Only the macho are fit to rule

12 04 2009

On Wednesday, April 8th, Kathleen Parker shared her wisdom in the Washington Post about “Obama’s Unmacho Diplomacy”.  And aren’t we lucky to be blessed with her insightful observations and remarks?  She writes:

Unfortunately, most of world history seems to have pivoted on the balance or imbalance of hormones, with testosterone presenting the greatest challenge. (I note this as a fan.)

Is she saying that she is a fan of testosterone?  Okay, good for her.  And boy, I didn’t know that world history and politics was so simple – it all comes down to “the balance or imbalance of hormones”.  Silly me for not knowing that.  Well, you learn something new everyday!

In what may prove to be an epochal development, Obama seems to have his under control. He doesn’t strut, swagger or flex. He doesn’t even notice the hydrant.

If George W. Bush was a cowboy, Obama is a group hug.

He says we should show leadership by listening. That we should work in partnership with others. That we should show humility. This is, of course, pure porn for women. But unfortunately, women don’t rule the world. Men still do. And we have to worry whether Obama will be viewed as weak and the U.S., therefore, vulnerable.

Oh, boo.  So having a president who has his testosterone under control is bad?  God forbid that we have a leader who has an open ear and is willing to listen, a leader who actually wants to collaborate with others, a leader who is humble.  What a terrible weakness for the U.S.!  Of course listening to and working with other people is the path to a great downfall.

Parker so insightfully suggests that having the willingness and the skills to be a good listener is a wholly feminine thing to do.  Having partnerships with others is wholly feminine too.  As is being humble instead of an arrogant prick.  Because only women want to listen and work together and are humble.  We women are emotional, caring and empathetic.  We rule with our hearts and not our heads.  Men, on the other hand, are tough enough to rough it out on their own.  And they don’t even bother to listen, unless its to themselves.

And saying that Obama is a group hug implies that he is too soft, thus emasculating him, and therefore unfit for leadership since he lacks the necessary toughness.   Because he isn’t controlled by his testosterone he is not manly enough to be president?  Because he is “unmacho” he isn’t an effective leader?  If Parker claims that only the macho are fit to rule, then she is also insinuating that women would not be good or effective leaders because we obviously lack testosterone and aren’t macho enough.

After going on and on about how Obama’s not macho enough, Parker ends with:

To answer the original question: When you’re the big dog, you can afford to smile. The saber is understood.

This seems to contradict what she’s been saying throughout her article.  And it’s clear that she still equates leadership and diplomacy with testosterone and machismo.  (Penis envy much?)  She reinforces the good old double standard: male hormones = powerful, efficient, desirable while female hormones = instable, ineffective and unworthy.Encouraging for women who want to enter politics and international relations right?

How’s this for a change Parker?  Try not thinking about politics and diplomacy as exclusively male-centric for a change.   Try not to reinforce and perpetuate the patriarchal status quo.


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3 responses

12 04 2009
feministfeera

According to her own reasoning, she’s not ballsy enough to be a reporter, and no woman is fit to be in a position of power.

And, of course, her not-actually-biological argument is ridiculously inaccurate.

13 04 2009
Lorraine E.

Thank you for pointing out the bullshit in her argument–I really hate it when people imply that all women are caring and all men are impersonal. The idea that all women are humble, empathetic, relationship-focused beings who rely on their intuition to make decisions is just the same old sexist crap repackaged in a new form. (Women, you’re not as intelligent, logical, or confident as men, but it’s okay, because that just means you’re BETTER than they are.)

29 04 2009
Lady vanessa

well, as far as i am concerned, the world would be much better off if more world leaders (female or male) were more like the feminine stereotype of kind, loving, caring, etc! i am not, of course, saying that ALL women are or should be that way or that all men are or should be macho jackasses…more like, it would be great of BOTH women and men were kind, loving, and caring.

The kind of thinking that Parker displays here is indeed bullshit of the highest degree, and it was also spewed at Jimmy Carter, who like Obama is a thoughtful and diplomatic person who wants to wage peace instead of war. Unfortunately, back in the late 70s, too many people bought into this crap and voted Carter out in favor of the smiling macho war criminal Ronnie Raygun.

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