I was attempting to resist commenting on the Kavanaugh/Ford Senate hearing because I try to keep the blog apolitical. However, after much thought I realized that after putting politics aside what annoys me the most – understatement- is my sense of Judge Kavanaugh’s inadequacy as a man. The question is whether or not his performance reflected the best of masculinity? On one hand he attempted to appeal to stereotypical attributes of manliness – jock, beer drinker, weight lifter – while simultaneously trying to demonstrate that he is a highly evolved man not afraid to show strong emotion as he teared up in front of a TV audience of millions.
My problem is that neither approach felt terribly authentic. I have no doubt that he was an athlete and did drink beer but his harping on the subject, especially his frequenting mention of his love for beer, was contrived and clearly a blatant appeal to his perception of what “real men” think of manliness. In addition, his display of emotion did not feel sincere. Was he simply trying to appeal to female watchers by showing that he is a sensitive guy able to unashamedly choke up and cry in public? What bothered me was not the fact that he got emotional but what prompted the display. What great personal loss in his life was so powerful that he repeatedly lost his composure. Yes, the need to defend oneself in public is stressful and does have an impact on family life. However, remember the worst outcome of the process, if he really did not sexually assault Dr. Ford or lie about his past, would be that he would become a Supreme Court Justice. In other words his only loss was having to be questioned a second time by a Senate Committee that was determined to nominate him. My takeaway is that his crying and sniveling were either crocodile tears or an overreaction to those who dared to question his self proclaimed destiny. In either case, hardly the best of masculinity,.