Thursday, July 20, 2006

Pervasive Sexism

One thing that strikes me as interesting regarding Bush Jr.'s recent groping of another world leader, is the lack of talk about the fact that it's almost a certainty that Bush Jr. wouldn't have made such a mistake if the chancellor weren't a woman. That is, most people are chalking up Jr.'s creepiness to his general lack of understanding of how world leaders ought to relate. Cowboy diplomacy and frat boy mentality and all of that. But I also see this as a great example of just how pervasive sexism can be: Chancellor Merkel has risen to the rank of freakin' chancellor, and still she has to look out for creepy men with no good sense of boundaries sneaking up behind her. She probably deals with this sort of sexism (in addition to various other sorts) every single day--but to have to deal with it sitting in a room full of 'world leaders'?

Granted, Bush Jr. is a special case (in oh-so-many ways), but at the same time, he isn't a special case. One can imagine the same sort of behavior from Clinton, or Cheney, or (cringe) Kissinger; and why is this easy to imagine? Because this is how men tend to treat women, even in the highest echelons of power.
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