I’ve been thinking about this and I think I have a clue about men’s attitude about emotion. It’s about the emotion of fear and reaction to it.

We hear the idea of someone being fearless but the reality is that it is someone who can set fear aside and not be paralyzed by it. Medals for valor and heroism are awarded for selfless acts in the face of great danger. Occasions where fear is natural. We have disdain for cowards who fail in the face of fear. I would opine that the idea of virtue in the ability to switch off the emotion of fear has been essential to the survival of mankind and I have nothing negative to say about what I’ve written so far. It is a part of my worldview.

Can women do this too? Of course, but we most often see it when it involves protecting their young, their own. In general men are more expendable than women to the survival of mankind and more physically capable of doing the things associated with bravery. We, males, are taught that this is our place.

The down side is that when we see virtue in being able to ignore emotion for short term performance sake it is a larger issue than the emotion of fear. I have long thought that an event in Vietnam had taught me to shut off emotion but in thinking about it, I had just shut off empathy. Was that temporary or did it leave a scar. I am sometimes disappointed in myself when I realize that I am less empathetic on occasion than I think I should be to this day. Shutting it off as self protection as I leaned to do fifty years ago?

Sometimes women seem more capable of overt, extreme cruelty than men which requires a stunning lack of empathy. Is it worse when women finally go over the top?

After all this thought about it I’m thinking that you are correct that men are every bit as emotional as women but our response to it, be it learned and/or innate, may have a place but at a high cost to ourselves and society.

Retired and living my golden years in a world full of angry people.

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