We debated during the presidential primaries whether misogyny was the last public prejudice. It seemed very unlikely, despite the press’s efforts. Now the question arises again with regard to an aricle in the Nation. And while we would be foolish, I think, to suppose the left does not have it’s own collection of biases, is hard to imagine the Nation published a racist version of the misogynistic post it has published. Castrating women, yes; dangerous black men, no.
From the Nation:
First up, Robert Dreyfuss (stress mine):
So three or four of Obama’s advisers, all women, wanted war against Libya.
We’d like to think that women in power would somehow be less pro-war, but in the Obama administration at least it appears that the bellicosity is worst among Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice and Samantha Power. All three are liberal interventionists, and all three seem to believe that when the United States exercises military force it has some profound, moral, life-saving character to it. Far from it. Unless President Obama’s better instincts manage to reign in his warrior women—and happily, there’s a chance of that—the United States could find itself engaged in open war in Libya, and soon. The troika pushed Obama into accepting the demands of neoconservatives, such as Joe Lieberman, John McCain and The Weekly Standard‘s Bill Kristol, along with various other liberal interventionists outside the administration, such as John Kerry. The (sic) rode roughshod over the realists in the administration.
Sexist tropes are like the smell of napalm in the morning.
And then Katha Pollitt:
It’s been a long time since anyone seriously maintained that women in power, simply by virtue of their gender, are reliably less warlike than men—how could they be, given that men set up and control the system through which those women must rise? But apparently Nation blogger Robert Dreyfuss has just noticed this fact.
In a post entitled “Obama’s Women Advisers Pushed War Against Libya” (originally titled “Obama’s Women” tout court) he’s shocked-shocked-shocked that UN Ambassador Susan Rice, human-rights adviser Samantha Power and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were keen on intervening militarily in Libya. The piece is dotted with arch and sexist language—the advisers are a “troika,” a “trio” who “rode roughshod over the realists in the administration” (all men) and “pushed Obama to war.” Now it’s up to the henpecked president to “reign (sic) in his warrior women.” Interestingly, the same trope—ballbreaking women ganging up on a weak president—is all over the right-wing blogosphere.
Whatever you think of the action against Qaddafi—count me as extremely apprehensive—it might just be that someone, even a woman, could support it for a reason other than sheer viciousness.