Maybe it was that rehab scene in “A Star is Born” where Bradley Cooper sobs as Lady Gaga tells him it’s not his fault he ruined her big moment at the Grammys (um, I was there, it was definitely his fault).
Maybe it was R. Kelly. Or Brett Kavanaugh. Hell, maybe it was this latest season of “The Bachelor” and Colton’s buckets upon buckets of tears.
But fuck it, I’m giving up male tears for Lent.
I think it’s safe to say that they are no longer sparking joy for me and it’s time to KonMari that shit.
I hope it’s not too late. I know we’re already at least a week into Lent. Maybe God will make an exception.
Anyway, here are my reasons:
Male Tears are Reductive
First of all, it’s so hard to know what all these tears even mean. Is Tom crying because the Patriots won? Because he feels guilty about leaving his dishes in the sink? Did the local gas station run out of Miller Lite? Did he just watch “Field of Dreams” and “Braveheart back-to-back? Was he recently accused of sexual assault and a pattern of abusive behavior in a six-part documentary?
It’s so hard to say.
Yes, I can see that water is leaking from Bob’s eyes right now, but that tells me literally nothing about what’s actually going on. If men would just stop crying for two seconds and use their words instead of their tear ducts, maybe we could see clearly now the rain is gone (yes, I hate myself for this).
As Freud famously asked, “Why you crying, bro?”
Male Tears Take up Valuable Space
Simply put, male tears are taking up valuable real estate that could be invested in more profitable ventures.
I’m sure I’m not the first person to make this observation, but male tears take up so much fucking space—space that could be used to plant a sustainable five acre urban garden or build a new community center for kids whose mothers didn’t star in “Desperate Housewives” or “Full House.”
A single man starts to tear up and suddenly we’re all drowning. All the life instantly gets sucked out of the room. And then there’s the sobbing and the heaving and the guttural animal noises—for the love of James Van Der Beek, pull it together, dude!
You’re scaring the baby goats.
Male Tears are False and Manipulative
Unfortunately, as a woman, I am especially susceptible to the siren sob of male tears—when I see Bradley Cooper crying, all my literal and metaphorical womb wants to do is reach out to comfort him.There, there, now. Shhhhhhh. Your pain will always matter more to me than anything else, especially my career.
I’ve been raised since birth to caretake male emotions. Case in point, when I was 21, I begged my emotionally distant father, in tears, for even a tiny effort at empathy. He started to weep and said that I needed to try to understand him. I stopped crying.
This shit works, y’all.
White, straight, male tears may be the most powerful substance in the entire world, capable of rewriting history, transforming the most vicious of criminals into the most vulnerable of victims, and completely and utterly erasing any type of pain that isn’t also a type of power.
Male Tears Make Unwarranted Claims to Victimhood
Sure, Blake called you a “bitch” and hurt your feelings, but he feels SO SO SORRY and—oh shit, is he crying??
Todd just punched you in the face—but that was your fault for not listening and he’s really going through a tough time right now at work and his mom never loved him, never said “I love you,” not even once, and now you’re comforting him because he’s in a lot of pain right now.
And let’s not forget Jack, who may have sexually assaulted you in college when you were too drunk to consent, but that pales in comparison to the parking ticket he got last week for parking in a loading zone and it was so UNFAIR and UNJUST and what were we talking about again?
Male Tears Avoid Personal Responsibility & Culpability
As we all know, it’s not abuse if he cries about it later—or if he cries about anything at all, so powerful are male tears to change and chart the course of reality.
And how many times has a woman comforted a man for abusing her? How could anyone possibly hold something so weak, helpless, and pathetic responsible for its actions? It would be like putting an itty-bitty widdle kitten on trial for murder. Male tears implicate us as cold and heartless, incapable of empathy, compassion, or concern.
We are the monsters, tormenting and persecuting helpless men.
Male tears are actually innocence in its purest liquid form.
Male Tears Carry the Threat of Violence
I know—I’m taking a huge risk here. As much as I want to give up male tears, I have the sneaking suspicion that this might make some men not just very, very, very sad, but also very, VERY angry.
If I meet male tears with indifference, I suspect that my apathy will be interpreted as active hostility:
I am breaking the contract (I didn’t sign) as a woman to always put male needs first, to prioritize male feelings, male pain, male reality, male hopes, male dreams—if I don’t center men in my own story and treat this narrative as THEIR narrative, then they will fucking destroy me.
Too bad then, that giving up male tears brings me what I can only describe as pure joy.