For all the men out there who don’t know this: men cry!
Tonight I came home from my sister’s place after learning some interesting news that unfortunately made me feel sad. Simple as that. On the subway I put on my sunglasses. Outside, in the safety and comfort of night I let myself walk with the wind in my face and let the tears fall.
My god, I am crying as I write this! Crying, weeping, sobbing, bawling, screeching awkwardly with the nasal stuffiness that feels almost like choking and you’re embarrassed about your own particular crying “sound”—is this masculine enough?
Actually, for a good example of crying, watch the 2015 film “Forsaken” with Donald and Kiefer Sutherland (spoiler alert) jump to the scene when Kiefer finally decides to come to church.
Reality check: It is a predominant belief that men are not allowed to cry. The shedding of tears does not befit a masculine character. Tears should be reserved for the most extreme of circumstances, and even then it should be only one single tear, or simple a nod of sorrowful recognition. Bull shit! It’s too bad that many good men propagate this idea of masculinity to their sons.
I heard a funny joke the other day. Actually, it’s not so much a joke, as it is a fact about life. It involved a friend of mine, a 20-something year old man, who has lived his whole life under the framework of a masculine identity that forbid crying. And yet—here’s the crazy part—he’s felt compelled to tears quite often throughout his life, and yet forced them back like some terrible demonic atrocity. He was in a grocery store the other day and was looking at the magazines at the check out, and came to the sudden thought: Why aren’t there any images of men crying?
There should be a GQ type magazine in which the men are just weeping! Handsome, healthy, strong men just bawling their eyes out!
Maybe no one would buy that magazine. But it would maybe help inform boys and men that they are allowed to cry.
Why don’t we promote the “image” of the “crying man” more often?
I don’t know.
But I want to say this: I have cried. I have cried because I’m sad, or simply because I need to release some terrible frustration, anger, violence, hatred, sadness, misery—whatever—I want to let it OUT!
Crying is letting out!
It’s not masculine or feminine. It’s simply the release of emotional pressure.
I have cried with friends. I have actually had a friend come into a room and say, “Are you guys crying without me?” and then he joined us for a good cathartic cry fest!
Men fucking cry!
And for all the men out there who think crying is weak, well it is, but weakness is not a fault. Weakness is simply the perspective that allows the clearest perception of strength. After all, you can’t fully perceive the ceiling unless you lie on the floor.
Humans are small. Men are even smaller. We have fictionalized our significance and our strength to compensate for our smallness and our weakness.
Let’s stop lying to ourselves. Let’s stop hurting kids like J., who wind up hating themselves because they think “feeling weak” is wrong.
Let’s just embrace crying. It’s a natural function, like pissing and shitting (sorry for being crude).
Men cry. Everyone cries. It feels good. Let’s enjoy that shit!
Photo: Getty Images