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“You only say that because she’s a woman”

by Greg Krehbiel on 9 March 2017

When you dislike a female politician, it’s not because of her politics, it’s because she’s a woman.

Oh … excuse me, I got that wrong. When you dislike a female liberal politician, it’s not because of her politics, it’s because she’s a woman.

We know that because … well … because all right-thinking people know that. We’re constantly told that if a man were to do and say the same things that “bossy” or “unlikable” women do, it would be okay, but when a woman does them we react negatively because sexism.

(I should point out that I categorically reject the idea that if behavior A is acceptable in men it should be acceptable in women, and vice versa. That is one of the more pernicious and silly modern confusions.)

The most remarkable thing about the “bossy women” claim is that it has no factual basis whatsoever. It’s made up out of whole cloth. Conjured out of thin air because people want to believe it.

Somebody decided to test the idea with Hillary and Trump, and what they found was that a male version of Hillary is even less likable than Hillary. You have to admit that’s hard to believe at first, since Hillary is so incredibly unlikable, but it actually makes sense to me.

Generally speaking, I’m pretty certain that people are more solicitous to women than they are to men, and we tend to cut women more slack. That is, IMO, what “everybody knows” about bossy women is not only wrong, it’s 180 degrees dead wrong.

Or at least that’s what I think.

This one experiment with Hillary and Trump doesn’t prove anything. It would have to be repeated a few more times with other actors. But it goes along with my prejudices, so I like it. 🙂

2017-03-09  »  Greg Krehbiel

Talkback x 3

  1. William
    9 March 2017 @ 1:22 pm

    QUOTE: When you dislike a female politician, it’s not because of her politics, it’s because she’s a woman

    Generally speaking, I’d agree people who believe this are overstating the case. Yet, what I’ve found to be true is that women in leadership roles are generally treated “differently” than their male counterparts by both males in females. Sometimes that’s works to their advantage and other times to their detriment. As well, there is a subset of people that do assess female leaders “primarily” on their sex, despite their capability or positions. Interesting enough, it seems it’s women who are most critical of other women in leadership.

  2. Greg Krehbiel Greg Krehbiel
    9 March 2017 @ 3:35 pm

    @William, I’m sure men and women in leadership positions are treated differently. I don’t see that as a problem to be solved, but a fact to be lived with.

    Also, I agree with you that women are often more critical of women than men are, which reminds me of a slightly inappropriate comment I read somewhere, which said that women would rather undress in front of men than in front of women. Women are critical, men are just grateful.

  3. William
    9 March 2017 @ 5:56 pm

    QUOTE: I’m sure men and women in leadership positions are treated differently. I don’t see that as a problem to be solved, but a fact to be lived with.

    Generally, I’d agree and was stating an observation more so than a problem. That said, in some cases, it can be a problem when there is “legitimate” illegal treatment based on one’s sex. In those cases, they need to be addressed and resolved.