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Should men cry?

Discussion in 'Spiritual and Mental Well Being' started by Mebs, May 2, 2016.

  1. Mebs

    Mebs Active Member

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    Wow, some nice debate and opinions being expressed so far :)

    I shared my article with someone recently and they pointed me towards another section of a book that has a lot of striking similarities with my article. Perhaps you guys can have a read of it here: http://psychohistory.com/books/the-...d-abuse/chapter-2-why-males-are-more-violent/

    It makes some fascinating points. One I found particularly interesting is the fact that boys need far more love and attention during their developmental stage because of the effects of different neurobiological compositions to girls.
     
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  2. BurtMeister3000

    BurtMeister3000 Staff Member

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    That was a very interesting read, I got about half way through and much of that rang true. The rest I will read later.
     
  3. Corvid

    Corvid Active Member

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    I'm taking the point of view of a boy growing up, and what advice, RE crying and emotions, could be given to him. If he lives in a normal suburban area and goes to a public school, he needs to keep his emotions in check. None of us made the world that way, and perhaps it should be another way, or could be another way, but it isn't. If someone wanted to conduct a controlled experiment where they built a community based on open male emotional expression, a community where everyone shared the same beliefs, then sure, I'd like to see what happened there. Would the resultant men emerge strong and balanced, would they be capable of functioning in our imperfect societies once they grew and left the controlled community? It could go either way, and it could rely on the individual.

    Something I've heard a few times relative to learning is that you've got to learn the rules before you break them. Once you've grown, and you're a man, you can do what you want, within reason. When you're a minor, you're more or less a ward of the state. If you "go your own way" as a minor, there are going to be consequences. The school system will push back, the police will push back, your parents will push back, other children will push back. The most likely outcomes today are some kind of reform school, psychiatric medication or a juvenile prison.

    Boys are not men. They need friends, they'll want girlfriends and they need to be safe. If they cry openly in front of others, they'll be bullied, beaten, shunned, they won't get invited to parties, they won't get picked for football. They will be social outcasts at their most vulnerable developmental stage. As well intentioned as some people might be, it's unrealistic to expect a different outcome in general society. Boys in that situation become higher suicide/depression risks, so the problem would be shifted, even grown rather than solved.

    As regards what it means to "go your own way", it has no definite meaning. It's purely subjective. Decide what's best for you, what aligns with your own morals, and do it. I favour the outlaw perspective, personally. I don't agree with lots of things in society, but I can't fight all of it all at once. And I can't do much good in prison. I don't think cannabis/hemp should be illegal. It's a ridiculous corrupt law in it's origins. But should the individual march up to the police station with a bong shouting fight the power? Hell no. The same individual could probably smoke their whole life discreetly and never get caught. Which is easier and smarter? Adapt to your current environment, or at least appear to adapt to it. There's also the Tao of being like water to consider. :D
     
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  4. FossilHead

    FossilHead Staff Member

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    As usual, nicely-stated Corvid
     
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  5. BurtMeister3000

    BurtMeister3000 Staff Member

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    Yep, I get that going your own way is subjective that is what I was alluding to and I wasn't suggesting that youth need to be rebellious, just true to themselves and their own nature. Going with the flow also should be applied internally also so you can live in the moment instead of the past, that is where happiness is found after all.
     
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  6. Mebs

    Mebs Active Member

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    So how would one raise a young boy in this culture do you guys think? Tell them it is okay to cry and let them harden themselves up if they do get bullied, but still keep their own ideals in check; or opt to teach them societal mannerisms to cope and adapt in the world - i.e. don't cry because of the repercussions?
     
  7. FossilHead

    FossilHead Staff Member

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    Tough questions!

    I think that telling a young boy that it is okay to cry might only work if you are setting that example by displaying your emotions.....they will be more likely to follow the example(s) they see rather than what you say, anyhow, and what their peers do (or do not do) is likely going to have an even greater effect that what dad does, too!
     
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  8. BurtMeister3000

    BurtMeister3000 Staff Member

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    That is difficult one. I teach my son to defend himself and play fight with him all the time, I make sure he knows at least to cover up so if he does get into fights with anyone, he can protect himself from any serious harm worst case. But emotional torture for me has been longer lasting and seemed to affect me more than any physical pain I have had to endure. I got picked on plenty when I was in school and I kept my emotions under wraps, so I don't know if this will prevent anyone from being bullied, but it is most likely they will follow the crowd. However there were kids in my school who were the "bookworm" type, who never really bothered joining in with the crowd BS and they seemed perfectly happy to be left alone and "go their own way".

    I will mostly raise my son to be healthy and happy and I'll try and give him every advantage possible. But I will also try and instil in him the value of self reliance and positivity and get him to prove to himself he is capable of doing whatever he puts his mind to.
     
  9. Corvid

    Corvid Active Member

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    Yeah, a lot of people say that happiness is in the moment, but I find it's also retrospective. A modern historian/philosopher named Alexander Grayling wrote a book called: "The Heart of Things", sequel to: "The Meaning of Things". They're both books of essays on life themes, one of which was happiness. He talks about how people have the wrong approach to pursuing happiness these days. As in, pursuing it is the wrong way to get it, as happiness is a bi-product of a life situation rather than something you can attain directly. The most interesting part was when he talked about happiness often being retrospective. You might be living your day to day life, and one day you look back and realise that a certain time was the happiest part of your life, or that you were truly happy when you were working here, or studying there, or traveling somewhere. But at that time, you were just living, and may not have been aware of how good it was.
     
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  10. Corvid

    Corvid Active Member

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    I think the role of a parent, a father especially, is to prepare a boy for the real world. The world is going to be much harder on men than it ever is on women, and like TFM says, I believe that that's a fixed inherent part of our species and its genders. It would hurt my feelings to look at a perfect child and know that his heart is going to be broken and the world is going to be cruel to him, but that's how it is. A father fails in his role if he doesn't prepare his son for how the world actually is. The child may still adapt, may still survive, but the transition into manhood would be much more severe, or may be delayed indefinitely.

    I think a boy has to learn self discipline early in life, or he may find it hard to grasp later on. Again, women do not seem to need much self discipline to survive in many of their life roles, but I think that the best women have good self discipline.

    But an open question, and be honest. When you see/hear a boy crying, how does it make you feel? It usually makes me feel angry and frustrated, the very sound of it. Sometimes just uncomfortable. I want to tell him to cop on to himself. I don't know for certain if that feeling is from my own conditioning, or if it's something instinctive in many of us.