I found it amusing when I was watching a football match at a friend’s place last Saturday, and his girlfriend made some funny comments. After the match, a player that scored two goals for his team, -which enabled them to win the game- started crying; apparently out of joy. I was touched watching him shed tears, and I even had teary eyes myself. The match was such an emotional one for him, as he just recovered from an injury that had him off the field for over three months. And on the first match after his recovery, he scores two goals for his team against a formidable opponent. Then my friend’s girl says “why is he crying now? Just because he won a match? Is he a baby?” What has crying got to do with anything?? I kept quiet because it wouldn’t have made sense trying to explain anything to her, but luckily her boyfriend interjected and told her that the player had every reason to cry considering the circumstances he played under. “Ehnnn Ehn? Is that why he would be crying in front of TV cameras? Is I were his wife, I would be so ashamed!”
I wonder why some people believe that macho men should not or do not cry…it is more like a taboo for a man to be seen shedding tears. I remember when I lost my younger brother to Asthma many years ago. When we went to the village to bury him, I was weeping because I had lost a brother, a friend, a companion, someone so young, with so much life and potentials. Everyone that came near me instead of consoling me, would admonish me. “You are a man, stop crying!” “If you are crying now, what do you expect your sisters and mother to do?” “Be a man, brace it up. Men don’t show emotions!” My heartache didn’t allow me get angry at that time, but I just continued with my griefing. After all, no one was going to arrest me for crying. But in retrospect, it is really appalling how society doesn’t expect men to show emotion. We are expected to box it all in and never crack.
Unfortunately, this approach has affected a lot of our relationships negatively. You see women complain about insensitive men and you hear them lament about not knowing when he is angry or what to do to sooth him. Men have been forced to keep everything on lockdown, that they don’t even have the guts to cry in private anymore. Now, when a man is prevented from letting out anger, frustration or pain through tears, he must let it out through some other means….which turn out to be a more violent means. You would see this man yelling, throwing things and lashing out at people, because of all his pent up emotions which he cannot express through tears. I ask again…what is so wrong in a man crying? If God didn’t want us to shed any tears, he would have reserved tear ducts for the female folks only.
Some men have gotten insulted for letting out tears, so much so, that they vow not to shed any tear for anyone again. I have a friend who has vowed that the only time he would ever cry would be at his mother’s funeral. This was after he got mocked in school then, after he sent a crying video to a girl, begging her to come back to him. The video went viral and dude quickly got a nickname for it. I remember also, when Becky broke my heart and I spent time on the phone, crying and asking her what I did for her to cheat on me and blah blah blah. She decided instead to tell all our mutual friends that I was a cry cry baby and she was glad that she was dumping me for someone too mature to cry. I heard later, about how her mature sugar daddy turned her into a punching bag, before leaving her for a new hottie.
I have always believed that people hating something doesn’t make it wrong, and people liking a particular thing doesn’t make it right. Becky ridiculed me for my show of emotion, Nelo loves and appreciates the fact that we can relate on the same emotional level. Because I know what it’s like to cry, I understand her pain whenever it is expressed through tears. You would never find me ask dismissively “Is that why you are crying?” Men who ask this sort of question do so because they have learnt to box emotions and deal with issues without getting teary. They have thus undermined the pain behind tears, and when they encounter a woman crying…they do not see someone in pain letting it out through tears, they see someone who is incapable of handling issues. That is why you would hear some guys complain “she cries too much” “she loves to cry”. Because they are a product of a society that made them believe that crying reduces one’s worth, they are repulsed by tears and consider it to be a thing of weakness.
However, recent studies have proved that men who cry tend to have higher esteem and better lives than men who are afraid to show emotion. Researchers found that college football players who believe it is alright to cry, say after the loss of a big game, had a higher self esteem then those who were ashamed or embarrassed. Men who aren’t afraid to hug it out with their fellow players were found to be happier as well. Crying is a process of letting out and I believe that everyone should be allowed to show emotions when the need arrises…whether male or female.
Take care guys!