Sunday, October 26, 2008

Female Politicians and Electoral Crisis 2

It's not apparently just men who have an irrational reaction to Governor Palin. Women are also strongly polarized, between those who love her to bits and regard all attacks on her as sexism and/or elitism (for example, the editor of the PalinSexismWatch blog) and those who regard her as a sorry representative of their sex.

Clearly some of the items found by the PalinSexismWatch blog includes some pretty stupid and abusive stuff - childish rubbish and worse. But it also includes some serious questions posed by Palin's critics: to put serious political comment into the same category as childish rubbish is either naive or devious.

It is hard to guess the motives behind the childish rubbish. Some people may think that it is terribly amusing to be abusive about Governor Palin. But the effect of this is to create noise that gets in the way of serious debate. So who benefits from this? The people who want Palin to fail, or the people who want Palin's critics to fail?

Pam Atherton asks Why Some Smart Women Think Palin is a Good Choice, and suggests that it is hard for partisans to change their mind when there are so many narratives that help to explain away inconvenient observations. This explanation works both ways of course: there may be as many Democrats who are not prepared to give her a fair hearing as there are Republicans who are not prepared to give her critics a fair hearing.

1 comment:

Pamela Atherton said...

Of course, you are right. The same issue of dealing with cognitive dissonance must be recognized in defenders of either candidate.

If we can grasp the concept then it is valuable to use in any situation, including business, where one is dealing with someone who appears intractable. What core belief might they have that is preventing them from understanding? What core belief might WE have that prevents us from understanding?

That's the hard part... turning the light upon our own core beliefs!

Thanks for posting a link to my article.

--Pam Atherton
Pam @