An essay published by The New Yorker on Thursday offered an analysis of "The Tears of Brett Kavanaugh." Within it, the author asserted that when the U.S. Supreme Court nominee became emotional during testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, he "seemingly weaponized crying, the way a little boy does when he's in trouble."
What are the details?
Writer Michael Lista said that Kavanaugh "blubbered like a child" in response to the sexual assault allegations made against him by accuser Christine Blasey Ford. Quoting a long list of historic figures, Lista explained how for most of Western history, men cried "incessantly."
Then, the Victorian era told men that weeping was a sign of weakness, Lista contended. He went on to say that in the last 50 years or so "a counterargument has taken hold: that crying is good for a man, that his tears are the outward sign of his inward progress, the evidence and end result of his 'being in touch with his feelings.' A crying man came to be regarded as an unqualified good."
"But," Lista wrote, "Kavanaugh's performance last Thursday was something entirely different, distinctly contemporary. It combined the postwar attitude that men should be in touch with their feelings, to the point that they may cry, with the intrinsic American ideal of white male privilege."
Pointing to the fact that Justice Clarence Thomas faced similar circumstances during his own confirmation hearings with "righteous indignation" in calling the attacks against him "a high-tech lynching," Lista added.
"Kavanaugh has no avenue of appeal, though, except his own hurt feelings," he said. "He is in touch with them, as he was taught to be. And so, he's seemingly weaponized crying, the way a little boy does when he's in trouble."
Are there other examples?
Lista went on to give examples of when other high-profile men have cried publicly, namely former President Barack Obama, and former Speaker of the House John Boehner.
"But Boehner and Obama's tears bear little resemblance to Kavanaugh's, which are entirely in self-pity and self-interest," he wrote.
The New Yorker promoted the essay on Twitter, leaving many on social media to question the author and the publication itself.
— The New Yorker (@NewYorker) October 5, 2018
Responding to the article, TheBlaze's Jessica Fletcher wrote, "Last week not crying was toxic masculinity. Now crying is weaponized. I can't keep up. Can you provide a schedule for when how and when I'm supposed to be outraged?"
Last week not crying was toxic masculinity. Now crying is weaponized. I can’t keep up. Can you provide a schedule for when how and when I’m supposed to be outraged?
— Jessica Fletcher (@heckyessica) October 5, 2018