Last year, when I received a really touching letter in the mail, I shed a few tears in front of my family…
They were shocked. They truly believed that my tear ducts had malfunctioned years ago. While this may or may not be true, I think they believed that because I do not show emotion in front of people. Growing up, I was taught that crying was a sign of weakness. However, at the age of 23, I’m slowly learning that crying is quite the opposite. Being vulnerable does not mean that you are weak. If you cry over everything, then your strength is definitely debatable. If you cry due to emotional or physical pain, then you are not weak. You have a reason to cry.
By default, women have been designated as the emotional ones. They are expected to be caring, nurturing beings that have to get emotional every time something goes wrong. While this is characteristic for some of us, many of us do not show that much vulnerability. Women are constantly the butt of jokes due to our ability to have periods, bring forth new life, and still maintain healthy relationships. For this reason, many of us have shut down the flood gates to our emotions. We’ve accumulated an “I don’t give a f***” attitude, which leads to men thinking we are female dogs. If we show emotions, we’re weak. If we don’t care, we’re bitches. We can’t win.
Men, on the other hand, are told that there is somewhat of a code against crying. At an early age, boys are told to stop being “punks” or to “man up” whenever they cry. Why? Humans cry. Are men not humans?
Where did this fear of emotion originate? Crying is a normal human reaction to pain. Why do we shame people for doing it as if being human is something shameful? They say laughter is the best medicine, but I say, if you feel the need to cry, then do it. Plus, from a medical standpoint, bottling up emotions can also cause health problems such as loss of appetite, weight gain/loss, insomnia, joint pain, and more. Be healthy, cry.