By Jason DeRusha

I admit it, I’m a crier. I was tearing up like a baby when I was watching Toy Story 3 last weekend. I try to hide it, covering my face a bit, turning to the side. But why?

Tomorrow Rep. John Boehner will become the most powerful legislator in the country, as he becomes Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. And what do most of us know about Rep. Boehner? His skin is kind of orange, and he cries. A lot. He cries when you ask him about his orange skin.

Last night David Letterman let Boehner have it: saying “the guy will cry like he’s on drugs” and added: “I’m not suggesting that he’s anything less than masculine, I’m suggesting that he needs some sort of counseling.”

Watch the video here.

For a public figure, it’s hard to think of someone who tears up as much as John Boehner does. It got us thinking about men and crying. Is it OK for men to cry? Is this a biological thing or is it learned?

Frankly — I think people would freak out far more if a woman in politics cried. Boehner’s getting grief, but I think there’s a real double standard here. We’ll explore all of that tonight in Good Question at 10 p.m.!

Comments (60)
  1. David says:

    Do my tears surprise you, Mr. Derushai? *sniff* strong men also cry…strong men also cry…*sniff

  2. Sure, crying is allowed in politics. Like anything, it will elicit a better reaction if it’s done in moderation. If he is someone who frequently cries, or cries at a Snuggle commercial, his emotional stability should be questioned.

    Consider the opposite emotion: anger. If someone gets angry, raises their voice, or even yells about something on occasion, you will consider that person to be passionate about what they do. If they show anger on a weekly or more frequent basis, people will say he has a screw loose.

    Cry all you want, Rep. Boehner. Just keep your emotions in check.

  3. Josh Johnson says:

    It seems as though if you cry because you’re mentally or emotionally hurt it’s more acceptable than crying because you’re physically hurt. But to me, it doesn’t make you a stronger or weaker person if you do or don’t cry.

  4. M KIESNER says:


  5. Bridget Cusick says:

    I don’t think it’s OK for either men OR women to cry in the workplace except in the most extraordinary circumstances (which, I do realize, is open to interpretation). I suggests emotional immaturity/inability to deal productively with emotions, not being “in touch” with one’s emotions or merely being “comfortable” showing them. We all cry — but lacking the ability to better channel one’s emotions in the workplace is a red flag, IMO.

    1. janet ramsos says:

      Bridget Cusick, are you a therapist, you sound a little touchy about this, I think you are totally off base, (my interpretation) Crying is the most normal function we have as a human being….you not so much

      1. Heather says:

        Janet, it sounds like you’re too emotional (my interpretation). you cry everywhere you go and something’s off mentally.

      2. janet ramsos says:

        Really is that you know i cry everywhere…hmmmmm you assume to much…therapist indeed

      3. Heather says:

        Janet – Actually it was just a general reference to anyone who cries everywhere they go, not you. (too emotional)

      4. Becky says:

        Disagree with you completly. I agree with Bridget. Crying in the workplace is inappropriate. If this was a woman crying at the drop of a hat, you’d be handing her Midol.

    2. tiredandretired says:

      Are you the Bridget Cusick who played Annie, in a local theater production many years ago?

      1. Bridget Cusick says:

        Uh, why yes, I am, tiredandretired. A looooooooong time ago. (Sorry, just checked back in on this conversation now.)

    3. tiredandretired says:

      Bridget, sounds like you have your act together, just as it appeared during your childhood. Next time you visit your parents, look out their back door and wave at me. Best wishes!

      1. Bridget Cusick says:

        Oh my gosh, I’m dying to know who this is! If you like, you can email me at bcusick2004[at]yahoo[dot]com. Best wishes to you!

  6. kwatt says:

    We’re people, it’s okay to be emotional. Personally, I’m an almost crier. I almost cry a lot.

  7. Magnus Gunderson says:

    Men who cry are weak little babies in my book. When I see a man cry I like to laugh in his face. I am always thinking, what a crying idiot, why he deserves a strong punch to the face.

  8. mayhem says:

    orange man is a cry baby…….i’ll bich slap him

  9. Melissa says:

    I couldn’t agree with Bridget more.

  10. Susan says:

    DeRusha – you’re a wimp. You don’t admit you cry at Toy Story 3! Who cries at a cartoon? Please. I’ll bet you lack respect from others after this, including me.

    1. Jason DeRusha says:

      Have you seen Toy Story 3? I’m a sap, I admit it. A wimp? Not sure about that one.

      1. G T Voyageur says:

        Jason, you are no wimp! You are just a healthy kid in spirit and you just reacted like a sensitive human being. I don’t expect you to be an Eastwood or a Dennis Hopper in character. Just be yourself. I’m still a great fan of yours!

      2. Susan says:

        I do apologize for the wimp remark. Although it seems to be a bit much to cry at a cartoon, it was uncalled for.

      3. Jason DeRusha says:

        Thanks Susan.

    2. Bob Grueneberg says:

      I shouldn’t intervene here, but I will. I have known Jason longer than any of you. (he will agree), and he is not a wimp. Stupid comment.

