Emotions. We all have them. We all experience them. Love, anger, happiness, despair, jealousy, joy… they are part of the human experience. Those emotions will manifest themselves in various forms. Tears? They can be provoked for a variety of reasons. Sadness? Of course. I cried at the funerals of two of my aunts, and of my grandmother. Strangely, I felt I couldn’t cry at my grandfather’s funeral (I was a teenager back then, less mature, and perhaps I believed – wrongly – that I had to be strong for others), but in times of remembrance, I have welled up as I think of him.
I have cried from pure, overwhelming joy. The birth of my daughter was the single most happiest moment of my life, and I did not know I could feel so much love as I did in that moment. I get emotional for all sorts of reasons: if I watch The Lion King, I am guaranteed to get something in my eye, every time.
Somewhere along the line, the idea was fed into society that to be a good man, you had be a stoic man, displaying nothing of what you felt. Everything – especially pain, grief, anger etc – had to be bottled up, but this even extended to displays of affection and of love. Why did we come to a stage where masculinity got defined by not letting others know how you feel? Who does that benefit, exactly? I hope one day we do away with outdated gender stereotypes, and stop placing people into boxes.