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Mars, Venus and the Election

March 20, 2008
Mars, Venus and the Election (Bob Franken)
@ 7:55 am

Now that we’ve heard Barack Obama’s speech on racial antagonism in America, it’s time for the address from Hillary Clinton on the division that is even deeper in our country. I’m talking, of course, about the divide over gender.

I firmly believe that ending the oppression of women will be even more difficult than getting past bigotry based on color.

I’ll pause now for the screams of outrage.


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OK. May I explain?

Discrimination against females, I believe, is primal … rooted in the expectation that the woman’s fundamental role is carrying, feeding and nurturing the babies that keep the human species going. Anything that takes her away from that is instinctively rejected as a threat to her procreative responsibility. As an aside, I think that helps explain the bitter, irrational hatred of gays, but that’s for another time.

The point here is that anthropology is a very high hurdle to overcome.

That is not to say it cannot be done, but Hillary Clinton will need to confront the probability that many in this nation don’t really believe, in the deepest part of their core, that a woman can be the alpha.

It is true that other countries have long accepted this, as have the voters electing state and local governments here. But we are too backward in the United States to be universally comfortable making a female the leader of the pack.

Am I defending that? Hell, no. As a card-carrying male, I’m ashamed of it. All I’m saying is that Hillary Clinton will need to deal with it straight on. I’m serious about a speech. In the process, maybe we can confront all our prejudices about gender as well as race. If so, we can become the enlightened society we currently are not.

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