Women are women, but men are people

photo via businessweek.com

photo via businessweek.com

“I am not sure it’s wise. You want a ticket that represents men and women.”

Who said that about running two women on a presidential ticket? Mitt Romney? Mitch McConnell?

Oddly enough, it was Sen. Dianne Feinstein, one of two Democratic female senators from California. Feinstein didn’t explain if she felt like women had been unrepresented by almost every major party presidential ticket in history, but Ann Friedman nails the core issue:

Feinstein’s reticence speaks to a deeper dynamic about gender and public life in America. Women are in the habit of accepting male candidates as the default and male perspectives as neutral rather than gendered. Women candidates can’t necessarily count on more support from women voters than from men, perhaps because women are used to getting past the question of whether candidates resemble us, and considering instead whether they’ll represent us.

This problem is obvious, yet it’s so ingrained in our society that people don’t often notice it (particularly people whose perspectives are represented and valued). A gay judge can’t make a fair ruling on marriage equality, but a straight man will only take the law into account. A Latina is going to bring baggage and biases, while a white person will represent everyone.

People’s experiences are going to inform their outlooks, which is why diversity is important. A person who’s experienced racism, sexism, or poverty is likely to more easily understand those challenges and empathize in a way someone else doesn’t. It doesn’t mean that women and people of color can’t also understand and represent white men. As Friedman points out, it’s often easier for them than vice versa, and not just in politics:

Yet it’s not just a problem in politics. Even though the majority of moviegoers are women, we get tons of movies with male protagonists because the overwhelmingly male filmmakers assume women will be able to empathize with all types of characters, whereas men will only relate to men. (This dynamic extends to race, too. It’s why the “black best friend” is a rom-com trope — Hollywood assumes that viewers won’t relate to a woman of color in the lead role.)

Social science says that the less privilege you have, the less obsessed with yourself you are. Because you’re not used to seeing your personal characteristics and issues highlighted in politics and pop culture, you’re forced to identify with others (usually people with more privilege and power than you have). You’re used to seeing people who don’t look like you and finding common ground. “Women everywhere tend to think and know more about men’s lives than men do about women,” writes David Graeber in The Guardian, “just as black people know more about white people’s, employees about employers, and the poor about the rich.” The only way around the relatability problem is to stop assuming men can only relate to male candidates, or that white people can only identify with white protagonists.

I realized as I’ve mulled this over what a rare situation I find myself in. My state assembly member, state senator, congressional representative and two senators are all women. Sometimes I’m happy with their leadership, sometimes I’m not. But I haven’t seen a slew of men around my neighborhood tearing their hair out because their needs aren’t being represented, or running to the masculine embrace of Governor Jerry Brown because his clear-headed, unbiased governing is their only hope.

I’m sure we will hear many pundits over the next few years concur with statements like Feinstein’s that the US just isn’t ready for two women on the ticket. I hope there are enough strategists and politicians smart enough to ignore them. Certainly a sexist backlash is inevitable; it’s something just about every female candidate faces. But there are also significant signs of a shift in how our culture reacts to that backlash. One strong one is that female candidates and the organizations that support them have been able to highlight that sexism to raise serious money. That money belongs to people who also have reservoirs of enthusiasm and energy that could be tapped by the right women on a ticket.

143 comments

  1. I had an English professor (who is black) tell his class once that white people never think about being white, but black people always think about being black. Since then I’ve wondered if the same applied to gender. As a woman, I constantly think about what it means to be a woman in society, yet, I doubt men think the same. Brought up some reflection, great post!

    1. Yes, sometimes it just takes someone pointing it out to realize what a profound difference there is in that experience. When your gender is the default (or race, or sexual orientation, etc.) you don’t have to put so much thought into what it means as opposed to when people are constantly reacting to that status.

  2. Feminism is and has always been about women and excludes men why should a female president and vice president be any different?

  3. Reblogged this on redpocketphilo and commented:
    I couldn’t have said it better myself. Men, white people, heterosexuals, these people all often have significant biases and even more tellingly they ignore them. Bias only seems to apply when it is a person who is not in the most powerful group.

  4. About the title… If a male cab driver gets robbed he’s just a cab driver, according to the news reports.. If a female cab driver get robbed, she’s a woman, again according to the news reports. That kind of makes men seem unimportant. The same thing again when innocent people die during a war conflict. When it’s men that die, it just becomes a statistic, but when women and children die, it’s reported as something horrific. So yes, there are double standards, but it goes both ways.

