I think it is no coincidence that this topic showed up on three different blogs today.
I was struck by this post on A Cup of Joe today. Judging by the 250-and-counting comments, it looks like a popular topic in general, but what really struck me about the post was the conversation she had with her husband about men not crying. That they are taught from a very young age (through comments and teasing from other kids) that boys do not cry. Boys do not show weakness. Boys do not show "mushy" emotion.
Fast forward 10, 15, 20 years. Boys do not know how to express themselves.
Am I making a generalization? Sure. Is this true of all boys? No. But is it true of many? Yes.
I have seen my husband cry about 3 or 4 times in almost a decade that we've known each other. (I wrote about that here.) However, not once has my husband let himself cry in front of me when he admits his mistakes. The only time he did was after the fact in expressing relief that I didn't blow up at him. Otherwise he is stoic. Does not break down. Does not show any remorse emotionally. In fact, he barely even shows any emotion. Says the minimal words necessary in those conversations and then moves on. It makes me hurt for him.
Made me think of Scabs' post today. Even as her husband was cracking inside and about to burst, he gives a 5-word response and then silence.
Even Leo over at Master Myself Master the World mentioned today that he was uncomfortable blogging (i.e. sharing his emotions in writing, even anonymously), referring to it as a "woman thing." And that makes sense. I don't blame him for thinking that way. We teach boys (through our actions, our movies, our culture, our words) that emotional matters are women stuff. That showing emotion is effeminate.
Why are we raising our boys and men to hold it all in? Why are we teaching them that to be a man you can't cry? Can't release your emotion? Can't show others that you are hurting? Gender roles make me so angry sometimes. So angry.