One mustn’t pay too much attention to facebook, but…

In the “so pathetic it’s funny” category, someone’s actually asking on facebook if a woman can be as effective as a man at being the U.S. President.  (I wonder if my British colleagues on this blog are laughing or just think the States are loony?)  The answer is overwhelmingly positive, with 76% (about 57,500) of respondents saying yes; U.S. Senator David Kucinich noted, “Hello? Yes.  I don’t think a woman could be as ineffective as George Bush.”  But if you’re dismayed that the percentage isn’t higher, perhaps it’s small comfort that the data broken down by age reveals the negatives are coming from college-age young’uns, followed closely by facebook’s sage and knowledgable 13-17 year olds.  Those of us in the 35-49 bracket overwhelmingly answered Yes, and really, anyone of any age with memory (or, really, even literacy and a newspaper subscription) know that if a woman can “manage”  in England, Canada, Germany, FInland, Ireland, India, Chile and Liberia, then she can probably somehow struggle along what with the 3,366 staff members available to perhaps mail a letter or advise her to invade a country.  Me, I’m eagerly awaiting the part where the 24-hour cable news channels breathlessly devote whole segments to the opinions of facebook teenagers. (Thanks for the link, Sally!)

11 thoughts on “One mustn’t pay too much attention to facebook, but…

  1. The data breakdown ABC News posted is confusing. 26% of all men (!?) and 46% of all women (!?!?) chose “Yes,” but 76% of all voters chose “Yes.” And the totals for men and women are ~100% each, as one would expect. How are we supposed to interpret this data?

  2. It looks like ABC’s programmers are tinkering with the results breakdown (it still looks funny). I guess something is wrong with the Flash database software.

  3. I started wondering today whether there are similar polls about whether a black man could be an effective president. Does anyone know?

  4. There’s that Gallup Poll from Feb 2007 asking whether the subject would vote for a candidate who is female, black, Mormon, atheist, 72 years old, etc. It seems reasonable to think these sentiments carry over (at least proportionately) to whether a member from group X would be as effective as a handsome white man.

  5. You know, I keep thinking about the facebook question and wondering how I’d answer. It seems to me perfectly reasonable, though pessimistic to say that woman couldn’t be as effective because of the sexism she’d face.

  6. Good point, Jenderrific, and you remind me of Claudia Card’s saying, “One person’s luck is another person’s agency.” I was flabbergasted at the wording of the question, but you help me understand why they might have chosen the word ‘effective.’

    And yet, I can’t help thinking, irritatedly, that to even word the question around how others will respond to her is to set the terms of the debate, you know? Sigh.

  7. I’d worry a lot that a vote against a woman’s ability to be effective that was based on the existence of sexism would contribute to depriving her of power.

  8. I wasn’t suggesting it as a voting strategy– just offering it as a possible explanation for some ‘no’ answers.

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