Friday, January 11, 2008

You can't handle the truth

Major props to Echidne for her analysis of sexism in the current presidential race. An excerpt:

"It's not clear to me what percentage of Hillary-hatred is based on her personal history or on political manipulation by those who prefer another candidate (yes, manipulation is quite common in politics) and what percentage is based on a general fear and loathing of women in power. But the latter percentage looks to me to be much higher than I anticipated.

And that is why it is important to dig deeper into this whole sordid spectacle. The problem is not just that Hillary is bombed with sexist insults and that some of those bombs end up exploding in the living-rooms of American women. The problem is the reason for these sexist insults, and the reason is not just to have some fun teasing women, but to keep women out of certain parts of the power structure.

Why the wish to keep women out? There are both psychological reasons, starting from that Biblical verse of man being the head of woman, continuing into that whole murky psychology of masculinity and what it means for a man to take orders from a woman (emasculation! eek!) and into a similarly murky psychology of femininity and the needs (inculcated?) to have a man take care of the important business, and cultural/historical reasons, from the fear of the unknown (we have never had a woman president) to the acknowledgment that this is the planet of the guys and as long as other guys won't respect a woman, electing one isn't going to help in running the business of politics, either domestically or internationally."

I have nothing to add, it's perfect. Go read (her links open oddly slowly; the post's name is "New York Times on Sexism."

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