Kaylee Stamm

April 26, 2019

Crying is not a sign of weakness

The act of crying in front of others is an action that many people find uncomfortable or distressing. There are social stigmas around crying, particularly with men being discouraged against crying. Charles Darwin stated in The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals that “with adults, especially of the male sex, weeping soon ceases to be caused by, or to express, bodily pain. This may be accounted for by being thought weak and unmanly by men, both of civilized and barbarous races, to exhibit bodily pain by any outward sign.”

Females, however, who openly cry are still mocked for being emotional. They are thought as being “silly”, “too emotional” or “crazy.” Why do we place such a heavy stigma and negative connotation on those who express strong emotion in public?

I, myself, have issues with crying due to shame and fear. With this performance piece I am as vulnerable as I can possibly imagine: crying in front of random strangers, friends, and family, and also reading from some of my most private journals. I wish to confront these emotions as an act of self-empowerment.

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