Barack Obama resorted to male dismissal last night in the debate. He would never tell John McCain or John Edwards or a male candidate that a point they raised was "just silly. It’s silly season in politics."
But it’s still all right to dismiss an accomplished woman’s legitimate concern in this way in a public forum. Not a single political pundit noticed it. In fact, Hillary is being berated for bringing up the legitimate charge of plagiarism for having made a misstep.
The double standard has been in effect throughout the campaign. Obama, the flavor of the month, was hailed for being greeted by “rock star crowds,” fixing his celebrity status as a rock star. Hillary, on the other hand, never has a moment of peace from characterizations of her as cold, divisive, and the “b” word.
John Edwards was almost completely ignored by the media. The media have made the front-runners in the Democratic primary.
I know one conspiracy-theorist who thinks the media seeded a women and an African-American as the Democratic front-runners so that a weak Republican prospect, John McCain, would steal the white, male, under-$50K-a-year vote and maintain the Republican presidency. They will not vote for a woman or a black man and will cross party lines to vote white male.
Even though I teach media and know all about interlocking directorates and the heavily conservative bias of corporate news organizations, I discounted this theory.
It’s too bad females are not able to so clearly identify their own best interests with having a female in the White House and breaking the final glass ceiling. Clinton will work hard, but Obama will be fluff. He is likely to make the same naïve mistakes as Jack Kennedy, who had Nikita Krushchev tap-dancing at our Miami doorstep with his missile sites in Cuba. Let’s not forget, either, than it was Lyndon Johnson who got important civil rights legislation passed, drawing on his decades of experience as a congressional deal-maker.
But young women are out, dancing to mindless slogans, suckered by yet another charismatic male who promises hope and change – whatever that means – while offering the same old dismissal of an accomplished woman’s argument as silly. And that’s why a woman supporting Obama is as silly as hen buying stock in Kentucky Fried Chicken.
A black male can fit through the eye of the public more easily than a woman can break the ultimate glass ceiling.