Kavanaugh & Masculinity

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,.

4 thoughts on “Kavanaugh & Masculinity”

  1. I agree with your perspective, though even leaving masculinity and politics aside. I did not really see his hearing testimony as a display of masculinity, but a disqualifying job interview if ever I saw/heard one. To your point, it also was not a positive display of masculinity … more of a spoiled child who did not get his ice cream after eating all his dinner. To talk back to SEVERAL US Senators on a number of topics was an affront to the process of Senate oversight and the ‘advise and consent’ process. In all my years of interviewing for jobs, I’ve never asked the interviewer a confronting, challenging question. He also had the opportunity to address a real issue of our time, show empathy, but his emotion was focused on his perceived ‘loss’, a job he is NOT entitled to, for a lifetime appointment with essentially no one to answer to. Aside from his political views, I could not see approving or supporting his nomination, and would be embarrassed to have him on the Supreme Court, should he be approved based on political grounds. Another concern about where our government and leadership and country is currently, and I don’t see a brighter near-term future … it may indeed get worse before it gets better, and hopefully within my lifetime.

    1. I quite agree, Howard. As a judge, would he have tolerated for a minute the kind of backtalk he dished out in his hearing? Pretty unlikely.

  2. Donald Trump’s key attribute is his utter shamelessness, and Kavanaugh appears to want to join him in the game. As soon as he got a little pushback, he revealed himself to be the angry partisan hack he really is (after all, isn’t this why he was selected?).

  3. Good post, good comments, thanks.

    My own take… Mr. K is a nightmare of a man, watching and reading about him reminds me all too well of my own worst moments, or perhaps moments I thought better of. So… immature, unformed, utterly untutored, poorly socialized, sauvage, and yes… entitled. Him, I mean. !!!

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