      1. Dan says:

        Bob, I’m sure he doesn’t need a defense. So what if someone called him a wimp. I’m sure he’s a big boy and can handle it. That’s the just the type of oversensitivity that Rick was talking about.

      2. Tom Lane says:

        I once saw Jason DeRusha beat a grizzly bear in a fist fight, rest assured he is no wimp!

  11. Victim Du Jour says:

    Simon and Garfunkle was big, back in the day it was OK for a guy to cry.

  12. Frank says:

    Ya know what meakes me cry?..Stories like these that try to put a socially correct answer to a question that no one really cares about…Ex. What do you call someone(male) that doesn’t cry at a parents funeral..?…

    1. Sheila says:

      It’s not a parent’s funeral, it’s a cartoon! You want to cry at everything that makes you upset then you risk being viewed as weak and emotional. It’s most people’s gut reaction to someone that’s not emotionally mature – the one’s who cry at the drop of a hat. If a man cries over the little things in life,you tend not to trust his ability to handle life in general. Someone has to stand up and be a man.

      1. Becky says:

        are you speaking just of men or of women also. I hate when adults cry at work. One woman I know cried every time we did a review, even if it was a good one. That is unacceptable and emotionally immature, no matter what sex.

      2. Sheila says:

        Let me clarify, stand up and be a man or woman. Adults in general need to keep their emotions in check.

  13. Victim Du Jour says:

    Burger King Made a silly TV ad with a Parody about Simon and Garfunkle. It’s a Steakhouse Mushroom and Swiss commercial, and it starts out with a guy crying about his new tattoo.

    Look it up on youtube

  14. Evan Hansen says:

    I think the question isn’t so much “Is it OK for men to cry” (because only drill sergeants, Neanderthals, and Norwegian Lutherans will say it’s not), so much as “When is it appropriate for men to cry?” We expect a certain measure of comportment from our leaders (male and female) when they appear in public in an official capacity. If the President was photographed crying after learning of his grandmother’s, I’d be sympathetic. If the President began crying during a State of the Union speech, I’d be unnerved. Experiencing and showing emotion is a normal part of being human. Knowing when to refrain from displays of emotion at inappropriate times is part of the job description of a public servant.

    1. Jason DeRusha says:

      You nailed it, Evan. We’re going to look at whether some people are more likely to cry than others… biologically speaking.

      1. Rick says:

        Please, what an inane question in the first place. This is just a precursor of more widely accepting people’s oversensitivity, which is off the charts in this country. No one’s saying it’s not appropriate for humans to cry AT TIMES. Trying to prove that some are more biologically predisposed than others is an attempt to more widely accept wimpy behavior. Sure, some are probably more prone to this due to hormones, but come on. Enough’s enough.

  15. Evan Hansen says:

    I think the question isn’t so much “Is it OK for men to cry” (because only drill sergeants, Neanderthals, and Norwegian Lutherans will say it’s not), as it is “When is it appropriate for men to cry?” We expect a certain measure of comportment from our leaders (male and female) when they appear in public in an official capacity. If the President were photographed crying after learning of his grandmother’s death, I’d be sympathetic. If the President began crying during a State of the Union speech, I’d be unnerved. Experiencing and showing emotion is a normal part of being human. Knowing when to refrain from displays of emotion at inappropriate times is part of the job description of a public servant.

  16. Cheryl says:

    Is it OK for men to cry? Absolutely! It’s a very healthy release of emotions of sadness or loss, and sometimes happiness. Ifcrying is a frequent response to a variety of situations or thoughts, then I would have to agree with David Letterman, that Rep. John Boehner might benefit from a psychological evaluation, to see if he might benefit from treatment and counseling.

  17. Jill Ho says:

    For starters this is an absurd topic, why is it not ok for men to cry? such topics do highlight the hidden sexist in everyone. Today we like to yap about gender equality and fairness but deep inside we still have lingering thoughts of sexism this topic is so sexist that it is absurd for WCCO to even warrant discussion. As for
    Rep. John Boehner crying during the interview he was overcome with the thought of the hard times and struggles he had indured to get where he is today and the love he has for this country and realizing the “American Dream”. GROW UP PEOPLE.

    1. Jacob says:

      Jill, Did you even read the article? It states that he cries A LOT! Not once in a while under extreme duress. Most countries would think Boehner is laughable. This has nothing to do with sexism, it sounds like you carry much baggage in this area – something to look at.

      1. Becky says:

        Jill, when people disagree with you, saying things like,, “GROW UP PEOPLE”, is also a sign of emotional immaturity. Defend your viewpoint but you don’t have to be iinflammatory. He cries at the driop of a hat not during just one interview. He doesn’t seem to have any control. In the middle of a debate will he get mad and begin crying? Or if they hurt his feelings? Disagree with his viewpoint?

  18. Tom Poe says:

    Boehner is a psychopath. When a man bursts out in tears every time he sees a child and claims it is because he wants them to share in the American dream, we have to ask him why he refuses to vote for any, any education bill that crosses his desk. That is not hypocritical. That is psychopathic.

