Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Weeding Out the Competition

First of all, Melissa McEwan nails it:
Feminism is an integral part of progressivism.
If you're not a feminist, you're not a progressive.
No matter how much you hate Bush.
No matter how much you hate the Iraq war.
No matter how much you hate our current torture policy.
No matter how much you want to restore habeas corpus.
No matter how much you're totally going to vote for the Democrat in November.
If you're not a feminist, you're not a progressive.
You're a fauxgressive.
End of story.
Which leads me to my topic of the day - why are so many middle and upper-middle class men, typified by the A-List Blogger Boyz, who claim to be progressives such virulent anti-feminists? My answer is rational self-interest, also known as weeding out the competition.

Another way of putting it is why, if white racism is so persistent in this nation, why does this slender sliver of America appear immune to its siren call? Why does Hillary Clinton scare the crap out of the guy who kidnapped Josh Marshall, but he feels no anxiety (that he'll admit to) around The Precious? We can go into analysis of oedipal fantasies and the pervasive influence of patriarchy, yadda yadda, but my point is that this cohort of dudz is exactly the one that claims to be "post-" all those nasty -isms.

The answer is surprisingly simple. They face a lot of competition from white women for their social and economic successes, but not very much from black men. They get a lot more payoff from bashing, dominating, and fucking over women than they do from doing that to men of any color. They can get solidarity from the guyz against the hos. This cannot fully explain the anti-feminist behavior of self-identified liberal men, but it's one hell of a contributing factor.

In my various jobs, the men who have been unbearable assholes to me are the ones who directly compete with me for advancement and accolades. They are almost invariably the white guys. Oh, and usually the straight ones. Asian, hispanic, black and gay guys (and those categories are definitely not exclusive) are usually pretty decent to work with. We get passed over for promotion together...

Sociologically speaking, if you are in competition for scarce resources against another group or class of people and you find ways (social, legal, economic) to place those others at a structural disadvantage vis-a-vis yourself, such that they have barriers that increase the cost of advancement and wealth accumulation while you are not penalized, it is awfully easy to pretend that you have nothing to do with the disadvantage of that other class of people. It's also easy to internalize the attitudes and beliefs that reinforce the imposed disadvantages such that you can rationalize way the disparity in your respective positions - women want to be mommies rather than the modern workplace does not accomodate the needs of parents, or blacks have lower intelligence rather than systematic disparities in the education system paper over white mediocrity and suppress black intellectual achievements.

Why are white liberals so freaking guilty about the second class treatment of minorities in the US? Because every last one of us knows that if it weren't for that structural disadvantage, we wouldn't be ahead. We'd be much more vulnerable to the economic tides than we are. We wouldn't be able to count on presumption of innocence at a traffic stop. We wouldn't get the job we weren't qualified for and didn't deserve but where the other applicant was darker skinned or had an accent. It is guilt founded upon a secret hope that the advantages all go away - after we've made it.

The reaction can be guilt rather than anger because there is really no chance that this class of people will ever get ahead as a class such that there would be competition. It may not be PC to say this, but there is a very rational basis for working class white racism that has nothing to do with believing minorities are lesser beings and everything to do with keeping that structural advantage in place. That's why the cynical claims of the Obama campaign about Archie Bunkers - when the target is actually the guilty upper middle class - doesn't ring true. Obama himself is no threat. He codes "white". The threat he offers is not raising up minorities but turning his back on all the working class and failing to enact policies and programs that will help those who are struggling. The real way to undermine racism is by increasing economic stability and prosperity, not by trying to shame people living on the edge as some kind of moral reprobates.

Change the makeup of that class and suddenly the privileged white boyz start getting nasty. The structural disadvantage that kept women from competing directly for previously male-only positions, structures both legal and cultural, have disappeared with enormous speed in the last forty years, especially the last twenty, and while entry of women into the workplace in professional and skilled labor ranks (they have always worked their asses off in retail, agriculture and service industries) has increased household income, it has also curbed a rise in male wages while offering increased competition for positions. Women's economic success has directly harmed individual male economic success and the concomitant social privilege.

There's little enough competition in professional ranks from minorities that minority men can be viewed with equanimity, especially prized as an opportunity in which to publically demonstrate how you aren't one of those mouth-breather Bunkers or Bubbas who would be bigots to your hip black friend. Yeah, that is what the unidentified and probably fictional "Clinton campaign staffer" meant. The Josh Marshalls of this world are so loud and obnoxious about their support for Obama in part because they think it somehow proves they aren't racist (as if that was the issue) while completely sidestepping the way in which their economic and social privilege provides the protection from significant competition.

