Hey Brett Favre, It's Alright for Men to Cry

Wow, this is a telling little light shone into the anxious masculinity that defines the conservative "revolution". (Via.) Apparently, Brett Favre teared up at his retirement press conference, an understandable action considering the high emotions that have to be flying as you end a career as prestigious as his. And Laura Ingraham, who knows her audience very well, decided this was a good opportunity to call Favre a woman.

"All these years, and I didn't know there was a woman quarterback in the NFL."
"Brett Favre...we're watching this in the studio, obviously retiring from the NFL, great quarterback, handsome 38-year-old man, he gets up there and he does this press conference that was frankly one of the most embarrassing things I have ever seen."
"That's a great message for young boys. 'Get up there and act like a girl and start blubbering like a baby."
Then, in her best impersonation of a crying toddler with its favorite toy taken away, she wah-wah-wah's while uttering in a mocking tone, "It's about me, it was never about me, but it is about me, bla, bla, bla" before returning to her regular voice and stating, "I could not believe what I was seeing."
Unfortunately, the reaction from too many sporting outlets has been, essentially, "Nuh-uh! He's earned the right to cry a little without having his masculinity taken from him. And you're not a woman, so there!" Which really isn't probably going to hurt her feelings, because clearly she doesn't think much of women to consider it an insult to call someone a woman.

What the Yahoo sports blogger is buying into is the concept that masculinity is a fragile thing, always in danger of being infected by the feminine and immediately perishing. It's this fear that drives so much of what's fucked up in our culture, from war-mongering to date raping, this sense that masculinity has to constantly be shored up, lest it disappear completely.

From Stephen Ducat's indispensable book on the subject, The Wimp Factor:

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