Listen to Professor McCollester:
"Charles McCollester, a professor of industrial relations at Indiana University of Pennsylvania who works with union members, says he is ready for a woman president, "just not this woman." He supports Sen. Obama. "Several of my really close female friends feel this is unleashing some kind of antiwoman sentiment. But I don't see it. We love women. I just never cared much for Hillary. She has set out to become as male as all the rest of the boys."
Look at his justification: "We love women. I just never cared much for Hillary. She has set out to become as male as all the rest of the boys". Can one imagine anything similar being said about a man? What does it mean to "set out to become as male"? And if being a man is good, why is this bad? If this isn't sexist, if this isn't misogynist, than what is?
So, OK, McCollester, is a man. What about Amanda Moniz, a PH.D. candidate?
"It isn't easy being a woman in academia," says Amanda Moniz, a 36-year-old Ph.D. candidate in history at the University of Michigan. "I want a woman candidate who is strong, but also feminine, and who doesn't feel she has to be tougher than men to succeed," she says.
"Although Hillary has achieved a lot on her own, she wouldn't be where she was if not for her husband -- and that isn't an inspiring lesson."
First, of course, she echoes McCollester's sentiment: "... a woman candidate who is strong, but also feminine, and who doesn't feel she has to be tougher than men to succeed." What on earth does she mean? What is Hillary supposed to do? Speak softy? Wear flowery dresses? Cry? (Oh, no, she can't do that. Only men are allowed to cry in public these days - which I suppose is one kind of progress.)
And I wonder how many people who voted for Bush 43 worried about the fact that he wouldn't have gotten where he is if not for his father? The U.S. political system has from day one had political "families". Check the Wikipedia if you want to see how prevalent this is. What about family businesses? Since when have we insisted that only self-made individuals can make a name for themselves in the arts (the Fondas, Redgraves) business or government?
Then there's Alexa Steinberg:
Alexa Steinberg, 25, a graduate student at the University of New Hampshire, says she recognizes "that women only make 78 cents for every male dollar, and there are still hurdles for women that I'll face." She says she thinks it's only a matter of time before she'll be supporting a female candidate for U.S. president -- but it won't be Sen. Clinton. "Politically and personally, she's trying to take on the male persona, and isn't a woman in the way I want a woman candidate to be," she says.
Ms. Steinberg, who supports Sen. Obama, says she's far more drawn to Michele Obama as a role model. "Michele has a career and even earns more than Barack, and she can knock him for not picking up his socks or doing the laundry," she explains. "But she has a sense of humor, too. She has a blend of many things, a balance that I can see and appreciate."
Do you see a pattern here? It's McCollester again. "Politically and personally, she's trying to take on the male persona, and isn't a woman in the way I want a woman candidate to be". Does Steinberg think that Obama is trying to be too Black, or too White, or too multicultural? No. What does it mean to take on the "male persona"? Competence? Strength? A willingness to defend herself? I have no idea. These characterizations go back to the days of suffragettes and the ERA. Women who opposed getting the vote or an Equal Rights Amendment used similar arguments against the Suffragettes. These women absorb male prejudices and don't even realize they are doing it.
Ms. Steinberg also, of course, doesn't seem to know much about Hillary - who has been a lawyer all her life, was the chief breadwinner while Bill was running for office and Governor of Arkansas, who has been a mother and raised a daughter to be proud of, who has demonstrated a fine sense of humor on the campaign trail. I don't know if she has ever complained about Bill's laundry habits in public, but good heavens, what kind of criterion is that for the Presidency.