THE BLOG

Against Crying

04/11/2012 11:55 EDT | Updated 06/11/2012 05:12 EDT

Thanks, Bubba, for reminding us that you and all of the other men that "feel" like you are the centre of attention.

Now everyone's checking their masculinity creeds to see if Bubba represents the 21st-century homme who, instead of drag-racing and working on an assembly line, has managed to ascertain the emotional maturity of an 18-year-old girl.

Man-crying, or simply, men crying, is the new sex without foreplay. It is an annoying and painful way of asserting power and garnering much more attention than is necessary. Ask any heterosexual woman in a heterosexual relationship with a man who has come of age in the post-Dworkin era -- men crying is a widely used tactic in robbing their female partners of emotional prowess. A serious relationship-related conversation about fidelity, future plans or sexual positions inevitably leads to a bout of tears. In between sobs, men utter phrases such as, "I'm just trying to understand where you're coming from" or "You never even ASKED me about how difficult it was to grow up thinking that I might be gay!" Most of the time, however, there is little emotional digging for either partner to do. It's just that these days it's inappropriate for men to expect women to smile and nod at their musings so instead they expect them to "key in" on their "deep" emotional issues that can only come to the fore when they are at their most vulnerable. But enough about crying - what about Bubba?

Bubba is the quintessential 21st-century un-masculine man. Like Ty Burrell's character, Phil, on "Modern Family," he is a "goof" -- he is not afraid of pink, and he's not afraid to hug his caddy. Bubba doesn't care for the prestige. He almost cried when he learned he had to go to the special champions-only locker room and leave his bros down below.

Now, I don't think Bubba should have held back those tears while he embraced his mother. I do think that the attack and defense of his actions speak to the battle between the men of war and the men of warcraft. All of the men who identify with Bubba's stereotypical harmless masculinity feel the need to "man-up" or chirp-in about how it's no big deal for a dude to cry. He was under a lot of stress! He adopted a baby somewhat recently! If these people didn't defend Bubba's emotions, they would have no chance of crying in the bathroom when their girlfriend explains why she would prefer it if he was working full-time and making more than minimum wage plus tips. The men who criticize him for crying are only willing to cry when another man does in a situation that is particularly sombre to men (men dying). They likely use the more outdated tactics for controlling women and have yet to catch on to the smarter emotional weapons.

Soon it will be clear to all -- men are only talking about why they should or should not cry so they can talk more about men. What better platform for the conversation than a star athlete that conveys the rigour of athleticism in a sport that still condones the wearing of knickerbockers.

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