Is it Ok for a Man to Cry?

Can you cry? Will you allow yourself to cry? Or do you feel that suppressing emotion is more manly? When is it ok for men to cry?

OK to cry

A response to Jermaine Donaldson’s post When Can A Man Cry. Jermaine explores when it’s ok for a man to cry. He uses the example of Michael Jordan on winning the Larry O’Brien trophy – tick. Sporting hero crying, yep that’s ok.

A Man Can Cry if

The image above from the trenches in the Korean war? Hey that must be a tick. Again, war hero – right?

How about crying at a funeral for a loved one? Achieving your own sporting highlight? Are they ok?

Sure most will give ticks to these … what about the birth of your child? On your wedding day? A baptism? Are we still on safe ground?

Let’s move where it’s a little more shaky – is it ok to cry during a movie? Like the Field of Dreams? We’re still in the sports realm at least. Braveheart? War. How about Dead Poet’s Society? Sorry, but I’m shedding a tear or two!

I commented on Jermaine’s post that I cry regularly, which it’s probably more apt to say I don’t try to stop the tears when they come. I started to think what events or things have made me shed tears recently?

Top Tear Jerkers

Brisbane VolunteersFirst up I remembered the devastation in Australia earlier this year, where Brisbane was hit by the worst flood in 40 years. On January 15 I remember being glued to my TV with streams of tears as I watched the clean up effort get underway. Dubbed Salvation Saturday, 22,000 Australians both locals and interstate travelers converged on Brisbane and surrounding cities to lend a hand. It was an amazing response to a natural disaster and seeing people bond together regardless of race, beliefs, gender, status was overwhelming.

The other vivid memory for me where I literally wept was watching The Passion. I challenge anyone to watch that and not be moved. I sat alone in front of the DVD and pressed play. I remember starting it again as I didn’t expect it to kick off where it did. The next 127 minutes were nothing short of gut wrenching. For those afraid to cry watch that movie. For if you believe to be a man you don’t cry then check out what Jesus went through and then look at John 11:35.

Should A Man Cry?

I don’t know about the rest of you, but for me I have learnt that bottling my emotions until they explode hasn’t helped. I believe to have the courage to shed a tear when you are moved takes more strength than keeping up appearances.

So am I just a big wimp? Too tapped into my feminine side? Or proudly masculine whether displaying all types of emotion? How about you? Can you cry? Will you allow yourself to cry? Or do you feel that suppressing this emotion is more manly?

8 responses to “Is it Ok for a Man to Cry?

  1. Great post! I spent 28 years in the Military where crying was seen as a sign of weakness and branded as being a ‘just for girls’ activity. That said I’m not a heartless beast. I was involved with the British Forensic Teams in Kosovo where I witnessed the excavation of mass graves. Each soul uncovered had a story. Awful acts of inhumanity had been bestowed on upon thousands of innocent men, women and children. Was I moved to tears? Almost, at times I was. ALMOST! I hear you say! I guess when you’re exposed to such abhorrent scenes that you desensitize yourself to a degree otherwise you’d literally breakdown. But of all the things that ever really bothered me in the longer-term was the effects that the war had had on simple domesticated animals that had been left to fend for themselves following the exodus of people into neighbouring countries like Albania. You’d often see packs of dogs wandering around in pitiful states. This was what had really got to me and regularly moved me to tears in my private time. I hated seeing it. Why dogs and not humans? Probably because of their inability to comprehend what had happened. Why were they suddenly scared, alone and hungry when before they’d been a family member who had previously enjoyed the companionship of their now removed owners. I imagined that they’d be confused and sad. No one could explain why it had all happened. And now they were left to fend for themselves in the harsh winters being shooed away by invaders who dressed as i did.

    I’ve always been a softie for animals. I guess it’s because I often prefer them to humans.

  2. Wow Corri,

    I like the deep look you take at the reasons why we accept or reject crying. Personally, I grew up with two brothers and one sisters. I’m the child of a guy who had five brothers and two sisters. Basketball was nice. Football was king. Getting your brains knocked out and getting up was the status quo.

    In short, the deck was stacked for the men to be menly men. I still don’t like crying. However, I find reasons that are worthy of this feat. Being a parent has totally screwed me up. Throw in that its a little girl and I’m toast. The protecter/nurturer in me comes out all the time.

    The most I think I’ve ever cried in my life is from issues of the heart. I cried when my parents seperated. I cried when my high school sweetheart dumped me. I cried when I found out another young-lady I was dating was cheating on me.

    You can break my arm, bruise my ribs, give me a concussion and I’ll get up and keep it moving. Yet, its something about “family” and relationship that is very important to me. Hope this brings clarity.

    • Hey Jermaine, thanks for dropping in. Mate, I grew up in a similar environment and was constantly “being tough”. But like you parenthood has changed me completely – it must bring out the softer side 🙂 Funny, I didn’t cry when my high school sweetheart dumped me – pretty depressed and angry though! Cheers

  3. Hello. I don’t tend to get sad and cry at funeral, weddings, the birth of a child or just because I am sad. There are several old movies that I watch that definitely bring tears to my eyes and that seems to be the primary thing that evokes tears in me. I will also get choked up if I am in a very vulnerable state like being totally frustrated with life in general. My family has been through a lot of heartache and it’s not getting any better unfortunately. I don’t think anyone should cry at the drop of a hat but at the same time there is no reason to hide your tears if they are sincere and heartfelt.

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  4. As a woman, I cry whenever I feel the need to and when I feel that I won’t be judged by crying. However, I know there is a double standard for crying when it comes to men. Some think men shouldn’t cry at all—“be a man”, keep up the tough exterior and hold it in, but that’s unfair. Men should cry whenever they feel they need to and whenever they feel they won’t be judged. So if it’s at a wedding, the birth of a child, a tear jerking movie, or even a joke that makes you laugh so hard tears flow you, should cry. I’d rather be around a man who can fully express his emotions (crying included) than one who holds it all in.

  5. doherty peter c.

    “Zeal without knowledge is the sister of folly.”

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