getting emotional

Aimee Yermish ayermish at leland.Stanford.EDU
Fri Jul 30 15:44:58 EST 1993

I have the same problem, with crying.  Despite what many men may
believe, I've never yet met a woman who could make herself cry on
demand, nor any who would want to do so for the purpose of emotional
blackmail (I know a few actresses who can do it, but it takes a *lot*
of work and practice, and basically involves bringing up emotions that
would make them cry for real).  We (criers) know that that's how we're
seen, which is part of why we want to stop having to do it, but it
happens to be totally not true.  Steve Modena, since you're probably
reading this list to learn about women in biology as opposed to
laughing at us, perhaps you can learn from this discussion.

Crying is another way of dealing with stress -- some people get
angry, others dispose of the excess adrenalin in tears.  When I'm in a
situation where I feel trapped and helpless and frustrated, I cry,
and, like the others who have posted, could no more stop that from
happening than I could prevent the wind from blowing.  I can prevent
sobbing, but not tears -- they just well up and drip down my face.

And, boy, is it ever embarrassing.  It's like number one on the list
of "how not to get taken seriously, by men and women both."  I don't
want anyone to do me favors because I'm a weak little girl and I cry
-- yuck!

When I do get stuck crying in front of people, I usually gather my
voice together to be as even as I can manage (no little trick, if I'm
upset enough to be crying) and explain in a very clinical tone that
they should just ignore my tears, that it is an uncontrollable
physical reaction to stress, and can we please get back to the subject
at hand?

Part of the problem, of course, is that the very fact that I am crying
increases my frustration, which makes it harder for me to stop.  Erk.

Aimee Yermish			Society for Interactive Literature West
ayermish at	415-329-1984 (before 11pm Pacific time)
Coming Thanksgiving weekend to Silicon, San Jose, CA -- *Stopover*
Interstellar intrigue, pirates, bar fights, lots of aliens -- ask me about it!

More information about the Womenbio mailing list