Is it OK for Men to Feel Sad?

The obvious answer is yes, of course. But they often do not show it.


The obvious answer is yes, of course. But they often do not show it. Crying is the universal indicator that a person is in emotional or physical pain, but men are far less likely to cry than women. More often than not, they are often derided if they do.

The gendered notion that crying is for sissies (read: women) is not an entirely modern phenomenon. While there are plenty of biblical and historical examples of men crying — from “Jesus wept” (John 11:35) to Walker Cronkite’s on-air breakdown after JFK’s assassination — unless you are Roger Federer losing for the umpteenth time to Nadal, the male cry is usually met with uneasiness. Oftentimes, it’s interpreted as weakness, which is, in turn, interpreted as womanly. Even Laertes admits that when he is done shedding tears for Ophelia, his “woman will be out” (Hamlet, Act 4, Scene 7).

The male cry is usually met with uneasiness.

In her famous TED Talk on vulnerability, shame researcher Brene Brown tells the story of a man who came to her book signing and asked why she didn’t study men. When she asked why he thought it was “convenient” that she didn’t, he tells her point blank, “When we [men] reach out and be vulnerable, we get the shit beat out of us.”

Scroll down to load more…