Opinion: Be a Man. Vote for the Woman – By Bradley Burston – Haaretz

Opinion: Be a Man. Vote for the Woman

– By Bradley Burston – Haaretz

Opinion - commentary -analysisA real woman who has a serious shot at becoming president of the United States of America is something new for all of us. The fact is that dealing well with uncharted territory is part and parcel of what it means to be a real man. It’s time to man up. It’s time to vote for the woman.

In the end, this most hallucinatory of presidential campaigns has come down to the bedrock of human considerations: Men and Women.

The astonishing mirror-image maps produced last week by polling expert Nate Silver – images showing that if only men were to vote, Donald Trump would win the election by a margin of 350-188 electoral votes, while if only women voted, Hillary Clinton would win the election by a margin of 458-80 – hint at what has been happening, in one form or another, to us all.     

This is a referendum on much more than Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. It’s a referendum on two questions:

What does it mean to be a man? And what does it mean to be a woman?

It’s been a year and a quarter since Donald Trump launched his campaign to make the United States of America a locker room again. A year and a quarter of the message: Be a real man. Vote for the guy who uses and treats and relates to women as though they were disposable playthings – his wives included. Vote for the guy who denigrates his male party colleagues – his teammates, in fact –  as not virile enough, or too tied to their mothers, or simply too small to be president.

Be a real man, Trump exhorts, by backing the guy who said of the physical appearance of his female party colleague and teammate “Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?!”

In Trump’s locker room of the mind, there is only room for one real man. He is the one who is manifestly more attractive, more aggressive, vastly more entitled, blindingly, obviously, unquestionably more successful than the rest of you poor slobs, whom he deigns to grace with his presence and his jabbing, dancing, mind-of-their-own fingers.

You can almost smell the chlorine fumes of the locker room creeping up the back of the national nose as Trump hits Vegas to refer his followers to a protester with the words “I’d like to punch him in the face.”

Be a man. Vote for the guy who goes on to pine for “the old days” when protesters would be “carried out on stretchers.”

I listened. I listened to all of it. And Donald Trump, if nothing else, has taught me a lot about what a real man is. And is not.

A real man, falling behind in a tough race, does not bawl and whine and throw tantrum after tantrum and squeeze his face into an inflated outsize crimson fist and screech “She’s a cheater! She’s cheating! And this whole thing is a fraud! And if she wins, somebody out there oughta think hard and serious about gunning her down! And if I win, well, then faster than anything, really soon, America will be great again! Thanks, you’ve all been tremendous!”

What does it mean to be a man in the America of Trump? And what does it mean to be a woman in the America of Hillary Clinton.

Last week, it fell to Michelle Obama to answer both questions, as she framed the entire campaign in one speech.

Nearing the end of the eight immensely rough years in which she has served as the very role model of a role model, she put forth the proposition that “the measure of any society is how it treats its women and girls.”

“The men that you and I know don’t treat women this way,” she declared. “They are husbands and brothers and sons who don’t tolerate women being treated and demeaned and disrespected. And like us, these men are worried about the impact this election is having on our boys who are looking for role models of what it means to be a man.”

“Because let’s be very clear: strong men – men who are truly role models – don’t need to put down women to make themselves feel powerful. People who are truly strong lift others up. People who are truly powerful bring others together. And that is what we need in our next president.”

One of the most distressing aspects of the campaign is how Trump supporters – women among them – have cast Hillary Clinton as the image of a harpy, a witch, most of all, a woman who can do no right. Guilty of exactly the kinds of behaviours praised when demonstrated by a Real Man.

In one example among many, consider the ideal of the contender who soldiers on without complaint, in the face of extreme hardship and infirmity.

In the case of Hillary Clinton a month ago, when she continued campaigning despite suffering from pneumonia, Trump proponents were merciless in condemnation. Where a woman is concerned, it appears, stoicism is proof of unworthiness.

“Hillary Clinton has sought to return to the old era of deception, in everything connected with her fragile, poor state of health,” read a news analysis sub-headline in casino magnate Sheldon Adelson’s strongly pro-Trump Israel Hayom newspaper.

“This is a condescending strategy, which will make it hard for her to mend her image of lack of trustworthiness. She may pay for this on Election Day.”

Other commentators have been more direct.

In a recent Facebook post meant as a response to the revelations of Trump’s vulgar characterizations of women, Jerusalem Post and Israel Hayom columnist Ruthie Blum, a member of the first family of neo-conservatism – now split over the question of supporting Trump – wrote that “Hillary is a lying bitch, who vilified every woman who gave her husband a blow job.

