Is it open season on men this election year? I have noticed an upswing in the amount of blatant male bashing going on in the media and blogs as of late. Let me give you a few examples.
First, there is a pathetic article from the health section of the New York Times. “If the Boss is Young and Male, Watch Out,” written by Tara Parker-Pope, is about a study (conducted by a man) of the “problems” associated with having a young male boss. Why the negative, snide title by Parker-Pope indicating her hostility towards men in general? She wouldn’t dare put up the same title about having a female boss; that would be sacrilegious, of course.
In yet another bit of obvious male-bashing News-Sentinel blogger Katie Allison Granju has a post entitled “Teenage boys are stupid,” in which she attributes male idiocy to all young men based on the actions of one young man who killed a classmate at school. This young man has a sister who is on the run for murder, yet I never saw a similar article by Granju with the title “Teenage girls are stupid.” As commenters pointed out, she knew good and well that there were no consequences for saying the former and that she could possibly get fired or catch real heat for saying the latter. Somehow, these women don’t think angry male commenters count. As men become more organized against this type of prejudice, this will change.
Finally, much to my dismay, financial adviser Suze Orman now seems to be on a bender against men. Since her show is on CNBC, a network with strong male demographics, she usually tries to control herself when it comes to bashing men (although I have seen some subtle digs on her show such as when she tells men to help women with their money problems in ways that she rarely advises women to do for men).
However, on last week’s show, she had guest Judge Judy on to talk about prenups, co-signing loans, and women and money. Unfortunately, the two began discussing how women are always getting stuck with their husbands’ loans and bills because women are “too nice.” Apparently, Orman believes that men don’t pay the bills and then ride off into the sunset, abandoning women to avoid paying their fair share.
If Ms. Orman bothered to check her facts, she would find that the majority of child support and alimony is paid by the male gender. Women are more likely to be “deadbeat parents” than men. So men are hardly walking away from the bills in record numbers.
On another show, My Life on the D-List, I watched as comedienne Kathy Griffin went to discuss her finances with Orman. As she entered Orman’s office, Griffin told a male staffer that he darn well better open the door for her. He was there to serve her while Orman accused him of having “no masculinity left” later on during a meeting. The emasculated male staffer simply grinned and agreed with whatever they said. I nearly threw up before changing the channel. I wonder why, all of a sudden, Orman is getting her panties in a wad over men. Has the election made her more bold or more likely to attack or belittle men?
That made me wonder why the male bashing seems to have intensified around this election. I have a few theories, although none of them seem to explain everything.
This CNN poll might provide some clues:
It may be supporters of Hillary Clinton, who still would prefer the Senator from New York as the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee.
Sixty-six percent of Clinton supporters, registered Democrats who want Clinton as the nominee, are now backing Obama. That’s down from 75 percent in the end of June. Twenty-seven percent of them now say they’ll support McCain, up from 16 percent in late June.
“The number of Clinton Democrats who say they would vote for McCain has gone up 11 points since June, enough to account for most although not all of the support McCain has gained in that time,” says Holland.
Could it be that some women in the media are angry that Hillary didn’t win and are displacing their anger onto men in general? Of course, we don’t know 100% that the women I mentioned are all Hillary supporters (Granju appears to support Obama), but at least two of them appear to be. Suze Orman has given money to Hillary Clinton’s Senate campaign and is a big supporter of the Democratic Party as well as an admirer of Clinton. Kathy Griffin is upset about what she perceives to be sexism against Hillary. Tara Parker-Pope writes for the New York Times which endorsed Hillary Clinton, and has written about Hillary on occasion in the health section of all places.
Perhaps their anger over Hillary turns into anger at men in general because they don’t dare get directly mad at the Democrats who are the ones who displaced Hillary with a man. If women in the media were to get directly angry at the Democrats, there could be repercussions. They might fear that the bad publicity would cause people to reconsider voting for Obama. Bashing men is easy because they can simultaneously get their anger out and yet have no real consequences. It rarely results in any backlash and is seen by women and their cohorts as “edgy and powerful.” In reality, it is anything. They should remember that what goes around comes around. But that’s a column for another day.
My other theory of the upswing in male bashing is that because the Democratic presidential candidate is a minority, perhaps some women feel some identification and therefore feel more psychologically safe expressing their hostility (since so many Democrats do so with the safety net of the media) because they think Obama might win. Or conversely, it could be that as Obama goes down in the polls and McCain rises, anger towards those that are perceived to be the “dominant group” — that is white men — are fair game to be ridiculed and belittled in any way possible in order to try and remind their female base that they better stick by Obama.
Whatever the reason, the male-bashing season seems open, and the women who participate seem eager to tear into any innocent men or boys who come their way for no other reason than their sex. It seems that some “feminists” have turned into the worst caricature of the chauvinistic pig that they once said they despised. It’s funny that if they looked in the mirror, they would now see that man staring back at them.
Anyway, I wonder if we’ll see a further uptick of male bashing in the media as the election gets even closer. Are readers seeing more male bashing in the media than usual or is it just the typical fare? And if you think there’s more, what’s your theory as to why?
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