When John Boehner teared up in a 60 Minutes interview this Sunday, America learned what Washington, D.C. has known for years: the incoming Speaker of the House is a crybaby. In the days since the 60 Minutes spot aired, countless articles have been written about Boehner's past crying jags, which have taken place on election night, at school openings, and during retirement speeches.
To those who ask how Boehner has managed to amass so much political power despite his seemingly unmasculine tendency to tear up, the following answer has been offered: it's OK for men to cry ... if they're conservatives. In other words, we're comfortable with seeing men cry if they've proven themselves to be masculine in other ways. Boehner may cry on the House floor, but he was also a member of the tough-guy Gang of Seven, devoted to rooting out corruption in Congress.
To movie fans, this revelation shouldn't come as too much of a surprise. Men cry all the time onscreen—as Jezebel said this summer, it's a sure-fire way to get an Oscar nomination—and when they do, they follow the same rules as Boehner: they prove themselves to be masculine before they start crying. So when the tears begin to flow, they're a sign of sensitivity rather than weakness.