Wednesday, January 9, 2008

She "Cried"!

Menu this morning: Words on toast.

What's clear is that nobody knows how to call it when a woman and an African American are candidates for President. Obviously the pollsters are not asking the right questions, and have an insufficient understanding of how women vote and why. (Not that I did such a great job of prognostication.)

The MSM analysis, such as it is, is fascinating. Every commentary suggests that there is a phalanx of angry New Hampshire women, and that they came out to support Clinton in an act of massive "gender solidarity." Nothing else, mind. Just "gender solidarity." They've reached into their collective subconscious and hauled out the fourth grade playground.

You know what I think? If it weren't so trivializing, I'd think it was funny. Imagine: Thelmas and Louises in their trundling hundreds, galoshing up the snowbanks and down the frozen sidewalks screaming "WOMAN!"

But what we can reliably infer from this fantasy is that there is a frightened phalanx of freudian males writing election commentary. The most obvious tip-off came in that sublimely enlightened "Vaginal-Americans" exchange between Tucker Carlson and Cliff May, President, can you believe it, of the alleged Foundation for the Defense of Democracy. (Footmote: Washington Post writer Eugene Robinson was also present, but to his credit, seemed embarrassed and wasn't having any of it, maybe partly because the premises underlying this projectile vomitfest also implicitly ridicule the African American cohort! That's how clueless these guys are, and on national TV, yet.)

In case you've forgotten:

Tucker Carlson: "Gene, this is an amazing statistic: 94 percent of women say they'd be more likely to vote if a woman were on the ballot. I think of all the times I voted for people just because they're male. You know? The ballot comes up, and I'm like, 'Wow. He's a dude. I think I'll vote for him. We've got similar genitalia. I'm--he's getting my vote.' . . . the Clinton campaign says: 'Hillary isn't running as a woman.' Well, that's actually completely false, considering the Hillary campaign--nd I get their emails--relentlessly pushes the glass ceiling argument. 'You should vote for her because she's a woman.' They say that all the time."

Cliff May: "At least call her a Vaginal-American."

Tucker Carlson: "Is that the new phrase? Boy, that's nasty. I don't think I can say that."
And off they gallop, yukking it up, to Planet Mysogynistica, where they remain, lost and wandering.

Tucker's assertions make two things clear about Tucker. One, he is one of the most intellectually dishonest individuals in media, and that's saying something really damning. Two, couldn't be plainer: When he thinks of "gender solidarity," he goes right to the crotch, to the genitalia, in his words.

The layers of trivialization in that construct are just boggling. The contempt blown across the TV screens is frightening, especially since the disease isn't limited to that little clod, Tucker.

He and his fellow Penile American pollster/spokesmen cannot see that gender encompasses anything else. No brains are involved here. No complex social histories, no variations by race, class, age, culture, religion. Women in New Hampshire didn't vote for Hillary because they support her policies. Their vaginas voted for her vagina.

And at the time, Digby made this excellent point:

For as long as I can remember, the Democrats have been desperate to "recapture" the white male vote and nobody thought it was illegitimate to appeal to a constituency on the basis of their race and gender. But when Clinton is said to be appealing to women, it's as if she's breaking some sort of taboo --- that she's being narrow and opportunistic and cheap.

It's "moronic" in Carlson's jumped up little world for the Clinton campaign to consider what might appeal to 50% of the nation, but it's sound strategy when the boys do it? It's just so. tediously. typical.

And then there's this. "Gender solidarity?" Oh yeah right. I haven't seen "gender solidarity" since Billy Jean King whupped Bobby Riggs in the tennis match of the sexes. That was like in 1973, after Riggs bragged about male superiority.

Gender solidarity? Outside the game field, there never has been any such thing and there never will be, because women are not reducible to a single common denominator--not even biologically.

Too much, maybe 90%, of the commentary about the Clinton campaign boils down to a fixation on gender stereotypes and a sexist "body politics" masquerading as political analysis. Cris Matthews is notoriously obsessed with this stuff. From practically panting for Bush's package to ridiculing Hillary's voice, for Matthews, Tucker, and the boys, it's all about the Cult of Masculinity's revulsion at the mere idea of a vagina in the White House. Can't stand her. It's her voice. No, it's her laugh. Wait, she's too old. It's the woman vote. She's controlling (read self-actualized, thinking person). She's cold. She's unemotional. She cried.

Here's a thought: Let American women make Tucker's nightmare come true. For when they do it unto Hillary, they do it unto you, too.