The rage being expressed by men who are in the top two economic quintiles of the population at women is fueled in great part because white women threaten their socio-economic advantage. Women like Hillary demonstrate that they are not going to get a pass anymore because they can piss standing up. (News flash - women can do that, too. We just have to work on technique a bit more than the guyz.) I am a direct and growing threat to white male professional dominance. The old boys are retiring and the old girls are beginning to take over upper management. While it is true that women will still side with men in misogynistic ways in power struggles, this is less true as women begin to numerically dominate the workforce. I am respected at my company for working my ass off and doing impressive things, but I know I have undying support from the three top women executives in the company (and the one gay man) that has helped me weather some utterly savage take-down attempts by threatened white guys.

The success Hillary is enjoying is flushing the fauxgressives out of the woodwork. Hillary hatred has permutations beyond simple misogyny, but the very real competition that women as a class offer these guys is what we see bubbling up in anti-feminist broadsides and pathetic attempts to reduce women's choices and aspirations to acts of vagina voting or bitchy resentment. What we are seeing in this election, from right and left, is the rage of white males who see their privilege under real threat and they don't like it one bit.

Get used to it, guyz.

Anglachel

31 comments:

Shainzona said...

YES!!! (Sorry to yell!)

cutepeachpanda said...

Thank you pointing out the misogyny among progressive straight white men. As a woman of mixed heritage, it is obvious to me that these men's motives for voting Obama / hating Clinton has to do with a variety of reasons which include growing competition with women, white guilt, pure sexism and their own personal resentment towards women and their sexual relationships with them, and the "coolness" factor that older women lack compared to a new, fresh, unthreatening black (actually half black / white) candidate. Obama is one of them; he is a priviledged mixed man who has used the race card in order paint the Clintons as racists while giving him the opportunity to identify with the black community with which he actually has very little in common with. Obama has his own women issues starting with his white mother and grandmother and I think that clearly shows in his passive/agressive attitude towards Clinton.
If you haven't read this post on Confluence, I think bostonboomer sums up pretty well the deeper issues with Obama's identity crisis that might answer some of the questions we've all had in the last several months. As a mixed person I see Obama as someone who has completely rejected the white mother and grandparents who helped him become who he is today. Read bostonbloomer's take on this here:
http://riverdaughter.wordpress.com/2008/04/08/barack-obama%e2%80%99s-double-bind/

Chinaberry Turtle said...

I'm in a bit of a career transition. Was previously in a completely male dominated field. I'm moving into a slightly different career trajectory that is about 50/50 men and women. I hope I don't turn into an insufferable sexist asshole.

why are so many middle and upper-middle class men, typified by the A-List Blogger Boyz, who claim to be progressives such virulent anti-feminists?

I think Anglachel really identified the biggest factor in what's going on. I think there are a couple other factors as well, but I'd like to hear from the rest of the folk on this board before chiming in.

hg said...

Amen. As a blogger noted earlier this week, there are plenty of historical examples in which a MALE presidential candidate continued his campaign even after it was evident that he had a snowball's chance in hell of being nominated and nobody raised a peep.

But Hillary is a different matter: She can't challenge the male heir that they conjured up and rushed to the throne. Facts are facts: no matter how much the big boyz try to spin it, Obama is no better off than she is and the voters have clearly not been won over by his Greatness. In fact, Hillary made a incisive analogy between her campaign and the thrilling NCAA Championship (won by my beloved, never-say-die Jayhawks!):

http://www.correntewire.com/why_wont_that_stupid_bitch_quit_watch_9

Sarana said...

As a woman who's experienced the brutality and humiliation of being weeded out by a younger, less qualified, and less productive male, your entry is validating and agonizing. I appreciate the precision of your analysis and the truth of it makes me want to weep and rage. But because I have children that needed to be supported and educated, instead of weeping and raging, I took a job in which I work harder, in a limited position, and for less money. However, this keeps me from being the target of another take-down, which I could not endure.

I apologize for such a personal response. Younger women should know, however, that the dudz often succeed at these tactical maneuvers. And sometimes with the assistance of a woman.

A question: how do we explain the women who are complicit with the boyz? In the old days of feminism, we called these women "male identified," although I'm not sure what that really means.

Ideas?

donnadarko said...

Money money money.

