Boys Do Cry

Boys and men should be allowed their emotions.

Sara Torres

When Colin McKelvey, a B-CC junior, was younger and would cry, his father told him to “be a man, stop crying, hold back your tears.” The constant reaffirmation that boys should not be emotional led McKelvey to think that boys should not ever cry. “Yet I did somewhat frequently, so it was almost like I was not ever actually being a boy,” reflects McKelvey.

These statements do not have to be said directly to have a lasting impact on children. Similar to McKelvey, B-CC junior Ronen Israel felt “an emphasis on withholding emotional expression and weakness” while growing up. Though he was not directly told to be more manly, Israel observed the way the adult men acted around him. Israel explained, “I always tried not to cry when I got hurt, even when I was sad, when I needed to.”

This has followed him throughout his life, adults imposing on him “a constant pressure to suppress some emotions subconsciously, just because there would be no way to express them or even understand them.”

Society and the media further push these standards onto boys. Diago Arauz Duarte, a junior at B-CC spoke of his experience growing up with the need to be masculine always looming over him. Like Israel, Arauz Duarte states, “I was never personally told not to do something because of my gender, but it was implied.”

He attributed the implication of this to “the atmosphere created by people around [him] and the media [which] usually kept the ideas of different genders separate and did not usually allow for any diffusion between those ideas.”

This problem is clearly promoted by every part of society and it needs to be set from a young age that there is not one way boys need to act. It is okay for boys to cry and express emotions. It is okay for boys to do traditionally feminine things, such as play with dolls or paint their nails.
We need to support boys’ preferences in how they want to act, whether that be in a more traditional masculine or feminine way.
Boys have a choice, and we all need to act in a way that they both know and feel that they do.