Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Men Weeping

Second post of day. I watched the end of the Wimbledon final on Sunday afternoon, and I was disgusted by the not-so-subtle ways in which Scottish/British Andy Murray was encouraged to cry for the camera. Poor boy; it didn't take much. But it was ghoulish all the same.

Here's Brendan O'Neill's take, and I agree with every word, except the "dour" the sub-ed no doubt put in the headline.

(Every time an English newspaper prints the word "dour", it tempts a Scot to make the magic X on the ballot that will destroy the UK. Scots read the sports pages and watch a lot of telly, so if I were English I would really watch it with the the knee-jerk anti-Scots remarks and slurs. They won't seem so harmless and funny when the Union is ripped in half.)

I'd counsel women not to let their hearts melt just because a grown man cries. Some men will cry to manipulate women, just as some women will cry to manipulate men. So don't think tears are automatic proof of a softer, domesticated side. Uh uh.

Update: Whoever in Glasgow who's desperately searching for "charicuristics of serraphic jews", you're looking for characteristics of Sephardic Jews. Why, I have no idea. I hope it's for good.

21 comments:

Sarah said...

Actually, I don't think it's possible for a man to melt my heart by crying. Not at all. The only man I put with crying is my dad, and that's cause he's a Marine and so when he cries, it's because someone close died, or because his oldest daughter lives across the ocean from him.

Once, a priest of mine shed a few tears while relating his recent trip to Rome.

Okay, so I would make a few exceptions for other men to cry. But very few. I don't like weepy men.

An exboyfriend used to cry more than I did, and I hated it. During fights, out of "sympathy" because I was crying, during movies... Melt my heart? No, I think there's actually no quicker way to make me feel suddenly chilly.

Perhaps this makes me sound b*tchy. I would be okay with tears from my husband if it were over something like the death of a loved one, or anything to do with our hypothetical children (their births and major milestones), or at the playing of the Star Spangled Banner. ;) But please, I'm emotional enough on my own. There doesn't need to be two of us.

Seraphic said...

Hmm. Yes, I too am generally cold to men crying, although not to poor old Andy Murray, obviously, since the poor man seemed to be carrying the whole UK on his slim back and a hundred journalists and photographers were thinking "CRY, MURRAY, CRY!".

And I will cut men some slack at funerals of friends and family, and after having to have a pet dog put down or a horse shot. But that's it. Unless he's B.A. B.A. can cry all he wants--not that I've ever seen him do it--as long as we're behind closed doors and we pretend later he didn't.

Anonymous said...
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Eowyn said...

I have no problem with men weeping/crying. Just as with women, it can be difficult if it's a constant thing, but that just might mean there's something deeper to be addressed or some healing needs to happen.... and of course with maturity comes an understanding of when crying is just childish (think St Thérèse and her Christmas conversion). But crying is the healthiest of things and I think it's beautiful when a man (or a woman, though for us it's more socially acceptable) is able to be vulnerable enough to cry in front of people.

Seraphic said...

Shameful is leaving cowardly anonymous comments on a combox where uninvited anonymous comments are not welcome.

Seraphic said...

Vulnerable means "easily wounded." Call me a mad trad, but I don't think easily wounded men are all that masculine. I still shudder when I think of all those British men weeping in the streets over Princess Diana, a woman who had been being treated as a figure of fun in the tabloids for at least a year previous to her sudden death.

umm...John? said...

Better? Now answer for yourself with scripture, not just what "feels" right to you.

Single women look to you for good advice. Stop trying to stomp any humanity or compassion out of them.

You're still trying to make real life live up to unrealistic Hollywood standards.

Seraphic said...

Who are you? And why are you so interested in the "It's Alright to Cry" philosophy for men?

Seraphic said...

Incidentally, the only man alive who is allowed to give me orders is the guy who put these rings on my finger.

Seraphic said...

And over five hours is a long time to spend on a girl blog, Mr Scary. Slow day at work in Louisville?

TGWWS said...

Ahahaha!

It is true that men cry in the Bible. But most of the cases I can think of involve serious tragedy or something. Like Joseph being reunited with his brothers. Jesus facing the apostasy of Jerusalem. Serious stuff.

And anyway, I'm not sure why we need to proof-text this sort of thing ...

For the record, my dad (a most manly AND sensitive man) has cried but once during my parents' marriage so far. That was when yours truly, #1 child and under two at the time, wandered off down the city street (yikes!) and was lost for a while. Again, serious stuff.

I have great compassion for men who cry frequently, or at less-than-serious stuff. Great compassion, but no respect.

Charming Disarray said...

First time my ex boyfriend cried I just sat still in shock and total numbness. I didn't feel any pity for him whatsoever, and any sadness I felt over our goodbyes just totally vanished. I don't think I'd have a problem with a man crying in theory, but being in the presence of one, especially one who's crying over something trivial, is just weird. Pretty sure I kind of despised him for it without being totally sure why; it was not a conscious decision, but it was there.

My grandfather cries a lot, but he's Italian, in his nineties, and served in WWII during which he was held in a Russian prison for quite a while, so as far as I'm concerned he can cry as much as he wants. Maybe that's why my reaction to other men crying is "What the heck are YOU crying about?"

And angry guy, this is a natural reaction for (I would guess) a lot of women. It's certainly not something I was taught.

Nzie (theRosyGardener) said...

