.  The culture told me and them that it wasn’t okay to cry.  I said to the boys ” f*ck the culture, it’s okay for you to cry.”  How could I have possibly raised four healthy boys into men if they couldn’t cry?  What is it about our culture that says “it’s sissy for men to cry or they need to cry privately?” That is such a load of BS.  I know if I had gone along with the culture my boys would have had the most difficult time in their relationships.  Relationships are hard enough, but to tell men to shutdown and don’t cry is sissy, or to be vulnerable is unacceptable does not make for a happy life.

I’ve been with my boys when they had to cry and it was okay. They felt safe enough to do it, it opened their heart up, and they were able to express to me what was going on.

I recently dated this wonderful  man in his middle 40’s and he has three children, one of which is a 13 year old boy.  He told me that one day while his son was playing in a football  game he got injured. He rushed lovingly over to him, and whispered in his ear “don’t cry, don’t cry, wait until you get into the car and then you can cry.”  I began crying when he shared the story with me knowing full well how it would effect his son in a very deep way as he got older. Also sharing with him that I was told by society that the only way you raise strong man is by telling them you don’t cry and I told him I knew it was a bunch of bullcrap and I encouraged them to feel freely to express their emotions. He believed I was not helping them to be strong.

What does it mean for a man to be strong? Does it mean he cannot cry, he cannot be vulnerable, he has to be invincible and never show someone he trusts his weak or vulnerable side? Does that make him any less of a man?  Or does it make him more human, genuine and honest?  I know I’m a  strong woman, but I have my weak moments when I fall apart, and I would want to be with a man that allowed me to do so,  Again, some men feel it’s okay for a woman to cry but not a man.  When and where did we pickup this double standard?

So many men and women feel it’s a sign of weakness for a man to show his vulnerability or for him to cry, and I say that’s the only way to being an authentic and honest and loving human being.  What do you think?

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This entry was posted on Thursday, December 15th, 2011 at 2:22 pm and is filed under Friends and Colleagues. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “Men don’t cry”

  1. Stephanie Potter Says:

    It’s true. My first thought when I was just reading the title was that …and girls are never taught how to feel angry. What a sad thing for our tender hearts.
    Reading this piece is a wonderful invitation to look at what it means to be authentic.
    Thanks, Sherri

  2. Best blogs of 2011 - Sherri Rosen Publicity, New York City Says:

    […] Men Don’t Cry-Where did we get this notion that strong men can’t […]

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