W e are what we are, fabricated over years of exposure to the realities of our lives. If you were attacked or mugged by a member of a specific race, you likely harbor a prejudice against that race. If you were impoverished, oppressed by or at war with a race of people, you likely have a bias against them. And sexism touches us all from the “glass ceiling” to the destruction of “father’s rights” by the women’s movement to the horrors of rape. There are so many other facets of racism and sexism that span the globe that one could write a book the size of “War and Peace” and not cover them all.
The sexist card is hard to totally understand. Many men blame it on a women’s movement that has made every attempt to minimize the importance of men, especially fathers, in their children’s lives. But sexism and abuse of women was around long before there was any solidified women’s movement.
Women, on the other hand, want equal wages and fair consideration, and because of physical differences, suffer at the hands of men. Internationally, sexist acts against women are rampant and the indignations they suffer are broad-based. In some societies, they are deprived of basic education to ensure their advancement in society is impaired and their social status retained as subservient to men.
In America, it is quite possible the pendulum has swung too far, when a female population that outnumbers men is treated like a minority. But world-wide, that is anything but the truth.
The sexism issue is an important one from a political standpoint. Statistically, women vote more than men, and women of voting age outnumber men. One has to only go to political websites to find that almost every candidate addresses women’s rights, while few address the rights of men. If you want the vote of women, you don’t mess with the sexist argument and if you want the vote of the aged, you don’t mess with Social Security and Medicare. And what do we call the equivalent of racism against the aged? Aged-ism? Plenty of that against McCain, as there was against Reagan.
These two issues go way beyond what is stated here and they have become a central focal point of who we are as a nation. Most of us do not wish to be classified as racist or sexist, but in some measure, we all are, whether we admit it or not. In humor, Avenue Q, a Broadway Show has a tune they include in their performance, in which they sing, “Everyone’s a little bit racist…sometimes….”. We would add sexist and just about every other bias to that.
And so enters politics, in which we expect the candidate to be a perfect reflection of our ideals. As such, no politician wants to be considered sexist or racist, and yet, by their own nature they must be. So, when you see one or the other play the racism or sexism card against their opponent, one has to examine the motivations behind their statements and the likely desire to cover up who they themselves truly are.
That aside, one thing to examine closely on the internet with respect to the Presidential Election is how both sides are playing the sexist and racist cards as we write this.
Here are the various claims:
1. If you don’t vote Republican, you are sexist.
2. If you don’t vote for Obama, you are racist.
3. The Republican’s choosing a woman as a VP candidate was sexist.
4. Had the Republicans chosen a black man as a VP candidate, that would be racist.
5. Obama choosing a white man as a running mate was racist.
6. If you think Obama is a Muslim, you are a racist.
7. If you voted for Obama over Hillary you are a sexist.
8. If you resent Obama’s choice of a male VP over Hillary, you are a sexist.
9. Obama was sexist for choosing a man as a VP when Hillary was available.
10. Bill was a pig for fooling around with Monica.
We have read some of these with disbelief in how twisted some people have become in classifying others as sexist or racist. The reverse logic is the most twisted. When one uses the logic that the only reason to choose a woman for a political office is because you are sexist, then, of course, that in and of itself is sexist against women by definition, the ultimate sexist catch 22, in which your opponent is damned if they do and damned if they do not. When one says that you should never choose a black man for office because it would show you were trying to play the race card, again, you oppress all black men that were excellent choices for that office.
We would like to see this election steer clear of these issues, but we also know that other issues, such as Roe vs. Wade will find their way into the debates and they, in and of themselves have sexist overtones.
We just find most often, when one political candidate accuses the other of either sexism or racism, they are most often calling the kettle black. It isn’t that simple, but in an effort to divide the nation into votes for their respective candidates, an attempt to simplify things into cut and dry categorizations is attempted, and life is not as simple as they paint it.
If a headline accuses the other side of being sexist or racist, realize it is most likely sensationalism to sway your vote. You may, just may, find you want to read it with skepticism if not downright contempt, and possibly consider the authors’ desire to direct you away from their own weaknesses with respect to these broad-based issues.