Do we REALLY want men who cry?

The idea for this blog came from a quick conversation in the comments of another blog. It really got me to thinking about the whole concept of crying men. Socially, going back hundreds of years, men were ‘trained’ to be strong and to show only strength on the outside. Women were ‘trained’ to be the demure, domestic type who would live according to their wedding vows of “love, honor and obey” – yes, obey was used in a female’s marriage vows for many generations until the women’s movement and then it was changed to cherish, which is the same vow a man makes.

That’s a topic for perhaps another blog, however.

It’s no secret that, of the two, women are far more apt to show their emotions in a full range. Men seem to have two main emotions that are shown – calm disinterest and anger. The fact is, I believe, that men are also able to have the same range of emotions internally but have never explored them to their full potential, locking them away if they did not fit into the emotions that it was appropriate for men to express externally.

Consider this: While not all men do, some men get whiny and needy when they are sick with, perhaps, nothing more than a bad cold. They are not crying per say, but expressing a vulnerable neediness that can be masked behind the sickness. They will lie on the couch, huddled under multiple blankets and covers, tissues on the ready and a sad, scrunched up face because they feel poorly. And women feel pity for them and cater to their every whim, akin to mothering them. It’s our nature, a clear definition of the two roles. When a woman is sick with a bad cold, chances are she is up and mobile, tissues at the ready, still doing what needs to be done for her family and household.

Now, I ask you this – in terms of societal ways, who is showing the strength and who is showing the weakness? And the question that beckons is, if man can show weakness and vulnerability at times like these, wouldn’t it surmise that those emotions are a part of their makeup?

Having said all of that, I’m certain that we women don’t want a man who is constantly harboring and showing a “Woe is me” side. But there are times when we think that a man should be able to show emotions, especially tears. Watching your bride walk down the aisle towards you can make you tear up. Holding your child (or each of your children) in your arms for the first time can make you tear up. Standing at the gravesite of a much cherished loved one is worthy of filling your eyes with tears. It is at those times when women will value those tears in your eyes. Perhaps this says it best:

See, guys, women completely understand tears and their purpose. No, we don’t want you to become crybabies, but we DO want to know that you have some emotional being inside of you. After all, there is emotion inside the realm of love, so why not emotion inside the realm of pain?

I don’t know if I’ve made any sense out of this for anyone (not sure that it even makes sense to me!). But I believe I speak for a vast majority of women when I say that it is okay for a man to cry. We understand that tears are often a relief valve when the pressure of our emotions seem to great to hold inside. This is as much true for happy tears (why we cry at weddings) as sad tears! We don’t want you carrying the burden of your emotions so deeply that, without seeing it, those emotions shape your decisions and your thoughts. If it’s okay for men to be angry and yell out of frustration, it’s okay for men to cry tears born out of pain!

If you can have passion for your hobby, your job, your partner, then apply the same energy to your emotions! And that refers not just to the expression of tears (happy or sad). Express those, but express joy, surprise, excitement, as easily as you express your strength and pride (and for some, your ego). You will enrich the relationships of those you hold dear to your heart for the better!

Do Your Job

No matter what your political party preference is, this applies for all of us@

commonsensiblyspeaking



~~~

I know being re-elected

Is your greatest concern

A truth Civics did not teach

But somehow, I have learned

~~~

So, spare me all your rhetoric

Sweet words to fill our ears

Work for all to benefit

In your term of many years

~~~

For what you say, will fade away

And what is left, is just what’s done

How hard you work to care for us

Measured in getting another one

~~~

I do not understand the need

To reach across the aisle

An aisle should not divide us

This birthplace of political guile

~~~

On one side sits Americans

Americans on the other side too

How much more common ground

Needs to be seen by the few

