Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I am woman, hear me roar

This morning's Los Angeles Times features an article from West Virginia by staff writer Faye Fiore, entitled "In West Virginia, women for Hillary Clinton haven't quite given up the dream." As Fiore puts it:

"Two candidates are vying for the same moment in history. For every point of pride welling up in those who hadn't thought they might see a black man become president, there is a counterpoint of disappointment for those who thought it was finally a woman's turn."

It certainly is about time we had a woman president. And Hillary Clinton might have been that woman--had she not followed the advice of men like Bill Clinton and Mark Penn and run a dirty, macho campaign, and had she not voted for the war in Iraq because she thought she had to be seen as "tough" to be a viable presidential candidate, and had she not tossed back whiskeys and talked about shooting ducks or whatever behind her family's cottage and ducking sniper fire in Bosnia. It could be argued that the most serious drug problem in the world today is testosterone, and having a woman president just might have provided an antidote--if it were the right woman. You don't have to be a diehard sociobiologist or evolutionary psychologist to see that whether for biological or cultural reasons or both, women generally tend to be better at reconciliation and compromise than men, qualities we badly need on today's world stage.

But of course, I am not being realistic: These are not the qualities we are looking for in a Commander in Chief (sound military trumpets here.) On the other hand, in the race between Clinton and Obama, the more "macho" of the two is losing, and the more "feminine" of the two is winning. That is grounds for hope.

Update: Clinical psychologist Stephen Ducat, writing in today's Huffington Post, takes up some of the same issues in a piece called "Revenge of the Wimp Factor." Ducat starts off as follows:

"What has become disturbingly evident in the last few months of the primary campaign is that Hillary Clinton is not merely carrying the torch of the 'old politics.' She is also the ironic bearer of the old masculinity, a knuckle-dragging version of manhood that is defined in terms of domination. In this view, 'the man' is whoever can stick it to the other."

The rest of the piece might be a little over the top, but worth reading anyway.

Photo: Dale Sparks/Associated Press


Woody said...

As long as dangerous countries like Iran and North Korea are run by leaders with testosterone, then we will need a leader with what it takes to stand against them rather than trying to appease them. Our choices from the Democrats are a woman who acts worse than a man and a black who has been accused of not being black enough.

Michael Balter said...

Woody, it's good to see you here on my blog. It is not moderated, meaning that even conservatives like you and GM Roper are welcome here!

Woody said...

I'll try to be civil.