63

We all know that tearing up is an involuntary reflex. I cry very easily, myself, even at cute cat videos or sappy Facebook posts. And I don't do it intentionally, it's just something that happens when I'm emotional. I cry from joy or sentiment much more often than I do from frustration or anger or sadness!

We know that if a man accuses a woman of crying to "manipulate" him, he's usually just being an asshole, simply because women produce more prolactin (which is linked to tear production). But when a woman dislikes another woman, suddenly she thinks all her enemy's tears are fake or crocodile tears she's using to get her way. And while people can often exaggerate their emotions to get sympathy, it's really hard to force yourself to cry. There's a reason that even a lot of actors can't do it on command or have to work themselves up to perform an emotional scene.

And I know that people sometimes fake cry to manipulate others, which is awful. But ACTUAL LIQUID TEARS can't really be helped most of the time. Saying that any upset woman you personally dislike is crying solely to make you look bad seems kind of sexist, or at least narcissistic, to me.

In adulthood I've only been accused of crying to manipulate people by men, but I've seen women accuse other women of fake crying for attention, even when the tears are obviously visible. When I was in school, other girls would insult and bully me and then get mad at me for visibly crying because they thought I was trying to make the teacher punish them. I guess I just don't understand why women attack other women in this way when they should know exactly how mortifying it is to cry in front of other people.

We all know that tearing up is an involuntary reflex. I cry very easily, myself, even at cute cat videos or sappy Facebook posts. And I don't do it intentionally, it's just something that happens when I'm emotional. I cry from joy or sentiment much more often than I do from frustration or anger or sadness! We know that if a man accuses a woman of crying to "manipulate" him, he's usually just being an asshole, simply because women produce more prolactin (which is linked to tear production). But when a woman dislikes another woman, suddenly she thinks all her enemy's tears are fake or crocodile tears she's using to get her way. And while people can often exaggerate their emotions to get sympathy, it's really hard to force yourself to cry. There's a reason that even a lot of actors can't do it on command or have to work themselves up to perform an emotional scene. And I know that people sometimes fake cry to manipulate others, which is awful. But ACTUAL LIQUID TEARS can't really be helped most of the time. Saying that any upset woman you personally dislike is crying solely to make you look bad seems kind of sexist, or at least narcissistic, to me. In adulthood I've only been accused of crying to manipulate people by men, but I've seen women accuse other women of fake crying for attention, even when the tears are obviously visible. When I was in school, other girls would insult and bully me and then get mad at me for visibly crying because they thought I was trying to make the teacher punish them. I guess I just don't understand why women attack other women in this way when they should know exactly how mortifying it is to cry in front of other people.

40 comments

[–] Rfem584 48 points Edited

Yeah if I could never dismissively hear “white woman tears” again that would be great. That’s the context I always hear it in, those uppity white women using their tears to be racist against everyone and get men to do their dirty work while they just lounge about in pretty privilege.

YES

It’s honestly so dismissive of the fact that these “White Women” are a) typically trying their best to be supportive of whatever cause is being advocated and b) have had a lifetime of socialization as the person who has to keep the peace and feel incredible shame/guilt if they’re not able to.

I've noticed some women who don't experience certain "common female experiences" will blame other women who do. I think it's partially just not understanding that not everyone has the same experiences as them, but sometimes part of it is also a "cool girl"/internalized misogyny thing where they're trying to distance themselves from the negative stereotypes of womanhood.

Some women legitimately don't cry that easily and can't relate to women who do. I'm a huge crybaby, but my mom almost never cries, and she used to always get mad at me for crying until she eventually got that I'm just wired differently.

I've seen this with periods/PMS especially, and also with women who struggle to orgasm. Stuff like "cramps aren't that bad, you're just complaining about nothing", "you're just using PMS as an excuse to be a b*tch", or "you can't orgasm during sex because you're too uptight".

Some women legitimately don't cry that easily and can't relate to women who do. I'm a huge crybaby, but my mom almost never cries, and she used to always get mad at me for crying until she eventually got that I'm just wired differently.

My mom and I have the same dynamic. Although, I don't think that even to this day she has learned to understand the "wired differently" part.

And then they pretend it's MEN that are judged for crying. 😂

[–] bellatrixbells Look ! A flair ! 7 points

I think the worst part of this is this conditions people to further bash on a crying woman, while crying usually happens when one is distressed.

Once I was at a party sitting with a black guy. We were making fun of woke culture and making jokes about "race". When he left, he hugged me and said it'd been super hanging out. Then the white wokebro got to me. Began shitting on me for "racism" and how this was unacceptable and I was such a racist blah blah insulted me until he made me cry and then proceeded to bash me even further for "white woman tears".

When you constantly accuse a given group of being scheming and manipulative what eventually happens is you find yourself unable of any empathy for them. That's a tactic commonly used in wartime. Easier to justify the subjugation of any group when you can drive most people to just disregard their humanity.

