kept the flowers

wait, this river of tears iz unequal

on 01/06/2011

Nancy Boehner cryingPelosi has arguably been the most effective House Speaker ever, but also the most demonized. She’s been called a witch, had her picture photoshopped among ‘evil’ flames, and made the villain in hundreds of attack ads.

But can you even imagine the malicious, gendered insults that would fly if Pelosi had cried at the drop of a hat?

It would be out of control. Why? Because she’s a weepy woman who can’t control her crazy emotions, of course! I bet it would cause Congress, pundits, and voters to immediately write her off as ineffective and ridiculous.

Now of course people are making fun of Speaker John Boehner’s recent and recurring episodes of turning on the water works.

But are they approaching him the same way they would a woman doing the exact same thing? Of course not. Fox pundit Bill O’Reilly spent maybe 35 seconds on it; his guest saying the “third time is a little too much,” and O’Reilly thinking it’s genuine.

Had O’Reilly been talking about a woman—Hillary, Pelosi, or Boxer, for example—I’m sure none of his adjectives of choice would include ‘genuine.’ A woman leader with a reputation of bawling frequently would be called weak, annoying, pathetic; her ability to lead would be questioned and her reputation forever tainted.

On the flip side, since it’s still not kosher for men to cry in our society, having our House Speaker weep repeatedly is rather out of the norm. He will continue to receive male-specific flak for his sobbing spells, which isn’t fair either.

The lesson for today, kids? Gender stereotypes hurt everyone.


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