Monday, October 18, 2010

Man-Up

My problem with politics right now is that I don't see many good guys. You see good guys anywhere? It's a terrible time to have to vote, but I always do and will. It will also be straight ticket Democrat which makes me unhappy. I like to vote for the person but there is no 'person' in the Republican party. There is an agenda (that runs from extreme to more extreme) they all share; so I'll vote for Democrats even when I sometimes have to hold my nose to do it because that 'other' agenda is abhorrent to me. And I will vote because to not vote is to give up and be one of 'them'... Yeah, I said it... there is an us and them. It's another thing that makes me angry because there should not be; but that's not what this topic is about.

When Harry Reid and Sharron Angle debated in Nevada, it was pretty much determined by assorted media that it was a draw at best for Harry since he didn't come across strong; but since Angle was expected to be horrible, she probably won it. She also was obviously more willing to lie about and fudge her past statements as in whatever she had to do to win. Is that what she meant by man up?

She used it to refer to Social Security regarding what Reid said. Never mind that he was right. Social Security can be fixed with some tweaking, for instance taxing income above the level where it currently stops. It isn't what Angle wants to hear (nor what plays with her constituency and she definitely has one) as she either wants to end it or privatize it depending on the day you hear her talking. She used the term man up against Reid because he doesn't fit some movie version of a tough guy even if he has been one in reality as a one time boxer. He talks soft, so much for being manly. What matters to Republicans right now is image, not reality.

Or was Harry not manning up because he didn't call her out regarding her ignorant statement about Shariah law already in the United States in one city where it's not and in another that is basically a ghost town in Texas... Oh yeah Shariah law is sure going to take over Texas all right. Was his not calling her on that what made him unmanly and she's was evidently manly because she's willing to lie to get what she wants? Is that the message Republicans are using everywhere in campaigns, what they mean by man up?

You can bet on one thing about the media when it comes to debates or speeches. I wish they'd disappoint me, but they haven't yet. They will pick out one thing and if there is a simple, key sentence, it's all you will hear about. Angle telling him to man-up, was tailor made for media. It's been working for other Republicans this season also (was it in Rovian talking points?) That catch phrase is what they hope will man them up to the Congress as they try to convince Americans there is only one manly party out there.

Man up has a subliminal message and you know if it you think about it at all. It takes a man, a certain kind of man, to do the tough things. Given who the Republicans have been nominating in the way of women, either Barbie dolls or women who bought their own ticket to the parade, they clearly have a problem with images as in that's all they want. Their women must be pretty and probably not bother their pretty little heads with details. It's okay to get out there on the stump and screech but just don't discuss real policy. Who wants that?

Using the term man up ought to offend women all across this country (and men too actually) but people have lost track of their power as human beings. For women it appears if you are a Republican, power comes through beauty-- unless you can pay your own way. No way will a woman who looks like Madeleine Albright be nominated for a Republican position. Republicans even brag over how much prettier their women are than the Democratic ones.

Yes, I know their candidates aren't all beauties but those who aren't, are buying it with money they earned other ways. Look at Carly Fiorina, a failed CEO running on being a successful CEO for a job that isn't about being a CEO, a woman who was paid a minimum of $20 million (and maybe a lot more) just to get rid of her.

Then there is Meg Whitman using possibly as much as $180 million of her own as the only way she'd ever have been nominated or win. Heck everybody else buys government, why not her?

Another in that category is Linda McMahon who earned points for kicking a man in the groin (possibly faked with pro-wrestling whoever knows), but at least did earn her money by people opting to pay for wrestling events although sometimes that's not as simple as it seems with manipulating cities and states to pay for the facilities that allow those fancy sporting events.

And, of course, the just vote no Sharron Angle who if she gets into the Senate might make Harry Reid glad he's no longer there.

Perhaps I should include Jan Brewer in the she's running and isn't pretty bunch, but we know why she's even in the race and nobody needs a wikipedia link to tell them.

I got distracted but my objection to what Angle said, that played so well with the media, that other Republicans are using, is that Republicans think it takes a man to get things done (or a woman acting like a man or a Barbie doll who can inspire men?).

Using the term man up is evidently intended to inspire voters. Do men feel flattered by the term? Don't ask me but men should not either as it appears to relate to lying when need be, stomping on the backs of the elderly and the poor. If it works, it'll be because we have a populace who doesn't understand what real strength is and bases it all on TV shows or movies.

Women can be as strong and tough as men and it doesn't require having balls or pretending to have them. I think of my mother who was in her late 70s when she broke a hoe over the back of a young bull when he had gotten out of the fences and she was looking after the farm here.

I think of my daughter who, working as a field archaeologist, was the one to go down into the deep holes (with risk of them crumbling in around her) because she was smaller to look for artifacts or when out on a survey and the boulder was rolling straight at her on a hillside, she ducked unsure if she'd survive but no need to man up. She woman-ed up! Damnitall, what is wrong with people to think only acting macho can get things done whether it's a man or woman?

If Americans vote with that logic in November, we will be facing two years of Republican control of Congress and it'll give Obama a chance to see if he is ready to 'woman-up'...

That was a joke. I sometimes feel I have to be sure I add that as some people have no sense of humor. I know too many strong men (the real kind, not the posing sort) from my grandfathers, to my father, to my husband, son, son-in-law, and male friends to not know what strong men are like and they don't have to be mean about it or play macho, posturing games. As for weak women, who has the babies?

