When Boys Bawl: What Women Really Think ... Of Men Who Cry

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Dawson cry face
Is it ever OK? Or, thanks to what society has taught, does only a weak man cry?

The first man I ever saw cry was my father. I was probably about 12 or 13, and he cried over the death of our 16-year-old Golden Retriever, Ralph. My father didn't just cry, but sobbed that type of uncontrollable tears that come with losing something you love more than life itself.

It wouldn't be until over a decade later that I'd see him cry again. This time it was over the death of our 15-year-old Golden Retriever, Dreyfuss. And just as before, he sobbed for days, unable to truly function as a person in this world without his best friend, and again, when he had pretty much gone through all the tissues in the tri-state area, I didn't see him cry again. He didn't even cry when his mother passed away.

My father, although a very emotional man, never let us see him cry. I don't know if, after the loss of his mother, he wept the same way he did for Ralph and Dreyfuss, but we never saw it. It's not that he was above crying, as some gender-based stereotype, it was just something he didn't do.

However, now in his mid-60's, the man gets teary-eyed over everything, and I'm of the realization that he was probably a crier all along. What human doesn't shed a tear from time to time?

But crying, if you're a man, still doesn't sit well with some people. As men, they’re supposed to be the stronger of the two sexes and keep their emotions under lock and key. Personally, I think this is a disservice to both men and women, but let’s move on.

We asked some women their thoughts on men crying. Is it ever OK? Or, thanks to what society has taught, does only a weak man cry?

It's awesome.
"I love it, actually. I dated way too many macho ass dudes who were not in touch with their emotions at all, total victims of the societal expectation that men be tough always, and men can't cry. My husband cried a little at our wedding, and so did my father. I cry all the time — when I'm angry especially — so it's nice to have men in my life who will actually let their emotions be felt," says Caryn, 30.

Lisa, 33, gave a simple, "Thumbs up!"

It's healthy.
"Nothing wrong with having a healthy emotional response to things. I learned early on from my dad that it's perfectly OK. I mean, sure, if you'd prefer to bawl your eyes out in private, then do so, but a man should never EVER be ashamed to shed a few tears at weddings, funerals, or that scene at the end of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles when John Candy admits he has no home," says Heather, 33.

"If the guy doesn't get emotional over something occasionally, I feel weird when I can't hold back the tears. We are all human. I like people who are in touch with their feelings, no matter the gender," says Chandra, 27.

It's OK, but only with a good reason.
"A guy that never cries because he's stuck on some stupid macho ideal will likely just wind up pissing me off, while one that may not cry much but still expresses real emotions is fine. Meanwhile, a guy that isn't afraid to shed a tear when shit gets real will have my respect, but one that blubbers over every little thing (and it's not because, say, he's in mourning or has a mood disorder — those don't count, been there) will try my patience," says Becky, 29.

No, thanks.
"As someone who rarely cries, I can't. Unless they have a legit reason (which is how I feel about crying for myself), I can't handle it. One glistening tear down the cheek I can handle. You can still feel without having a waterworks display," Autumn, 25.

"No. Nope. Nopedotcom. Having dated several men who turned out to be bigger criers than me (which is a feat), men who cry cause my vagina to hermetically seal and my heart to turn into a lump of coal. Crying is only okay in these three conditions: friend/family/pet dies, watching Old Yeller, an anvil dropped on foot. That's it. Finite," says Sarah, 34.

Continuing Sarah’s thoughts on the subject, Anna, 32, added, "The Red Pony and Where the Red Fern Grows. And maybe some chick flicks where everyone dies. Otherwise vaginas should shut like a Venus fly trap [at the sight of a man crying]."

What do you think of men who cry? Tell us in the comments below.

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