Thursday, March 8, 2012

Real Men Don't Cry

Okay, confession--I'm hooked on The Biggest Loser. Just watching what they go through and the ultimate transformation is amazing. BUT I'm not so thrilled about the amount of crying, especially when coming from the men. There was the week when one man declared he was quitting and going home because he missed his family. It was declared with tears running down his cheeks. At that time he'd only been away for about three weeks. He needed a drill sergeant to slap him around a little. A soldier deployed in Afghanistan for six months misses his family. But anybody can survive without loved ones for a month or so.

When my husband worked for an airline he was gone all the time (in fact it was sometimes a nuisance when he was home, but don't tell him that). Actually a marriage with separations is often sweeter and stronger because you appreciate each other more, and have enough alone time to be your own person.

But the point I really want to make is WHEN DID IT BECOME OKAY FOR MEN TO CRY IN PUBLIC? Now it seems everyone is doing it. Speaker Behner can't say two words without choking up. Even tough guy Vladimir Putin is reputed to have cried when he found that he was reelected to the presidency this week. And on reality shows it's the norm.

Until recently I had never seen a man cry. My father certainly never showed emotion. Boys were brought up with the admonition "Be a man. Don't cry." So is it good or bad that we are suddenly showing all this emotion? Was repressing our true feelings paving the way for expensive therapy bills? I understand that during WWII the people on the island of Malta suffered awful nightly bombing. They wailed, they shouted and let out their feelings in true Mediterranean style. The English were equally bombed and kept stiff upper lips. After the war the Maltese suffered no mental effects. The English had mental collapses all over the place.

So I suppose I should feel glad that real men can finally cry in public. Footballers on winning the Superbowl can choke up. I'm sure Olympic athletes will accept their medals with tears running down their cheeks. But it still makes me feel uncomfortable. In fact if it happens too much I might just cry.

1 comment:

  1. I don't mind if a man cries for a good reason--a death of a loved one, experiencing something very emotional, etc. But I don't like it when men cry over trivial things. As someone who cries at the drop of a hat (believe me, I've tried to not cry. My mom's the same way), I can't really say much. I do admire people who don't cry a lot. I've been with my husband for nearly 15yrs and I've never seen him cry once--not at the birth of our children, not at his father's death, etc. I've seen my dad cry when he's lost close family members and certainly didn't think less of him for it. It's a natural human reaction.