Letter: Men, let it out

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The Independent Online
What A sad thing to read that women want men "to be in touch with their feelings and not afraid to express them" and yet, in the same article, that the sight of men crying is a turn off ("Love me tender", Real Life, 18 May). So men can be in touch with all feelings except sorrow and pain?

I had hoped that this stiff-upper-lip nonsense was the province of a tiny minority, but no, if this article is anything to go by, women are encouraging this destructive attitude. Men are made miserable, stressed and even ill by feeling they must live up to this macho stereotype. And the consequences can be even more serious: a recent report published by the Samaritans showed that young men's inability to ask for help because it is seen as weak is a major cause of suicide.

If men cannot turn to women in time of trouble just as women expect to be able to turn to their male partners (even if they are often disappointed because of their problem-solving approach to emotions also shown in this article) then who can they turn to? Men are not stronger than women, they are just human like us. So why should they have to conform to a ridiculous stereotype that women would reject for themselves?

Helen Miller