Boys do cry
Whether it be tears of joy, tears of sadness or a cry for help within, this perception that crying is for the female gender only, is outdated.
Crying is something we all do, have the need to do, feel like doing and some of us feel guilty of doing so. I cry when I watch a soppy film, I cry when my dog goes back to his shared custody home, heck I cry when it’s my time of the month and I have to socialize with people. The point is, I cry, you cry and BOYS cry. Just because generations before us have been brought up in a society where crying is for girls and the weak, doesn’t mean generation Z and forthcoming generations can’t suggest a change.
Why is it that crying and showing emotions of physical sadness determine masculinity and femininity? Its 2019, why are boys still reluctant to admit that they cry. For years its always been MAN and WOMAN and nothing in-between, current society people are identifying as no gender or transgender, which means a lot for these people, including the acceptance to show a more stereotypical feminine emotion, such as crying.
We all, as humans, have the same pre-frontal cortex which is affected by our emotions from the limbic system in the temporal lobe, whether you’re boy or girl. In English, this means when we feel the urge to cry, we can, and sometimes have to. Gender differences doesn’t mean that boys don’t have these bodily functions and express sadness through literal tears just like girls do, we’re all made the same.
Just because boys are labelled the stronger more dominant gender doesn’t change the fact that they can struggle with mental health problems and deeper issues. The stigma around mental health is a whole new level to begin with, however adding boys into the equation is almost unspoken. In 2017, statistics showed that out of 5,821 suicides in the UK, 75% of these were boys suffering silently with mental health problems. Suicide is the most common cause of death for men ages between 20-49 years in the UK.
In December 2018, Tyson Fury, the renown and world famous champion heavyweight boxer, who is 6ft9 and 250lb, competed against Deontay Wilder in the battle to retain his champion and unbeaten title. There could only be one winner for this, for the strongest, toughest, hardest fighter. Tyson Fury explained to the world on many interviews, on the news and social media that 14 months beforehand he had struggled for a year with crippling depression. He had, in his words, ‘everything’. The money, family and children, cars, houses, name, reputation and he still felt like he did not want to be alive. He ballooned to 400lb, was drinking alcohol and taking drugs on a daily basis because of his depression, he admitted to nearly committing suicide and the world did not believe he could be successful in his fight.
Further research from twitter, a poll was created asking whether boys think it’s normal to cry or if only girls should. No surprise when only 6 boys admitted anonymously that they think it’s normal, and 21 other boys choosing the other option of only girls should, disappointing reality. Further to this, a Facebook questionnaire to see if boys would answer more openly when given multiple questions about showing emotions and which situations, they would be more likely too. A better response became of this and indicated that most boys cry when nobody is around because they feel they would be mocked for it. However, a number of boys commented that it is becoming more accepted for boys to cry and even seen as attractive to some girls as it shows sensitivity.
When interviewing Hamilton Flavio De Almeida, a 24-year-old aspiring electrical engineer graduate, he spoke about his struggles as a young black male in modern day society. Quarter African, quarter Portuguese, quarter Spanish and quarter English; Hamilton talks on the uneasiness of fitting in and the need to conform to typical masculine behaviors and stereotypes. When asked When asked “How do you feel about being open and expressing your emotions as a young male?” He responded by saying that “I’m naturally more of an emotional person due to the countries I have been brought up in – Spanish are a very open and loving community, whereas I feel the need to suppress any emotion if feeling it in a negative way in England just because I think I will be judged, because I’m already different to begin with.” And when asked a more direct question “Would you cry in public?” He laughed and shook his head with the simple response “Never!”
For the ones who feel ashamed or embarrassed to admit to similar issues, it’s okay not to be okay and everybody needs to be spreading this message.
One thing’s for sure, boys do cry and that’s a fact. Hide no more and end the stigma.