    I read a great deal about the inequities of women, but very little of the same for men, as if it doesn’t exist. I’m just saying…

    1. I think what you’re saying reinforces the point of Ann Friedman’s piece. Men are default humans. If you just talk about a cab driver, a soldier, etc., you assume it’s a man. But if it’s a woman, they make a note of it because it’s deviating from the default.

      1. Your viewpoint can also be valid, but consider what happened (for example) when the Titanic sunk. It really paid off to being a woman then. This type of special interest towards women still happens often even today.

      2. Rebecca,, it’s interesting that we see this differently. I suppose that all I can do is express this from a male viewpoint which is that society deems that women’s lives are more important than a man’s. Ann’s viewpoint never occurred to me.

        I was raised to treat women with respect just because they were women, and oddly enough I still hear women demand respect for that reason alone. I never understood this. Due to our hormones, men see women differently that women see women and women see men differently than men see men. That will never change.

        However, about 40 years ago I made an effort to clear my mind of hormone induced attitudes and looked at women strictly as another human being. It was purely a mental exercise. What I saw was that women were not these special creatures. As human beings, they were no different than men. They weren’t inherently kinder or better in any way than a man, rather just the same, warts and all. There are differences, but these differences are not worth mentioning in this context.

        Frankly, I find Ann’s article sexist, but this seems to be the prevailing viewpoint now-a-days. Her concern should not be what sex a politician is, but what quality of a person they are. It’s odd that she wants women to be treated as people (the same as men), but yet wants more people in public office to be female. Can you see the disparity here?

    2. I think your point about treating women as human beings is relevant in that I at least don’t want to be coddled or treated in some special way because of my gender.

      However, it’s not sexist to want to see more women in power. Women are treated differently in this country and have different experiences. They are likely to bring a perspective that isn’t provided by a bunch of white men. It doesn’t mean every woman is going to be a good politician or represent women’s interests, just like all men aren’t good politicians. But it’s important for the population of our country to be well represented.

      1. “But it’s important for the population of our country to be well represented.”

        Questions… Why do you think this is important and what differences do you expect to come from this? What is it that men are not doing as government representatives that women would do better?
        _______________________________

        The reason I ask is because the operation of our government is a Republic (Not democratic, that’s only the election process) and hence we have no power over what they do, except to vote them out of office. From my perspective, I have never felt that any of our leaders have represented the people as a whole. I’m not saying that all they do is wrong or bad, but the decisions they make is a reflection of what “they” believe to be the perfect society and not a reflection of the people. This is why when this nation began, it was only the rich land owners that had the right to vote. It was only later that all men attained that right and latter, women and blacks.

        Moving ahead to the present, Ask yourself this… Who runs the political parties. Political parties are not part of the government, nor are they part of the election process. They are special interest groups, paid for mostly by the well to do (corporations and such) and do not represent the people. I’m mostly referring to the Democrats and Republicans. It’s these parties that make many of the important decisions that affect our lives and not the people we elect.

        The point I am trying to make is that having an equal number of male and females in office will more than likely change nothing. As long as parties call the shots, who we elect means very little.

        It people want to truly change the government, it has to restrict the amount of power our government has and make them (at all levels) answerable to the people, without immunity. Having a government that is too powerful is dangerous and oppressive to the people.

        I’m sure you’ve heard the quote “for the people, by the people”. That’s a beautiful concept, but it’s only fiction. If you care to discuss this further, I will be more than happy oblige.

        Something to think about… There is nothing in our constitution that can stop politicians from legally making a law requiring the death penalty for (let’s say) exceeding the speed limit in your car. As ludicrous as that sounds, that decision is within their scope of their power.

        If you really want to change the government, reduce their power, make then liable for their actions, and ensure complete transparency to the public of their actions. Also, if you think our government is stable, think again. The Soviet Union was one of the strongest governing bodies on this planet and one man brought it down in a very short period of time. Prior to WWII, Germany was a democratic nation, but again, one man (legally elected) changed that nation into a war machine and committed some of the greatest atrocities this world has ever known. These types of things have happened over and over throughout history. You would think that we would have learned from this. This is where you need to focus if you really want change. Increasing the number of women in power, in all probability, will change nothing.

      2. I think I explained this already- people who aren’t straight white males are going to experience our country in a different way, and they can bring valuable perspectives. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t times that I’d choose a male candidate over a female one, but I’m speaking on a larger level.

