I have been invested in the World Cup 2014 hosted in Brazil this year, following the last week of matches and teams celebrating for advancing and commiserating in their defeats. I couldn’t help but take a moment during this to reflect on something that is more widely important that football; human emotion.
Imagine this, the superstar of the Colombian national team who has scored in every single match, break down in tears after a loss to the host country Brazil. That is what happened today with James Rodríguez breaking down in desperation after the loss. Consoled by his defeaters, among others, David Luiz, embraced his fellow footballer and exchanged jerseys and drummed up support and cheering for his beaten opponent. Apart from sportsmanship, this shows something important that might be missed by other people.
Men that cry
Though devastated in his defeat, among other things, and desperately trying to hide his tears from the cameras an the crowd, this moment highlights the importance of crying among men. In my experience observing male interactions in society, I have noticed that men are emotionally guarded, sometimes stunted, and incapable of articulating emotions. They often appear cold and despondent, and in times when things get tough or “down” their frustration and angst is demonstrated by aggression which is a useless emotion.
And so, although I felt sorry for the situation, I was happy to see that a famous man showed the world that it’s okay to cry and that it’s a step in the right direction for men to show emotions. The world is such a mess these days and it’s important for people to embrace emotions and not suppress them, to show them, to communicate them, to demonstrate to the world that it’s okay to cry and that in no way affects their masculinity or perceived masculinity.
In a somewhat related note, the concept of masculinity is being highlighted in a documentary film that will eventually be released: The Mask We Live In. This film will examine how the concept of masculinity ruins boys and leaves them with great emotional and identity crises. I look forward to its release to understand and see this perspective.
In the meantime, the more of men that I see cry the better.