Saturday 3 December 2016

Why are men who cry in public considered brave?

Giving men a pat on the back for shedding tears must be enough to make some women weep

Nick Curtis

Published 10/01/2016 | 02:30

Barack Obama Photo: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais
Barack Obama Photo: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais
Ian Madigan Photo: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
George W Bush Photo: REUTERS/Jim Bourg
Vladimir Putin Photo: REUTERS/Mikhail Voskresensky
David Beckham Photo: REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes
Paul Gascogine

The issue of men weeping - and, in particular, of male politicians blubbing - wells up again. Barack Obama's tears for America's murdered children as he called for more gun control has been claimed by supporters as a sign of his deep emotional response to a national tragedy, and by Republican foes as an act of "fascist" fakery involving the deployment of an onion, or some other lachrymal enhancement. But beneath the party politics is the issue of whether it's good or bad for politicians to cry, and whether tearful men are given greater emotional credit today than weeping women.

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I'm roughly of Obama's generation and was raised to believe it was okay for men to share their feelings.

That said, the heroes of my childhood were still stony-faced, emotionless types - John Wayne, Clint Eastwood - and even "emo" pioneers The Cure told us, albeit sorrowfully, that Boys Don't Cry.

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