Bold Gender Claims

From Michael Scherer at Salon:

In the Democratic presidential pack, the leading man is a woman and the leading woman is a man.

Some interesting attributions of gender and race going on in this campaign. See also Debra Dickerson’s Salon article:

Barack Obama would be the great black hope in the next presidential race — if he were actually black.

And Gary Kamiya’s reply:

Obama is black — he just isn’t “black.”

Of course, back in the last millenium we had the claim that Bill Clinton was the first black president. How long before an article on the Clintons as a gay interracial couple?

6 thoughts on “Bold Gender Claims

  1. Funny. It’s perfectly true, of course, that Obama isn’t ‘black’. Or, at the very least, it’s certainly not false.

  2. The inner pedant was screaming to point out that of course Obama isn’t a word. But I restrained myself.

  3. I’ve always sadly lacked the power of restraint when it comes to pedantry. Much to the enjoyment of my wife.

  4. I don’t know much about Obama, but I found the black vs “black” distinction interesting:

    What’s the difference? People whose race or ethnicity defines their identity, or at least makes up a major part of it, are what I think of as quotation-mark people. They are not only mixed-race, they are “mixed-race.” Those whose race or ethnicity has little or nothing to do with their identity, with their sense of themselves, are non-quotation-mark people. They may recognize themselves as black or Latino or Asian, be whatever race or ethnicity they are to the core, and proudly affirm they are such, but they aren’t “black” or “Latino” or “Asian.”

    So to say that someone is “black” according to the proposal is to say that s/he is black and identifies as “black” (where the latter presumably involves some metalinguistic dispositions involving the word): a nice example of mixed quotation!

  5. Nice one! What a great example of mildly technical philosophy of language popping up in unexpected places, and with potential political significance. Thanks!

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