When you constantly accuse a given group of being scheming and manipulative what eventually happens is you find yourself unable of any empathy for them.

This is really insightful. Calling women scheming and manipulating simultaneously makes it seem like women are morally inferior, but with power, and erases empathy for them.

WTF???? Where the hell did the accusation of racism come from from wokebro willy's point of view? It sounds like you and that other guy were just chilling, was the woke guy eavesdropping? And if so, why not take issue with what the black guy was saying, too? Well, I guess we know why, men don't confront other men, they prefer to bully their designated punching bags, first (women). What a pathetic little man. I'm sorry he did that to you, you seem like a lovely person and of course you don't need to be told by some rando online (me) that's you're not racist, haha, probably goes without saying.

[–] bellatrixbells Look ! A flair ! 3 points

Yeah, he was basically eavesdropping and mind you, only part of the conversation. The worst part is there were Latinos with me who were like wtf and everyone was agreeing that the black guy was having a good time, but he said he didn't care what the black guy thinks. That's something I've encountered more than once. I even once had one tell me I should bring him any black person who disagreed with him so that he could teach them about racism. Seriously.

Sometimes I'm really confused about racism and there seem to be a lot of cultural norms that influence everyone, even on here. But thank you anyways, you seem lovely as well, I do enjoy your interventions on here 🙂

Sounds like a clear example of a woke bro using SJW tactics to bully a woman. Good ol' woke misogyny.

I cry all the time. I've been told I'm an empath. I think about the billions of animals dying horrid deaths in factory farming and I lose it.

But women accusing other women of crying as a tactic? Sounds like something men would say. Maybe they've learned it from men? "Oh yeah, here come the waterworks!" Actually, in high school, my friend's mother used to shout at her "it's your defense mechanism" every time they fought at home and my friend cried.

People are mean. A lot of women are very vicious. A lot of women seem to want to be like men (even though some men cry!) People are just nasty. That's my conclusion.

[–] shewolfoffrance 🦕🦖🦎 14 points

Agreed. I've known at least one grown woman who would cry to manipulate, and she was very immature in other ways as well. In my experience, most women would do almost anything to avoid crying in public. They don't want to look hysterical or make other people feel awkward.

[–] bellatrixbells Look ! A flair ! 5 points

Women on here have said that "white women tears" was an actual thing. Race dynamics can be quite fucked up.

I've never gotten those "manipulation tactic" accusations.

Perhaps because my empathy works more along the lines of: "Something bad happened to this person, I assume they must feel sad" and not "This person feels sad, something bad must have happened."

So, crying to make me feel sad for someone wouldn't work. Either something bad happened to them, then I feel sorry for them, anyways, or not, then tears won't convince me otherwise. The only thing tears can achieve is to make me ask what's wrong.

Girls insulting and bullying someone and then getting mad when she cries is so obviously nonsensical - did they think the teacher wouldn't punish them for their bullying if the victim didn't cry? (Perhaps that's how the world really works, but I can't say I understand it)

I totally agree with you. I've always been a crybaby and I hate it. My mother bullied me for it when I was a teenager and there is nothing more embarrassing than starting to cry when your boss screams at you (thankfully I have a different boss now). I don't do it to manipulate anyone. I tried all kinds of tricks to keep me from crying, but it just doesn't work. I only learned about the "crying to manipulate people" stereotype online and it made me feel even worse about myself.

Sure, maybe some women actually do it for those reasons, but I would guess that most women who cry actually can't help it.

[–] notyourfetish 9 points Edited

My mother bullied me for it when I was a teenager

Wow that is shitty. I'm so sorry.

I used to be the same way. My mother would abuse me, and when I cried about it, I was abused some more. I was never allowed to express anger or sadness. I was just supposed to be an object she could act on (she had NPD, so I was never a person to her).

Then I went through a crybaby phase in my twenties because I had never been allowed to do that as a child. And this was happening in the military, where you're supposed to be a tough stone wall, so it was even worse.

This entire thread made me realize I've come a long way because I don't cry all the time now. Parents can really screw up their kids. It's criminal.

Thank you for your kind words. I'm sorry you are familiar with this too. My mother was very, very similar to yours... She's apologetic now, but the damage is sadly done. Luckily therapy helped a lot.

Yeah I was bullied all through school for it. I get angry now that my tears, which may express empathy, sorrow, pain and even anger, are dismissed as lies because I'm a white lady.

I think this is a multipronged issue.

Many have already indicated their personal experience with being shamed by family/peers for crying. I think prior generations really valued a stoic demeanor (keep calm and carry on, stiff upper lip) and frowned on public displays of negative emotion.

