Real men ARE allowed to cry

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On my drive to work I often listen to the radio, like I’m sure most people do. I’ve never been a big fan of commercials, and talk shows aren’t usually interesting enough to honestly relieve me from the frustration of trying to find actual music. This morning however, a particular conversation caught my ear.

A 25-year-old woman called in complaining that she was on a second date with a guy and he cried while watching The Notebook – as if that made him less of a man to her.

  1. The Notebook is a dramatically sad movie. Most people can relate to love and loss, so it’s not really surprising if someone cries during this movie. I know I’ve sobbed while watching–no exaggeration.
  2. That’s a pretty intense movie to pick to watch on a second date in general. *Let’s pick a movie that will make us feel really upset* So this is totally on you.

She went on to say, “it wasn’t Brian’s Song or Remember the Titans…it was The Notebook. That’s a chick flick.” This really annoyed me. So it’s OK for a man to cry during a sad football movie, but it’s not OK to cry during a love movie? Men can apparently have feelings about sports, but not about romantic affection or heartache. One of the male radio hosts concluded the conversation with, “well it sounds like one day you will make a very understanding wife.” She laughed. She obviously didn’t understand the sarcasm.

It’s no wonder so many women claim that men are emotionally disconnected at times – women are setting expectations of masculinity that make men feel weak and undesirable.

I’ve seen a lot of men cry. My father, my brother, my grandfathers, boyfriends, friends… Tears are shed for a lot of reasons. Sometimes sadness: the idea of losing your wife to illness, remembering your sister that was taken from this world too soon, saying goodbye to a beloved pet, watching your best friend drive away because she’s moving. Sometimes joy: reunions at the airport, Sam’s speech at the end of Lord of the Rings, the birth of a nephew, reflecting on your youth through a reminiscent song or poem.

Ultimately this insinuates that tears are a sign of weakness. This is anything but true.

You are not weak just because your heart feels so heavy

Emotions make us human. Emotions and experiences make us who we are. Just yesterday, I cried. Once because my daddy called me just to tell me that he loved me, and I’ve been in a funk all week. And once because I was watching a show and one of the characters died. Sometimes our feelings come out of our eyes, and that’s OK.

If I cry during The Lion King, that doesn’t make me weak. And if I don’t enjoy or cry during Titanic, that doesn’t lessen my femininity.

So men, be you. Because I still think you’re hot.

Zac Efron crying

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