    1. I completely understand what you’re saying but let me create a synopsis of the situation so that we are both on the same page…

      In a broader sense, people experience the situation differently depending on their race, sex, nationality, religion, income level, education, height, beauty, the community they live in, and so on. This is without question, very true. However, I’ve also realized that not everything that a person believes to be true is true. Nor is it true that politicians represent the masses in all things.

      I’ve spent my life listening to many of these groups blaming white males for holding them back, but the truth is that most people are in the same boat.

      Let me paint a picture of how I see things….

      A few generations back, society dictated that men had the sole responsibility of supporting their families. If these men did not live up to these expectations they were chastised by the people (both male and female) in their communities. Also, in times of danger it was expected of men to risk their lives defending their families, communities, or working a dangerous job. It was by no means easy for a man to be a man, nor did they have any other options to live their lives otherwise. From this it’s easy to see why men became the leaders and had all the powers. Equally so, women’s cast in life was dictated by society, meaning that their entire quality of life was determined by whom they married. Without a man, they were destined for poverty. Therein lies the problem. At this point it’s important to understand that it wasn’t men (in general) that decided that things should be this way, but instead, it was generation after generation that caused this social evolution to exist. Also, life was much harder in the past and it took a mans strength to build the homes, till the land and perform the many things that were required to eke out an existence in the world. Like biological evolution, social evolution was developed autonomously to ensure the greatest survival of the species. It worked, but it wasn’t fair to men or women. Even if women wanted to make their own way in the world, it was a hard life and so living parasitically off of a man was a much better life for them.

      Men and women, generally speaking, have the same level of intelligence, but in the past women did not have the opportunity to exercise their abilities and so many men looked upon women as less intelligent. Not too long ago, this was thought of black people. This is not reality.

      Due to technology, life is much easier in today’s world and there are many more opportunities for women and men to control their own destinies. Relatively speaking, this is the first time in history that women can control their own lives and not rely on men to survive. This also benefits men and relieves the burden of being the sole provider from their shoulders. I should mention that now women can choose to leave an unhappy marriage because they can survive on their own and men can leave those marriages because they know that the women can take care of themselves.

      Society is in a transitory state, more so today than ever before. Men and women are reassessing their social roles and bumping their heads in the process. That always comes with change. Both sides see the other as privileged (hence, the grass is greener syndrome), .Women’s organizations tend to color the truth, in their favor and while espousing equality, they want inequality with women getting more than their fair share. That’s what most special interest groups desire, mostly because their perception of what the “other side” has is in error.

      Getting back to the subject, women want an equal voice in government. There is nothing wrong with that. The article suggests that having an equal number of women in government is the solution. Oddly, after having men (for the most part) run the government, I’ve never felt they represented me, as a man or a white man. As a matter of fact, they have only acted in favor of women, blacks and other special interest groups. To be fair, “some” of their actions addressed issues that needed to be addressed. BTW, these were mostly white men that made these decisions. Sometimes I wonder why all this wasn’t done when this nation was formed. It seems to be self evident that these changes were necessary and fair.

      Someones at the door… I gotta go…

      1. I know you don’t want to read this diatribe, so let me get to the point…

        Don’t be so sure that getting more women in government will result in those people being more representative of yourself or other women. Those kinds of people have their own agenda and when it comes to money and power, it’s not about helping others.

        That’s all I really wanted to say.

      2. Just a few examples: The Supreme Court arguments in the Hobby Lobby case, as I wrote about on this blog, had the female Supreme Court justices arguing aggressively and pointed out how letting corporations decide to discriminate against women could have serious ramifications. A women is less likely than a male politician to think that women can’t get pregnant from rape. A woman who has struggled with access to reproductive services is going to better understand how they’re an integral part of healthcare and not just some side benefit. In the same way, a black person who has been harassed by the police is going to understand what that’s like in the way that a white person doesn’t. There are countless ways that experience can give a unique perspective and can lead to better outcomes for everyone.

      3. Rebecca, what you said is all true, but I would like to narrow it down a bit by simply saying that “only” people with “your” life experiences can appreciate your problems.

        For instance, a rich person cannot appreciate a poor persons situation even though they may be the same race, the same sex, and the same age. I’m sure your get the point.

