So this is weird. Between Tuesday and Wednesday of this week (yes, I’m a little behind), at least three different articles surfaced online, all regarding incoming House Speaker John Boehner’s propensity to cry on command. The first was Slate‘s Double X feature, which on Tuesday carried a headline of “Boehner’s Manly Tears” and speculated that “a female politician could never cry like that without being pilloried.” The next day, both Gail Collins (“The Crying Game”) and Timothy Egan (“The Tears of John Boehner”) of The New York Times followed suit, the former noting that “[Hillary] Clinton approached the edge of a sniffle and we are still talking about it” and the latter citing Barbara Walters as having said that “if Nancy Pelosi had been such a serial bawler, she’d never have heard the end of it.”
Seeing a trend here? I will always empathize with Clinton for the way she was treated by the national media during her presidential campaign. But it seems to me that these columnists are all shooting holes in their own arguments. If there’s such an obvious gender gap in terms of expectations for public weeping, then why do Boehner’s tears warrant such microscopic attention?
Let’s all please try to focus on the bright side. Like the fact that John Boehner even can cry through that weird neon-orange mask he’s always wearing.