“Hillary is just as much of a narcissist as Trump. And she is actually evil.”

Meanwhile, in academia, Yale Computer Science Prof. David Galernter insists, in a bizarrely intriguing Wall Street Journal piece called “Trump and the Emasculated Voter,” that the GOP candidate whom Galernter calls “Mr. Nauseating” is the right choice for America, after all.

“Nothing can stop Mister Trump from shooting off his mouth, but that’s all right,” he writes, sounding the war whoop of the locker room from the comfort of the Ivy League. “I want America’s enemies off-balance and guessing.”

And while we’re on the subject of gender equality, he writes in another context, “Since when did we decide that men and women are interchangeable in hand-to-hand combat on the front lines? Why do we insist on women in combat but not in the NFL? Because we take football seriously. That’s no joke; it’s the sad truth.”

The fact is, we’re all in uncharted territory here. Men and women both.

The fact is that a real woman who, throughout the course of her life, has raised her voice and worked, truly worked, for the sake of children with disabilities, for health and child care for children and for women’s’ rights, and who has a serious shot at becoming president of the United States of America, is something new for all of us.

The fact is, also, that dealing well with uncharted territory is part and parcel of what it means to be a real man.

It’s time to man up. It’s time to vote for the woman.

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Comments

  • Josh Gross | The Jaguar  On October 21, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    This is an excellently written article. The locker room metaphor is highly appropriate, and the line, “It’s been a year and a quarter since Donald Trump launched his campaign to make the United States of America a locker room again” is brilliant.

  • Gigi  On October 22, 2016 at 12:06 pm

    “be a [pansy] man vote for a woman” THAT is a very low bar. But then again you didn’t say “be a REAL man.” They are an almost extinct breed. Pity. Today’s man have conditioned and molded women like feminist Hillary to be their Stepford wife on steroids and the poor women remain clueless. Feminist Hillary has never said NO to any of the men who are part of her life, except for Obama, but he doesn’t count. Besides, If Hillary was a man, she would be equally detested as the barriers that prevent her from acting like a “man” would be removed and her true personality would be on full display. How is Hillary any better than Trump with a live-in toy boy at her residence? (Is he trained to say “me like the cat not the kitten”) How is Hillary better than Trump when she caused the death of CIA operative/Ambassador Stevens and his staff in Libya while she was busy carrying on with one of Gaddifi’s military brass and promising him Gaddafi’s position? How is Hillary better than Trump when she is FULLY responsible for the millions of deliberate, vicious and sadistic death of women and children that she personally sanctioned? Repulsive as SOME of Trump’s actions are, ALL of Hillary’s are too extreme to be put in the same category.

    Deplorable for Trump!

  • Clyde Duncan  On October 22, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    .
    Alfred Smith Foundation Dinner
    .

  • Albert  On October 22, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    Gigi: “How is Hillary better than Trump when she caused the death of CIA operative/Ambassador Stevens and his staff in Libya..
    …”
    Both the FBI and the relevant republican controlled Congressional committee spent months and millions investigating this matter and found nothing substantial to accuse Clinton of. Guess that is not good enough for you.
    Which deaths did she sanction? thats a novel one.
    The world would be lucky to have Clinton as President.

  • demerwater  On October 23, 2016 at 6:15 am

    I grew up in a culture where women were the dominant spirit, rather than the dominant personality. It is best expressed in the crisp statement inscribed on a rolling pin displayed on a shelf of memorabilia in the house of a friend.
    “The opinions expressed by the Head of this Household are not necessarily those of the Management”.
    In the extended family, there were women who would silence the men with a withering look or acid expression. Yet these same women were content to allow the menfolk to take the lead – literally – in public life. These were women and men whose matches were made for them; yet their marriages were ended by only death itself, in most instances, after 50, 60 years. When I entered the workforce on a sugar estate, the supervisory staff was men dominated; except in two areas. The weeding gang, comprising mostly women had a ‘Sardarin’ (feminine of ‘Sardar’) in its supervision structure; and the Community Centers had the ‘WWO’ (Women’s Welfare Officer) in charge of the “Women’s and Girls’ Club”. I acknowledge the guidance of Jainab, the first “Field Forewoman” appointed in BSE Ltd. at Uitvlugt. She gave me a lesson in fire safety – how to put out a cigarette safely, in the fire-prone environment of a cane field.
    Ruby Samlalsingh, Roma R. Persaud, Constance Armogum (later Singh), Ceceila M Bhose and Terry Nauth (later Ramdhanie) are a small sample of women who worked and contributed equally, in men-dominated fields.
    Looking back, Guyana and BSE Ltd. were pioneers in ‘Gender Equality’ recognition.
    I could not understand, at first, what was going on in the USA when I arrived here in 1982. Women in the work force appeared to be in two minds.
    I was to express it once thus, “The American woman has been conned by American men. The former agitated for equality and the latter allowed it. The result is that nowadays, men are at home, cooking, washing etc. while the women are stressing out working in a men-dominated environment”.
    Much to my relief, a few women in the conference agreed with my synopsis.
    Back in Guyana, it was clear that women in Management were placed because they could make a significant contribution. They brought right-brain / nurturing attitudes to the board room. I am sure that it was like that at first in the USA. But it appears that a competitive / combative / survival attitude emerged; and women-managers morphed into men-managers in attitude – thereby negating their original potential.
    In the USA it appears to be merely window dressing / quota considerations.
    I will make bold to say that Carly Fiorina is at one end of the scale and Indra Nooyi is at the other.
    I invite you to place them at the appropriate end.
    Full disclosure: the opinions expressed in the foregoing are mine only; and I have no sapiential authority to back me up.
    http://www.workscienceinstitute.com/five-basic-forms-of-authority-paterson/71

