SEVERE WX : Severe Thunderstorm Watch View Alerts

When men cry in public

With tears flowing repeatedly, Brett Kavanaugh angrily denied allegations of sexual misconduct as he appeare...

Posted: Sep 28, 2018 1:34 PM
Updated: Sep 28, 2018 1:34 PM

With tears flowing repeatedly, Brett Kavanaugh angrily denied allegations of sexual misconduct as he appeared Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The airing of the allegations, he insisted, was not just a moment of crisis for him but a "national disgrace," and the controversy had "destroyed" his family.

In a previous generation, in 1972, a display of emotion by presidential candidate Ed Muskie, who appeared to cry as he defended the honor of his wife, Jane, helped end his hopes for higher office. (Later, observers conceded that it might have been melting snow, rather than tears, on Muskie's cheek.)

Brett Kavanaugh

Political Figures - US

Donald Trump

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Government organizations - US

Politics

US Congress

US federal government

US Senate

White House

Judgments on Kavanaugh's emotional performance will likely depend on each viewer's perspective, but he demonstrated the wider latitude that men in politics have today to show their emotions. However, were he a woman, he would likely be dismissed as overwrought, even hysterical, which helps explain why the witness who testified before him, Christine Blasey Ford, was far more composed and restrained.

If Republican Senators waffle on support for Kavanaugh's nomination, the most important judgment will be rendered by Donald Trump. Gabriel Sherman of Vanity Fair tweeted, "The crying has unnerved some White House aides, source says. 'People don't know why he is crying.'"

For Trump, who would seemingly rather risk a man keeling over from a heart attack than indulging his feelings, the display was likely an exasperating development. "When I see a man cry I view it as a weakness," Trump once told writer Timothy O'Brien. "I don't like seeing men cry."

Still, the President immediately tweeted his support for Kavanaugh as soon as the hearing ended:

"Judge Kavanaugh showed America exactly why I nominated him. His testimony was powerful, honest, and riveting. Democrats' search and destroy strategy is disgraceful and this process has been a total sham and effort to delay, obstruct, and resist. The Senate must vote!"

As a nominee for the Supreme Court who no doubt believed he would soon be approved by the Senate, Kavanaugh's feelings are easy to understand. He was suddenly made the subject of three separate accusations of sexual misconduct and was on a mission to clear himself. Ford, the first accuser and the only one the Republicans who control the committee will hear, alleged he attacked her when they were teens.

Such an allegation, in addition to the others, would disturb anyone who is accused, but as Kavanaugh let his emotions show, it was easy to imagine Trump growing impatient, if not disgusted.

A man firmly planted in the ethos of the 1950s male, Trump would no more cry in such a setting than admit that he was elected president with the aid of the Russians. He has, himself, faced more than a dozen allegations of sexual misconduct and never once reacted with anything but a dismissive attitude. To see Kavanaugh weep must have galled the man who named him to the court.

Attitudes about masculinity have changed a lot in the decades since Trump's youth. Former Speaker of the House John Boehner was so sentimental that he teared up over almost anything, and Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama have shed tears in moments of tragedy or mourning. The difference is that, at least in public, these men did not cry in anger, or because their own feelings were hurt.

President Trump is not part of the Washington crying crowd. He is the man who called Senator Charles Schumer "cryin' Chuck" when he teared up in early 2017. In 2015, Trump called broadcaster Glenn Beck "wacky" and "worse than Boehner" because he got emotional on his show.

Recent decades have seen greater acceptance for open displays of emotion. As one writer at a website devoted to boosting positive images of modern men recently argued, "Real men do cry."

Whether or not the crying went over well at the White House, Kavanaugh has retained the President's support. And if Kavanaugh is backed by the Republican majority in the Senate, he'll be on the Supreme Court.

West Lafayette
Clear
83° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 89°
Kokomo
Clear
80° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 85°
Rensselaer
Overcast
81° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 86°
Fowler
Overcast
81° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 86°
Williamsport
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 92°
Crawfordsville
Clear
80° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 83°
Frankfort
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 83°
Delphi
Broken Clouds
82° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 87°
Monticello
Broken Clouds
82° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 87°
Logansport
Scattered Clouds
82° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 89°
Active Weather Pattern for the Work Week.
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 74328

Reported Deaths: 3041
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion15860725
Lake7570275
Elkhart484384
Allen3902163
St. Joseph350081
Hamilton2763104
Vanderburgh196313
Hendricks1887108
Cass17959
Johnson1757118
Porter131639
Clark123347
Tippecanoe121111
Madison97965
LaPorte91130
Howard89065
Kosciusko85212
Bartholomew79347
Marshall78422
Floyd77946
Monroe75630
Delaware73052
Dubois69612
Boone67846
Noble67829
Hancock66038
Vigo65110
Jackson5865
Warrick58130
LaGrange55910
Shelby55327
Grant52630
Dearborn50828
Morgan47634
Clinton4343
Henry38320
Wayne37710
White36910
Montgomery35421
Lawrence34627
Harrison33823
Decatur33732
Putnam2888
Miami2742
Daviess27320
Scott26810
Greene25034
Jasper2432
Franklin24214
DeKalb2324
Gibson2254
Jennings22512
Steuben2103
Ripley2087
Carroll1912
Fayette1897
Perry18612
Starke1787
Orange17124
Posey1710
Wabash1693
Fulton1682
Wells1682
Jefferson1632
Knox1540
Whitley1526
Washington1401
Tipton13810
Spencer1363
Sullivan1261
Huntington1223
Randolph1224
Clay1215
Newton11810
Adams1012
Jay910
Owen901
Pulaski831
Rush804
Fountain742
Brown731
Ohio655
Blackford642
Benton610
Pike530
Switzerland520
Vermillion520
Parke511
Crawford450
Martin450
Union410
Warren221
Unassigned0206

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events