Some of this is cultural - I hope it's not stereotyping to back up Charming Disarray, but there are a lot of Italian families in my area of the US and the men were a lot more likely to cry than anyone in my family (central/northern European mix), girls or boys. I went to my friends' grandfather's funeral, and it was very different from my own -- much more demonstrative (which is completely understandable, and I'm not criticizing - just pointing out).

I think it takes some strength of character to be honest about what one feels, but this should also be tempered by a sense of propriety. I don't mind men crying for good reasons in the slightest, but all grown ups need to know that tears can't go on forever. I also think tears aren't necessary to have depth of feeling, and sometimes women (generally, not here necessarily) treat their ways like the only ways (and thus expect men to cry, talk about their feelings, etc., like we do with each other, when it may not be their way of addressing emotion at all).

~Nzie

Nzie (theRosyGardener) said...

Some of this is cultural - I hope it's not stereotyping to back up Charming Disarray, but there are a lot of Italian families in my area of the US and the men were a lot more likely to cry than anyone in my family (central/northern European mix), girls or boys. I went to my friends' grandfather's funeral, and it was very different from my own -- much more demonstrative (which is completely understandable, and I'm not criticizing - just pointing out).

I think it takes some strength of character to be honest about what one feels, but this should also be tempered by a sense of propriety. I don't mind men crying for good reasons in the slightest, but all grown ups need to know that tears can't go on forever. I also think tears aren't necessary to have depth of feeling, and sometimes women (generally, not here necessarily) treat their ways like the only ways (and thus expect men to cry, talk about their feelings, etc., like we do with each other, when it may not be their way of addressing emotion at all).

~Nzie

M said...

My ex came to see me after we broke up and cried in front of me for at least half an hour. While I think the tears were genuine--he was a pretty emotional guy--I can't help but feel he didn't try to hold them back because he thought it could be used to his advantage. It tore my heart to pieces because essentially I was still in love with him (wasn't long after the break-up)BUT it cemented for me the reason I ended it. He was not emotionally mature, a boy, not a man, and often manipulated me.

So when I think of men crying, I think of my Dad giving away my sister at her wedding or this poor boy trying to control my emotions.
Two very different things. I'll take the first one, never want to encounter the awfulness of the second again..

okiegrl said...

I agreed a lot with the article Seraphic linked to in her post. I'm not a big fan of Oprah-type emotionalism, but I don't have a problem if guys cry for a good reason. Men have emotions too. I think it's more important to look at why he's crying. If it's a big loss or disappointment I think crying is natural. I'm more skeptical if the crying seems to be manipulative.

sciencegirl said...

My dad gets choked up easily (like at commercials, lol), but he doesn't exactly sob. And I've never seen him cry on behalf of HIMSELF!

american in deutschland said...

Hmmm, interesting. I also freeze up in the presence of a crying male -- and a crying female, most of the time, although that's gotten slightly better as I've had more experience. I don't think we should feel badly about reacting poorly when men cry -- or other things that deflate our social scripts -- but also realize that it's VERY cultural. Ancient and medieval men had a whole culture of crying (and kissing), just as their cultures of masculinity were quite different from ours. Of course, we have our own culture of masculinity and femininity now, but still. I'm SURE there's something very northern European, very British and Canadian and Yankee going on when we react with horror to tears. Have you ever read Angela's Ashes?? Or any other books about Irish people?? Of course, not many of the men in these novels would make very good husbands --! But still.

I don't think I ever saw my dad crying until my mom died, and then he fell to pieces, and boy, THAT was awesome for my feelings about masculinity and men. But I hardly ever saw my mom crying, either, and when I saw it, I had the same confused feelings of fear and contempt. I also hardly or never saw either of my parents puking in the toilet, or acting out in anger, or (obviously) having sex, or expressing emotions. I'm not so experienced but it seems we can't quite cut ourselves off from all of these things in intimate relationships. CERTAINLY they are not all appropriate with people we don't know well, or aren't already intimate with.

american in deutschland said...

And maybe I should add that I was a young teenager when my mother died... so, I'm not passing adult-level judgment on anyone's reactions... but our family's difficulty with managing emotion did not benefit us during that time. But that's all only directly to do with the topic!

Nulli Secundus said...

@umm...John?:

My sister has left your comment on. How embarrassing for us men.

"Stomp on humanity." "Hollywood standards." "Quote scripture."

Your choice of words makes you sound like a whiner. OK, fine. Been there, got the T-shirt. Did emo. Didn't work and never will.

Quick answer: go to church, listen to the nice man in black up there in front (black is /still/ cool a decade after The Matrix), shape up, dry up, pick up and be a man. Get some exercise, lose some weight, grow a pair, get off your Wal*mart pedestal ($0.99!), learn a skill outside school and get real.

Oh, and:

a) This blog is not for you: you are not a member of her support group. It says so right on the RH bar. I'm permitted through right of family but I care not to comment unless provoked :p~~~

b) Scripture? You didn't show an example, where's yours? Here's one: Luke 6:41

c) Since when has Hollywood had standards?

d) If you are focusing on the readership's humanity then your focus is on the wrong place. Try to appreciate divinity.

NS

Seraphic said...

O poppets! Have I mentioned recently my two big (if younger) brothers?

Hee, hee, hee!

And now, come to think of it, I also have two nephews.

My menfolk are all awesome!