        The problem is that we do not live in a democracy, we live in a republic. The democracy aspect of our nation only exists during the election process. Once elected, a politician has no obligation to heed their constituents wishes. The only reason they do is in hope to get reelected, and even when they do, many times, it takes thousands to millions of people marching the streets to get them to listen. Besides, corporations have a great deal more influence with the government than do any individual or group of individuals.

        I’ll give you an example (closer to home, for me) of what I’m talking about. I live in an older section of town. A few years ago the city created a new building code which for all purposes, condemns all the property in my neighborhood. Even though our properties have been grandfathered in, if something were to happen to our properties such as a fire, we cannot rebuild our homes. It’s against the new code, because the “new” code requires a certain amount of plot size and all these properties measure less than what is required. Even if they overlooked that requirement, many of the older homes are a little too close to the side property lines and so if a new home were to be built, it would have to be made smaller. There are numerous other issues here too.

        The people who run the city don’t see the damage they’ve created because they live in the newer sections of town where this new code does not affect them. There is not much difference between them and myself in terms of age and education. If I wanted to change this code, I would start be electing people who live in my section of town, because they would understand the problem. Their age or sex would not matter. Of course, this substantiates what you said, but in this situation, it’s not the people who are important but where they live.

        As for politicians on the national or state level, none of these people can appreciate the problems of people outside their income level or people with different life experiences. The point is that a persons sex is not a good metric to determine if they have your best interest at heart. I know that you said that you might vote for a male over a female and that is an intelligent viewpoint and shows that you are looking deeper into the process. However, some people will only vote according to sex, but I believe the truth is that these high power women seeking office are using sex as a tool towards their own end. The same has been done with religion.

        One last point. The founders of this constitution designed our government to separate it’s powers so that one person cannot overthrow it. The concept is very good, but shortly after its inception, political parties were formed, run by special interest groups, and outside the government. For the most part, these parties have consolidated the powers into two groups which usurps the concept of separation of power. This is very dangerous for the stability of our government and has the potential of bringing it down. We have gotten so used to having political parties that we forget that these parties were created outside the election process and are not part of the government. So even if you vote for an individual, they, more often than not, support bills according to what their party dictates rather than make judgement’s according to their personal beliefs. I’m just saying…

        Anyway, thanks for the conversation.

      4. I think, I agree with most of what you say there, though one book I read some years ago, that looked at the seat of our gender identity, and the seat of our sexuality – “Sex And The Brain” by Jo Durden-Smith and Diane de-Simone, which reported that studies had suggested that intelligence (as in general abilities to learn from one’s environment) were not equally apparent in the sexes. Though the normal distribution curve of intelligence was slightly higher for men than women, they were also slightly lower.

        This sounds like an oxymoron, until they explained that most women fell in the middle, while men’s abilities were slightly wider spread in the ability range – essentially more geniuses and more idiots. (OK, I’ll be politically correct – more of those men had limited abilities) And this might be the result of the two X-chromosomes, where one might be defective the other compensated, while in men their XY chromosomes, meant these defects went unchecked.

        In women it also suggested that they were more prone to errors in judgement where putting their emotions to one side was necessary. They put this down to two chemicals in the brains of men and women, which were measurable in different strengths due to biological imperatives – Women who were the primary care-givers in society (after all they have the wombs) were more risk-averse, and this mechanism can be skewed such that some women develop phobias and avoidance behaviours, as an over-developed response to the dangers in nature while trying to protect vulnerable infants.

        Men were more prone to risky behaviour – fighting for a prey animal to feed the family was only possible because men’s emotions were buried deeper in their brains. Of course certain behaviours can stimulate more (or less) Testosterone and Oestrogen, which if carried out over long periods results in the masculinisation (or feminisation) of the brain,

        The Mars and Venus books speak of this when Dr Gray talks of being on your “Male Side” or “Female Side”. I’ve noticed in my wife as she is now the bread-winner – which she hates because it goes against her natural inclination – she is less caring than when her oestrogen levels are elevated – stress eh?

        It’s been a few years since I read the book so perhaps my memory of the mechanisms isn’t as precise as I would like, but it certainly reflects the experiences of men and women I’ve garnered in almost 60years.

        Men are Men with their natural proclivities, and Women are Women – but they’re BOTH people. {Perhaps we would get along a whole lot better if we ALL were forced to read as much available literature as there is on the opposite sex – whether you’re a man or woman.