Obama's fundraising is a draw. If he can raise that much money, everyone including Dean and Pelosi think they'll get a piece of it. You're right about the hierarchy. Patricia Hill Collins came up with the plantation metaphor. Every major institution is the US is set up like a plantation. White women are the help meets of the most powerful men.

donnadarko said...

Sarana, they're called tokens.

cutepeachpanda said...

donnadarko: I think young women who support Obama deserve a posts all on its own. I am a young women myself; I turned 25 this year and I DO NOT GET IT when I see all of these young women side with Obama and buy into the Clinton Derangement Syndrome. I clearly see the sexism on the net and tv and race baiting from the Obama campaign and I'm wondering why some of my female friends can't. I think many are caught up in the fact that they can help elect the first black president and somehow that is more important than electing a woman president? It's like, being a white woman is no longer seen as an impediment to many young people. Besides that, there is the "coolness" factor I mentioned which I also don't get at all. I find Obama aloof, arrogant, and average looking - not the sexy, hot, superstar many young women consider Obama to be. I guess it's true that women do become more radical with age because for some it takes a lifetime of discrimination and harassment to finally make them realize that, yes, even in the 21st century sexism is still alive and well even among "progressive", liberal, Democratic men.

janiscortese said...

It may not be PC to say this, but there is a very rational basis for working class white racism that has nothing to do with believing minorities are lesser beings and everything to do with keeping that structural advantage in place.

This is interesting. I've been thinking about this after reading the "Typical White Person" post by Lin Farley that would up at Savage Politics.

It struck me that the reason that white upper-class liberals could afford to be blithe about things like affirmative action is because, unlike Lin, they didn't have to rely on it to get ahead. The wealthier white person had their family's money and/or connections to get them the position at the WaPo.

It was the working-class white person who was most likely to run up against AffAc personally.

Now, I don't have a problem with AffAc. As a woman, I've benefited from it when I was in physics. Note however, that the men in that discipline were so toxic that I still left. In truth, I think AffAc is a bandaid, and one that doesn't work very well -- and again, I say that as someone who has benefited from it. (Supposedly.)

You know what I think AffAc is? Throwing garlic at the vampire. The REAL solution is to teach male physicists what the problems are,force them to sit down, take their fingers out of their ears and MAKE THEM LISTEN TO THE COMPLAINTS OF THE WOMEN AND FUCKING PAY THEM MIND AND THEN CHANGE THE WAY THEY BEHAVE.

But that would make men have to LISTEN TO WOMEN. Eek, can't have that. Their dicks'd fall off. So they throw a check at you and make you and the queasy emotional issues you bring up go away.

That's what AffAc is. I didn't want or need a check. The men in the department didn't stay because they got opportunity fellowships. They stayed because they got encouraged, respected, and recognized for their contributions. All the things that make a physicist stick around. All the things I never got.

But I got a check.

Fat lot of good that did me.

But anyhow, I digress. The upshot is that working-class whites, as you say, are in direct competition with other minorities through AffAc. A wealthier white would have gotten the WaPo internship anyhow.

And as I said in another comment, it all boils down to the assumption that the world is divided into white-n-rich and black-n-poor. White-n-poor fucks up the dichotomy.

It also is embedded in the belief that throwing money at a problem is the same as solving it. It isn't.

janiscortese said...

It's also interesting to think about how white women and black men have been set at one another to fight over the same crumbs in the past -- and when one has been set against the other. We've been used like that against one another for ages -- white men who had no problems raping us used to faux-defend white women's supposed angelic sexual purity by putting black men in jail and lynching them. Now -- and I remain convinced of this -- a black male Heir Apparent has been trotted out to Take Down The Bitch and slap women up a little too much.

It seems that whichever one is coming too close to being real competition is the one that's brought down low, as you say. In the 1950s and 1960s, women weren't economic competition for the same jobs, so black men had to be slapped down, mostly by working-class whites.

Now, it's the other way around -- and the slapping is being done by upperclass whites.

There's probably more and better analysis to be done here...

CognitiveDissonance said...

The real way to undermine racism is by increasing economic stability and prosperity, not by trying to shame people living on the edge as some kind of moral reprobates.

Simple, yet profound. And another reason why I think Hillary will do that so much better than Obama will. His campaign has brought racial division, which I can only assume would continue in a hypothetical Obama administration. A Clinton administration would lift millions out of poverty, as Bill's administration did, and would relieve a lot of these tensions.

Chinaberry Turtle said...

why are so many middle and upper-middle class men, typified by the A-List Blogger Boyz, who claim to be progressives such virulent anti-feminists?

