This is America. The land of the free and the home of the brave. People have civil rights. Opportunities abound for everyone regardless of race, gender, religion or sexual orientation. Mostly. So, why are we afraid of a female president?
For some, the thought of Hillary Clinton becoming president of the United States is enough to make them want to move to Canada. For the rest of us, we couldn’t be prouder or more pleased for her.
In 1980, pollsters first began asking the question as to whether a candidate was either favorable or unfavorable.
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has scored the highest percentage of “strongly unfavorable” views for any Democrat since that time.
This is especially prevalent among white men.
As it stands now, 52 percent of white men hold a “very unfavorable” view of Clinton.
That’s 20 points higher than the percentage of white men who viewed Barack Obama very unfavorably in 2012 and 32 points higher than Obama received from white men in 2008.
Additionally, Clinton’s unfavorable percentage among white men is 28 points higher than John Kerry had in 2004. These are big numbers and they’re disturbing.
What Political Science Found
Political scientists have had a lot to study over the past few years. They’ve suggested that, Barack Obama’s presidency has perhaps encouraged the unfavorable view of minorities and women.
This is counterintuitive, but it does help to explain the rise in support for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. His base is largely made up of white men.
In this 2016 presidential race, white racist rhetoric and violence toward minorities has risen. A similar trend is now happening in regard to gender.
Hillary Clinton’s candidacy has ignited the kind of sexist hate that political scientific research could have predicted.
Briefly, to try and understand this reaction better we can start with a term called the “precarious manhood” theory. Social psychologists say this theory suggests that manhood must be earned and maintained. While womanhood tends to be seen as natural and permanent.
Basically, if “precarious manhood” needs to be won, it can also be lost.
Having established the nature of “precarious manhood,” we know that many men and women find women in positions of power unnerving. It tends to make both men and women judge women more harshly than equally powerful men.
The most disturbing trait stemming from these unsettled feelings toward powerful women, is the behavior it elicits. Men are much more likely to become aggressive.
For example, a study by Jennifer Berdahl of the University of British Columbia, found that women who were employed in traditionally male jobs or who were seen has having a ‘masculine’ type of personality received much higher incidents of sexual harassment.
Another researcher, Joshua Pomery noted:
“When we are treated as if our women don’t need us, that is when the resentment starts to build and the relationship becomes poisoned as a whole… I would also argue that men these days are frustrated by women who act as if they are too good for most men. As the success of women in modern times increases, their options do as well.”
He was speaking about men and women in personal relationships but the principles are the same.
In the end, it seems like men just need to have women make them feel relevant and if they don’t, they lash out.
Well gentlemen, women have been rendered irrelevant for hundreds of years. They fought back by bringing in legislation that allowed them to vote, to work, to educate themselves and to own property.
Lashing out in purely aggressive ways toward those (women) who you deem a threat to your personal identity is childish and dangerous. Perhaps this is why we’ve seen a rise in violence since Donald Trump clinched the Republican presidential nomination.
Electing Hillary Clinton as the first female U.S. president in history is not, in and of itself, an act of aggression. The sense of emasculation and subsequent lashing out of that result, is.
I’d say it’s time we became less threatened by the female gender, especially in positions of power. Wouldn’t you?