So Hillary teared up on the campaign trail yesterday. And this is newswothy because…..???
Political candidates have been catching flak about their tears for decades. Ed Muskie was accused of crying over a scathing newspaper article attacking his wife during his 1972 presidential bid (he ended up dropping out). Pat Schroeder let the tears flow when she announced that she wouldn’t be running for president in 1987 and she STILL gets shit for it. Hell, even George Bush tears up every now and then (probably on Cheney’s orders to “show some emotion, dammit. We don’t want the public to find out you’re just a sock puppet”).
So we’ve got us a gen-u-ine female presidential candidate now and it seems all eyes are on her, well… her eyes. Yesterday’s headlines were all abuzz with the news that it appeared that Hillary “teared up” during her meet & greet yesterday in New Hampshire.
“Here’s the news footage! You be the judge! Did she or didn’t she tear up when asked how she was doing?”
It was apparently so ambiguous as to warrant a separate national vote on the matter.
While it’s generally OK these days for our manly men politicians to show a little emotion publicly once in awhile (and preferably regarding manly pursuits such as the horrors of war), similar shows of female emotion are still considered a sign of weakness. When John Edwards was asked about the so-called crying incident yesterday, his response was along the lines of “Well, I believe our country’s leaders should show strength, not weakness.”
And what, pray tell, would President John Edwards do if his wife died while he was in office?
Of course we wouldn’t expect him to soldier on, determined to get through the whole thing dry-eyed. No we wouldn’t. Because that would make him a heartless bastard. A woman president crying over the loss of her husband though? Some might fear that she’d just simply fall apart and never be able to function again.
And that’s really the problem with female tears, isn’t it? Men are afraid we’ll start crying and never be able to stop.
I’m afraid this nation may not be ready for a female president. Especially if we’re still freaking out about whether or not the female candidate teared up on the campaign trail. I think we’d all best put our Big-Girl panties on and start worrying about what the candidates actually believe in, as opposed to whether or not they happen to cry occasionally.