I think there are two big factors involved. Anglachel has perfectly analyzed one of the factors: competition in the professional work-force. However, I believe there is an additional big factor on the home/relationship front.

I consider myself an average heterosexual guy. It took me a while, but I was finally able to overcome my own sexist assholery on the professional front. It happened in grad school when I just finally said to myself: "Well Chinaberry, some of these ladies are just smarter and better than you. They get the A and you get the B+ and that's exactly the way it should be. It's also right as rain that they get the most prestigious jobs coming out of grad school, not you."

It was very hard for me to finally swallow my professional pride and just admit to myself that lots of ladies are simply better than me in my field of study and they deserve more success than me. But I did it, and I'm a better man for it. But what I'm about to describe is a gazillion times harder to overcome.

In this description, I'm probably going to say things that are sexist. Please know that I'm not at all defending what I'm about to say. I know there's probably tons of sexism implicit in what I'm about to describe. I'm only putting it out there as a way to try and answer Anglachel's question. I am not defending what I am describing:

I, like many married family men, value myself primarily as a (hopefully) kind and loving Protector-Father-Husband (PFH). I courted my wife in the traditional way (e.g. I payed for all the dates, etc.). When we take walks at night together and I see a dubious looking fellow walking toward us, I instinctively step in front of my wife to protect her. When she wraps her slender arms around me and presses her head into my chest, I wrap my big ol' bear arms around her and protectively rest my chin on top of her head.

These things make me feel good. These things make me feel like I am a good life-mate to my wife. I understand that my wife is her own woman and can do whatever she wants (professional career, stay-at-home-mom, whatever). But I also believe that part of what I bring to the relationship, part of what makes me valuable, is that I provide for my family, I protect my wife and children, and I am true and faithful to home & hearth.

Hillary is a threat to this paradigm of how men and women relate to each other in their home/love life. Hillary is wonderfully tough. She does not need any man's protection. Hillary is a brilliant attorney. She does not need any man to provide for her. Hillary has a powerful presence. If any person threatened her children, she could take care of it all by herself w/o Bill's assistance.

In a world of Hillaries, what could I offer if I were single and looking for my life-mate? All I could offer is my tender love, affection, and support. But I have been trained to view these qualities as the saffron of malehood, the extra bit of spice added on top to make me the perfect boyfriend or husband. My meat & potatoes value is my ability to protect and provide.

This is the really scary stuff for guys. Even the effete liberal gentlemen (Josh Marshall et. al.) are enthralled with this stuff. It's why we love the Godfather saga - it's about a faithful family man (Vito Corleone) who sacrifices his soul to gangsterdom so that his wife and children can escape the indignity of wretched poverty. This archetypal role is no longer possible in a world of strong, independent, self-sufficient Hillary women.

Again, I'm not defending - just describing. I know I need to think critically about all this stuff.

Anglachel said...

Turtle,

I think what you describe is 100% right. It's fucking scary to look and see a world that doesn't have a use for you, or so it seems from where you are standing at that moment. You have enough awareness to see where you're standing and understand both the positive and the negative results of that position.

As someone who was brought up being told it didn't matter if I was smart or competant because I'd get married and my husband would take care of me, I can attest to how shocking feminism and female independence can be. Women have a path to greater power and a chance to be more "male". But what's the upside for a guy?

What infuriates me are the guys who claim to be oh so dedicated to women's equality who then spew derisive bile on women who bust their ass to do awesome things. A man who can say this turns my world upside down and I'm trying to do the right thing, but it is hard and scary and I don't know where it will end up, you get a hug and a sympathetic ear from me.

Anglachel

old said...

It's like, being a white woman is no longer seen as an impediment to many young people.

Maybe some young women are in denial? They don't want to see it as a problem. They don't want to think that someday they themselves may hit the glass ceiling? Seeing Hillary's toughness, they don't want to think they may ever need to toughen up themselves.

Chinaberry Turtle said...

cutepeachpanda & old,

regarding women who don't see, or aren't outraged at, the sexism in this campaign:

Actually, my wife is in this category. She's tepidly for HRC but will be happy to vote for Obama in the GE and thinks I'm silly for vowing to write-in Hillary. I continually ask her "how can you not be angry at all the sexism?"

I don't know how representative she is, but for what it's worth, here's what she tells me:

She had a career before becoming a stay-at-home mom (not that this isn't also a legit career, but non-sexist phraseology escapes me), but she just didn't have much ambition at work. She really wanted to have kids and her work-life was interesting but not her life objective. So, if there were any glass ceilings at work she didn't experience any b/c she wasn't pressing upward. And at home she says I'm a decent man and I don't oppress her.