~~~

We pay you well enough

To expect your very best

And if you cannot deliver

You are no better than the rest

~~~

But if being re-elected

Is all…

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People who need an ID badge

Actually, this is more about the people who need a more complex ID badge – they need an ID-10-T badge.

So far I’ve refrained from responding to things I’ve found on social media, although I’ve had a retort for most of them. Some of them include:

“Texas has been without power now for two days – come on, Biden, you’re the President!” (My immediate thought of a retort was “And Trump had FOUR YEARS to build a wall – how much of that got done in that time?)

“Did you see FLOTUS wearing as scrunchie in her hair in public????” (So stupidly irrelevant that I had no retort.)

“For four years now we’ve had mild winters, suddenly Biden is president and it’s a cold and snowy one!” (My immediate thought for a retort was “That’s because Trump isn’t here to spout off enough hot air to warm the air on its way down!”).

See, here’s the thing – I am open-minded enough to listen to a theory or belief that is different than my own, as long as there is reasonable proof to back up that theory or belief. But, as late as Wednesday, when Trump spoke about the passing of Rush Limbaugh, he immediately turned it around to himself and the fact that he won the election and that Limbaugh believed he won the election. Well, maybe he did – but I haven’t yet located a clip of proof, verbally or in written form – so maybe he didn’t.

People who still refuse to give up their believe that Trump won the election and are, in fact, holding onto that belief so tightly that they are stuck in that place, need an ID-10-T button.

People who spot continual theories of conspiracy and who still believe that proof of this fraud is coming forth need an ID-10-T button. Someone told me just yesterday that the proof is going to be shown on February 19th. I mean, because no one could put their fingers on any proof in each and every one of Trump’s lawsuits, because Mike “The Pillow Guy” spoke that he had proof he intended to deliver in two days time that he spoke (hasn’t happened yet, and that was at least 2 weeks ago). Now, I’m supposed to sit and wait for the proof no one has to be shown? Well, hell, bring it on! I’m not ashamed to admit when I’m wrong. But this is beginning to sound like the story of “Peter and the Wolf” where Peter keeps shouting “wolf” so that people come running to protect him, except there is never a wolf. And he did it so often that, when there actually was a wolf, he shouted and nobody believed him!

So, I’m not doing anything special tomorrow and I’m willing to keep an eye out for this magically appearing proof. I’m also looking forward to texting the person who told me that the next day and ask where it is so I can find it.

The fact that I’m willing to keep an eye out for it might mean I need an ID-10-T button, too!

I need to remember this to keep my from retorts!

Insurrection

Wednesday, I ‘accidentally’ ended up watching about three hours of the Trump impeachment trial. I wasn’t in a reading mood after the noontime news, as I usually do, so I was channel-surfing and while the guide said that the show “Daily Access” was on that channel at that time, it had been replaced by the trial. Of all of the new audio and video introduced, the clear visual of seeing one of the rioters using the pole on which was mounted the American Flag to break a window made me sick to my stomach!

I’ve always tried to stay on the outskirts of political news, preferring highlights without having to absorb every little nuance of it. I knew the gist of the second impeachment trial against Donald Trump and I certainly knew that there were compelling reasons for the trial.

Before I sat down the write this post, I looked up the definition of insurrection. I had an assumption of what it meant, but I wanted to make 100% certain. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, insurrection is “an act or instance of revolting against civil authority or an established government.” Pretty much exactly what I thought. (I believe that the police are considered ‘civil authority’ and that the Capitol building is considered an ‘established government’.)

Thursday, I again watched over an hour of the trial, drawn by how compelling and concise the prosecution impeachment leaders represented their case. The timeline was incredible! Again, having stayed on the outskirts of the news, I was made aware of the intricacies of how those among the most loyal were given so many speeches (and tweets) that mirrored suggestion of mounting some sense of loyalty very similar to the cults of the past that we’ve all read about.

There is no question in my mind that Trump is guilty of insurrection. I felt that way before watching some of the trial and the additional information provided there only sealed the fate of that thought. Now, today – Friday – the defense gets ready for their portion of the trial. As usual, I read the highlights of different news stations as the day begins to open. I suppose it’s not shocking to me to hear that the defense lawyers are going to validate what happened and perhaps even agree that it was illegal as well as unconscionable. It’s reported that they want to focus their case simply on the fact that an impeachment trial isn’t constitutional against a politician no longer in office. My question to them is, “Says who?” Where in our Constitution and in all of the amendments since its inception, does it say that? Add weight to the prosecution that the impeachment process started while Trump was still in office!

Oh, I get it – I got it a few days ago. The majority of the Republicans want to find a “way out” of having to vote on Trump’s guilt or innocence to the actual charge. I suspect they are anxious over their fellow Republicans who will be upset if they enter a “guilty” vote, and worse, over the constituents they may lose when their re-election time comes around. Maybe I’m naive, but I can’t process the idea that their biggest desire is to have Trump return to politics!

