All Talk and No Action Sunday, March 30, 2008


What is it about men and babies? I have observed many a sane and "in control" guy go weak in the knees at the sight of a gurgling baby. He doesn't think twice before donning the joker's hat, coochie-cooing and prancing around to make the baby laugh. All theories of "Men are heartless" fly out of the window when you place a chubby baby on a guy's arm.

The other day I was watching the lead trio of "Hey Baby" trying to placate a distressed baby girl. The sight of her dimpled laugh was enough to motivate them to mend their ways.

Somehow, through ages, men have been taught not to cry or show emotions. Display of affection has always been a taboo. Being called a sissy would be any hot blooded Male's nightmare. Even on home turf, my brother always shied away from expressing his love. It was only recently, when work took me away, did I receive my first ever emotional "Miss You Didi" letter.

Somehow, our society has always looked down on men who have expressed their feelings. It has instilled in its boys the fine qualities of being a "superman" and carrying all burdens and disappointments silently. No wonder many females still prefer the "strong and silent" variety. If only we had been more humane and open to such outlet of emotions, a lot of our farmers could have been saved from committing suicides! Most of these men had no one to turn to for sharing their pent up feelings or hopeless situation.

However, guys alone should not be blamed for this state of affairs. How many of us ladies as mothers, sisters, wives or friends have been available to provide soothing shoulders to distressed guys? Most of us feel we were born to be humored, to be treated like princesses, to be cuddled and supported during our low moments. Don't guys have a right to similar treatment? How many from the mahilla mandal have taken the pains to make a guy laugh at the risk of being called a cartoon? Why must the guy always play the joker, be a punching bag and provide cushion?

I remember receiving a harried call from a friend a few years back. He was distressed, angry and on verge of an emotional breakdown. Reason being - he had been dumped by his girl friend. His gunaah?? He had been caught red handed shedding a tear or two while watching Jack die in Titanic ! "Oh be a man !!!" were the last words of the femme fatale. Too bad...she failed to appreciate a sensitive soul. I would respect an Advani (famous as the Iron man) who cried while watching "Taare Zameen Par" rather than a pumped up but emotionless body !

Thankfully, times-are-a-changing ! Today it is fairly normal to find guys expressing love and affection. Its a complete delight when men express their feelings and share their concerns. Makes them more lovable!

I loved watching the cutest movie ever (Baby's Day Out) with a guy who couldn't contain his laughter and melted with Baby Joe's antics. It was an eye-opener when a friend disclosed that he was afraid of horror movies and could not bear the sight of blood. Another flinches at the gore and violence shown in movies. One has gone ahead and shared his fear of cockroaches with me (I went berserk laughing!!!). Earlier, I would have been surprised at such admissions. Not anymore.

Men should be allowed to display affection, feel despair, show hurt and express fear. It only makes them more endearing and easier to connect with.

Boys don't cry. Says who??? Go ask a guy who has loved and been loved !

17 comments:

ketan said...

Good one..Liked it..literally an eye opener for guys like me...just like the ADVANI CASE.

Mr BS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PsW said...

Very well said..

btw, coming to guys and babies...the other indication of times-are-changing is that...Gone are the days when the father used to be the strict and no nonsense parent and the mother used to be the lenient one....
These days, guys are more playful and enjoy their time with their kids and mothers are the ones who play the role of hard taskmasters...

Nova said...

haha.. good one!

But, i think there is a very fine line between sensitive men and men who like an overdose of emotional drama. I knew a person once who would cry at every single thing. He would actually start choking... He would get all lachrymose and what makes it worse? He thought it was an ok thing to cry!! And yes, I agree it is... Lekin itna???

I guess there is a very fine line here which if not followed, would probably make the man look like a sissy!

vikasvbsingh said...

Evolution of the sexes is an ongoing process.
And I agree with psw, women are getting tougher and men do not shy in showing their sensitive side.

Or maybe men were always sensitive. All the love stories and great poems have been written by men. Men use to vent their feelings through art.

So now we know why all the great writers and poets were men. :P

Anonymous said...

Since, I ve been asked to comment, here are my two cents,

Times are so rapidly changing that it would be unwise for one to generalise on a few cases.

Just the day, while walking across the street along with my friend, I saw a beautiful car. I appreciated it , pat came the response, would you prefer to go for drive. Women are getting bolder every single day. The other day at an upmarket mall in South Delhi, it wasnt uncommon to see how liberal our thoughts have become seeing teens celebrate Valentines.

Can this genre of women, represent the entire Indian women. Absolutely not.

People do tend to hide emotions at times, it may not just be men. I love babies too and I don't think it is anything to be a tough guy.