So, in sum - in her life she hasn't ever felt as though being a woman prevented her from achieving her goals. And she believes that she had the opportunity to go for a professional career, but voluntarily chose to be stay-at-home mom (vs. being forced into this role). Hence, when she sees all the sexism in the campaign she thinks it's bad, but she doesn't have a visceral reaction to it. (Whereas I go through the roof w/ anger.)

donnadarko said...

Hillary is the more transformational candidate. She's also threatening to women because she changes everything. Men react to this instinctively and run. Women can be jealous too.

old said...

Yes... Hillary is almost sort of a reproach. If she can be like this, maybe I could have been like this too, if I had tried harder, had the courage....

A good example I don't want to have to follow?

Well, those first person pronouns are rhetorical: I'm imagining myself in the attitude of women who aren't supporting her.

gendergappers said...

They are of the generation who knew male supremacy and saw their godness fade as women showed that not only were they equal, in many areas they were superior.

workingclass artist said...

I agree with another great post. Unfortunately in my humble opinion, largely this is due in part to simple ignorance. Most progressives aren't really progressive, the are liberal. Most progressives have no clue as to the history of the movement that became linked with early feminism during the rise of the labor movement. The progressive platform built by FDR is in danger as the party veers left. Obamessiah is wrecking the party and the progess that has been achieved. When liberals and progressives work hand in hand we accomplish great things. Currently many liberals in the MSM are fracturing the alliance by painting lunchbuckets as ignorant racists, playingright into OBAMEDIA and his campaign. GOP is laughing.

gendergappers said...

ANGLACHEL wrote: "Women like Hillary demonstrate that they are not going to get a pass anymore because they can piss standing up. (News flash - women can do that, too. We just have to work on technique a bit more than the guyz.)"

Way back in 1999 we discovered the Pee Shooter and wrote this article for GenderGappers titled "Who, us stand up and deliver?"

http://www.gendergappers.org/1999-014.htm

The URLs in this article for info on the pee shooter are no longer working and the last we heard was that the woman who invented and sold the item had closed her Website due to the BO-type of hecklers that existed back then. Perhaps anyone interested might do a thorough search - good luck. Also, the addresses for response to the article have changed. We are now:

gapperserve@comcast.net
in our 12th year.

Thanks, Anglachel, for a blast from the past.

Shainzona said...

Turtle....I am (I think) all of the (wonderful!) things you describe Hillary to be AND I still love hugs and courtesy from my husband - who is my lover, partner and very best friend.

The only problem we have is that when we wrap our arms around each other he rests his chin on my shoulder...as we are both tall!

(I laugh, because having the "little women" be little - literally - has always been a problem for someone like me who is 5'10" tall. BUT, I never let that bother me...much!)

Sarana said...

A couple of points/inquiries into why women collude with the "progressives" in undermining other women:

Clearly, it's about power. For some women who've "made it" to the top, associating with the dudz both affirms their position at the top and perhaps creates relationships with the Big Boyz that protects those women from a take down (a la Condi Rice?)

But here's something I've noticed and can't figure out, though I do have a few hypotheses: A significant number of older lesbians are strong supporters of Obama and very critical of Hillary (for all the reasons liberals like to trot out). I just can't understand this and my power analysis doesn't seem to work here.

Has anybody else noticed this?

Becki Jayne said...

Has anybody else noticed this?

No self-respecting lesbian that I know, plus two including me in my household, can abide Obama. My lesbian circle solidly stands with Hillary.

Neither my partner nor I liked him from the start. And after the Donnie McClurkin episode and the sexism, forget it.

I read Barry's latest interview with The Advocate this morning and I'm trying to put my head back together after it exploded over his mealy-mouthed mush to write a post about it at my blog.

As Rev. Irene Monroe, an African-American, lesbian activist, columinst, and minister, said a few months back, Obama is playing us. Amen!

Stella said...

The biggest protected class in America: Mediocre White Men. Need I say anymore.

Brava. You put it really well.

Becki Jayne said...

A significant number of older lesbians are strong supporters of Obama and very critical of Hillary (for all the reasons liberals like to trot out). I just can't understand this and my power analysis doesn't seem to work here.

Sarana, I hope I didn't come off as discounting what you said. I just don't know any older lesbians who support Obama and criticize Hillary.

I can speculate but not knowing a bit about these lesbians of whom you speak, so I would be guessing.