Men and women both can be tough and when people play games with pitting one against the other, it's always to make us all lose. Is it too much to ask the media to stop picking up on these cute phrases that have an underlying message that is ugly? I suppose it is, but we don't have to let it work!

After I wrote this, I really liked what Maureen Dowd in the Sunday New York Times had to say on the topic.

11 comments:

TaraDharma said...

I hate the term "Man Up." It's just another way of saying "Your'e a fag." Or "A pussy." Men and women alike should be insulted by it. Angle likes to assert she has more qualities required to represent -- mainly manly manly attributes of kick ass and take no prisoners. (Thanks Sarah Palin.) She's got it all wrong, but it makes for good political theater.

Poor Harry. He is from a bygone era when people used to play nice.

Kay Dennison said...

As usual, you have it right on the money! I am sooooooooo tired of thus campaign and I reakky just want it to be over!!!!

Ingineer66 said...

Interesting that you think the term "Man Up" is some sort of Republican talking point and then you go on to talk about a bunch of women that are Republicans. Women are shining right now in the GOP, so I do not think Rove would put out an order for them to start some subliminal advertising plan to get men elected.

Tara funny that you are calling out Republican Women for having a kick ass attitude. I guess it was fine for Hillary to talk about the 3am phone call or her tough attitude, just not OK for Republican women?

Rain said...

It is a talking point for Republicans this time (Google it) and you didn't hear me support Hillary for acting that way either although she based it on experience for that 3 AM phone call not her manliness.

And I mentioned the only Republican women who are there not because of their beauty! They bought their way in. I do not think acting like a bitch makes a woman more 'manly' or more womanly.

Stick to the issues is what I wish they would all do and man up is not an issue, is it? Or do you also believe that only men of a certain sort can make the tough choices? I bet with a daughter in the military and actually even having a relationship with a woman as in your wife, you wouldn't be saying that! Man up is an insult to men and women as Tara said.

Ingineer66 said...

Oh Rain I totally agree with you, this country was way better off when it was ran by a bunch of old white guys. We didn't have these kinds of problems then. Just kidding. Actually we did have just as much rhetoric then. But people weren't so easily offended by it nor hid behind their gender, skin color, sexual preference, etc.

I also agree that I wish candidates would stick to the issues instead of these stupid distractions about where their dress came from or whatever the inconsequential buzz word of the day is.

Both parties are guilty of this and it devalues the entire process and political system.

Rain said...

As long as the media makes it work to avoid the issues, as long as voters don't demand answers from their candidates, it will stay as it is...

They did fight duels back then. I wonder if Rand Paul, who refused to shake hands after his last debate with his opponent, would have challenged him to a duel if that wasn't outlawed *s*

Ingineer66 said...

This year, 201 GOP women are running for the US Senate, US House, and statewide offices, more than in any other year, according to Debbie Walsh, director of the Center for American Women and Politics, a nonpartisan organization at Rutgers University.

I do not think all 201 are in there because of their looks.

Rain said...

There is a lot out there about this, the beauty of the Republican contenders except for those who were wealthy and could buy their own ads. It would be interesting to see the photos of who actually is running as from what I have seen online, they are all lovely women unless they are rich enough to back themselves.

This particular piece wasn't really about that although I did get distracted into it. It would be worth discussing it as I definitely think that to get nominated as a Republican woman, you have to have beauty if you don't have money. But admittedly the only ones that I see photos of are the pretty ones.

It's humorous as supposedly liberals are really irked over this and jealous, I guess is the implication. They even asked in one article why feminists aren't behind these women. Could it be because none of them support women's rights on basic things like right to control their own bodies. They mostly follow a religious platform and if there are exceptions, I don't know them.

Some think Palin started this trend but I have no idea. She certainly is an example. Oh and one article was about how they are beautiful and smart... And they even had Christine O'Donnell in that list. Really? How would one prove the second part? *s*

On Maher Friday he had a tea party leader, not a candidate, I don't think, who was a beautiful young woman and she flirted with him the whole evening obviously distracting him if not derailing *s*

Rain said...

Out of curiosity on this, I checked my Oregon voter's pamphlet and we have no women running for the major offices, but there are women running for statewide and looking at both parties (and coming across like a total mean girl), none of them, not Republican or Democrat, were what anybody would call lovely and that did include 4 Republican women. Not many women running though in Oregon.

The thing is though I wouldn't vote for a man or woman based on looks. Our two options for governor are both very attractive men but if the best looking wins, he'll be a Republican. I am hoping it won't end up that way. Otherwise not many of the men running were good looking guys.

If we looked at say the Senate and House today, how many of those men would looks even be a factor? Can anybody honestly say it wouldn't be with Sarah Palin? Other than Mitt Romney, she's the only one where looks would count at all but should it?

Ingineer66 said...

I think better looking candidates do better with voters. Look at Kennedy vs. Nixon or Obama vs. McCain or Putin vs. anybody. People like a strong good looking person to be their leader. Now would most people vote against their beliefs for the good looking person? I kind of doubt it. But Hitler was a charismatic leader and look what he was able to do. Style and sound-bytes over substance.

mandt said...

I like the term: "mouse up."