Surrogates of Sexism

In a world of double standards, is the torch is being passed?

Misogyny is going to be spoken of quite a bit over this election cycle. With the amount of women running for President at an all time high, the need for discertion and understanding will be necessary. That word will be brought out and weaponized, used properly and improperly, and in the process may make people think twice about their vote.

I recently left a group of commentators, ones I had known for years and had shared my life story with. The discussion was “Are women less electable than men? If so, why?” The linked article was about media coverage and many other aspects of why women are a better choice for office. It also read as another piece that weighed a little too much on what the men do wrong rather than what the women do right. I get it, I know the social positions of the day, but it really didn’t answer the posed question. I posted my response with the preface that, yes, I do want a woman elected, just like I did in 2016. I also informed that I was coming at this from a BIG outside look, a pondering about what people are like, a list of broad generalities, just something to possibly look at? I ended my post with an apt description of how my post would be treated, and here I am now, writing alone and fine with it.

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I grew up with a lot of very strong women around me, and much of my life there have been those looks from the guys with that question of being gay in their head. No, I’m not, but thanks for asking, I am just well connected to my left and right brains so to speak. It comes with being an INFJ, and an HSP, a Highly Sensitive Person, someone who has enhanced abilities of empathy and compassion, cognition and depth. With those things working away at me, I don’t change my tone or point of view for anyone. I tell it like it is about my own sex as much as I can, and even look for areas we need help in. So when my post asked for simply the consideration, not a right or wrong, but a consideration of some societal trappings, I am made into a misogynist, a bigot, someone with a problem, victim blaming, just like a man, etc… It would be laughable and dismissable if it wasn’t so intellectually dishonest.

Back in 2014, when Bernie Sanders started his run, he didn’t make a big impression with me at first. The Pacific Northwest soon became a hotbed of support, and I wanted to know more about the guy. I read up on him and witnessed the support, yet wanted some more personal depth to the candidate, so I asked around and started questioning why he was doing this or that? It wasn’t for reasons of a smear job, but clarification. Time and time again, his supporters turned on me and my questions, spun them right around and created their responses. It was ugly and paranoid, it also turned me off of voting for him because his supporters were so passionate they couldn’t answer any questions with anything more than a soundbite. There are going to be more questions asked this time around, more deconstructing of people, of religions, of patriotism, and yes, of the sexes.

My post was about some aspects of society that are predominantly female focused, things that may turn off or away male voters, or make it more difficult to be elected. The first thing being a problem is that pieces like these are forbidden, you cannot critique a woman or anything female without being labeled with a you-pick-em of the names above. The entire thread that followed was proof of the concept. The names I was called, the attitudes thrown at me. I was asking for someone to just possibly look at these as electability issues. Just like the Sanders folks, shut out, spun around and filled with character assassinations and associations with the worst out there. There could have been an examination of what I proposed, but instead, there was an examination of me. The lowest denominator, sexism, took ahold and the premise I was making about looking at things became all things male, bad, against women. There was no interest in discussing the various aspects that “maybe” could cause unforeseen issues with the electorate.

Pointing out the aspects of being male that are bad, like endless wars, is appropriate. The behaviors they use in engaging the opposite sex, the look at their egos and machismo, all pertinent when deciding who to vote for. Voters and people who wish to be informed ask questions, all kinds of questions, for their own purposes. To glean an insight into how something may be handled, or a dormant bias. The aspects the replies are systematically pulled from are usually grand generalities about the sex of the candidate. That is where the disconnect occurs in the discourse that I was trying to point out. It is something that will need to be addressed as more and more women run for the highest office. The only reason I insist on pointing this out, and being vilified for it, it that I want women to succeed, I want them to be elected. I have a different look at things that are uniquely suited for these kinds of issues, a genetic disposition to be the canary in the coal mine. Ultimately though, there are plenty of dead messengers.

Over the last twenty years or so, the amount of double standards that have been smashed has grown at an increasing rate. Inequalities, righting the systems of social interactions and life has been at the forefront of our media and social programs. The inequalities in the area’s involving women have been blown wide open and action is needed immediately if not sooner. I know of these things because I grew up with the women being affected. I also know that there is plenty of work to do, a lot of momentum and a penchant for shutting anyone down who disagrees. That penchant, that passion for all the right things is leading folks down the path of wrongs all over again. How can you at once claim inequality while supporting the very double standards that got us in this mess to begin with? How is women shutting out a voice, a voice that just asked them to look at themselves a bit too in the big process, anything like striving for equality? Shutting out a voice that called for them to look at their own actions as well in this process, well, that was enough, I must be against women, I must be sexist.

So let’s switch this up a bit. What if men shut down all voices that wished to become more informed on their views and personalities as a candidate? The posts that would remind men of their warlike nature would be immediately cast as misandry, and crazy business. Any talk on harassment and sexual assault, shut down as not worth the time, you can’t talk about men. The talk about sexism and sexual feelings, emotions, the nature of what all this means directed predominantly by the males, females don’t have the brainpower, the emotional well being to be involved in it. Now, that is not how it is, but it is very much like the opposite. If I were to ask any of the preceding questions of a female candidate, as a male, I would be vilified and marginalized just as I have been on numerous occasions.

Society and life’s experiences place some strange thinking into our natures. There is a battle between chivalry and equality going on in this country. A hold on to the best of the past, while trying to change for the future. Some have gotten very comfortable with the premise of the two ideals, but the actual practice upsets their sensibilities. The chivalrous takes the woman into account, the equalarian takes the woman out of the equation. Which is the proper context in today’s society? That is the problem that is going to plague women candidates for years until, this is seen and understood. There is no denying that men owe a great deal, and need to change their behaviors, their place in the picture. There is no denying that women need to change some too or risk dragging everything backwards with double standards again.

I was shut out of the Sanders conversations, when looking for more information and insights. I will definitely be shut out of many conversations about women candidates. I didn’t vote for Sanders, and I will probably not vote for a woman either, not because they can’t do the job, but because women may be too busy becoming surrogates of sexism.

 

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