Speaker elect John Boehner cried once again in last Sunday's 60 Minutes interview, and is once again being ridiculed for it- the women of The View being particularly nasty about it, worse even than outgoing Speaker Pelosi was previously. I find the different reactions to tears by public figures, especially politicians, puzzling.
Pat Schroeder was roundly criticized for a few seconds of tears during her announcement that she would not be a candidate for President. At the time, many said that the criticism was a double standard- that men like Ronald Reagan were allowed to tear up, but women weren't. But try telling that to Ed Muskie, whose career was destroyed by "melting snowflakes". It has been suggested that the difference is that a Reagan or a McCain has enough macho bona fides that it wasn't a sign of weakness, but I've noticed that even those who ridiculed G. W. Bush's military career didn't make fun of him tearing up at a number of emotional events.
I'm also confused by the fact that women are so much nastier about it than men are. From Muskie to Boehner, you have to do a lot of Googling to find any man as nasty about public tears as the many very public comments from women. Ask Pat Schroder: "She's still catching flak about it today, mostly from women. "Oh, my gosh, I got a devastating e-mail about it from a woman writer just a couple of days ago," Schroeder said in an interview. "I want to say, 'Wait a minute, we are talking 20 years ago.' It's like I ruined their lives, 20 years ago, with three seconds of catching my breath." To paraphrase Scrooge, there is nothing on which women are so hard as coldness; and there is nothing they condemn with such severity as the expression of emotion.
I guess I'd be in trouble if I ever became famous. I've cried during discussions, I've cried at movies, plays- hell, I've even cried at a Star Trek episode. Good thing for me I don't give a good Goddamn what the women of The View think.