THE BLOG
12/21/2010 11:02 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Male Crying in Politics: Not Sexism, but Partyism

Unless you are a master of politics and emotion (i.e. the likes of President Bill Clinton), did you ever notice that there exists overt male "partyism" when it comes to crying?

Compare Democrat Ed Muskie crying in the 1972 campaign to Republican soon-to-be Speaker John Boehner. It is fine for Representative Boehner to cry. He's "in touch with his emotions;" he's just "a very emotional guy." Ed Muskie? "What a cry baby!"

This is elaborate "partyism." Have you never heard of the term in this context? Probably not. Because I'm pretty certain that I just coined it up (it actually means something entirely different). And forget about the gap of forty years when it comes to Muskie. I have a feeling that if Boehner were a male Democrat, Republicans would be all over him for crying today. Somehow, as a Republican, "it's cool to cry." But as a Democrat, something is inherently wrong with you. It all plays into the scare tactic handbook that "Democrats are weak" and "Republicans are tough." Give me a break.

Hey -- if we are going to work on sexism (see my previous piece on Secretary Clinton's hair), let's also work on partyism too.

Happy New Year and thanks to everyone who has read my pieces this past year. I look forward to seeing you all in 2011.

You can contact David at www.DavidHelfenbein.com.

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