Obama: Our first female president

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Mercor, Jul 1, 2010.

  1. Obama: Our first female president

    By Kathleen Parker
    Wednesday, June 30, 2010

    If Bill Clinton was our first black president, as Toni Morrison once proclaimed, then Barack Obama may be our first woman president.

    This Story
    Our first female president
    Empathizer in chief
    Obama shows he's the one in command
    Phew. That was fun. Now, if you'll just keep those hatchets holstered and hear me out.

    No, I'm not calling Obama a girlie president. But . . . he may be suffering a rhetorical-testosterone deficit when it comes to dealing with crises, with which he has been richly endowed.

    It isn't that he isn't "cowboy" enough, as others have suggested. Aren't we done with that? It is that his approach is feminine in a normative sense. That is, we perceive and appraise him according to cultural expectations, and he's not exactly causing anxiety in Alpha-maledom.

    We've come a long way gender-wise. Not so long ago, women would be censured for speaking or writing in public. But cultural expectations are stickier and sludgier than oil. Our enlightened human selves may want to eliminate gender norms, but our lizard brains have a different agenda.

    Women, inarguably, still are punished for failing to adhere to gender norms by acting "too masculine" or "not feminine enough." In her fascinating study about "Hating Hillary," Karlyn Kohrs Campbell details the ways our former first lady was chastised for the sin of talking like a lawyer and, by extension, "like a man."

    Could it be that Obama is suffering from the inverse?

    When Morrison wrote in the New Yorker about Bill Clinton's "blackness," she cited the characteristics he shared with the African American community:

    "Clinton displays almost every trope of blackness: single-parent household, born poor, working-class, saxophone-playing, McDonald's-and-junk-food-loving boy from Arkansas."

    If we accept that premise, even if unseriously proffered, then we could say that Obama displays many tropes of femaleness. I say this in the nicest possible way. I don't think that doing things a woman's way is evidence of deficiency but, rather, suggests an evolutionary achievement.

    Nevertheless, we still do have certain cultural expectations, especially related to leadership. When we ask questions about a politician's beliefs, family or hobbies, we're looking for familiarity, what we can cite as "normal" and therefore reassuring.

    Generally speaking, men and women communicate differently. Women tend to be coalition builders rather than mavericks (with the occasional rogue exception). While men seek ways to measure themselves against others, for reasons requiring no elaboration, women form circles and talk it out.
  2. Nice!
  3. Hence, General Mcchrystal felt he was talking to his mother when he met with Obama. Completely understandable based on the authors viewpoint of Obama.

    Michelle could kick Baracks ass in a NY minute any day of the week.
  4. Well, he does throw a baseball like a girl.
  5. Incidentally, this article is by the woman who will be the fake conservative opposite Elliot Spitzer on the new CNN talk show.
  6. At least he doesn't drama queen his way to crocidile tears for
    show. Or like Chuck Norris, dye his hair and get plastic surgery.
    She must like big dumb types .."uh, where do you want me to put it baby ...hu hu" Alert a Leakey.

  7. Give your nappy headed Communist matriarch time.
  8. jem


    its odd how many celebs can't throw. I thought every American boy played some baseball growing up.
  9. Key phrase "American boy."
  10. Lucrum


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    #10     Jul 2, 2010