We have written before about how we GenderGappers are prime targets for seduction by the politicians scrambling for our votes. We have also suggested that we must be careful to really listen to what is said and then follow through by checking the candidates established track record.
Even though congressional elections will not take place for awhile yet, the political droppings aimed at us are starting to pile up. One of the funniest to come along so far is a T.V. ad showing the late President Kennedy speaking about taxes and the economy. The announcer breaks in from time to time to tell us that Jack would have voted for the Republican ideas for the balanced budget bill.
Why would they present an assassinated President and expect to get GenderGappers' support? It is because their thinking is still back in the 60's. They know and expect that women do not care anything about issues. Women just vote for the pretty face, they run to the guy who exudes sex appeal. (This is based on the information that Jack bedded everything in sight, even Marilyn Monroe, so we mindless creatures must get all weak in the knees and short of breath when we see his picture!) In addition, Kennedy was popular among the less advantaged -- women and/or minority races. Ah, they think, a double whammy. [liznote]
But we GenderGappers are enlightened, and we listen with intelligence, right? So, although it is clearly Jack Kennedy talking about taxes etc., we actually are not seeing him through a sexual haze. Because, not far into his discourse, we note that he is only talking to men!
Think back. It has only been a few years now that our gender has been acknowledged in our spoken and written language. Maybe some of us have stopped noticing that quite often we hear both the female and male pronouns used rather than just the male. We are hearing the word woman as well as man and someday, we may even hear the word, girl, applied ONLY to pre-pubescent females.
Political adverts like this one shout loudly and clearly that the mindset of these people has not changed. They didn't even notice that their sex symbol, Kennedy, that they selected to woo women's votes, didn't even acknowledge we exist!
And what of present day thought and attitude. The following quotes are revealing:
"There are so many women on the floor of Congress that it looks like a mall."
-- Congressman Henry Hyde (R-Ill).
"Inbreeding is how we get championship horses."
-- Carl Gunter, Louisiana State Representative, explaining why he was fighting a proposed anti-abortion bill that allowed abortion in cases of incest.
And what do you make of the two CongressWOMEN who discuss the "hunks" (their word) in the House. Are they suppose to be example of how women in government should act or are they acting out what their majority gender expects of its women?
Were you impressed to learn that Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) gave former Representative Susan Molinari, (R-NY) a "Congress version of what a Playgirl calendar would be like" for a going away present? Does this aid the advancement of women, or confirm the expectation of many men that we are empty-headed, man-crazy, nincompoops?
We want to also bring attention to Vermont's Senator, Jim Jeffords (R-VT), who assured his contituents of his belief in women's reproductive freedom and promised that he would always support it. He has! Including supporting the President's stand on our right to late term abortions.
On the other hand, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), made the same promise to his consituents and suddenly found last year that:
"... that his conscience would not allow him to support women's reproductive rights."
The bean counters tell us that nearly every "change of mind from pro-choice" in Congress was made for "religion/conscience" reasons. We congratulate Gentleman Jim Jeffords for his steadfastness and we refer the Pope's Patrick Leahy to the following quote by Jesse Jackson, Jr.
Representative Jackson voted against a House resolution supporting a judge who displayed the Ten Commandments in court. He was dismayed that it passed. He said:
"When I came here, I put my hand on the Bible and swore to uphold the Constitution. I didn't put my hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible."
Way to go, Jesse!
Copyright 1997 Renee T. Louise and Ruth M. Sprague, Ph.D. These articles may be republished for noncommercial use only, provided that they are copied intact, and that this copyright notice is attached. Address all queries to: TWANDA@ConnRiver.net.
G e n d e r G a p p e r s T M
[liznote: Wonder if it could be that sometimes men who are better-looking and more popular with women in the first place become more favorable to women's issues because they don't have as many ego hangups about trying to prove their "manhood."] RETURN TO TEXT