Excellent essay by Jinx McCombs: "The Narrow Door"
So why does the real-life situation look so far from the 50-50
gender population distribution? And why are minorities also still
represented at far below their demographic numbers?
My thesis, developed over decades of observation, is this: in a
choice between a white male and any other, the "other" will be held to
much stricter limits of personal characteristics, qualifications, and
behavior. This is the Narrow Door.
The Narrow Door operates in two ways. First, the range of
"acceptable" behavior is narrowed, usually at both ends of a scale. For
example, a personal style which is seen positively in a white male as
strong and authoritative is likely to be seen negatively in a woman as
bossy and controlling. A man’s "good support and coaching of staff" may
be seen in a woman as "coddling and micro-managing."
Second, the Narrow Door often means that negative charges against a
candidate — especially if they fit previous stereotypes — are
accepted as true with little examination or evidence.
The Narrow Door works outside conscious awareness. (Common usage
would be "subconsciously" but the term "outside conscious awareness"
emphasizes that we can become aware of the influence and mitigate it.)
But in highly competitive arenas such as national politics, some will
exploit Narrow Door assumptions to damage opponents.
A more politically-anchored piece by Robin Morgan – Goodbye To All That #2 – makes similar points but ties them to anti-Hillary Rodham Clinton sentiments.
Goodbye to the toxic viciousness . . .
Carl Bernstein’s disgust at Hillary’s “thick ankles.” Nixon-trickster Roger Stone’s new Hillary-hating 527 group, “Citizens United Not Timid”
(check the capital letters). John McCain answering “How do we beat the
bitch?" with “Excellent question!” Would he have dared reply similarly
to “How do we beat the black bastard?” For shame.
Goodbye to the HRC nutcracker with metal spikes between splayed thighs. If it was a tap-dancing blackface doll, we would be righteously outraged—and they would not be selling it in airports. Shame.
have to agree that the level of sexism in criticisms of her and her
campaign have been frequently revolting and the list which Robin Morgan
describes – of which the few above are just the beginning – make the
case strongly that Clinton is not being treated fairly in the media.
However, as much of a feminist as I am, I find myself
more personally inspired by Obama’s movement. Would I be happy with
Hillary Rodham Clinton as president? Absolutely. Would I work hard for
her campaign if she won the nomination? Yes, definitely. People I like
and trust have worked intimately with her and her experience and skill
cannot be denied.
But would I support her over Barack Obama for the nomination? No.
Our choice of president must represent to the country and the world
that we reject the international policies of George W. Bush.
I don’t think you should vote for Hillary because you’re both women
or for Obama because you’re both African-American. Vote for the
candidate that represents the world you want to live in and whose
policies will bring you closer to it.
To take Bill Clinton’s famous sign about the economy, it’s about the war, stupid.
I’m supporting Obama because peace matters more than what’s in our pants or the color of our skin.
Or, put more succinctly:
Many thanks to Randall for permitting hotlinking and for the excellent comics!