Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Emotional Handcuffs

I used to be elusive. I used to never let anyone know how I was feeling, what I was thinking, and I never wore my emotions on my sleeve. High school was the last time that applied. I smiled and joked and generally committed myself to a bouncy disposition.

It's been thirteen years, and since then I've gone to three colleges, toured all over the country, visited two others, and returned a lot more jaded, and with less care about who sees what I feel or hears what I think. And so I more or less say what I think and share what I feel, openly.

The only problem is, being an adult means you're supposed to have that filter installed. Now I get looked down upon for letting my emotions known. Telling someone about your bad day is burdensome, writing in Facebook status about a philosophy on love is childish, and not acting like everything is perfect as soon as you walk out your door is weak. My favorite part? This all comes on the feminist heels of how being a man doesn't mean you have to suppress everything and how it's okay to cry.

But don't believe it. Don't you ever, ever believe it. No matter how much a girl or woman may say she doesn't mind it if a guy shows vulnerability, or even if she says she likes it when a guy cries because it shows he can be sensitive, don't listen. Because while she may mean it in that moment, looking back, when she's in a bad mood or the waves in the relationship start getting rough, she'll remember you and how let her into that soft, delicate place inside you, and she'll see you as "whiny" - which strips away the main characteristics a man prides himself on: strength and security. And you won't be able to unring that bell.

So don't cry. Never cry. Never lament. Never let her in. She'll sucker you into a false sense of security then use your lapse in stoicism as a tool against you down the line.

Men: You are never free. That is the sad, unalienable truth. Men are raised to "suck it up and don't bitch" all their lives, and women are taught to see us that way from birth. A few months in a liberal classroom or a idealistic book she reads isn't going to reverse thousands of years of gender roles and expectations. Sure, some women may not like a quiet, enigmatic, silent rock type (though most do), but no woman will ever be with a guy that's as emotionally open and exposed as she is. They don't want to hear about our problems. Sharing our complaints makes them feel like they're suddenly mothering a helpless child. And we all know the double standard of letting them shed tears about their ex-boyfriends, the death of a pet, the loss of a house, being sick, or just simply venting during their "week". The capricious current of sympathy flows in only one direction between man and woman: From us to them.

Never be too proud to comfort, but never become too comfortable to be comforted.

We men get to be the physically stronger and faster sex, so the balance of that is that we don't "get" to sob and bemoan about life the way women do, no matter what persuasive words they may try to convince us with. It's unfortunate but it's true, and always will be.

And the ironic conundrum? While all men will know exactly what I'm talking about, women will see this entry about not being able to complain... as whining.

Thus, further proving the point.


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