Guess Who Voted Their Gender in Iowa?
I'm pondering the results in Iowa, thinking about numbers, and continue to feel so troubled by the misogynistic responses to Hillary Clinton. When I got the idea--just recently, listening to Bill Moyers interview Kathleen Hall Jamieson on politics and the blogosphere--of how aggressive the remarks about Clinton are, I had this duh moment that reminded me (not to be too dramatic) of when my husband died.
See, my husband died 9 years ago, but my brother had died 14 years before. When my husband died, I was like, "shit I forgot that people you love can die." And when I started figuring out what was going on with Clinton, I was like, "duh I forgot just how much people hate women who lead and take charge." It is that fundamental, I am afraid to say.
The issue is gender identity politics.
Not gender politics, like whether a candidate is concerned with family leave, which continues to be a concern of women more than men, for example, but gender identity politics, the politics of feeling like a man or a woman is in a role or status that we're comfortable with. When Clinton is called "that bitch" that is a good signal that it isn't about policy, but about identity politics.
Mind you, seeing Barack Obama win is great for the election, because it keeps the pressure on all around. But there is something else going on, and commentators keep acting like concerns about gender are baloney. "Get over it. 35% of women voted for Obama versus 30% for Clinton." But those numbers do not tell us anything about how voters are responding to gender. They just tell us that the people of Iowa like Obama more than Clinton. What I want to know is what are men doing. Men have gender too, you see.