Dad told his son, 16, to ‘man up’ for crying and it sparked a major discussion about toxic masculinity

<p>The teen’s dad scolded him for sobbing over disappointing news</p>

The teen’s dad scolded him for sobbing over disappointing news

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A teenage boy has shared the pain and anger he felt after his dad told him he was “stupid” for crying and that he needed to “man up”.

The 16-year-old said the confrontation occurred after he found out he didn’t get into the soccer team he’d been training for.

In a Reddit post he explained that he cried repeatedly following the news which left him feeling “disappointed with himself” and “badly hurt.”

He said he’d been comforted by his friends, girlfriend, sister and mother, before his father got involved.

“My dad, 37, asks what’s wrong and at first he’s making sure that I’m alright,” the teen wrote. “I don’t usually cry much in front of them because I don’t feel comfortable.”

The high school student continued: “After that he talks to me for a bit and he starts scolding me for not doing enough. He starts saying that I should’ve run more (even though I am the most athletic and have the most stamina in my family). Then he starts lecturing me about how I need to eat more and drink more water (even though I do that too).

“Finally, he says that he finds it stupid that I’m crying over it and that I need to man up.

“He starts giving me that lecture about ‘back when he was young he didn’t cry’ and all that. Trying to sound like a ‘man.’”

The 16-year-old ended his account by saying the pair argued for an hour and he hasn’t spoken to his dad since the ordeal which occurred a week before.

“It just makes me mad thinking about it,” he admitted.

He then asked fellow Redditors for their opinion on whether he was being an “a**hole about the whole thing.

“My mom thinks I’m being unreasonable and that I should talk to him,” he said. “But my sisters are on my side saying that he shouldn’t have said those things.”

The post was shared on Reddit’s ‘AmItheA**hole’ channelimaginehavingIFunny/Reddit

His message racked up more than 13,800 upvotes and 1,200 comments in less than 24 hours as fellow users rushed to denounce the older man’s actions.

One told the boy his father was “trying to push his internalised toxic masculinity on you,” adding: “Crying is healthy, expressing your feelings is healthy. Sometimes you don’t get things you want, like making a team or getting your dream job, and it’s okay to be upset and even cry over it.”

Another agreed, saying: “A good man is first of all a whole human being, with all the emotions and abilities of a good human being. Anyone who demands you cut something out of yourself to be a ‘real man’ is toxic and broken.”

A third said passionately: “We need to normalise men experiencing the full range of human emotion. There is nothing inherently unmanly about crying (it’s a bodily function for a reason, if you weren’t ‘supposed’ to do it your body wouldn’t).

“When my husband cries in front of me I thank him for being vulnerable and open with me. It’s hard to overcome the internalised toxic masculinity ideals he was fed in childhood and they are damaging to his ability to fully connect and share intimacy.”

They went on to suggest that the teenager should show his father “this thread”, stressing: “He isn’t a horrible and irredeemable person for parroting back what he has internalised but maybe he can grow from this argument and learn that emotion does not equal weakness.”

Others shared their pride in their own males loved-ones for exposing their vulnerabilities.

One wrote: “My guy is one of the most masculine men that I have ever been around – college athlete, coach, etc. With that said, he is also one of the most sensitive people that I know and has openly cried when he is with me just because he loves me so much. I love this about him and would not change it for the world.”

Another said: “Yeah...mine is a national martial arts champion, and I’ve seen him cry over a commercial. He’s mature, responsible, incredibly physically fit, and his phone is full of cat photos. I’m so, so lucky to have him for a partner.”

And a third added: “Mine is a huge, barrel chested mountain of a man. He’s driven a truck most of his life (airplane fuel and propane), he’s also a cowboy, Spurs, chaps, the whole nine yards.

“He cries when the little ones hug him, he cries over every kind of special occasion card, he cries at weddings and funerals. He cries when he’s happy or when his heart aches. Nobody is ever going to call him less manly in any way and I know that no one would have the guts to say it to his face.

“In my opinion, being able to own your emotions and express them, makes you more of a man and more human.”

Hear, hear.

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