        And as for Lesbians and Gays, their brains are just the wrong brain biology for their bodies – Gay men have feminised brains. and vice versa. The main differentiator is the Corpus Callosum, which allows the two halves of the brain to communicate. In Men it is like “Dial-up” whereas in women it is more like “Broadband”. And women with their two language centres in the frontal area have limited space available for “Visual Spatial” abilities – hence the preponderance in those industries where the natural talents lie. Trying to force-fit men and women into those roles against their biological strengths is simply “peeing in the wind”

        W.

        (http://moneymatterstoo.wordpress.com)

      5. walmarktng,

        I am aware of most of what you mentioned, I suspect, just not as in depth as you understand it.

        While I believe that there are inherent biological differences, I have a hard time separating those differences with learned social influences. Both men and women are subject to both these effects. As a group, I have noticed that men have become less aggressive and women more so.

        I did read somewhere that women are more aggressive behind the wheel of a car as compared to men. While that, in itself, is not important, it might indicate that women have a latent aggressiveness, perhaps previously suppressed by social pressures. If that is valid, and women gain more power, conflict may increase. Then again, it just might be a case where women are over reacting to what they perceive as inequalities.

        Who is right and who is wrong is irrelevant. One of the main reasons I support equality is because of the untapped mental assets of the female half of society. Many men have left an impact on society that have resulted in a greater understanding of math and science, which has resulted in the world we see around us today. Without them, we would still be living in caves, so to speak. Sometimes I wonder how far the world would have advanced if women would/could have contributed to that learning. Perhaps we will see a time when a woman contributes as greatly as (a few) men have.

        FYI, It seems to me that most of what people do in life is support the human condition. The future of humanity is based on what it learns and what it passes onto future generations. Those are the people whom I deem as the most important.

        As for politicians, which this article alludes to, I think there is a greater issue than what sex they are. I think the real issue is that they have too much power and very little accountability. It seems that many people glorify politicians, but that is wrong on so many levels, they are, after all, our employees. BTW, I suppose it’s a matter of perspective, but I heard many times about the rights that our government gives us, but the reality is that governments only take rights away. What they call given rights should be called rights that they haven’t taken away. With out them, we have the right to do anything we want. Being sensible, it does make sense that, in a society, what a person does affects other people, sometimes negatively, so there has to be some control of what a person can and cannot do.

        There is one issue that you mentioned and that was saying that women are care givers. You might be correct when considered within the confines of a family, but on a community social level or business, I think men are better. I think men are more even handed, but I’ll keep my mind open to see if that changes. I do think it odd that many women have told me that they prefer working with men than women.

        In any case, everything you said seems accurate at least as far as prevailing knowledge indicates.

        Good post! wal

      6. wa1marktng, There is one more thing… I gave some thought about the differences in intelligence level between men and women. I find that extremely suspect. First off, I’m not sure any IQ tests can adequately describe a persons intelligence. Some of the most intelligent people did not do well in school. Also, I don’t think psychiatry is a valid science, at this point in time, regardless that it is considered as such. However, they are making advancements and someday it will be a valid science.

        I see no reason for men or women to differ in intelligence. The emotional aspect of men and women can have an impact, but beyond that there should be little difference.

    1. StevenSurprenant,

      I mentioned in the piece that behaviours stimulate the production of hormones – Success in Combat leaves the victor higher in Testosterone, than the defeated. The competetive nature of some work stimulates this in young people (i.e. pre-pregnant women.)

      “Of course certain behaviours can stimulate more (or less) Testosterone and Oestrogen, which if carried out over long periods results in the masculinisation (or feminisation) of the brain,”

      So, socialisation behaviours – (eg: looking after kids) works to stimulate Oestrogen in males, and lowers testosterone, and competetive sports, and the work-place, stimulates testosterone production in women, and this might explain the aggressive car driving of young women you mention.

      It also might explain “Warrior women”, which it has been recorded that there is evidence of in pre-historic archeological digs, and of feminist behaviour in more recent times.

      BUT, that is perhaps nature’s flexibility, that made our species so successful.

      Men could be care-givers in the right circumstances, and women could be competetive, yet that was not their basic native biologically pre-determined and preferred role.

      “The Surrendered wife” was written by an arch feminist, and looked at her life as a feminist and compared it with her life when her husband took charge and made all the key decisions.

