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Men feel too

Tony
Robinson

Sunday, June 16, 2019

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My grief lies all within;

And these external manner of laments,

Are merely shadows to the unseen grief

That swells with silence in the tortur'd soul.

Shakespeare, Richard 11, IV, 1

 

Unseen grief that swells with silence in the tortured soul. How profound and sad that last line is, as it virtually sums up the essence of the lives of some men as they suffer in silence and bear their woes with stoic strength.

It was American writer and philosopher Henry David Thoreau who summed it up cryptically by saying, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” How many men do you know who fall into that category? You may not know any at all, for those men who you know may bear their burden so secretly that no one truly knows.

'Nobody knows the troubles I've seen, nobody knows my sorrow' are the words of a famous song. But they also reflect and highlight the feelings of many males in our society. Yes, men do feel, and they feel deeply, in spite of their bravado and machismo, men do feel.

We'll find out how, right after these non-violent responses to 'Domestic disaster'.

 

Hi Tony,

You are right, the phrase domestic abuse has been abused since inception. While I do not condone a man ever hitting a woman, except perhaps in self-defence, I can understand the man getting riled up after a verbal harangue from his woman. It makes me wonder though, that after verbally abusing her man and getting 'domestically disastered' you would think that she would cease and desist from such practice to avoid any further beating.

Carol

 

Hey Teerob,

This may surprise you, but I am a man and I have hit women, with justification. Sure, you're going to say that it's domestic disaster or abuse, as it's commonly called, but I've never hit a woman who didn't deserve it. Some of these women spend their lives putting down men, constantly criticising them, disrespecting, and making them feel small. Some men will accept that and cower like lapdogs, but I will not tolerate it. A woman who loves her man would never do that. If a woman disrespects me like that, she will suffer the consequences.

Clive

 

A few weeks ago I met a friend who I hadn't seen in a while. This was a man who I remembered as always being upbeat and vibrant. Not so on the day that we met. It was then that I recalled that his wife had passed away a few months ago and he was naturally still feeling the pain of her loss.

What moved me even more was when he told me something that I never knew, that his first wife had died in a car accident many years ago. “Not again, don't tell me that I have to go through this again?” he said to me.

He continued to say that for his entire life, every step he made, he would be pushed two steps backwards. It's as if he could never get a break. At that point tears welled up in his eyes, brimmed over and rolled down his cheeks. “I now have to go home to an empty house after 30 years of marriage,” he silently sobbed.

In all the many years I had known him, I never saw this side of my friend, and I was brought to tears myself. This was a man who was always smiling and offering words of encouragement to others, except for today. Men feel too.

He had managed to mask his sorrow well, until this time, for men do feel deeply, but manage to keep it concealed.

“The bravery of his grief did put me into a towering passion,” said Shakespeare's Hamlet. For some strange reason, many people do not believe that men have deep feelings too, especially sensitivity, and expect them to just shrug off misfortune and sorrow with a stiff upper lip and bravado like Samson.

“Come on man, get over it, don't let it get you down, man up.”

So men suck it up, mask their feelings, do not show the world their inner self, until something snaps. You know what they say, pressure burst pipe. Is it any wonder why so many men have high blood pressure or commit suicide?

Just the other day I saw where this famous and loved television reporter in Florida, USA committed suicide, shocking everyone who knew him. He kept everything inside until he couldn't hold it anymore, and snapped. His story is not uncommon.

Surprisingly, it is mostly women who think that men do not feel, and if they do happen to encounter a man who is, heaven forbid; they may consider him weak. “A what kinda soff man dis?” Maybe that's why some men hit women, just to prove that they are real men, big, tough and strong. “A who you a call soff? Tek dis.”

Many mothers also instil this mantra, even to their sons. Well, truthfully many fathers do it too.

“Boys don't cry, boys don't show weakness, boys must be strong.”

“Stop the damn bawling like a sissy.”

Being strong does not mean an absence of compassion or sensitivity. Hardened soldiers, policemen or firemen will still cry over a tragedy such as a child being killed. Even so, a man is not supposed to show any weakness under normal circumstances. There are men who have lost their women to other men, or perhaps she just simply left for greener pastures for reasons unknown to him, but known to her.

As a man, he's not supposed to show any weakness and pine after her, bawling his eyes out. Well, truthfully, I subscribe to that, for if your woman leaves you for whatever reason, let her go, and better yet, don't let her know that you care. Worse yet, don't let her see you cry over her, or her respect for you will be shattered.

My late big brother used to always tell me, “The best cure for a lost love is to find a new love.” Well, he didn't really say it like that, as I tidied it up a bit. He actually said, “The best cure for losing a p...p...m is finding a new p…p…m.” Sage advice from a Fortis man.

But sadly and realistically, all men cannot live up to that mantra and handle the situation with dignity, aplomb and bravado. Many of them really take it hard, as they feel deeply, so allow those to wallow in their misery and pain until they get over it.

Needless to say, it's never good to see a grown man snivelling and whining over a woman who left him. “Get a grip, man, show some testicular fortitude, find another woman.” Again, because men feel, and feel deeply too, they often do not know how to handle the situation, and take matters into their own hands with deadly results.

“Poor ting, his feelings got the better of him.”

When a man gets bun, cheated on, cuckolded, it's possibly one of the worst pains that he could encounter. Combine that with the shame, plus the ridicule, embarrassment and snide remarks from his male friends and you have a man who suffers and has great challenges to overcome.

Women who are cheated on get sympathy from their friends and relatives though. “Never mind dear, him is a wutless man who doesn't deserve you.” But men who are cuckolded, had their wives run off with another man, are often met with derision and contempt from other men. “Him woman give him bun, have man with him behind him back, him is a eedeat.”

Do they know that men feel too, do they care, or is it merely a defence mechanism that says, “There but for the grace of God go I?” Or perhaps they think that if it was them they would handle the situation better. Again, it was Shakespeare who said, “Everyone can master a grief, but he that hath it.”

Society can be cruel, cold, callous towards men who feel, men who are sensitive, men with compassion. So even though men do feel, and feel deeply too, they certainly must not show it.

More time.

seido1yard@gmail.com

 

Footnote: One area where men feel it very badly is retirement, being put out to pasture. After a man has spent most of his life being productive, being known as somebody, validated by his profession, he is now a forgotten soul. I first witnessed this in my late father who retired after doing monumental work in the field of broadcasting in Jamaica. One day he retired and went home, no longer a force in his field. Fortunately he devoted his later years to working with the credit unions, so he was productive again. I have seen other people retire and not take it very well. Suddenly one day there was no work to go to, no board meetings, no power lunches, no planning, no challenges. This can be devastating to many people, especially those who are still young at heart and have much to offer.


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