Saturday, March 17, 2012

Did The Democrats Go Too Far? Gender Wars Concern Trolling.

J. Bryan Lowder asks at Slate: Are Democrats in Danger of Looking Too Political on the Violence Against Women Act?

What do you think? A snippet:
At the end of the Times piece, Senator Roy Blunt suggests that the new champions of women may be “in serious danger of overplaying their hand,” and I actually think he has a point. While I certainly praise the support that Democrats have displayed for women’s issues in this election cycle, I’m starting to be turned off by the giddiness with which they’ve taken on the mantle of lady defender. I admit that the issue of political tone is small potatoes compared to the very important programs and services at stake in these debates, but I’m still a little uncomfortable with the unequivocal friend-or-foe rhetoric that has come to dominate this conversation.
Digby's comment:
That's right, it's a tough election fight and the last thing Democrats need is to look like all they care about is a bunch of whiny bitches. Let's not lose our heads here.
I could put on my doctoral hat and write on the underlying issues in a semi-erudite way. For instance, it's certainly true that the Democrats are making noise about the war on women mostly because it's election year. Many of them are Johnny-come-latelies (or whatever the term is) and that shows. And there are all sorts of ways the Violence Against Women Act could have been explained better in general.

But that's not the deepest of the underlying issues here. That one, my dear readers, is the fact that women are still The Others, and spending too much time on trivial concerns of The Others gets you excluded from the Big Boyz' Treehouse.

That's what creates the unpleasant frisson of discomfort in Mr. Lowder, I think. Picking something unimportant and then spending so much time on it! This MUST backfire! And what about civility and bipartisanship and respecting the opposition's point of view?

See how well I can do that stuff? What makes courtesy and civility and such a bit harder is that the opposition's point of view is that women belong in the kitchen and the baby-making factories, so we must give equal space for those views, too.

Could being the "lady defender" backfire on the Democrats? Perhaps, given that the future is unknown and politics is complicated, and given that people like Mr. Lowder describe what is going on as "lady defending." Something deep in the reptile brain is causing the choice of those words.