    1. Jay says:

      Come on Poe, a psychopath? Because he’s not liberal like you I suppose. No one agrees with his cry baby approach but it’s clear you’re after him because he’s Republican and doesn’t always agree with your liberal ideas. Surprise, surprise.

  19. lary says:

    un treated depression

  20. Jason DeRusha says:

    This feels like the Star Tribune comments section with all the people telling me what an absurd topic this is — before the story even aired on TV. Resisting the tempation to respond to each critic.

    When the #3 guy in our democracy REPEATEDLY cries — it’s unusual. It’s worth exploring. It’s not sexist to ask the question, it’s not stupid.

    1. Leslie says:

      First of all, you proposed the question prior to airing this topic. So you did ask for it. We are all entitled to our opinion on the subject, I think it just got to you that many did not agree with your position on crying over seemingly minor things, including Toy Story 3. I’m Republican all the way but disagree with appointing this overly emotional man to the House. Boehner needs to step down and allow someone stable to step in. I saw the videos of him crying and it’s embarrassing.

      1. Jason DeRusha says:

        Leslie, I’m glad people chimed in – I just find it funny when people chime in to say that the question is dumb.

        I never said that I support crying over minor things. But you’ve never cried over a movie? Seriously?

        And I’m not sure I’d call crying over rising from a janitor to speaker of the House… or your passion for freedom to be “minor things.”

      2. Doug says:

        Leslie nailed it. Jason you asked an open ended question about men crying. Spare me your inane suggestion that this also includes your passion for freedom. You
        inartfully asked the question and if you want us to consider the larger question as to whether this man is unfit for the third highest position in our government because of his uncontrolled blubbering then you should have asked it striaght up. Your remark about your passion freedom??? Where is the nexus with that? Crying per se is not abnormal; but this man is clearly psychologically troubled. I am a combat veteran with the 3ID of both gulf wars and I have had my weak moments but I was also a leader of men and there were times despite my desire to cry at times I refrained from doing so for the morale and the mission. This guy needs help and Jason needs to stop being ultra sesnsitive and act like a professional.

    2. Becky says:

      I agree with you. I questioned his emotional stability after I saw him cry in a second interview. (Or is it a disgusting ploy for support?) Liberal or Conservative, if this had been a female crying at every interview, people would have been all over it. He seems overwhelmed and over emotional. There’s nothing wrong with the media posing the question.

    3. Leslie says:

      PROBABLY NOT at a cartoon, however a tear may have dropped in a movie that involves real people in a real situation. Look, no one cares that you cry at cartoons, it just seems strange to mention it on air and in this article. We all have weak moments in life, but do we air that? I guess if you want to take the risk of being viewed in a particular way, go for it. Speaking on the matter of recalling a tough time in your life and rising above it, Mr. Boehner starts blubbering. It appears John McCain has been through far harsher times and he isn’t breaking down crying. Emotional stability. That’s what we’re looking for in the speaker of the House.

  21. tiredandretired says:

    Crying occasionally, in highly emotional situations, does not make you less of a man. In the case of Mr. Boehner, however, I find it troubling. He is such an emotionally uncontrolled person that I question his ability to objectively legislate on behalf of the American people. He has publicly demonstrated a propensity for extremely emotional displays of rabid anger, as well as melodramatic weeping. The appropriate question in this instance is not one of manhood, but one of emotional stability and fitness to lead.

  22. William M. Greenwalt says:

    This Old US. Marine Says Yes to Crying’ We would not have wars if men were honest with each other

  23. Ted says:

    Crying is OK coming from a man if it is out of true sencerity. However, it can also be used as a tool of manipulation in trying to get others to do as the person wants. This situation is not acceptable, I have not seen any reports about this address this situation.

  24. K Smith says:

    Don’t change Jason. There would be less violence in the world if men expressed more emotions including crying. Although seeing John Boehner on your segment definatelly increased my emotions for the worst.

    1. Jason DeRusha says:

      Yeah, that’s what makes it an interesting issue, I think. It’s OK to cry, it’s good to cry, but it’s about time and place. It’s good to exercise, but probably not good to run on a treadmill while presiding over the House of Representatives.

  25. TommyBoy says:

    I have always wondered why certain men cry. Is there a connection to creativity and mental capacity? I have always had to fight back tears in emotional situations. Both happiness and sadness makes me cry, physical pain does not. I can stitch up my own wounds and set my own broken bones to not cut short a hunting trip. Put me in a crisis and I don’t flinch, I figure it out. I am an engineer, inverter and business owner. How can I be so strong both mentally and physically yet be a cry baby?

    1. tiredandretired says:

      One can easily be physically and mentally tough, yet sentimental/sensitive. We all experience the full range of emotions. We just manage some more easily than others. In all aspects of our humanity, we each have a different combination of strengths and weaknesses. Each of us is a unique individual, which makes life interesting, indeed.

  26. Raymond Donahue says:

    Marxism is at work destroying the human spirit. Go ahead you big tough guys, go ahead and cry. the females have turned Western men into passive little “sheep.”
    You’re so willing to submit and give away whatever it is that makes you a man.
    So whine you little wimps but you’re momma’s won’t be there and neither will you’re job, you’re girlfriend or you’re wife.

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