Monday, January 14, 2008

Speaking of Misogyny

Bravo, Bob Herbert, for this Op-ed in the January 15th New York Times:
Politics and Misogyny

With Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s win in New Hampshire, gender issues are suddenly in the news. Where has everybody been?

If there was ever a story that deserved more coverage by the news media, it’s the dark persistence of misogyny in America. Sexism in its myriad destructive forms permeates nearly every aspect of American life. For many men, it’s the true national pastime, much bigger than baseball or football.

Little attention is being paid to the toll that misogyny takes on society in general, and women and girls in particular.

Read it all here ... but here's the bottom line:

If we’ve opened the door to the issue of sexism in the presidential campaign, then let’s have at it. It’s a big and important issue that deserves much more than lip service.


Jack Sprat said...

My Mom is a retired politician, so I have an opinion about this! I think that sometimes we are tripping over the language of "equality."

What I mean by that is I see women and men as having equal GIFTS, equal WORTH, and equal POTENTIAL. But how women and men make decisions is different, women and men have differing physical capabilities, and women and men form relationships differently.

I think that means a woman or a man could be equally GREAT as president of the United States, but I wouldn't look for one to be the "equal" of the other.

When conservatives see us struggling for gender-neutrality, they assume we mean that there are and should be no differences between men and women (which contradicts reality). That they sunk the Equal Rights Amendment was, I believe, based on this irrational fear that we would make men wear dresses and would send girls into combat.

While I'm no sociologist, it just seems to me that the historical difference in the physical strength of men and women, combined with their differing roles in reproduction, translated into cultural dominance by men as societies began to develop.

But just as Jesus came to Earth to guide us higher in our spiritual evolution, can't we also evolve to a higher socio-cultural plane? If our faith tells us anything at all, it's that we do not have to accept the status quo. Miriam and Moses didn't, Mary and Jesus didn't and we don't have to, either.

RonF said...

Don't hold your breath. Not that there's not some real issues there. But it won't fit into a 30-second sound bite, and it requires some actual thought, as opposed to simply being based on image and emotion. So it's highly unlikely to be considered in an American Presidential election. The general run of the American electorate tends to ignore and avoid a candidate that tries to get them to think.