Recently, I had a discussion on crying with Prateek and he declared that guys who cry are not sensitive but sissy. And he even wrote a blog post “Guys don’t cry” to explain his stand. In his post he has cited 5 reasons why guys should not cry in the form of 5 situations. Like a guy should not cry for love or when someone dies etc etc. Anyway, as I strongly disagree to this conservative/orthodox belief, I decided to express my views and ask readers & visitors their opinions. There is an opinion poll at the end of the post. Do participate!
Three types of tears are generated by the human eye. Basal tears protect the eye and keep it moist. Reflex tears flush out the eye when it becomes irritated. And emotional tears flow in response to sadness, distress, or physical pain.
Apparently Ancient Greek mourners used to catch their tears in vials and bury them with their loved ones to show the extent of the sorrow for their deaths. Even till 18th century, men were revered for their sensitivity and would cry openly in public places, especially at the opera. But somehow down the line, a societal and parental conditioning that “Don’t behave like a girl. Don’t cry. Real men don’t cry” became more powerful and till date remains so.
Studies have shown that emotional tears contain more manganese, an element that affects temperament, and more prolactin, a hormone that regulates milk production.
Before puberty, boys and girls cry the same amount, but by age 18, women cry substantially more. That is because females develop substantial amounts of prolactin, which is thought to cause weepiness. Maybe Sakhi or Nomad can shed more light on this. My point is that the association of crying with girlishness or shall I say the weaker sex and therefore weakness is absolutely wrong.
Every guy hears “real men don’t cry” either from family or friends and so they learn not to while growing up. But those who, inspite of knowing this “taboo” and knowing that their peers may ridicule them, are not afraid to express their grief or sadness; are worth appreciation and according to me have more Emotional Intelligence. I feel they can connect better with their other halves and probably understand women better than their counterparts who are just hard rocks emotionally. Ability to express emotions also shows sensitivity at some level and the modern woman likes her man not to be all gruff and stoic type!
Sobbing out manganese and prolactin is thought to relieve tension by balancing the body’s stress levels and eliminating build ups of the chemicals, making the crier feel better.
A guy can be heart broken or he can feel sad/shocked when insulted (for example Sreesanth in the infamous slap case) or his world may be devastated when his mom/dad/sibling/wife dies. Repressing emotions due to some bogus belief does no good. Crying helps to cope with any form of loss far better. I think its better to express one’s emotions. My Dad had cried when my grandmother died several years ago. But that didn’t stop him from fulfilling all rites and didn’t make him “sissy”. And even if a guy loses control in any emotional situation instead of being all “strong and responsible” as expected, I think it is ok! He is just human! Give the guy a break!
All this is my (a girl’s) perception of the issue. For a balanced view, I asked some guys on my Google Talk friend list about their opinion on the question ” Do you think guys who cry are sissy?” and here is what they said :-
Anshul :- No. guys who are sissy usually do not cry. they are just good at gaining sympathy from girls…there was this saying losers are good at attracting women, thats how they get away with being losers. Laughing(happiness) and Crying both are emotional, one +ve and -ve. So one can do both without any reason…like people go into laughing fit. they can also go into crying fit.Irrespective of guy or gal, humans do all this shit.+ lot of stuff depends on your own nature in person…
Suda :- No.
Sandeep :- hmm.. depends on the situation and depends on in front of whom he cries. I mean, I don’t think he’s sissy if he cries in front of someone he has strong emotional relationship…otherwise yes maybe.
Varun :- Nope.
Here are a few more excerpts from various articles :-
The most likely reason we produce emotional tears is because it’s a means of communication. Before babies can speak, they can cry. The only way for infants to express frustration, pain, fear, or need is to cry. Adults may use crying to bond with other humans. Expressing sadness can prompt comfort and support from peers. Different languages can provide barriers to spoken communication, but emotions are universal. There are also culturally acceptable reasons for crying that bring people together, such as at funerals or weddings. So weeping after that sappy movie might not mean that you are a total wuss after all. In fact, it may mean that you are behaving like a perfectly normal human being.
In fact, tears are increasingly cool, scientifically and politically.
Only a generation ago, Ed Muskie blew his 1972 presidential hopes by shedding a tear about a critical news report on his wife. Less than a decade ago, Colorado Congresswoman Pat Schroeder got endless grief for crying when she quit her presidential run in 1987. Yet today, both Bill Clinton and Bob Dole seem so comfortable blubbering in public — dare one say “on cue?” — that the Wall Street Journal dubbed this campaign the “weepiest on record,” with only iron-man Ross Perot eschewing the snivels.
So tell me guys and girls – Do You Think Guys Who Cry Are Sissy? Do You Think Guys Should Not Cry?
Results will be declared in next post. On a lighter note, here is a video where Chandler says he can’t cry and Joey declares him to be dead inside.
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