      Her conclusions surprised and overturned most modern conventional thinking. (Sorry can’t remember her name)

      And if you imagine a normal distribution curve, or rather two normal distribution curves, the one for intelligence in men and the other for women, the female intelligence seemed to be clustered more centrally, while men were more dispersed. that is not a criticism of men or women it is just that we measure mathematical reasoning, visual spatial reasoning, verbal and linguistic abilities, and logic reasoning (determining patterns in behaviour, objects or similar)

      It might be that the tests that were designed didn’t measure emotional intelligence – empathy if you will – and that might have skewed the results. The tests though were factually accurate. but perhaps the measures weren’t broad enough to reflect the biological differences.

      We saw a study about 6 or 7 years ago where a school in the Home Counties, used different teaching styles to boys and girls to successful outcomes – BOYS are more Visual spatial (they want to SEE things demonstrated), while GIRLS are more linguistic – they want to TALK about/DISCUSS things more)

      The sociologists were apoplectic.

      W.
      (http://moneymatterstoo,wordpess.com)

      1. I went to amazon and read the synopsis of the book “The Surrendered wife”. It seems to be right on target. My sister and many other women I’ve know are aware of this aspect of men/women and have used it in their relationships. As my sister says, “I make it seem like it’s his idea and he goes along happily with what I want him to do”.

        My experience is that women (in general) are controllers, hence the-honey-do lists. I don’t know one man that doesn’t resent this. Men generally don’t treat women this way.

        About the distribution curve… I read the same thing, the only thing you left out is that while men’s I.Q. are split, like you said, women suffer from mental illness to a greater degree. Anyway that’s the prevailing opinion, so far. My personal experiences support this, but then again, these statistical outliers are just that and don’t represent the average person.

        As for different teaching styles… I agree (again) . I think that is the main reason why boys are not keeping up with girls in schools. I’ve read reports about scholastic achievement in co-ed schools versus all boys and all girl schools. As it turns out, in co-ed schools the girls do much better than the boys, significantly so, but that all changes for one sex schools. The girls in all girls school do better than their co-ed counter parts and the boys in an all boys schools excel, by an significant amount, the achievement of girls in an all girls school.

        I wasn’t aware about you said about testosterone levels increasing/decreasing depending on the tasks being performed, but I see no reason to doubt it.

        Anyway, thanks again for your thoughtful comments.

    1. I’m all for making women non-people like they do men. I only hope that when the next big war starts they draft women, along with men, and put them on the front lines in equal numbers. That’s only fair, don’t you think?

      I was a soldier too in a war zone and I found it unfair that the female soldiers were kept back at the base camps where it was safe. Perhaps if more women would have died in combat, the war would have ended sooner.

    2. Linda, don’t take what I said the wrong way. I don’t value the lives of women any more than I do men’s lives. All lives are important, but I just don’t think that it’s fair that men are treated as dispensable.

      I know that we both are on opposite sides of the fence and we both think the grass is greener on the other side, but contrary to what many women think, being a man is not a bed of roses. I assume the opposite is true also.

      1. Oh rock on here mate! I am myself a retired RMC (Royal Marine Commando, officer, Recon & Intell. I was a “mustang”). Btw, no women in the Royal Marines, save the band! I saw combat, from the Nam (attached to the American Marine Force Recon, 1968), to Gulf War 1. And still no women as RMC’s anyway! Though I love women! ;) Married, with two grown sons!

  5. irishanglican, you’ve seen a great deal more action than myself. It’s a shame that we have wars. The funny thing about war is that it’s really a fight between politicians, but it’s the common man that fights and dies in their stead. This needs to be changed.

    Whether you believe that man/woman is a natural result of the creation of the Universe or placed on Earth by God, the fact that we are here is extraordinary and life should be celebrated. We should spend our limited time here experiencing the joys of life instead of killing each other over religion or politics. Or for that matter, conflicting with each other over such nonsense like sex,or racism.

    Anyway, I fully support equality, but the one thing I’ve noticed about these women’s groups is that they never spell out their agenda except to say that men make more money and something must be done about domestic violence. On either issue, they never give specifics and what they do say is many times misleading/false.

    There are many women that. rightfully so, only want equal opportunities, .The whole concept of this article is that women want to be treated as non people like the men is ludicrous. They will succeed, but once they are in our shoes, I don’t think they will like it.

