Only the most shameless woman cries to manipulate an argument. And for that she should be tarred and feathered, because she perpetuates the idea that tears are shed in rational self-interest. THERE IS NOTHING RATIONAL ABOUT IT.
Some context: The Times of London has been running a charming series on "The Trouble With Women." Every week, a different writer ruminates on some broad-sweeping female flaw. It's utterly predictable and unremarkable (and unending, because lord knows we're just so messy), but still, yesterday's insight from "Jonathan," a 28-year-old journalist, did a fine job illustrating how so many dudes just don't get it: "Women cry as a defense mechanism […] Women can use crying to change a two-sided argument into a one-person therapy session." Oh, fuck off already.
But wait. Let's not be insensitive and dismiss the concerns of this fellow, who claims that the problem — aside from women using tears as the checkmate in any tiff — is not so much our uncontrollable wailing but, rather, that men care too much. Most men, you see, are not sociopaths. When his gal is sniffling and crying, it really pulls at a guy's heartstrings to see "a person you care for, sobbing." So the man will apologize, but nothing will truly be resolved because the lady is simply too blubbery, and the man too sensitive to said blubbering, for either party to talk through the issue. But as a woman, what do you care? "Bottom line, with tears, women win."
Are lady-tears really a defense mechanism, a salt-tinged move from Sun Tzu? Sometimes, maybe if we're wrong. And since we're wrong so very rarely, we can hardly label argumentative tears as a defense. Rather, I'd venture that tears are more like misdirected missiles. More often than not, my tears are tears of rage, and in that moment I can't control that anger — or, worse, it'd be inappropriate for me to express the emotions, like when I want to strangle a boss or a boyfriend in a public place — and suddenly my face is red and my eyes are watering and the only thing I can do to ward off the waterworks is to shut down and mentally limit myself to thoughts about butterflies. But if those angry tears do indeed erupt, god help us all: I can quickly devolve into a snotting and slobbering mess, letting myself go until I'm so swollen and pink-faced that I look like a newborn panda. And if that makes you apologize, it's just because you're sorry I look so fucking ridiculous.
It's easy to point this out as a gender issue — girls are so emotional! But men are emotional too; they've just been socialized in a manner that has better-equipped them to deal with and express (or bottle up) anger. Gender norms and all that. Plus, they're bigger and stronger, so when they're mad they can just go at it with drywall!
Admittedly, there's a grain of truth in regards to tears "ending" an argument — once you're hiccuping and incoherent, your beloved will probably back off a bit and apologize, even if it's only for "making" you cry. But gentlemen, make no mistake: No self-respecting woman considers this a win. Having any man — or woman, really — see you in tears feels like a little defeat, because your wet face undermines any good points you're trying to make. And the last thing you want is an audience while your own emotions are kicking your ass.
The Trouble With Women: They Always Cry [Times UK]