I’m happy to say that my essay “Why I’m Teaching My Son That Tears Take Courage” has been published by The Good Men Project, a website focused on illuminating what it’s like to be a good man in today’s society.
Here’s an excerpt:
My son cries easily. He gets it from me. I cry over life insurance commercials, sappy movies, real and imagined slights. I usually hide my tears, even from him. When I was growing up, our family motto was, “If you want to play with the big dogs, don’t piss like a puppy.” Girls were puppies by default. They showed the world when they hurt. They cried. To play with the big dogs, girls had to be tough. Which meant no crying. So I learned not to cry. At least, not in public. Still, I try not to discourage my son from crying. I love his sensitivity. I love that he cries when a friend is hurting, that he cries when he feels he’s being treated unjustly, that he cries at all.
But our culture doesn’t raise boys to cry. We expect them to be tough, stay cool, stay strong, buck up, buckle up, keep that stiff upper lip. Which can make them fear, or even disdain, sensitivity, empathy, and emotion in general. Big boys don’t cry. Brave boys don’t cry. Boys. Don’t. Cry.
Please visit The Good Men Project to read the essay, and to share it.
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