Doctors say that tears were created for a purpose. Apart from cleaning the eyes, they relieve the pressure on our minds and that is beneficial to personal well being.
“Crying releases endorphins into the body. Endorphins are hormones that make us feel better. So ironically having a good cry can make you feel better and enable you to cope with your situation,” explains Dr.Edgar Kalimba of King Faisal hospital.
This raises a question of who should cry and who should not. It is commonly believed that crying is an activity reserved for women. Many further argue that a real man should never cry.
Godwin Muhawe, 25, gives an account of his own ordeal, “At one point in time, I had so many needs and was financially unable to meet them.
This left me very confused. When I thought about how sad my parents would be if they knew of my situation, I broke down and cried.
Muhawe did not care who was watching as long as he found relief from his emotional burden. He confesses that sometimes pressure can get too much and the only way is to vent out these emotions by having a good cry.
Depending on one’s ability to contain a situation, Muhawe believes that crying whether in public or private does not deprive a man of his “manhood”.
“Like women, men are also emotional. Emotions are not gender specific. It is natural and human to cry,” exclaims Muhawe.
He maintains that a real man is temperate, compassionate and developmental.
However, some people are from the school of thought that real men should never cry and Augustine Mitugo is one of them.
“I can never cry however stressed I may be. I must not show people that I can cry and that is what tells the difference between men and women,” reveals Mitugo.
According to him, one can drop a tear of two but crying for men is completely unacceptable.
Gloria Agape’s views are as incredible as they are interesting. “Being a man and crying are two different things whose influences on each other are so many miles apart. Even the greatest man Jesus wept, so who will show me one who is man enough not to cry?” she wonders quoting John 11:35, the Bible’s shortest verse.
She is convinced that those who claim not to cry are pretenders.
Josephine Kamarebe admits that she would be more compelled to love a man who cried than one who did not.
“Crying shows that one is human and is vulnerable. “A man who cannot cry he is heartless”, she reiterates. When dating I don’t go out looking for a man who cannot cry. In fact my boyfriend cried when he told me how much he loved me and that is why I believed him,” says Kamarebe adding that true emotions always show physically.
She believes that when someone is very happy, very sad or even when one has mixed emotions, it is possible to cry and according to her, this should raise no eyebrows or cause chaos and debate.
As much as it takes for her, Kamarebe has vowed with all powers within her to change the misconception that real men never cry.
If you are not convinced that this crying business has nothing to do with males’ potential to become real men, before you give it a descent burial, know what happens elsewhere.
Ruth Woodhouse, my most admired writer said, “Of course real men cry! Crying is a natural response of any human being, male or female. Why should men feel embarrassed or somehow less masculine because they cry? They have tear ducts, don’t they? If men were not meant to cry, why were they given tear ducts - or why do they not shrivel up during puberty?”
Many grown men do indeed cry and a lot of them are anything but weak or soft. These men are in touch with their feelings and that can only be a healthy thing.
She wonders why men should be denied this natural process of responding to and handling the stresses and heartaches of life.
So in my view, and that of all other men in touch with their inner selves, I say yes, real men cry.