Why Can't Men Be Sensitive?

I cannot speak for all women as some silly women nowadays want jerks, but I think it truly is attractive to know that a man can be sensitive and not be afraid to show it. I think there's just a softness about him. Society and mainly some male family members like to assume and force the fact that men should not cry or become emotional becuase it will make them less of a man. I'm actually tired of this whole fake list of reasons or instructions on how to be a 'REAL' man. I think being strong and just being in manhood is very personal and serious to a lot of men and think this is one of the pressures of life that they go through that we do not realize.

I was watching the biggest loser one time and I think it was a father or a husband who cried about his scare of being unhealthy, letting his family/himself down, or dying. And when I saw those tears and heard his voice stumbling, I thought to myself what is so wrong with that?

I also watched the Avengers about two weeks ago where Tony Stark wanted to get one last phone call to Pepper when he thought he would not make it back alive. When she was not able to pick up, I saw the pain in his eyes. Somehow that really attracted me, to just know that a guy cares THAT much. It just kind of tells me that a man who is able to show his feelings so openly is able to say 'yes, I do understand how you feel, i can relate' Sure it's just a movie, but still, it appealed to him. And I know that justĀ becauseĀ a man may be sensitive openly, does not always mean he's a good guy. I guess I'm just here to say....It's okay to feel the way you feel.

Any opinions?
FashionQueen86 FashionQueen86
26-30, F
7 Responses May 27, 2012

There are Real who cry,but then won't cry in front of everyone...either they would cry alone or sometimes they just swallow all the pain inside and don't let it out.

Real men cry in the rain.<br />
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Just kidding. But seriously, most people really don't begin to understand how difficult it is to be a man. By and large women are allowed to express themselves in a variety of ways. They can be sensitive, nurturing, caring, or they can be a "strong woman" who is "career driven" and so on. It is okay to do something as stereotypically feminine as being a midwife, but women can also take part in more male-associated pursuits and careers, like firefighting or taking up kickboxing for exercise.<br />
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As a man, if I said that I wanted to go learn cake decorating, many people would assume I was gay. Gender is something learned, something taught, and there is no clear cut distinction of what makes a man a man. We use phrases like, "she is becoming a woman" to describe menarche in young girls, and visually they "fill out" so to speak. When does the boy become a man? Traditionally manhood has been conferred by going to war.<br />
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Boys are raised to be tough, to "keep it in", to "take it like a man" and to "walk it off" when you get hurt. How many times have I seen a woman start crying in a moment of stress (especially at the job) and everyone suddenly bends over backwards for them, even when they are the ones who may be responsible for a mistake. If I were to cry I'd be ridiculed, mocked, and people would think that I am mentally unstable.<br />
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While many women say they want a "sensitive man" (and I'll admit that many do) women are also raised with certain expectations of what makes a man a man. Somehow I'm supposed to be able to fix a car, do yard work, be a carpenter, wire and hook up electronic equipment, lift heavy things, beat people up, be "a rock" for my girlfriend, and bring home the bacon. Yet more modern women also expect me to be able to share my feelings (without being too whiny about it), dance, enjoy going to weddings and social functions, like wine, not mind seeing romance-comedies, cook, and also be the perfect lover.<br />
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Most men would never expect their girlfriend/spouse to be able to explain a nickel defense, how to throw a left hook or know the difference between a carburetor and a fuel injector.<br />
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Sorry for the long message, but I feel close to this post as I am: a man, a war veteran, a male nurse, a heterosexual, and someone who minored in sociology with an emphasis on gender studies.

I REALLY enjoyed reading your response. I honestly did not expect a lot of people to even take this story into consideration. But it is something I have noticed while growing up and I just feel a little different about emotions and stresses and I do not understand how one is allowed to cry but the other isn't when both genders are able to show frustrations about anything. I actually find some SLIGHT offense as people think crying is for females as if we're that fragile and can't do anything with a strong will. But society will be society. :)

Your rationale is sound. I applaud such a young female grasping and confronting such a stark topic as role identification in America. I can agree with everyone here, and can stress from a clinical position that yes, it is indeed a societal desc<x>ription. Many indigenous peoples of the greater eastern hemisphere wear clothing and jewelry that the western concept has deemed only for "women", yet they have done so throughout their history without incident. These tribes also seem to be more community and family-oriented, as the western culture thrives off of individualism and competition in most circles. This suppression due to process that many competitors have experienced are rooted in the concepts of pass/fail right/wrong good/bad that have defined the national consciousness throughout the ages; ever growing and maturing. As beings return to their roots, the ex<x>pressions of freedom will step far outside of the norms which were contradictory to their growth and understanding, leading to differing ex<x>pressions and renewed senses of individuality and acceptance. As many "old ways" of thinking subside, residual damages will be faced. Some may opt to negate their evolution, while others will grow and mature internally to the renewed understanding that asks them to reevaluate the way they view and interact with the world around them. The roots of humans are both of freedom and compassion, so these characteristics will begin to manifest more readily than the "old ways" of suppression and denial of connection to the planet and its denizens. As the species continues to grow, many concepts (like the ones stated here) will become understood and even benchmarks for greater understanding and enlightenment into the meaning of being "human". Soon, the reality that " it has never been about the individuals, but our perceptions of them" will take hold, and many scars will be revealed and mended. Buena Fortuna!!!!