And then we come back to questioning whether these current politicians in office really believe they are in office to serve the will of the American people. The people, as a whole, elected Biden over Trump as the next President of the United States. Yes, many people voted for Trump, but at the end of the day, the majority did not want him to continue in office.

And what if, what if, Trump is not impeached and chooses to run for office again in four years? Is the Republican Party going to really want him back in their party, back in power? And what if, what if, Trump runs again in four years and loses again? How will the party as a whole look then?

The majority of the American people clearly voted already that they do NOT want Trump to be the country’s President, and I cannot believe that those Republican officials can even think that the majority of the American people will vote for them in their next upcoming re-election if they do not hold Trump accountable. The defense lawyers agree that Trump is guilty of the charge, the Republican politicians know that Trump is guilty of the charge. To look for an ‘easy way out’ legally is pure scapegoating. If it happens, I pray that it will come back in Karma and bite them in the ass!

Que sera, sera – what will be, will be – but I truly, with all that I am, believe that if Trump is acquitted by any means, we will have changed the course of our democracy far beyond what our forefathers ever dreamed for this country. (Maybe if they all roll over in their graves simultaneously, there will be an earthquake, so be careful!)

Is there a “right” choice?

Now that the newly elected President of the United States is in office, some of the loudest shouters and bullies have quieted down a bit. It’s been a relief. Sadly though, there are some people who seem to be consciously trying to incite something, much like Trump has been accused of doing on January 6th, with words.

Having lived in Lancaster County, PA for over 14 years and working in the hotel industry, I, of course, became invested in the people and places there. As such, I still follow the one local news station that is located in the county and whose most important stories are often centered around the county.

Recently, there was a post on their Facebook website about a couple who had been married for a large number of years, who both contracted COVID and who both died from complications of the virus – within hours of each other! It was intended, no doubt, to be a heart-touching story. The very first comment to the post claimed, “It’s Biden’s fault.” Shortly down the list, someone else added ” I thought Biden said he had a plan! Why are people still dying?” There were not a large bunch of comments made, but 95% of them were negative comments towards Biden.

My first reaction was to be stunned! I tried to wrap my head around why anyone would chose to make the shared story into a political event. My second reaction was one of ire – angry at the persons who felt it was necessary and proper to make those kinds of comments particular to this story.

Here’s where my conundrum comes in….. Do I keep quiet and move on, or respond in some way? I mean, I’ve heard countless times that bullying happens because someone insecure wants/needs to make you look or feel bad, and if you ignore it, the bully will get tired of not being able to get you to react and move on. On the other hand, I have never forgotten having read the words that John F. Kennedy said during riots and other protests rocking the country in 1963 – “An innocent bystander in today’s world is no longer innocent.”

While it’s my opinion that Donald Trump set a newer bar in the definition of bullying, many of those he attempted to bully took the higher road and chose to ignore him. What played out is that Trump did indeed move on – to someone else to bully, to someone else, to someone else. So, while choosing to ignore him thinking things would change, they didn’t – only his victims did. And if we listen to the words of JFK, we as a nation decided to stand by ‘innocently’ as long as we weren’t the victims of his bullying.

I can’t convince myself that inactivity and/or lack of response doesn’t, in some way, condone the behavior itself. If we make no response, couldn’t the person acting out in negative behavior decide that our silence means we’re okay with his/her actions? If we choose to respond, we may well be setting ourselves up for additional aggression from the aggravator. I mean, it’s pretty safe to say that these people aren’t possessive of an open-mind, so nothing we say is ever going to make a difference.

I did finally choose to respond to those two particular comments on the post. To “It’s Biden’s fault”, I said something to the effect that I was sorry that his parents were unable or unwilling to teach their children to pay respect to the dead and not make someone’s death into a political comment.” For the comment about “Biden’s plan…why are people dying?”, I said something to the effect that I was sorry that our school system failed in not teaching him/her that having a plan is not the same as having a magic wand

I don’t know if I made the right choice and it appears in my search that the TV station deleted the post from Facebook to avoid any additional comments or let the comments that HAD been made to appear visible. Kudos to them for making that choice. And yea, I’m okay with seeing my comments disappear as well.

How is everybody handling this kind of stuff on social media? Do you consciously choose to turn a blind eye (which again, feels to me like condoning the action) or do you speak up? I still feel the need to speak up sometimes, but I am trying this new tactic of responding because it doesn’t lower me to their status of arguing but still allows me to make comment and not ignore. And this hasn’t been easy, as my hackles rise up pretty quickly at those kinds of comments. I’m trying to get my brain to pair up with the words “I am sorry that” whenever it reads that kind of post. I guess it’s my compromise between the two…

The People’s House

It is, after all, WE the people….

commonsensiblyspeaking