    1. @steven: I am having American hotdog’s and cokes on this American Memorial Day! ;) My wife and I have been living in the USA for about the last 6 years or so. She is younger than I, but suffers from chronic COPD. My little brother, 52 is now an American citizen, and was an American Marine in the 1980’s. So Semper Fi! I am of course a conservative Anglican priest/presbyter, more of an evangelical however. I lived and taught in Israel in the latter 90’s, after Gulf War 1. Only providence brought me out of Modern Israel! I am very pro-Israel! And btw, Israeli women can be very beautiful! My wife is also Irish, redhead, blue eyes, so I kept her! ;) How’s that for a male Irish chauvinist! :)

      1. Wow, from Marine commando to priest, that is a huge leap in job description. About the wife… red hair, blue eyes and Irish. I can see why you like her.

        I too was in Viet Nam, but while I was there I asked the Vietnamese people what they thought of us being there and everyone of them said that they wished we never would have come. This caused a question to form in my mind, “if we were’t there for them, who were we there for?”. It was at that point that I realized that political conflicts were just that, politicians fighting each other. The people were irrelevant. From this, I began questioning the motivations of governments.

        After all these years since, I’ve come to realize that many conflicts were not based on democracy, but rather capitalism. Of course, there are other reason too, but I’m mostly speaking about the U.S..

        As for Israel, I don’t have an opinion. For the most part, I just watch the world in amazement. Life is a wondrous thing and too short to endure all this insanity.

        Take care, my friend.

      2. Of course I am an old “Bootneck”, and both a Recon and Intell officer (retired Captain). And I come from an Irish Brit family (my father, a Spirtfire pilot, as my uncles… British Army, and one great uncle who fought the Japanese in Burma, in WW II. Also my one older cousin was killed at Anzio, who was in the so-called Devil’s Brigade, Canadian-American, 1st Spl. Force Service). So yes, I come from a conservative Irish Brit family, and a bit of pride! Btw, I made one combat parachute jump in the Nam, and that was major in my life, at the time.

        In Nam, we were of course fighting Communism, the American line in the sand, as too most conservative thoughts with many British, at least at the time! So no apology from me anyway! I saw the French effect too on many of the older Vietnamese. And of course many Vietnamese are now in the USA. And now a whole generation, which are American. So without that, no Vietnamese living in America! So I tend to see it as a “people” issue, more than ideology. Though surely my ideology is always conservative! :)

      3. No need to apologize for anything. We are all a product of our upbringing and environment. Besides, there are no clear lines between right and wrong. (generally speaking)

        I’m in many ways an idealist, (an attitude left over from my youth), and I don’t understand greed or the quest for power, which are two of the strongest motivators that shape our world. Some people may consider idealism a negative trait, but I don’t.

        Yes, the war in Viet Nam was motivated by a fight between communism and capitalism. I can see the positives and negatives of both forms government. (Actually it’s not a form of government, but I think you understand) Capitalism spurs growth (actually requires it) and motivates people to be creative. The down side is that it leaves every person to fend for themselves and results in a segment of the population living in relative poverty. Communism (in the pure sense) reduces “and” raises everyone’s economic level to the same level. This may seem fair, but on the negative side, it almost completely suppresses the motivation for creativity and eliminates the ability for people to choose their own path in life.. At this point in human history, capitalism, with a certain number of social programs, is a far better choice. Oh, I should add that capitalism also tends to consolidate most of the wealth in the hands of a few people. We see that happening today.

        Capitalism cannot exist forever, at least not in the form it exists today. Technology has replaced many jobs and, (once computers get smart enough,), has the potential of replacing most of humanity in the workforce. What then? Well, we aren’t there yet, and I can’t envision what it will be like.

        I suppose that I am a mixture of conservatism and liberalism, depending on the issue. Anyway, like I said, I sit back and watch the world evolve and while I have my opinions I try to keep my mind open on issues that I don’t understand. Like Rebecca and I were discussing above, unless you walk in another mans shoes, you cannot fully appreciate their life’s experiences and the beliefs and attitudes derived from it.

        Thanks Fr. Roberts, you’re an interesting man.

      4. No apology, just dialogue, and where I come from! No secret that I am always an Irish Brit, though an older conservative one! ;) And sadly I see human life morally and spiritually on the decline, I don’t think humanity will survive the 21st century! I sure hope I am wrong, but I doubt it! Humanity has seen nothing yet, as to the exchange of weapons and warfare! History always repeats itself in someway. And of course we live in a fallen and evil world/age! Yes, I am indeed a biblical Judeo-Christian. The end of the age will come centred around Modern Israel, as the Holy Scripture foretells prophetically, (Zech. 13: 8-9 ; chapter 14). And of course a “futuristic” vision of the Book of Revelation! Rock & Roll! ;)

  6. Interesting… You have a completely different perspective than I, but in the end, with the same result.

    First off, I see over population of the planet as the catalyst. At some point we will over reach the ability of the planet to produce enough food and other resources will diminish. This followed by a few bad years of drought (which does happen periodically) will result in mass starvation, sparking conflicts/wars. If global warming is valid, that in itself could eliminate life, but at the very least, the drought I mentioned could be a reasonable outcome.