There is also the political/social side of women being shamed for their tears in a broader sense. We see this with the current shaming of JK Rowling for being upset with TRAs showing up to her house - white women’s tears are just a manipulation tactic, they are way to privileged to ever have anything to actually be upset about. We see this with Oxfam blaming “privileged white women” are to blame for sexual violence. They literally had a flyer with a cartoon crying white women next to a paragraph saying that they are harming black or marginalized people when they want their rapists punished.

We see this with Oxfam blaming “privileged white women” are to blame for sexual violence. They literally had a flyer with a cartoon crying white women next to a paragraph saying that they are harming black or marginalized people when they want their rapists punished.

That's disgusting. What do all these people and organizations who put this stuff out want? For black men and men of phenotypes other than 'white' to have a carte blanche to rape as many women and (female, for they would take it seriously if it happened to male) children as possible, with no consequences whatsoever? Just what do they think, that only white men are rapists and anyone who accuses a black man of rape is a liar? Or is it only that black men never rape white women, would a black woman accusing a man of her own ethnicity of rape be accused of "white privilege"? Given that Adichie was called a "white feminist", I have an unsettling feeling the answer is yes, they would be accused of that. So that takes us back to the first question: do all these people really think black men (or Asian, or Indian, or Indigenous, etc.) never ever harm women and children and are super duper feminist? They often are more into male supremacy and machismo culture than many western white men are, in my experience. That doesn't always translate to rape of course, but it is a really bad set of attitudes to have towards females. It's all so stupid.

I just want to challenge you on the tears thing, because I knew a very toxic person who could do it amazingly, like "boom" crocodile tears and then "boom" stop. Though I think they are a lot more rare than we think. Ofc there is sexism. But anyway, I'd never believe it except I met that person, and they later bragged about it to me and even did to prove it to me.

Same. I was going to write a response pointing out that there actually ARE people who can cry fake liquid tears on command, they just seem to be rare.

My mother was a malignant narcissist (as in, she was a cluster B who actually had NPD) and could cry actual, liquid tears on command to manipulate people.

Anytime I called her out for her abuse, she would cry real tears to make me feel bad. But of course, because she was a fucking sociopath, she didn't contort her face or make an effort to really look upset because she had no idea how to do that (ie she was incapable). The best she could pull off was solemn crying. But because they were real liquid tears, it was enough to manipulate me into feeling guilty enough that I wouldn't stand up to her abuse and would instead think, "Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe it was an accident. Maybe she didn't mean to do X horrible thing."

It's because of my mother that I am skeptical of people who cry in response to things instead of just having an assertive fucking conversation . . . But because I'm "butch" I know people will assume I have internalized sexism or that I hate women or whatever. Nope. I was just raised by a very manipulative, evil woman, who abused me for thirty years before I had the self-esteem to cut her out of my life.

Not everything is because of sexism. But thanks to this discussion, I will make more of an effort to give people the benefit of the doubt rather than projecting my childhood trauma onto things.

There is also the experience of some mothers with this - my elementary school age son is currently in a phase where he will cry in an effort to get what he wants, and I remember being his age. I think it's more important to just allow people to cry if that's what they're going to do, and to try to let people calm themselves down but not make a big deal over whether they are or aren't crying unless they ask for something, normalizing that some people cry more easily, that sort of thing.

But some people who find it easier to cry on demand (like, think of sad thing, boom) have used it to try to communicate that they're upset without having to stand up and say "this is making me upset". Everyone has tried something passive aggressive at some point in their life, and it's good to call it out and clear the air on it so we can avoid that dynamic. But, if someone says it really isn't a passive-aggressive tactic, you have to believe what they say too. It's tough sometimes trying to understand one another...

It's tough sometimes trying to understand one another...

This is very deep actually...I appreciate you saying this. Its something to always consider.

[–] womenopausal [speaking as mod] witchbabe🧙‍♀️👶 9 points

This circle is for discussions about gender and transgender ideology/politics. From now on, I'd like to see off-topic posts like this in o/Women please.

It would be cool if we had a circle for discussing gender but topics that don't relate to trans stuff. Just the actual gender construct pushed on females, which this is whole "women only cry to manipulate" is clearly a part of. Maybe one day. :)

Maybe they don't experience it. I was never much of a crier even as a little kid and haven't cried in like 5 years. The urge has almost never been uncontrollable.

Could be. I tear up at totally random stuff. Anything that is the teensiest bit moving can set them off. And it really is random because sometimes things that are very emotionally moving do not, and things like a cute kitten or something do.

I also have sensitive eyes that get itchy easily so I wonder if it is related

So maybe it just comes down to personal experience? I'm actually pretty jealous of you! I always feel ridiculous for tearing up so easily over ridiculous shit like the Hachiko wikipedia article lol

Ha, well, I believe there's a happy medium. Sometimes I think I am too stoic and closed off. Part of it is my inherent nature, but maybe the other part is internalized misogyny.

There's nothing wrong with you!! You can't force yourself to cry anymore than I can force myself not to. Please don't feel bad about yourself for something you can't help.

Load more (6 comments)