Should men be ashamed to cry?
By Carlos Razo
Arts & Entertainment Editor
I would not for an instant consider myself to be a macho guy. I would rather have a Smirnoff Ice than a beer. I would rather watch the Tony awards than the Super Bowl. Maybe you have already begun to question how much insight someone like me can give on the topic of being manly. Or maybe, just maybe, you are someone just like me who cannot bench anything over 50 pounds but is comfortable enough in his masculinity to admit he has cried every single time he watched the film “Up.” Does that sound contradictory to you?
Over the years, it has been believed that men are designed to be strong, logical thinkers with little room for explicit expressions of feelings or emotions. Women, on the other hand, often deliberately display strong emotions. Whether it is screaming over whatever boy band is on the radio or crying over daytime soap operas, women generally have no problem overtly being, for lack of a better word, emotional. Recently though, some women have strived to lessen those stereotypes that so often make them look like the weaker sex. With that in mind, I firmly believe that many men can do the same on the flip side without damaging their ‘man card.’ What stops so many guys from openly displaying their feelings is beyond me. Is it because some guys feel that being emotional equals weakness? Perhaps the reluctance to show feelings is the weakness personified. The real issue at hand is less of how men want to be perceived for the sake of simply being macho, but how men want to be perceived to society by keeping in line with social norms. It is possible for a man to be sensitive and strong at the same time. This is something we all face on a daily basis—whether or not to be exactly the person your impulses tell you to be, or to succumb to the norms society has put in place. Men should be encouraged to be leaders, protectors, and providers, but more importantly, men should be people of character, integrity, and morality.
Again, I would not for an instant consider myself to be an extremely macho guy. I would rather watch “Wife Swap” than “Cops,” and I would rather listen to “Wicked” than Aerosmith. Maybe you have already put this article down and continued your day, believing me to be a wuss. Or maybe, just maybe, you saw something in this article that you agreed with and, like me, strive to be the best guy you can be, regardless of what regular ‘guy standards’ pressure you to be. At the end of the day, if we cannot be comfortable with who we are and what we feel, we should not consider ourselves human beings. If a man cannot be comfortable with his own masculinity without being open to his feelings, I would not consider him a man at all.