    There’s no point in me detailing all the possible scenarios, but relatively speaking, we now live in the golden years of human history in terms of standard of living.

    I see such great possibilities for humanity if it it takes the right path, but as it now stands, it’s a free for all. Governments seem more interested in maintaining the status quo than building a future where all its people live well. Corporations now run the government and their only interest is consumerism and profit. Heck, even G.W. Bush, after the 9/11 publicly told the nation to go shopping. What’s that all about?

    Anyway, I agree with you in that the future has a great possibility of being a place of intense hardship unseen by past generations. It doesn’t have to be that way…

  7. women are from venus and men are from mars…. they are poles apart….however, they complement each other….. one that is diametrically opposed with one another adds sugar and spice into this world

  8. Rather than worrying about the mood of the country voting on a two-woman ticket how about we consider voting on two people who just happen to be women based on what they bring to the table? I voted for president the guy who just happened to be black, I did not vote for a black president. Well… I tried. Dammit, it’s tough being human!

    1. Doug, Naw!, that just makes too much sense.

      Besides, what would these women seeking power in office use to get people to vote for them if they didn’t use the sex card.

      Maybe I’m wrong, but I would never vote for someone just because they were a man. That would be sexist, wouldn’t it?

      1. Is anyone saying anything about voting for people only because they are women? This is a straw argument. The point is that it would be great to have more women in office, not that anyone who is a woman automatically gets support.

    1. I’ve written about this in numerous places, including in this article. Women, people of color, LGBT people, poor people, etc. are going to experience this country differently. That brings perspectives that can help make better policy. It doesn’t mean those people are automatically great candidates, but when they are it makes for better policy. It’s also important for people in this country to see themselves represented in our government. That can have a profound impact on people from an early age. It’s not the kind of thing white people, and especially white men, have to think about a lot because we are represented everywhere.

      1. The whole “white male” thing does get old! This generation of white male doesn’t know who he is, much less what his world is about! When we male baby-boomers are gone, where will the Free World be, if it still exists?

      2. Yes, you have mentioned it and there is a certain amount of validity to your words. On the other hand, (as an example) it can be said that poor people have a different perspective than rich people, more so than the different perspectives between men and women. So what criteria do we use to elect someone to represent us. If you’re poor and female, who would best represent you, a rich woman or a poor man.

        As I’ve previously said, men have always been in government, but I have never felt they represented me as a man. Besides, I have virtually no interest in politics except to reign in their power.

        Since my youth, I’ve watched this nation go downhill. It seems that our standard of living has gone up, but the quality our of life has gone down. You being younger will not notice it.

        I do understand that you think that children relate to people that are like themselves, i.e. women in government or other professional endeavors. No doubt you are correct, but I myself (as a child) was interested in the sciences and the people I admired, I admired because of what they discovered or created, their sex had nothing to do with it. To this day, a persons job title or position means nothing to me, it’s what they do that matters. Still I realize that people are both good and bad at the same time. For instance, I admire Thomas Edison for what he created, but as a person he was not always a good person. BTW, to show you how old I am, many years ago (after Edison’s death) I worked with a fellow that had worked with Edison as a young lab assistant. This fellow had become a PhD biologist and was much older than I was at the time.

        Anyway, I am and have always supported equality for everyone regardless of any differences, but it seems that women want women in power , Latinos want Latinos in power, Blacks want blacks in power and the list goes on. The one common thing between them is that they all blame white men for their problems. The fact is that mostly all white men are in the same situation as everyone else. Powerful people don’t care about anything except what benefits themselves, race, sex, ethnicity, are meaningless to them, although they would have you believe otherwise. There are exceptions.

        Thanks Rebecca, it’s been fun. We aren’t going to meet eye to eye on this, but it is interesting to see different perspectives.

      3. Those of us males who have been in war and combat for God, country & freedom, and especially those of us who have given ourselves to a military life, feel something of the depth of the mystery of this life. But human life is always very flawed! Btw, who “represents” the combat vet, but the Vet himself/herself! And here color fades!

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