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Contentions

Cheaper Than Therapy?

Are women, especially older women, taking grievances about their own lives out on Barak Obama? One political science professor, Laura McKenna, says yes (h/t Instapundit). She explains:

Maureen Dowd stereotypes die-hard Hillary voters as “shoulder-pad feminists” — women who came of age in the era of shoulder pads and still see sexism everywhere. They are ticked off about injustices in their own lives. They relate to Hillary who jokes about her wrinkles. Their hatred of Obama is intensifying as his success grows: a slick young guy takes the spotlight again. . . .Most women — myself included — don’t experience these forms of soft sexism until later in life. We’re sailing through school work, out pacing men in the classroom. It’s only when the hard realities of family and work hit that women understand that they get the short end of the stick. As a result, women are mad. And they are carrying that grudge into the voting booth.

Well, if all politics is personal (the feminists had it the other way around) then voting is just an opportunity to express your inner resentments, grudges, and fears. Skip the issues, in other words, and get to the point–the petty personal bones voters want to pick.

There is some truth to this, of course. But older women may not be channeling their inner resentments when they vote against Obama. Aside from their peeves about bosses, husbands, and colleagues, they may also have accumulated some experience along the way that informs their view of politics, and makes them more clear-headed. In the years in the workplace and at home, they may have become more world-weary and realistic about human behavior, less prone to be snowed by someone peddling fluff. Maybe Hillary-voting older women aren’t angry. Maybe they’re more realistic than the swooning Obama girls. Rather than attribute the anti-Obama vote to female anger (which is rather anti-feminist in itself), perhaps we should ask why other voters look at politics through rose-colored glasses.


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