Tuesday, January 10, 2012

No Cry No Woman?

Why do women like to cry so much? What is so desirable about sad songs and movies that make one cry? I just don't get it: why do women purposely buy books, rent movies, and download songs designed to make them cry? And if I don't get it, does that make me less of a woman?

I know I'm not imagining the phenomenon. SNL did a brilliant skit on just this topic:

But google the topic and there's just not much out there. I found an article about the average length of time a woman cries during the course of her lifetime (16 months), and another article further down that same page which said that tears wash away stress. I even found an article that details the response of men to women's tears and hypothesizes that women cry so they won't have to have sex. That same article states that the higher the level of testosterone, the less likely a person is to cry, which may be why men cry less than women.

However, none of this explains why women actively seek out opportunities for tears and why this writer is an anomaly in this regard. I hate touchy-feely music, chick flicks, and chick lit. All that stuff makes me cringe. Meantime, I really don't think I have high testosterone levels considering I have birthed 12 children.

The truth is, I hate crying. I hate the way it makes my face get all blotchy and spotted with red. I hate the way it makes my eyelids all puffy. And it never comes as a relief. In fact, when I cry, I feel I've come undone: lost some essential part of myself that was IN CONTROL until that moment.

Look at the music on my iPod and you'll see lots of happy music in the menu. Come by during Spring cleaning and you'll see me scrubbing away to Santana and Stevie Wonder. Who the Hell wants to clean to Dust in the Wind even though the title seems kind of, er, topical??

Seriously, here is my favorite song in the whole entire world. It's happy. It's LONG. I never get enough of happy.

You'll never see me choose the movie Ghost over Life of Brian. You'll never see me choose a book by Nicolas Sparks over one by Bill Bryson.

Crying? You can keep it. To paraphrase Carly Simon, "I haven't got time for the pain."

Do you look forward to a good old-fashioned chick flick and a pint of ice cream? How do you feel after the fact? Why do you think you like to cry?


  1. Didn't put you and your blog and your son (aka the Ravens' videographer) together until he posted this on Facebook. Delightful! Do you happen to chase lizards for a photo op? My husband says that the reason I hunt small game and cry very little is that I'm "in touch with my boy side." Good thing G-d gave me only sons. I "get" them a little better than I get girls -- at least until they hit daughter-in-law age. Though even then, I can't grok all the drama.

  2. Ruti, pleased to meet you and no, I don't chase down small game for photo ops but I do have 8 sons and only 4 daughters, so you may have hit on something there...