Crying is a sign of weakness, it may not be necessary to exhibit that you have emotions. Just like you don't have to say, how much you mean to one another. While, that kind of candor would be a good change, not every individual would think alike.

What would probably be a more welcome change, is people being themselves and standing for where they belong. During one of the projects that we are finding it difficult to get consensus, I simply asked my batchmate, if you like this point so much, just go for it. Why try and please someone.

So many times people end up doing as someone told so. BIG

All Talk and No Action said...

@Ketan - Good to know that you cried :)

@psw - Yes I agree that moms are ough task makers. Even in my case, my dad was always my teddy bear and mom was someone I always wanted to please

@Nova - Yes, some guys can be extra senti. I would say its very similar to a girl being a "Tom Boy"...what would you call her...masculine?

@Vikas - Maybe men were always sensitive. However, the failed to show. Good, they have become more expressive.

@DS - I do not agree that crying is a sign of weakness. It rather shows that a person is willing to show his/her vulnerability (This requires strength too!). Also, being original and individualistic are different from being "emotionally closed". Openness and free expression of feelings are reqd. for healthier relationships.

Shyam said...

Interesting...but your blog has kind of made me wonder which category i belong to.... till maybe 2 years back when i left India i had probably never shed a tear, not even when i was leaving for abroad.... and then i saw Black, when Rani mukherjee holds her degree proudly in front of SIR, the one man army who symbolised her parents guru and god, i just couldnt stop .... it was that moment which just touched my heart so deeply and i missed my parents and my family... I feel its very important that a guy should be mentally strong so that he has the capacity to take the responsibility of the family on his shoulders but i wouldnt mind showing my emotions ... i dont mind laughibng like a kid when i am seeing a movie, as Miss Mukta and Neha will vouch for or shed a tear when i am missing my family....

All Talk and No Action said...

@Shyam
Well said...yes guys need to be strong enough to support their families...
But am sure many ladies find emotional expression a sign of strength.
Nothing is more endearing and sweet than watching a man laugh/play with kids/cuddle pets (Remember Raymond's ad??)

Shyam said...

I dont refute that point...but we need to be too judgemental about those who dont wanna express their emotions outwardly... i know of a person who is so fond of kids: he just cant resist them, but somehow he didnt play with his own kids a lot...not because he didnt like them but cause he would get embarassed (not in an insulting way) playing with them infront of others... so his eyes would always be there to protect his kids and see if they are safe and he would give a smile seeeing them playing but he never showed his emotions in front of others...

Nova said...

@Mukta: Being a tom boy is different from a senti guy. Shedding tears is not a "woman" thing to do. Both genders are free to express their emotions. Although, yeah people do tend to think of "overly weepy" men as being like women, which i think is unfair!

I think there is some thing about silent love and subtle expressions which work for me. Although m sure a guy playing with kids would be a pleasant sight.

All Talk and No Action said...

@Shyam
Yes..I do know of such embarrassment faced by males..and this is what is bad...as in.. what a sad situation if you cant express your love and play with your kids just because you are uncomfortable?
Feelings are good..but their expression is equally important...

Anusha said...

Nice one...
I have somehow got people who already fall into the category you have just mentioned! I have witnessed guys crying and I don't think it shows their weaker side. It just shows the comfort level that they share that they can let out their emotions. Also, all of us, be it a man or a women, will shed tears only before close ones. So if we, as women can do that, men can definitely do that!

Cheers

ReturnofJD said...

good observation

there is reason why guys are becoming sesitive . these days men are spending and realising feminine part of their life .
every one contain yin and yang feeling, but old days men were warriers soliders wanderers and voagers, they always had hard task to handle ....so they always forgot the malleability.
always there is child within us so its just reflection of our good times when one see a child smiling.

for that matter even a cole or duckling to watch is also equally pleasent .

but some people quote them " metrosexual men " :)

All Talk and No Action said...

@JD -
Fine observation.
All we ask of men is to emote...no need to go overboard...but yes...a lil expression of emotions is necessary...
as far as metrosexual males r concerned...am more interested in retrosexual...not really a metrosexual fan :)

Anil Lahoti said...

May be Pappu Can't Dance...
but Men/Guys/Boys can cry...

Specially Indians are famous to be emotional...

I liked your article but I think you could have gone much deeper..you just touched surface...
Anyways...

And by the way your blog is just becoming movie review blog...
Write something different...


~aNiL

All Talk and No Action said...

@Anil -

Thanks ! Through this post I wanted to keep it short and yet bring out the essence of how important it is for men to show emotions...

Btw...i write movie reviews for like-minded movie buffs who are interested in watching quality cinema... :)