History of why men aren’t supposed to cry
Men aren’t supposed to cry or else they are called names – girly, gay, weak are some of the nice ones and there are quite a few nasty ones too. But why? It was always believed since ages that crying is sign of weakness and women can cry because they are the weaker sex. There was a time when a man’s muscles were really important because humans were living in Jungles where they could be attacked by animals or other groups of men. Muscles were important because the wars had to be fought on a regular basis. Every man was expected to protect the country or the land where his clan was growing. That time men just had to fight for the protection of their women and children, they had no time to cry. And that is how the concept of toxic masculinity started to build up to where it is today. It became a fashion to call a young boy names when he cries in public. It became a norm to expect that men are superior and stronger and hence always have to show up their strength to the world. Why? Doesn’t make sense, right?
Rules of the society
Children by nature are self-expressive. A new born doesn’t feel shy in screaming out loud when he/she is hungry. A two year old kid doesn’t feel ashamed taking his/her clothes off in front of strangers. A five year old child believes that he/she is the center of the universe and all his/her needs must be fulfilled. At the age of 7-8, kids start to become sensitive to the rules of society, the rules that are explicitly made and rules that unsaid and are implicit. Explicit rules of the society are taught to kids at a very young age and they are very quick to learn, for example traffic rules etc. Implicit rules of the society are dangerous because they are never spoken about directly. Kids just understand these rules without being told from the way adults around them behave, the way media portrays society etc.
Boys don’t cry is sometimes an explicit rule in households where boys are told constantly that they aren’t supposed to cry even when they fall down or hurt themselves. But many times the message “boys don’t cry” come from implicit rule that the society has set for them. This is dangerous situation. I am really glad that society is opening up to this situation and bringing the awareness around the mental health of boys and men. If women have proven that they are the go-getters in the world, it is time for men to prove that they are equally emotional and need as much support as women do.
What really happens when men don’t cry
- At a very young age, they learn to suppress their feelings. They realize that they are not supposed to feel hurt or upset but it is ok to feel angry and revengeful. Hence, every time they get hurt they get angry and revengeful. Remember the acid attacks on women who rejected those men?
- Tears is a natural way to keep our eyes moist and protected. They also make you feel relaxed. These tears bag fill up as an emotional reaction for human beings. They contain stress hormones which are secreted from the body in form of tears. When boys don’t cry, they never get rid of their stress hormones. This stress keeps building up to a level of massive explosion which again mostly is violent because they aren’t supposed to cry. Remember the domestic violence cases, especially when the husband is stressed at work?
- Tears helps sleep better! This is something that I have experienced, once I cry a lot – I get an amazing deep sleep and when I wake up I am all fresh and positive. Imagine if I don’t cry, I would spend the whole night tossing and turning on my bed with hurt, upset and anger building up inside me. Remember how many men drown themselves in alcohol or commit suicide because they just don’t have a way to deal with life?
- Tears provide closure. Have you ever heard how people are encouraged to cry when their loved ones leave the world? That is because death of closed one needs grieving and there is no better to grieve than to cry. When you cry, you give a closure to what is an open wound. Grieving is not just important at a death, it is important at any occasion that makes you feel extremely sad. Without tears grieving is incomplete and wound remains open.
- Crying in open gets you much needed empathy. This is true for girls. When girls cry, they get enough empathy from all around them – boys and girls. They get solutions to get out of the situation. Imagine if we manage to create such an environment for boys too. It would be so easy for them to gain the much needed empathy in that moment. There would be lot less fists fights and emergency hospital visits.
My personal experience with tears
There are times in my life when I constantly feel stressed due to work or other reasons but none of the reasons are strong enough to make me cry. I literally make myself watch an emotional movie that makes me cry and there goes all my stress flowing down from my eyes. Then I just close my eyes which have just been naturally cleaned thoroughly and awesome sleep that I get makes my morning so fresh and positive. This is the way I deal with my tears.
I am a mother of a 5 year old boy. His favorite colors are pink and purple, he likes to sleep with his cars, cries at every minute thing and is super competitive. In short, he is just 5 year old human being. It would break my heart to pieces if he starts believing someday that something as natural as tears is bad for him.
My message to all the young boys out there
Life gets tough as you grow…
Whether you get beaten up at school or bullied by some bad kids.
Even if you can’t score well in your exams or you get rejected by a girl you really love.
Maybe you will get cheated on by your best friend or even your girlfriend.
You might get mugged in the middle of the road or you might believe
that your parents aren’t fair to you.
It is possible that you have to deal with a crazy professor or a boss.
There will be plenty of moments in life where you will feel like crying, where you will feel that tears are welling up in your eyes.
Don’t stop them, let them flow and you will see how your spirits will rise to face the life once again in all new light.