The other day I saw a 5 year old boy wailing after he fell from the stairs at my society’s market. As expected his parents rushed to pick him up followed by some unintentional sexist lines: Stop crying, boys don’t cry, Why are you crying like a girl? People are watching you. This made me question the hypocrite society which doesn’t allow a man to cry. Why is masculinity associated with not expressing emotions? Why can’t a man cry?
Throughout a boy’s childhood through his parents, grandparents, television and movies, and society he is taught that crying is sign of weakness and only girls can cry. Which makes me ponder and ask two questions. Why is it given girls are weak? Why crying is taken as a weakness and not an emotion? Men are allowed to cry but in dark corners and locked inside rooms just like society expects LGBT community behave. We are always taught that it important to let go of our emotions but on the other hand we are also taught to control our emotions because it is a sign of weakness. Which study says that crying is a proved sign of weakness?
A man is allowed to laugh when he is happy but he is not allowed to cry when he wants express grief. There are times we cry because we are overjoyed. Not expressing ourselves, bottling up emotions and society pressure can build helplessness and in turn anger. Unfortunately all individuals need a channel to clear emotions. In case of men, their anger is leashed out on family members.
We need to understand that women are the sole proprietors of emotional expression. Men should be allowed to cry. They should be allowed to showcase their emotions and feelings. Biologically, crying clears your lungs and blocked airways and it is actually healthy to cry. We have to quarantine this myth that real men don’t cry. We may not feel or believe now but such notions will have adverse effect on the society as whole.