Your initial reply to maninfl is emblematic of the problem. You want guys to be sensitive, but you are reluctant to give them the latitude to do anything beyond what you'd like them to do. The reason men don't show sensitivity is that every time they do, some jerk calls them "girly." That's embarrassing for them, because ever since they were toddlers, they have been taught that there are totally different rules for girls than there are for boys and that they have precious little to say about them. Get rid of the double standard and you'll see sensitivity develop in men. "A skirt! Oh, crap." is exactly the kind of "crap" that hardens men. If something is okay for you to wear, it should be okay for anyone else to wear. I don't wear skirts, but neither does my wife. Neither of us wears what would be off-limits to the other. We've been together for over 20 years and are quite content. This puritanical and sexist society in which we live could use a serious makeover, though, in my humble view.

The reason why I said 'oh crap' was becuase it was a situation I did not consider, nor was I ever ready to be hit with that kind of question. I guess I need to be careful of what I type online. My story was meant for men to express how they feel in terms of tears or emotions, not the kind of apparel they wear.

There is a link between oppression and attitude. Why you said, "oh crap" is less important than the effect of that statement on the hearer. Your intent would be presumed and you might not even consider what that presumption might be. Please consider that the expectations that are placed upon males from birth on are a large factor in determining whether they are willing or even able to show tender emotions. Apparel is only one of many examples, but your own screen name suggests that fashion is an important part of your own personality. Would your personality be altered emotionally if you were told that the fashions you enjoy were not acceptable for you to wear and that you would be ridiculed for even thinking that they should be? Listen for a parent telling a crying little boy that big boys don't cry. That parent wouldn't say that to a little girl.

Ktcole, I spoke with a woman on here that shared with me that men actually do wear skirts in another country (I can't remember where). She said they think nothing of it, which means I and others are just part of a society that is not used to such a thing. I considered the things she shared and realized that the world is just a bit slow. As far as my user name is concerned, yes fashion is a part of my personality, however, regarding my future career, I have never considered the fashion of males becuase I'm studying women's apparel. I'm not sure that my skills would even cross over to creating male clothes. But yes I would feel a little ridiculed if someone were to tell me my tastes were not good enough. But that's just an opinion and an opinion is something that thankfully, people do not have to take into account. We just keep going. But you make some good points and like I said, I will watch what I say instead of contradicting.

I admire your honnesty. I also think that clothes should be gender neutral. Should you want to wear a suit and tie or if I want to wear a print skirt and lacy blouse, so what. Since skirts and dresses were orig deaigned for men, it would just be natural to return to what was made for you in the first place. Anatomicaly skirts for men and pants for women would be correct. What do you think?

:D I think this is very interesting. If only things were that equal in this world, but society has a lot of things wrong with themselves; racism, anti-gay, sexism, religious discrimination, I don't think people are mature enough yet to be at this point. Not that someone's level of maturity should be your reason or decision-making. If pants were originally for guys (more so as a status) and women have adopted pants like it's nothing, then I think the same should be for men without this double standard thing. But it's still going to take some used to.

Have you ever seen a bagpipe band? Sometimes it will be military or British/ Scottish. I belong to a Scottish Society near me. A man dressed in a kilt or skirt, presenting himself as a man - not fem - is a true man. :)

I know what when I took some history classes on art, there was a woman back in the day who had to ask the government to wear pants just to paint a landscape and the government actually gave her like this permit or pass to let her wear pants.

I don't really think clothes should have a gender-only thing becuase I'm now seeing men wear pink shirts, which is something males would never do when I was little in school. Who knows, It may shift.

When you said skirt, I automatically had in my head, those little cute girly skirts. But kilts do not bother me. I think the majority of the world recognizes that kilts are not such a bad thing. I've watched wrestling for a long time and there was one handsome wrestler in a kilt and I was like wow!

Would you date a man who was man enough to wear a skirt or a kilt?

A skirt! Oh crap. I'm not really sure about that becuase i'm not used to men wearing stuff like that. And I can't predict how I'd feel at the time. I don't really have a straight answer. It's like I can't say No or Yes.

You are very correct about women having to ask permission to wear pants. There was a time which I remember and you are too young, but women were once arrested for wearing pants in public.The last case I can remember of was in 1962 I believe. The next very true thing is the puritanical upbringing this country had and its remnants today. The rest of the world has a far different idea about all of this than the US. The return of gender neutral clothes will take some getting used to. This would be aided if there were some very popular guy or group that would start wearing kilts everywhere on a daily basis.