“A tear is a drop of clear salty liquid secreted from glands in a person’s eye”. What is it about these tears that it is womanly when women produce them, but it isn’t manly when men do? Why is the site of a man crying considered to be intolerable and unacceptable? Why is it the morbid fear of a parent to see his or her son giving in to his emotions?
“Stop crying like a girl” or ”Boys don’t cry” are some familiar phrases men are accustomed to hearing whenever they shed a tear. The rational for this partial treatment lies with the stereotype of the ultimate man. He is fearless, brave, powerful, and of course never cries. This stereotype has existed since time immemorial and continues to eat away the quality of life of numerous children and adults.
Forcing someone to suppress their basic sentiments doesn’t make them stronger. It adds to the burden of emotion they carry. In the quest of creating the ideal man we are raising a human who is deprived of the basic outlet of emotion, and one fine day he will let it all out. All the frustration, anger and exasperation will be let out in one go, which will probably result in someone else crying(or worse).
Subduing one’s sentiments is not the same as subduing ones weaknesses. True strength lies in confronting our problems and finding solutions, not in suppressing our emotions. Before we encourage a stereotype we must consider the damage it inflicts on the lives of others. It is high time that we part ways with the negative and unrealistic typecast of half of the population. There is a lot more to live up to than a quixotic stereotype. The sooner we realize this, the better.