Plots and Thoughts

On Crying in Public

Posted in Observations by Captain Optimistic on January 18, 2010

A rather good post over at Pandagon regarding women crying in public.  I think Spencer Morgan is a misogynistic prat:

I’m sure he thinks women go home and just power down like a computer deprived of its electricity, except in this case our electricity is attention.  And since sadness, like all female behavior, is a ploy for attention, it pisses Morgan off because it’s not the performance he wants from women.  So he’s going to make fun of the sad women and bully them into performing behaviors he finds sexier, presumably non-stop grinning.

However I have to disagree here:

Why is it that he sees people—okay, women—occasionally crying in public?  And when people see this, why don’t they stop to talk to the crying women, to offer help?The answer to thess questions, from a non-misogynist perspective, in order: Probably because they’re sad.  And because others realize that the crying woman probably would like not to be crying in public, and would like to be accorded the respect and privacy her sadness deserves.

I actually think when you see anyone who is sad, its a good thing to check and see if they are ok if it seems appropriate.  If they want to be left alone, they’ll let you know and you can respect that.  In some instances a person crying in public isn’t approachable, in others, they are.  That’s a judgment call that is very much based on the particular situation.

I am the type of person who tries to help people who are feeling down.  I’ve battled with depression, and I come from a family where its rife.  Expressing sadness in public can be a private moment that tumbled out unexpectedly, or it can be a cry for help.  And its ok to listen to that cry should you hear it.

I was walking home late one night and I noticed a girl sitting by herself outside a hotel.  Her head was in her hands, and you could feel something was wrong.  So I walked over and asked if everything was allright.  It wasn’t.  I ended up sitting down and talking for hours.  This woman had served in the war, and had found out a few hours before that her former CO had been killed in Iraq.  She needed someone to talk to.  I was there, so we talked.

If you see someone who seems down, take a chance on looking like an idiot or intruding, and ask if they are ok.  If they want to be left alone by all means respect that.  But if its someone in need of a shoulder or an ear, don’t hesitate to lend it.

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