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Pete Kaliner

Gender stereotypes are bad (except when they're not)

 
Posted July 17th, 2014 @ 9:04am

In case you haven't heard, North Carolina Republican Congresswoman Renee Ellmers finds herself at the center of the proverbial poo squall over remarks she made about how the GOP could improve its messaging to women.

 

 

 

Even if we give Ellmers the benefit of the doubt about what she MEANT, she badly bungled the message... as panelist who was purportedly there to explain how not to bungle the message.

 

 

 

Memes and meaning

I think Ellmers' was trying to say that winning someone's support must be done at the personal level. She was advising her colleagues to bring policy debates down to an individual person's level. To personalize them.

This isn't really groundbreaking advice, nor is it anything the Democratic Party doesn't know. Many of the Democrats' messages targeting women do this very thing (while also insulting them with irrelevant slogans like "binders of women," "motorcycle vagina," and "war on women.")

The left is in Full Outrage Mode over Ellmers' comments - saying it proves she hates women. And if she hates women, then the GOP hates women, too.

And I mean REALLY hates the women!

To the left, Ellmers' remarks proves their silly memes: "See, there IS a war on women! Now donate to Kay Hagan. She doesn't hate women."

This is not viewed as an intellectually insulting approach among the left.

 

Men need not apply

By comparison, take a look at a column written by Raleigh News & Observer chief political writer Rob Christensen:

Having covered North Carolina legislatures since the 1970s, I have come to the conclusion that budget negotiations could be resolved much more quickly with one simple solution.

No one should be allowed to participate in the budget negotiations unless they are wearing makeup and heels. That is, men should be barred from budget negotiations and replaced by women.

 

Good thing he clarified that he was talking about women and not men in the makeup and heels. Although, I'm not sure if the transgender community has weighed in on this proposal, yet.

We'll give Mr. Christensen the benefit of the doubt - that he was going for a joke with that line - and move on to the part that would prompt statewide pearl-clutching, monocle-in-the-martini-glass-gasping outrage had it been written about another group of people.

 

Much of this is being fueled by testosterone – the natural male drive to prevail, to show off, to engage in competition, to heckle or even humiliate the opponent and to never back down.

...

Women, of course, have egos. But they are much more likely to set aside their differences and sensibly work out a compromise – which is what will eventually happen anyway when everybody gets tired of the posturing.

 

 

Has this man never met a woman?

If he has, perhaps he's never had a disagreement with a woman.

Women don't have a "natural drive" to prevail? Perhaps he's never been acquainted with a "Honey Do List."

Maybe GPS in every car has clouded his memory of getting lost on a road trip.

Women don't compete? 

I suspect it's been a while since Mr. Christensen went bar-hopping to meet some single ladies. As one female friend told me, "Guys get dressed up to impress women. Women get dressed up to impress other women."

Also, I think some Title 9 advocates will disagree with this assertion. As would all female athletes. Just a guess, though.

Women don't heckle or humiliate?

Two words: High School.

What I suspect is at the heart of this viewpoint is a belief that women are submissive and, therefor, will compromise on principles and policies in order to accommodate others.

Also, could you imagine if a columnist were to make the argument that women should be barred from the budgeting process?

So, in case you are keeping track of all these social rules:

Misandry is perfectly fine. Misogyny is not.

Saying men have an instinctive drive to humiliate people is acceptable.

Saying women want more time to get ready in the morning is an outrage.

 

 

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