I would do ‘most anything
To get you back by my side
But I just keep on laughing
Hiding the tears in my eyes
‘Cause boys don’t cry

If, after a quarter of a century, a song is still an earworm, always stuck in our heads, then we are certainly speaking of a classic. We flinch briefly: Has it really been 25 years since The Cure first cast a spell over us with this pop hymn? The answer: Yes!

To Lightbox "New Men"

All things must come to an end

If you take a closer look at the text of “Boys Don’t Cry,” you’ll soon notice that the boys really do have to cry sometimes. But due to the spirit of the times and a probably already outdated male image, this was simply frowned upon. In the manner of “an Indian brave knows no pain,” tears were simply suppressed. Only behind closed doors did the tears quietly fall down the cheeks of the men of this world.

The traditional, or let us say, the previous image of men has dragged into the 20th century—an image based on the man in the strong role of a clearly two-gender relationship: him, that is the provider and the head of the family, and the subordinate her, acting as mother and housekeeper. A picture in which, in the context of the post-war period, there was simply no emotional space for men’s tears.

Oh, men, be honest! You benefit from women

It still took many years until a slight change in the male image and culture of the man became apparent. Now we are writing the year 2019, and, at least in the western world, the new men have arrived. Who exactly are these new men? They are those who, unembarrassed, have discovered their femininity. This requires, on the one hand, a general understanding in society and, on the other hand, the willingness and self-confidence of every single man to live out exactly this.

The masculinity of women has paved the way for man’s femininity. Sounds like a paradox, but it’s also a sentence that makes you click your tongue. Well, you just can’t let that go. The development of gender roles is less about masculinity or femininity, and more about equality. What in the end has nothing more to do with gender, in other words “should have to do,” many overlook. So let us stick to a simple point: Men profit from the self-confidence of feminist women and, of course, feminist men. No, it’s not an oxymoron; it’s just the way it is! To put it simply, the stronger feminist image of women ensures that the burden of the masculine strength demanded by the traditional male image is removed and with it a lot of posturing that has certainly made men’s lives more complicated. This in no way makes masculinity obsolete. But perhaps we should talk more about humanity and grant both men and women the same emotions, needs, and rights. So the man can still be strong, but—this is a nice development—he doesn’t always have to be. A small appeal: Hey, it can’t be that difficult …

The country needs new men

By now, man has been given a lot of credit. He can, for example, fully live out his emotions, exist more complexly, if he dares, and feel comfortable about it. But even here, parallel to feminism, we are dealing with the long haul, as can be seen from a simple example: a football star blessed with millions, a supposed idol of masculinity, can weep because of 50,000 times the testosterone dose, but be gay, for heaven’s sake! The target on the back is too big in a society that is not yet advanced enough in some respects. It probably requires a lot more patience. A patience that new men have, however, because they have not been a minority for a long time, and with each new man the path progresses. The beauty about it is that it is a path that is followed by both men and women, in lockstep to more equality.

Addendum: All this does not mean that “Boys Don’t Cry” isn’t a great song! Greetings from the Westend61 editorial office.