I’ve noticed it at funerals, movies, theatre and recently during heartbreaking Haiti coverage, no tears from men. Why? They really should cry. Possibly testosterone sets up a warning roadblock with a sign that reads, “Pussy. Sissy. Hold back those tears!” My friend Gladys, a girly girl, cries at the drop of a pin. Once in college, when she stepped on a caterpillar, she wept uncontrollably over lost potential. I’m not asking guys to do that.
Yet I do know of a few men who cry – two to be exact. One burst into tears when his mother died and hasn’t stopped crying since. A straightlaced guy, now he lets it all hang out, and is a bit over the top. For instance, if you tell him your cat got spayed and the stitches got infected, he sobs – even when he knows that the vet said that the cat will heal one-hundred percent. The other crybaby guy is an occasional cross-dresser and a dear friend. We watched a rerun of Shirley MacLaine in “Terms Of Endearment” and dark tears poured down his cheeks – yet it could have been the sting and smudge from last-night-out’s mascara.
Now Obama had one genuine tear captured in a side shot when his beloved grandmother died. But it didn’t stimulate a flow or start up a trend. Maybe if men brought on the tears they’d stop waging wars, sending soldiers to die and ease up their stress by relieving their cardiovascular systems. They might even live as long as women.
Why can’t men stop the stiff-upper-lip nonsense? I wonder if Freud, master of the possible unconscious, ever cried his heart out and got wet all over. I wonder if Hamlet, had he shed a few tears, might not have turned sorrow into swordplay, or taken out his rage on poor Ophelia. Now Alexander the Great might have had some potential for weeping, but he didn’t have the lifespan to develop overt balling.
I’d like men to cry. I think they work at not shedding. I saw a little boy sobbing and weeping at the mall. I consoled his mother telling her the moment would pass around puberty.
Tom Hanks said in “A League Of Their Own,” “There’s no crying! There’s no crying in baseball.” Stop the macho Tom, bring tissues into the dugout.
I pose the question, why can’t a man be more like a woman?