By: Yolanda Dragon

The tears of humanity are the expression from the president during his speech on gun control last week. His display of emotion challenges those who have a fixed view of masculinity in western culture. While some question the authenticity, I applaud his strength. Men are not as conditioned from a young age to be as expressive or communicative as women to voice true emotion. As the mother of a young boy, I am alarmed at the level of violence that is expressed and tolerated in our society yet; indignation is expressed for emotion from a man. Our young men face a difficult society that does not embrace their expressions of vulnerability but disparages it. I am teaching my son that the full gamut of emotion is to be expressed, not suppressed as our boys and men are instructed to do. Too often, I will hear a mother or father admonish their son to “stop it, stop those tears!’ to a child clearly upset. Would the same be expected on a young girl? When we feminize select emotions while amplifying others, we stifle our humanity. Often, those repressed emotions manifest in other, often negative, ways. Suppressing emotions in akin to pushing a beach ball down into water, the emotions will pop back up! I say bravo Mr. President and other public figures who demonstrate what it is to be male in modern society.