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Men Cry

Daniel and Vella talks about the cultural norm for men not to cry and if they should cry more often.

Vella: So Daniel, we're talking about emotions and let's talk about emotions in men. Do you think it's OK for men to cry?

Daniel: Well, I do think it's all right. There's nothing wrong about it. If you want to cry, if you're sad, if you are angry, if you are disappointed, I think it's normal. The normal reaction would be to cry but unfortunately there is a huge stigma attached to men crying. For some people it is a big issue. For me, personally, it isn't.

Vella: I agree a hundred per cent with you. For me personally, I think it's totally OK for guys to cry.

Daniel: Hm, hm.

Vella: But I think it's in my culture, Indonesian, it's really uncommon to, you know, for guys to show this emotional expression when they cry. For example when, even when you're little, if you cry in the classroom and when you are a guy and if you cry, people are just going to make fun of you and they're going to start laughing and calling you names.

Daniel: I know totally. It's the same in Chile actually. Well, I was raised in a really, really strong kind of macho culture. I mean crying was a sign of weakness so boys were not, I mean I can say, were not allowed to cry, right, because of, because of the whole macho thing and you have to be a man, you have to be brave so you're not supposed to cry. But now I think it's, kids shouldn't be, well they shouldn't be encouraged to cry but they should be told that it's all right. I mean it's a natural reaction and you have to show your feelings so I think if you want to cry, if you're sad and if you want to cry, you should just do it but there's nothing to be embarrassed about.

Vella: I think that's just how it is inside or they expect men to be macho and masculine and I think showing tears kind of takes away a lot of masculine, like masculinity out of men.

Daniel: I think it's more masculine just to assume that you are sad and you are showing it. You're not afraid to show your emotions. I think that's more valuable, that's more, I mean I'm a boy and because I cry that doesn't make me less of a man. I mean, I'm a man and therefore, I don't know because I'm a man, I can show my expressions and I'm not afraid of it. I don't know, that's what I think.

Learn Vocabulary from the Lesson



Unfortunately, there is a large stigma attached to men crying.

 If there is 'stigma' attached to an activity, doing it brings social disgrace or humiliation. It is not accepted. Notice the following:

  1. In my country, there is not longer the same stigma attached to living with someone before you are married.
  2. There is a social stigma to having a job like that.

call someone names


If you're a guy and you cry in the classroom, people are going to start calling you names.

When you 'call someone names,' you say bad things about that person that are usually not true.  Notice the following:

  1. He used to get called names a lot when he was a child, but now he is very popular.
  2. Tom, don't call your sister names.



I think they expect men to be macho.

A man who is 'macho' fits the stereotype of a very masculine man who doesn't show emotions. Notice the following:

  1. He is so macho that I never thought he would be interested in learning how to sew.
  2. All of their boys are very macho.



I think showing tears kind of takes a lot of masculinity out of men.

A man's 'masculinity' is his maleness, or characteristics that are associated with males. Notice the following:

  1. Does being a stay-at-home dad take away from your sense of masculinity.
  2. He lost the hard edge of masculinity when he became a father.

less of a man


Because I cry that doesn't make me less of a man.

A man could be considered 'less of a man' if he doesn't act in a masculine way or does something that is thought to be feminine. Notice the following:

  1. He was worried that people would think of him as less of a man if he became a nurse.
  2. I think of him as less of a man now that I know what a coward he is.

Vocabulary Quiz

stigmas • names • macho
masculinity • less of
  1. He believes that coloring his hair will take away from his .
  2. about race and gender are different in every country.
  3. Breaking his leg made him feel like a man, because he had to ask his wife for help.
  4. Don't expect that a man will treat women as equals.
  5. When they get in fights, they usually call each other .
Answer the following questions about the interview.

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Hello, and welcome to elllo. My name is Todd Beuckens. I've been an ESL teacher for 25 years. I created elllo to provide teachers and students free audio lessons and learning materials not usually found in commercial textbooks.
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