Saturday, May 18, 2024

When men cry in public…

The strength of a woman goes way beyond her physical abilities and limitations and is often hindered by the patriarchal ideals that societies across the globe have been subscribing to for the past 2 millennia.

Real men protect, real men provide, real men make sure their families have everything they need and under absolutely no circumstances, regardless of its gravity or intensity of the situation, does a real man shed a tear, especially in public.

Different experiences and emotions can turn on the water works; mankind has been known to shed tears of joy, misery, pain anxiety and relief therefore there is no one benefit directly linked to an episode. Though in some instances crying may relive an individual there are cases when the crier is left feeling worse, embarrassed and in more pain than they were in before they cried.

Private clinical psychologist Dr Marleen C. Becht’s paper titled Crying and Mood Change: A cross-cultural study, suggests that “crying is a communicative means of signaling distress and the need for help”.

In the same way babies use it to get the attention of their minders, grownups can communicate right down that alley.

The gender aspect comes in when determining the manner in which men and women express their emotions generally. The most emotional most men get is when their favourite team wins or loses while watching sport. Women, on the other hand, will shed a tear at the slightest provocation to show either joy or misery.

With the advent of the metro sexual man, some men are in touch with feelings and are not afraid to show them. Some Batswana men are becoming more flexible towards being emotional.

“The notion that men are not emotional is a bit mythical; men are temperamental, emotional and tend to use force and anger into making people believe that they are not emotional,” said Oteng Chilume, a radio personality.

He says that men bottle their feelings and feel pressurized to portray a macho attitude in fear of being perceived as weak and feminine.

A slightly older but more conservative gentleman than Chilume on the other hand holds a totally parallel opinion and throws around word like ‘too feminine, sissies and boarder line homosexuality’ to describe his opinion regarding men who have public displays of their feelings.

To give a female’s perspective, Katlego Dikatholo described having a grown man cry in her presence to be rather weird to her because growing up she had never seen any grown male figure in her family shed a tear while she had always used her tears to have her way with her father,
“They never failed to get me out of trouble.”

For now men will be the strong silent type while the women will wear their hearts on their sleeves and be as emotional as they please if it makes them feel better, in any case crying is merely a physical reaction to various human emotions.


Read this week's paper