~~~

They call it “the People’s House”

But only politicians call it home

Magnificent alabaster structure

Freedom standing on its dome

~~~

The sacred seat of democracy

Where the chosen speak for us

Has fallen into the hypocrisy

A state of hateful distrust

~~~

Where the ones honored lead

Put there by people’s choice

If truth cannot be well agreed

Then no one gets a voice

~~~

And so, “the People” suffer on

As the elected scream and fight

More interested in coming back

Then the doing of what is right

~~~

Remember who you work for

Stop bickering to no end

Or we will vote for others who can

And it will be our house again

~~~



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Nineteen Minutes

I’ve only ever once before written a book review here, but I just finished this book (Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult) and it has shaken me to the core.

I have NEVER read a fictional story that was so on-point to suspect it was non-fiction! Towards the end, my hands were shaking and I was teary-eyed. I’m not going to be a spoiler, but I want to share one excerpt that struck me like an arrow through the heart:

“Sterling (the name of the town in the book, substitute your town’s name) isn’t the inner city. You don’t find crack dealers on Main Street or households below the poverty level. The crime rate is virtually non-existent.

“That’s why people are so shell-shocked.

” They ask, “How could this happen here?

“Well, how could it not happen here?

“All it takes is a troubled kid with access to guns.

“You don’t have to go to an inner city to find someone who meets those criteria. You only have to open your eyes. The next likely candidate might be upstairs, or sprawled in front of your TV right now. But hey, you just go on pretending it won’t happen here. Tell yourself that you’re immune because of where you live or who you are.

“It’s easer that way, isn’t it?”

It may be a fictional book, but that’s an honest truth in our world! Every parent, every person who works in or for a school, anyone who works in an after-school program… We’ve all read about the victims of bullying and felt compassion. We’ve all listened, stunned, to four years of bullying coming from the highest political office. We all think it can’t be our kid who is being bullied or that it can’t be our kid who is doing the bullying. We don’t know how to truly protect the victims of bullying and so we often try to ‘sweep it under the rug’ and hope it will go away. Parents who have a child with violent and disruptive tendencies want to believe that it’s ‘just a phase and something the child will grow out of’ because those parents don’t know how to deal with it, either!

It’s time that we ALL open our eyes and see things as they are and take true and meaningful actions necessary to care for both the bully and the victim(s). Lip service just isn’t going to cut it anymore!

If your child is any one of them in this picture, you’re not doing your part!
This needs to be taught in school and adults need to stand up and take action against it happening!