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Feeding Gender Stereotypes

I've been distracted this week (our eldest child started Kindergarten today!) so apologies if this subject already has been thoroughly chewed over. But this bizarre McCain ad featuring that pro-choice, pro-Hillary idiot from Wisconsin is too depressing to let pass without comment--not for what it says about the state of the race or about the stubborn disunity between the Obama and Clinton camps, but for the way in which it fuels tired stereotypes about women's irrationality.  

This is a country that tends to pick its presidents based on warm-and-fuzzy intangibles such as which candidate we feel closest to. Tens of thousands of Americans (at the very least) cast their votes less on reason or hard analysis or even partisan ideology than on some gut-level tingle akin to George W. Bush's looking into Vladimir Putin's heart and seeing a good man. 

Alas, these days, with die-hard Hillary gals running around naming themselves after predatory cats, vowing to blow up the party out of spite, and generally behaving like a pack of disappointed, embittered children, I'm hearing more and more grumbling about the irrationality of women voters in particular. (You know, along the lines of Chris Matthews' snarking about "women of a certain age.")

The white working-class voters reluctant to back Obama are seen as anti-elitist and possibly even racist, but everyone kind of understands why economically struggling white folks might be suspicious of a Ivy-League-educated black man. But upper- or middle-class white women who backed Hillary and are now threatening to take their toys and go home? These gals just look petty and spoiled and deeply, deeply irrational. And it doesn't help when some dingbat crowing about how she jumped from Hillary to McCain gets caught at a press conference admitting that, although she is proudly pro-choice, she just blithely assumed that McCain opposes overturning Roe v Wade. (Seems like something to look into before you star in his political ad, Honey Pie.) That makes Hillary gals look not only irrational, but deeply, deeply stupid.

Lots of American voters are stupid and irrational: black, white, male, female, young, old. But with every PUMA rally or anti-Obama chant by Hillary dead-enders who just can't come to terms with their disappointment, the dividing line between rational and emotional voters appears to be a matter of gender. How sad that the ridiculous behavior of some Hillary devotees plays into all those chauvinistic notions her candidacy was supposed to put to rest. 

--Michelle Cottle