samiraahmed.co.uk
The men are weeping in the Oval Office…
Lucy Dichmont and I have made a Something Understood for Radio 4 about Weeping. I knew I wanted to talk about the Wailing Women in the Bible and especially that I wanted to talk again to award-winning poet Andrew McMillan about his poem The Men Are Weeping In The Gym. He has so many fascinating observations about the gendered value judgements used against people's weeping: About how women like Adele are described as "losing control" at the Brits, when a man would be said to be "fighting back tears". In our conversation we talked about how men can be mocked for crying for political reasons - George Osborne at Lady Thatcher's funeral - but also how male politicians can deploy them strategically in a way a woman couldn't. Take Obama's tears over gun crime. Now imagine how Hillary Clinton's tears might be commented on. Another favourite poet Grace Nicols reads live from her great work about Picasso's Weeping Woman - Picasso I Want My Face Back. Among my personal memories drawn on in