In the white gay and lesbian community, there is also racial guilt to consider.

Or perhaps these lesbians think Hillary should have dumped Bill over Monica and they hold a grudge against her.

And there are misogynistic lesbians. Baffling as it may seem.

I would also think that lesbians like a lot of people believe what the press writes about Hillary, a really dumb thing to do, and want to divorce themselves from the "testicle-lockbox" bitch manufactured image that's been portrayed about Hill.

Some older lesbians came to discover their sexual orientation later in life. Maybe they have children who have influenced them or families they are trying to appease still living half in, half out of the closet.

All kinds of lesbians just as they are people.

Sorry I couldn't add much more clarity but your point is intriguing.

Shainzona said...

Becky Jane...what's your blog address? I'd like to read what you're writing re: Barry's Advocate interview.

Kitty Glendower said...

In my various jobs, the men who have been unbearable assholes to me are the ones who directly compete with me for advancement and accolades. They are almost invariably the white guys. Oh, and usually the straight ones. Asian, hispanic, black and gay guys (and those categories are definitely not exclusive) are usually pretty decent to work with. We get passed over for promotion together...

These white men “progressives” are also getting away with racism, a racism cloaked in their sexism. The sexism is acceptable in patriarchal society therefore they can hide the racism in the sexism. By supporting the black candidate they get a get out of racism free card while still systematically practicing (benefitting from) racism. In your above quote it is obvious the white man knows that the system works favorable for whites, mostly white men, therefore his immediate threat is the white woman. He is not doing a thing for racism but allowing it to continue. In his view, it is okay if the Asian, Hispanic, black and gay men are not promoted as long as the white woman is not promoted. That alone shows his belief in white supremacy, his reliance on white supremacy, his need to maintain the system as is. Why would he be more scared of the white woman than the men of colour and gay? Because he believes hetero-white is superior. Hetero-white is his only threat, the other colours are inferior. So it is sexism because she is the inferior white but it is racism too. The problem women have (currently, mostly white women) is, the men of colour are often willing to join the white man and throw the women (all colours)under the bus because even though they know the white man may think they are inferior to him, by God, he (the not hetero-white man) is superior to a stupid old woman.

If any of that makes sense.

Becki Jayne said...

Shainzona,

Sorry for the belated reply. Got busy with other things today.

Just posted about Barry's Advocate interview at my blog, The RealSpiel.

jangles said...

Other fuel for this fire comes with the progress women have made in law, medicine, science and other male dominated fields. In my generation, no female could expect to get into Yale or Harvard and especially not in law and medicine. Today, women have reached parity with men and even exceeded them in college admissions and advanced degrees.

A significant problem in education today is the huge number of boys who are failing/dropping out. Not just Hispanic or African American but especially white boys. The skill sets that empower today's winners in the work force are increasingly the skill sets where women can do very well and often better than males. Communication, team work, collaboration, using computer applications, creating multi-media, messaging etc.

Yes, this is a definite conflict point and I don't think any of us realized how much resentment is festering out there. One of the things I like about the Clinton campaign is that I think Bill Clinton genuinely and sincerely supports Hillary and thinks she is the best person for the job. When you think about this, how many other men who have reached the top of their field and do have talented educated wives successful in their own right, would do for that wife what Bill is doing for Hillary (certainly he does owe). Jack Welch" Dick Cheney? any Bush? Men who genuinely enjoy women and support their ambitions and success are truly rare. The other element of this quotient is that there are simply more women than men, period.

Sarana said...

Thanks Becki Jayne, I appreciate your comments. I think close friends that are Obama supporters (and are lesbians) have been out for decades, raised children, consider themselves feminist, but interestingly, they live in very white, very privileged, small "progressive" communities. I wonder how much that has to do with their choices.

jalc said...

Sarana I think you have a good point, sometimes privilege of class and race, will outweigh gender identification for some women.

On the age-group thing, another factor in young women could be just adolescent rebellion, as in rejection of the "mother" archetype, so to speak.

I guess my main surprise through this primary season, has been the jaw-dropping at the strength of the hate and vitriol. Presidential candidates are very symbolic for the national psyche I guess, and the symbolism embodied by Hillary's gender has stirred up far more than I ever thought existed.

There's always lunatic fringes and wingnuts in any group of humans, but in any Normal Bell Curve population distribution they are in a the minority on the ends of the curve. OK, granted America is a really big country, and even our lunatic fringes can number in the millions.

Perhaps its just my perception, but the mysogyny stirred up this year is way beyond the usual fringe elements of the population.