  • Malcolm Heydorn  On October 26, 2016 at 8:15 pm

    Did you vote for PPP’s Janet , in Guyana’s elections, and if not why not? She was great; “I’m sure she was”, but you wouldn’t have seen the PNC’s “Burn…” supporting her. If you did, why did you leave the country for the USA? Just maybe, she wasn’t that great. Now don’t make the same mistake and support a GEEK.

  • Malcolm Heydorn  On October 26, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    Albert,
    What have you been drinking or snorting. What FBI are referring to? Do you mean Frigging Bullshit Investigation? Now if you tell me that both the FBI and the Justice Dept., should be given an Olympic Gold for mutual corruption, now we are talking.

  • Albert  On October 27, 2016 at 11:40 am

    Malcolm
    You guys have been fed garbage for so long that now you cant think straight. What about the Republican Congressional Benghazi Committee that spent millions investgating Hillary with the Benghazi affair but found nothing. Were they bull shitting too.

    • Malcolm Heydorn  On October 27, 2016 at 3:25 pm

      The Benghazi Committee knew that this slimy, crooked wretch, was not telling the truth. Lying is her second nature. Now that the e-mails are out, she can hide no longer. Stay tuned; this slimy rodent, together with her cohorts and the lying Obama, who was recently caught lying through his teeth, will eventually be drained from the swamp. Get your catch- basket, it would be a field day.

  • demerwater  On October 28, 2016 at 4:37 am

    I often think that “Bias” – quite separate and distinct from “Prejudice” – is a characteristic that certifies us as ‘human beings’. I have had reason to look at the following site; and invite you to do the same.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2014/03/27/presidential-lies-and-consequences-video/

    • Malcolm Heydorn  On October 28, 2016 at 11:06 am

      Just permit me to put you, and the unsuspecting readers of the above referenced garbage straight, about biases and prejudices. I have taught these topics at post secondary institutions for years, in such courses as “Social Psychology”. So give me some credit for saying the following: Biases and prejudices are the exact same thing in fact, and actions. A bias is a prejudice; period.
      One of the misconceptions that people hold about prejudice, and bias, is that it is always negative. Like biases, prejudice can be both positive (in favour of), or negative (against) a person, topic, thing, etc. A prejudice, like a bias, stems from holding an irrational opinion about a person, thing , etc; this is called a stereotype. Finally, and very briefly, a stereotype is an opinion, a prejudice or bias, is the ACTING OUT, of that opinion.eg: you might hate eggs,(stereotype), and if one was placed before you at dinner, you might throw it away (prejudice).
      Now I don’t have to reference any biased articles, from prejudiced sources to be well aware that Hillary Clinton is a rogue, a thief, an unsavory character, and like her disbarred husband belongs in a jail cell, on bread and water, rather than running for president. The same treatment should be meted out to the (justice) dept., as well as the FBI, both of whom she has in her tank. My opinion comes from FACTS period.

  • demerwater  On October 28, 2016 at 2:32 pm

    And my mother used to pipe my pajama shirt with bias binding; my uncle a tailor, could deliver a ten-minute lecture on “Cutting fabric on the Bias”.
    My vocabulary and style of expression are no match for some correspondents. In such instances, I usually fall back on sites like this one.
    https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-difference-between-prejudice-and-bias
    With many thanks for your time and attention.

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