A couple of days ago, I was saddened by an incident at workplace. Given that we are expected to maintain “professional” decorum, I couldn’t express it then. Once I came back home, the dam broke. I wept for 20 minutes straight until my mom decided it was enough. She then went on to deliver a lengthy sermon as to why crying wouldn’t accomplish a thing and how being so emotionally weak is bad. Being the thick head that I am, I hollered at her accepting that I was, I am and I will be emotionally weak. Mum being herself, didn’t let it go. She kept telling me that I was emotionally attached and had high expectations from people, so, when things didn’t go my way I end up crying and hurt. In fact at one point, I started to agree with her. After a night of sound sleep, I felt lighter and it didn’t really matter anymore. I reasoned that she was simply protecting me from the society which would brand me weak for shedding tears.
So to the big question – Is crying a sign of weakness? More often than not, the standard reply at large to this question would be that it is okay to cry, because I am woman. After all, women and tears are synonymous. I decided to do a little replay in my head the events that eventually ended up in tears for me. I still wanted to cry and I did – locked myself up in the toilet and cried buckets. I tried doing the same exercise again – the postmortem activity – this time around however, I was clearly able to reason and no tears! Voilà! I simply had to get it out of my system. This strengthened my belief that crying is definitely NOT a sign of weakness but rather a defense mechanism to prevent us from going insane.
Sadness in life is inevitable. Circumstances, people and their behavior somehow end up dumping negative thoughts on us. Don’t we all need to clean that out, immaterial of the gender? If you shout it away, you are branded temperamental. If you cry it out, you are branded weak. If you talk it away, you are branded as being clingy. If you smile all the time to ease it off, you are branded as being pretentious. Is there some way to actually to express yourself without being ‘branded’?
I prefer to flush my sadness out by crying. In what way does that make me weak? Buddha didn’t attain enlightenment in a day. Fat chance it happens to me in a day. However, I am getting at it. I don’t let the same ‘kind’ of negativity affect me twice. I learn my lesson the first time around mostly. Does that warrant I won’t be saddened by something else? Nope. Definitely not. We are humans. Humans are supposed to be experience emotions and learn to process them.
Weeping out of sadness or disagreement is perfectly okay immaterial of the gender. Why should men be expected to be stoic all the time? Aren’t they humans too? The society these days has begun to make amends and treat a woman equal to man. Shouldn’t a man be given the same treatment as a woman when it comes to crying? Last time I checked my aptitude at biology, they had a heart too. A hear that ticked and wept just like it did inside a woman. Dissecting the gender debate with respect to crying is a worth an essay by itself. I think, this write up here in Aeon would do more just than me. Do visit this website and read the essay.
The next logical question arising would be, what of fake tears – the crocodile tears. Again, it is a stereotypical generalization that women shed tears just to garner sympathy or get things done. Not all women are capable of doing so. Moreover, I think it is fairly simple to distinguish between anguish and acting. However, when people only have enough ‘intellect’ to brand crying as a weakness, I think it would take a genius to differentiate between genuine feelings and acting.
Crying is natural. Judging a person for it is sheer foolishness.