I told him that I cry rivers sometimes. No, I am not weak. In fact, I am so strong that crying is an act of pride. I am proud to shed tears, I am proud to cry rivers, and I am not ashamed to say it out loud. After all, they are my eyes and my tears, no?
I was in my Humanities course about gender equality (you already see where this is going) and this gentleman (you should already see where this is going), with all of his entitlement to his own opinion, said that crying is a sign of weakness. He added that instead of crying, one should put this energy into something “positive” and “constructive”. I replied to him with a very heated comeback, but for the sake of not stirring the pot one more time, let me restate my rebuttal in a structured manner.
First off, crying is a sign of strength, not weakness. Our body stores different emotions that are released in the shape of crying. To be able to embrace these emotions and let them out for good, you need to be strong. Crying is tiring; it is like a physical exercise. I know for a fact that after I’ve cried, it feels like I just ran a marathon and I know that eventually it will make me feel better.
Second of all, crying is not a “female” thing. I do not care what gender stereotypes have been teaching us all this time… it is okay to cry, despite your gender, believe me! Actually, the only time I saw my father cry was when his father, my grandpa, passed away. After that moment, I gained so much respect for my dad. I was able to relate to him in some way. The 11 year old version of me thought it was fascinating to see her dad cry. It is so silly to see it that way, but I know for sure that he didn’t cry in front of his siblings (which might be because they are on the other side of the planet). However, seeing him cry made me feel at ease because I knew he was letting something that bothers him leave his body. With this, it takes me to my next point…
Crying is a sign of taking care of your mental health, which is crucial at any point of your life. I once heard in a YouTube video that “crying starts with energy developed in your body and it is your body’s way of just purging and releasing that negative energy from your body.” I mean, going with the “positive vibes only” spirit, who would want to store negativity in
Although I just focused on tears of sadness, there are also two other types of tears: tears to get rid of irritation (like when you cut an onion) and tears of joy (thanks for the information asapSCIENCE). Crying is human, and tears are nothing to be shamed off. After all, why were we created with the reaction to cry if it would eventually be useless?
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Originally published in Bandersnatch Vol. 47 Issue 11 on March 28, 2018