I can cry. I mean I can CRY. Like a full liquid evacuation of the eyes. I seriously have a never ending supply of tears. I cry when I have emotions, any emotions, in fact. I cry when I'm sad, physically hurt, embarrassed, feel guilty, emotionally hurt, frustrated, out of control, happy, ecstatic, amused, see a Sarah McLachlan commercial, a pampers commercial ... you name the emotion and I'll tell you a time I've cried.
Photo by: India Earl
You know what? Crying feels good. It feels SO good. I'd rather cry for the fun reasons, but I always feel better after a cry even for the not-so-fun reasons. It's hard to explain, but when I cry I let go and when I let go I calm down and I can think more clearly. Please enjoy these photos of men expressing their joy.
You know what? Crying feels good. It feels SO good.
Photo via: Billie Board's Instagram
Why is it that women can cry and men can't? It's so stupid. Vagina = cry all you want. Penis = never cry. We are all human and experience many of the same emotions - so what gives? Well, it's not that men CAN'T cry. It's that a lot of men DON'T want to cry. It's a stupid stigma and a sense of shame and weakness that goes along with it. Where did that even come from? Why should anyone feel shame about having feelings? That is the dumbest thing I've ever heard of. Ever.
I really wanted to know why some men feel this way, so I put on my thinking cap. No, it's a thing. It's the hat I wear when I run. Now, this is my own opinion and theory so keep that in mind before you go all "internet" on me.
"Don't cry, baby. Don't cry."
Photo via: The Gizzy Gang
We pretty much start out telling our babies "Don't cry, baby. Don't cry." Ok, that's fine because we're consoling them and we know crying is their only form of communication. Something changes when they are a little older and they cry because they know they'll get what they want. Honestly, that's ok because we as parents don't really feeling like going insane or having our obituary read Death by Crying Toddler (which sometimes feels like a total reality). I don't even think that's the part that messes our boys up, they are still crying which is essentially expressing emotion - although thoroughly annoying - is very healthy. Are you ready for this genius observation?
I think that it's about the time when boys start throwing temper tantrums - that's when we as parents decide that expressing emotion is a negative thing. Temper tantrums SUCK and no one likes to be on the receiving end of them. But what are temper tantrums? They are outward expressions of big uncontrollable emotions. Yes, sometimes our kids are just being jerks, but not always. You might be a parent with the patience of a saint, but I am not, so this would not apply to you. I think most parents can relate.
Think about this
What happens when a boy throws a tantrum?
We get upset, embarrassed, frustrated and angry.
We yell at our kid to stop crying or send them to timeout or their room.
We discipline them for having and expressing these big emotions.
They learn that crying and expressing emotions is bad.
They eventually stop crying or expressing emotions.
Photo by: Winsome + Wright Photography Co.
Man, we really messed that up, didn't we?
Fast forward to this boy who is now a man in a relationship. He's been taught that expressing emotions, feelings and tears are all bad and end with a consequence. Man, we really messed that up, didn't we?
Crying could be the most vulnerable form of expressing our emotions. Why do we think yelling at a crying kid (teenager or adult for that matter) would ever help? Think about the last time you cried and then someone yelled at you. It most definitely did not make you feel safe, secure or loved. No. Nope. Not even a little bit.
For those of you are about to get married and would like to have children, I hope you can change what we have done all wrong with our boys in the past. Raise your boys to feel secure with expressing their emotions without shame. Please watch Jennifer Siebel Newsome's documentary The Mask You Live In on Netflix. It will help educate you on the way we've thin sliced masculinity and its meaning. Watch the powerful trailer here.