This blog has pretty much been the rants and views of a girl who really can’t shut up. But then I value most of my male friend’s views. We usually have healthy debates and arguments. One such conversation was about how guys don’t express themselves as much as a girl does.
Most of the boys I knew denied this fact. Out of pure ego of course. Except for one fellow. Lets call him Nick (Oh just a random name that popped up in my head) He accepted that it is okay for guys to cry and not feel bad about it. As we spoke further on it I asked him to write about it. Since his was niche blog he didn’t want to do it. So here it is. A guest post.
Aratrika said ‘Men are non-expressive’
It got me thinking deep. That kind of rational thought and a fucking powerslam response that I could give her back, picking instantly from my left brain, my precious. I was like ‘Well, boys and guys may be non-expressive. But real men are expressive. Real men cry’. I even quoted her a dialogue from the recent TVF webseries
Be like a man and cry like a bitch.
Isn’t it true? We humans came into terms with carrying fat and emotional baggage in us but not comfortable with emotional expression that’s most needed. Like Nightfall, if he doesn’t express his emotional state, it just comes out one or another in any medium on anything or anyone, No?. So, why restrict that?
I was watching a video essay on the blistering barnacles ‘Inside Out’ discussing the ways the script handled the 5 core emotions. It’s not just a movie where the lead character is Joy, an emotion of a little girl but how the emotion, Joy’s consciousness is when Joy is trying hard to express and save it for self with a balance. Disney movies in general are blamed for stereotyping girls and boys. Well, there maybe a gender neutral Disney Pixar film cooking up in the studio lab that’s going to be voiced by Jaden Smith in near future but my point is, why there are not many films where men express their happiness or cry their heart out to a women? Is it because most of them subconsciously exist with a hat-tip that ‘SHE’ is a weaker sex?
Even in Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, there is a beautiful scene where the mother cries and shouts for no real reason but pure cathartic expression of her son leaving her to go ahead in his life while she made all the sacrifices for him, the whole 20 years in her life. The lad just stood there looking at his mom, trying to make a eye to eye cosmic connection with his mother, hugs her and departs.
You see, this is the problem. I never saw any of my uncles or my dad crying in front of my aunt or mom or even to other men, in general. Even in this modern era, the granular pre-program of ‘Men are the providers. We should be bold. Expressing our weakness will make others, especially our women, feel bad. So walk on with full confidence. Hide your emo, yo!’ still exists and runs as a demon program in us. Men are not the 24/7 renewable powerhouse emitting strength, boldness and positivism all the time. Men break too. Now and then, our servers might take a temporary shutdown, and it may take its toll and tank the other ‘dependent’ processes, dependent in its own terms. We too need pampering and looking after. For that, we need to accept the fact that we are down. An engineer needs to look it after, not necessarily her but it can also be him, but you get the point and a stereotype that I just broke there, right?
Like most men, I never had the source of inspiration, a role model to refer and express and cry my heart out but I once did. I failed in one of my exams and I felt that I totally let my parents down, after all the professional sacrifices they made for me at that time. I did what I could but I know I didn’t deliver my best. I was so emotional after the result that I cried my heart out to dad saying ‘I neveeerr….ivvvvvv.. expectd…evvvvv..this…I lettt..uvvvvvv.. u bothh…down.
He consoled and embraced me and told ‘Its okay. It’s fine. The results doesn’t matter in the long run. We are happy that you just crossed one of the hurdles in life. It bruised you but you didn’t fall down. You will be fine.’
I said, ‘I am sorry, don’t tell mom that I cried. She will feel bad’.
Dad said ‘Well, there is nothing to feel bad and wrong in crying out to me or mom or to a close one who you feel comfortable with. Express yourself and try to get it over with.’ I cried more which resulted in a headache and insane hunger. Totally savaged all the home food and slept for hours and hours and woke up and felt like I was rebooted.
Fast forward 10 years. I got into a relationship with this lovely female and we were in a situation where we had to fly to different places for our individual life choices. We know we will be strong, we were confident on us and our relationship, we hoped we can make the distance work, though the LDR virus would suck our hearts out. I dropped her off and the moment she said ‘Okay, get home safe da, I am going to miss you a lot. I don’t know how I’m going to cope up without you. Love you’. Those words hit my brain like a shockwave or a brainfreeze and I immediately broke down to tears in the middle of the road, dead shy to take my helmet off. I was nodding my head and crying inside it.
She said ‘Come on, take off your helmet, I need to look you in eye’.
I said ‘No, I can’t’ in a crying voice.
She understood it and said ‘Hey, what happened. Its okay..to… cry. Express it to me. I don’t want you to cry like this but…., you’ll be fine… I mean we will be fine. Come on..’.
It reminded me of the decade old ‘Man cry’ saga my father told me about. I took off my helmet and cried my hearts out. She, being her own self, with an eccentric humor and immense love, burst out to a hearty laughter and said ‘Kadavuley, I’m sorry. Your face is so funny when you cry. I never saw you like this. Come on, please stop. I cannot even hug you in this damn street.’ She held my hands and looked into eyes and consoled me. That minute, that moment, has always stayed with me on top of all the beautiful moments we had. I cried and I realized again, ’What a MAN, a huMAN, I am’.
P.S. Cheers to the great movies, music and some words that gave me instant tears with no control. It smoothed me up and helped me in growing real balls to cry.
Nick wished to be kept anonymous. So I respect his decision. We have also planned for a few more topics as such… So watch out this space peeps!