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Men crying : Take it Outside! • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

Men crying

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deloughy
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Men crying

Postby deloughy » Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:48 pm

For the love of God, I need opinions on this and I felt strange posting it in Writer's Block Party.

I hate when people cry. Especially men. All of my friends are men and when they call me up upset and sometimes....sniffling....I hang up. I hang up or I put the phone down and walk away. I can't take it. It makes me feel awkward. Something about it just makes me angry.

That being said - for some strange reason, I love when men cry in dramas. Something changes when it's fiction. Perhaps it's because they aren't annoying me, or maybe I know it's acting, or maybe it's knowing that I can hit STOP at any time. For instance....

****SPOILER ALERT****

If you keep current on The Walking Dead, you'll know Merle died in the last episode. He didn't just die - he became a walker. When Daryl found him, he cried his little eyeballs out.

There are already myriad memes about this, people making fun of him, my idiot roommate included.

It didn't bother me when Daryl wept for his brother. I felt really bad for him.

I think a lot of people are conditioned to expect this unbreakable ruggedness of men, like nothing is supposed to ever upset them. I think, then, that that mindset leads us to feel uncomfortable when men cry. At least, I think I can say that for me.

I guess what I'm getting at is....does another person's crying make you uncomfortable? How do you feel about men crying as opposed to women? Is it any different?

Reason I'm asking (yes, this has to do with writing, after all!) is because I have a character in my book who is rugged, strong, and looks like he's built for ancient battles, but when his lover dies, he weeps. My friend said this makes him look lame and he doesn't want to talk to me anymore because I'm "ruining" (his words) my very awesome character. Of course I disagree with him and think he's an obnoxious idiot, but I am curious how other people feel about men weeping. Picture the strongest, manliest man you know crying. How do you feel?
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callaen
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Re: Men crying

Postby callaen » Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:56 pm

Personally I feel extremely awkward around anyone crying - I feel like anything I say will set off some kind of bomb.

More objectively, though, I'd think the manliest man in existence bawling his eyes out probably has a very good reason for it, since he's (usually) not going to want to be seen doing just that. So it's seems more serious than, say, a teary-eyed wannabe-Barbie who cries because she can't remember where her car keys are for the 7th time that day.
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rosebud
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Re: Men crying

Postby rosebud » Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:53 pm

To me, crying is a natural reaction to a traumatic event. It doesn't bother me a bit because people tend to open up to me and vent their issues. Sometimes it's better to allow the person to excuse themselves so they can regain composure. I offer a sincere hug when appropriate, or just hand them a tissue. In either case validating a person's feelings is always appreciated.

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TNE
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Re: Men crying

Postby TNE » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:09 am

Having a manly character breaking down shows us he is vulnerable and human. That he's not an entire cold hard surface. Usually, I noticed this happens when MC loses someone close or cares about but it's also worth noting that for the reader to feel the MC's pain is that the reader has to care about the character that is being killed off or lost.

Personally, I think it's only appropriate when the MC or guy has had something that deeply affects them or shatters their whole world. Restraint is a method pretty much all guys abide. But letting go of that restraint is harder than keeping the river at bay. Cry me a river JT! :lol:

Although, with all kidding aside I think it's only lame when a guy cries at the most smallest of things. Like when a guy gets all teary eyed just because 'To the Left' by Beyonce came on the radio after his girlfriend broke up with him. :?

Ps: Not to mention they played the song so much that I still loath the song to this day.

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shadowwalker
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Re: Men crying

Postby shadowwalker » Tue Mar 26, 2013 7:00 am

I hate criers no matter who they are. By that, I mean people who cry every time they stub their toe or get frustrated - I feel like yelling "Grow up, for heaven's sake!". I don't have a problem with tears at funerals or births or really traumatic stuff - as long as they don't get all hysterical.

Maybe it's just my "stoic Midwestern" upbringing though... 8-)
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LMGilbert
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Re: Men crying

Postby LMGilbert » Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:50 am

Just put on Desperado by the Eagles, any big old toughie will tear up fast enough.

Crying seems to be an involuntary response to various kinds of stimuli. We can't always control it and cry at the appropriate times, like in our bathtub, alone; no, we have to burst into tears whenever it's the last thing we want to do. Does anyone remember the death of Chuckles the Clown on the old Mary Tyler Moore show? Mary was blubbing away when everyone else was laughing and joking over their fond memories of Chuckles. Then at the funeral, everyone else was crying appropriately, and Mary couldn't stop guffawing loudly.

People who only cry at the "right" moments are robots; really not very interesting at all. The big brawny guy crying because his lover dies, is crying at exactly the right, and most boring, moment. What if he's all stoic over the tragic death of the lover, sits dry-eyed through the funeral feast or whatever, then in the heat of battle he sees or hears something that makes his eyes water and his nose go red? Some little thing that you'd never connect unless you know the deepest secrets of the relationship....

How do I feel about men, as opposed to women, crying? Some people say women cry more easily, that we are more emotional by nature. Others say look around, maybe women cry more often because we have more to cry about. But I think in our culture we are conditioned to believe that women cry over any little thing, we are weak and emotional, so whatever we're crying about, it can't be all that important; however, if a man is crying, it must be really really important, because men are big & strong and in better control of their emotions. I tend to buy into that, and feel much more sympathy for a guy crying than for a girl, even though my intellect tells me to question that knee-jerk response.

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shadowwalker
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Re: Men crying

Postby shadowwalker » Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:06 am

"It seems rather like wanting to be ... a writer, rather than wanting to write. It should be a by-product, not a thing in itself. Otherwise, it's just an ego trip." - Roger Zelazny

It's really not that hard. Just tell me a story.

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updog
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Re: Men crying

Postby updog » Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:20 am

Another stoic Midwesterner here. I never cry in front of people. Never. Not even when my dad died. But note I said "in front of people", and I'm a girl, so...

But really, I can't believe how many of you act disgusted by a man crying. Talk about cold. I wouldn't want to know a man who wouldn't cry when he lost a good dog (Old Yeller, Where the Red Fern Grows). Or when his brother died, or he lost his best friend. I mean, why should a man not cry when someone he love dies? Have you ever watched an old man talk about their experiences during the war? Man, you guys need to watch some documentaries. Old man tears are powerful. Powerful. The kind of tears that mean something. You shouldn't get angry over a man crying. Some things should be cried over.
"Is it weird in here, or is it just me?" ~ Steven Wright



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shadowwalker
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Re: Men crying

Postby shadowwalker » Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:51 am

"It seems rather like wanting to be ... a writer, rather than wanting to write. It should be a by-product, not a thing in itself. Otherwise, it's just an ego trip." - Roger Zelazny

It's really not that hard. Just tell me a story.

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mammamaia
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Re: Men crying

Postby mammamaia » Tue Mar 26, 2013 12:28 pm

to me, both in person and in fiction, it all depends on how he cries... and if the way he does fits his persona...

so, if a sexy he-man sobs and wails like a baby, it's a total turn-off and i'd want to run [or turn the page]... but if tears just run down his face, i'll want to wipe them away and cuddle 'n comfort him [or read on and see if some smart babe does]...

on the other hand, if a kinda wimpy sorta guy breaks down and cries all-out, i could handle that...

may not be fair, but that's human nature forya...
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