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15th Apr 2024

Dad sparks debate for telling son to ‘man up’ after seeing him crying

Charlie Herbert

Dad sparks debate for telling son to 'man up' after seeing him crying

He told his son he was ‘stupid’ for crying

A man has sparked a debate about toxic masculinity after revealing that his father told him to “man up” after he started crying.

The anonymous 16-year-old male shared a post on the Am I The A**hole subreddit in which he explained how he was emotional after failing to get a place on a football team.

He wrote: “I was crying because I didn’t get into a soccer team. I was pretty upset at the whole thing and I told my friends about it.

“Obviously I didn’t cry in front of them because I didn’t want them to worry about me. I told my [16-year-old girlfriend] about it and she was really sweet and comforted me about it.”

The teenager went on to say how when he got home that evening after spending time with mats, he told his parents that he hadn’t got onto the team.

After this, he started to cry whilst having a shower “because I was disappointed with myself” and it “hurt really badly that I didn’t get in.”

Although his mum and sister comforted him, his dad seemed to give his emotions short shrift.

After initially asking his son what was wrong and making sure that he’s alright, the dad started “scolding me for not doing enough.”

The teen wrote: “I don’t usually cry much in front of them because I don’t feel comfortable. 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 ran 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).”

Things went from bad to worse from there, as the dad said he thought it was “stupid” that his son was “crying over it.”

It was then that he told him to “man up.”

The son continued: “He starts giving me that lecture about that back when he was young he didn’t cry and all that. Trying to sound like a ‘man.’ That just makes me mad and I start arguing back. Our [argument] started at around 10 and ended at 11.”

He finished by saying that he hasn’t spoken to his dad since the argument, and asked the Reddit community whether he was in the wrong.

The response was a resounding ‘no’, with the vast majority supporting the teen and criticising the dad for his toxic masculinity.

One person wrote: “He’s trying to push his internalized toxic masculinity on you. 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 said: “Never hold your emotions in! Depression and suicide rates are increasing in men because of toxic masculinity! You’re allowed to cry, in fact I’d say being in touch with your emotions is awesome and will help you in your future”.

A third echoed the sentiment, commenting: “His behavior is why we have so many men punching walls and screaming instead of sitting down with their wives and discussing their feelings.

“His attitude is toxic and unhealthy, and if he keeps it up, there will be a wedge between both of you that will be difficult, if even possible, to fix.”

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