Friday, February 24, 2012

Erica Pike - Men With Emotions - A Guest Blog Commentary

   Erica Pike, author of the MLR Press release A LIFE WITHOUT YOU, which I reviewed recently with an interview with the terific lady herself; has graciously gifted with a guest blog. 
   I am still a bit under the weather and will be having an operation on my back this coming Tuesday.  Shoud anyone want to check on things NJ Nielsen will be Guest posting and keeping an eye on things next while I recover.  There won't be any reviews fromme fr a bit but I believe NJ has plans to do a few herself.  I hope to return to a normalposting schedule soon. Thanks for you following.  If you want to say Hi, you can do so here or e-mail me at

So without fiurther babbeling o n from me, heerrreee's Erica!


Men With Emotions

The sad truth is that a lot of people are still claiming that men are not emotional. From what I can see, it's mostly men who are claiming this and maybe some women complaining about her man. Men are strong and confident. They don't talk about how they feel and they most certainly don't cry, unless they're at a funeral. Crying and talking is for girls. Then there‘s the classical men write masculine men while women write emotional men. 

Generalizations like these not only tick me off, but maintain ridiculous stereotyping that needs to stop.

Some say that, okay, men can be emotional but don't talk about or show their feelings. I'll buy this, to a point, but I believe the behavior is more learned rather than instinctual. I've been observing how the men around me behave and express themselves. Roughly 50% are emotional (some very) and the other 50% are able to hide it. I'd say that maybe 40% express themselves verbally while the remaining 60% take it out on the gym equipment or close themselves off by staring at a computer screen for hours (you tell me if that's healthy). But if 50% of the guys I know are emotional and roughly 40% of them express themselves with words or even tears, can statements like "men don't talk about their feelings" and "men are not emotional" be true? I'd say no, when I'm seeing evidence on the contrary.

By this I'm not saying that men and women are the same. There are different hormones that make us act differently. But testosterone levels in men varies and we‘ve all been through various stuff in our lives that affects us in different ways. It‘s just plain wrong and stereotypical to say that men behave a certain way don't behave a certain way. By saying so, people are maintaining the stereotype of the "ideal man". What does that do to guys who ARE emotional and have a hard time hiding it? It makes them targets because they aren't behaving "like men". I had a guy-friend when I was a kid. He went through daily bullying for being sensitive. This went on for years and years, all because he didn't "act like a guy" and after beatings he‘d end up crying.

We can't continue to put guys in cookie-cutters while there are so many who fit outside the form. Cookie-cutters are not only limiting and unrealistic, but also helps maintain the stereotype every man is supposed to live up to. It's just not fair (and often damaging) to those who don't fit in the cookie form. 

I'm teaching my boys that it's okay to be in touch with their feelings and I encourage them to express themselves. I think it's extremely unhealthy to keep your feelings bottled up and that it can easily lead to depression later in life. They're turning 5 this year (twins) and one is very open while the other keeps everything locked up. I have to really persuade the latter to talk about how he's feeling. He acts so relieved and happy after he's talked to me and we've discussed how he‘s feeling. I'm hoping my positive encouraging will teach him that it's okay to express himself in words. I'm not turning my boys into crybabies by doing this. I think it's healthy for them to be able to identify how they're feeling. That doesn't mean they'll burst out crying whenever they're upset - it just means they're able to come to someone they trust and talk. In touch with ones feelings doesn't equal vulnerability, not that vulnerability is negative. Without vulnerable people, we wouldn‘t have so many wonderful authors, artists, poets, and painters.

Header image credit


  1. Ugh, I see so many grammatical errors in this my eyes are bleeding! Sorry guys, it was really late when I typed this. I'm no night owl!

    Anyway, Randy, thanks for having me :) And best of luck with your surgery.

  2. I, being a gay and sometimes over-sensitive man, agree with most of what you say, Erica. Though -- would it be so wrong to be a "cry-baby", as you call it and you make it sound like it is a weakness? Is being teary and crying easy when upset a reason to change? I don't think so. It's a personality like any other, and it's ok to be like that too -- even as a man and even if it means that a lot of people therefore think I'm weak. Being in touch with my emotions makes me strong.

    1. Thanks for replying, Danny :) I can see how the entry may have indicated me saying that being a "cry-baby" is a weakness, but I don't think it is when I look at others. However, I was very much a "cry-baby" (very sensitive) as a child and still am today, so when I look at myself I *do* see it as a personal weakness. It's strange how you judge yourself differently than you "judge" others.

      I don't think emotional, teary men are any less "men" than others. I actually prefer to be around men who are not afraid to express themselves. What I meant to say was that even though I'm teaching my boys to be in touch with their emotions, it's not going to change who they are. One is sensitive and will cry more easily than the other. I'm teaching him that it's okay to cry. I don't want him to be thwarted with the same "oh stop crying" I got when I was a kid. It only made me cry more. The other, however, very rarely cries (other than to try to get his way), and that's not going to change just because he'll learn to express himself.

  3. @Danny - man I wish I could show you to my editor as she wants me to change my main character in my story - she says he is too melodramatic - yet I say this is book one he has seventeen more books to grow... I keep saying - not all men a big and tough if they were than the world would be boring as hell.

    @Erica thanks for writing this - you know the way I feel about this subject.

    @everyone else - Yes I will be taking over this blog site until the Randy man is on his feet again...LOL.

    1. Norma, link this to her ^.^ I'd hate to see Michael all hardened up in book one :/

  4. Interesting post Erika.
    I think people are still claiming that men are not emotional because it fits the values of our societies.
    I have 2 kids : a 8 years old girl and a 5 years old boy. I never heard people telling my daughter she can't cry because she's a girl BUT each time my little boy cries, I heard people telling him he shouldn't cry because men don't cry. That pisses me off. I want him to cry if he wants to cry and I don't want him to think it is a weakness to express his emotions.

  5. As I child, I was over-sensitive, and it was like I could cry on cue. And I can recall the two times in my life I saw my father cry - when I was baptised (that is another story) and at my grandmother's funeral. And it wasn't just the men in my family that didn't talk about their feelings. And there, I do agree with Erica in that learned behaviour plays an important role in how we deal with our emotions.

    I, being a gay man, freely admit to being the "strong, silent type." It is after all the behaviour that surrounded me growing up. I think (and I could be wrong here) that we have to be careful not to think that just because a man doesn't cry that he is not in touch with his feelings. Are we projection our perceptions on to others? Personally, I don't see a man being weak because he cries just as I don't see the women I know (and there are many) as being strong just because they don't tear up at every sentimental scene in a film.

    Living with depression, I am fully in touch with my emotions. I've also learned how to deal with my emotions, and I don't need to display my grief on my sleeve just to prove that I am sensitive or caring. I would hope that those things would manifest more, and consistently, in my actions.