“I will vote for a woman in the democratic primary, without regard for the male candidates.”

Yep. Definitely sexist. What if a man wrote this:

“I will vote for a man in the democratic primary, without regard for the female candidates.”

I’d call him sexist, too.

“What if men just shut up for awhile?”

What if blacks just shut up for a while? What if newspapers all closed down for a while? What if the Internet just shut down for a while? Discussion is central to democracy. That’s why the First Amendment is so important. You may not like what men have to say, and you are welcome to stuff your fists into your ears, but the body politic needs to hear a broad range of opinions. We even need to hear Nazis and Communists. Gadzooks, we even need to hear Mr. Trump, as revolting a prospect as that sounds. 😬

“What if men stop jockeying for more power, just for a bit, and pay attention to the needs and desires of their communities?”

Your statement implies that all men have refused to pay attention to the needs and desires of their communities. That’s ridiculous.

“What if they study the policy proposals of their sisters and elevate those ideas, instead of their own?”

Better yet: what if EVERYBODY studies EVERYBODY else’s policy proposals and considers them regardless of who first proposed them? What if we talked about policies rather than personages?

“But if all of them could just be quiet for a bit, we’d hear some other voices.”

I’m hearing your voice right now. I’m not shouting you down. Will you listen to my voice?

“But it’s depressing commentary that it took this disastrous presidency to move the ball even an inch.”

No, history is deeper than you think. The status of women has been slowly improving for centuries. The notion that a woman could be forced into a marriage against her will began to dissolve around 1500, and was pretty well gone by 1800. Women could own property in their own right as far back as the Dark Ages. Women were recognized as legitimate rulers by the High Middle Ages. Women finally got suffrage in this country a hundred years ago. Women began entering higher education in large numbers starting about 50 years ago, and they began penetrating the higher reaches of our institutions about 30 years ago. There is still a great deal more progress needed; my point is only that the historical advance of the status of women in Western society has been going on for over a thousand years.

I strongly agree that we still have a lot more work to do. I wrote a story a few months ago entitled “Why all the denigration of Ms. Clinton?” In it, I argued that Ms. Clinton was the finest candidate to come along in a long time. I did not take that view because she is a woman — I took it because she had earned it. Do you want men to patronize women?

Finally, I’m going to recommend a book that you will surely hate. The title says it all: Why Men Rule: A Theory of Male Dominance. The author is so strongly imbued with intellectual integrity that he doesn’t give a damn what other people think of him. He presents a theory based on pyschology and sociology that is simultaneously anti-feminist and anti-misogynist. If you can somehow restrain your anger enough to get through the book, I think you’ll find some worthwhile thoughts. After all, we never learn from those who merely confirm our existing beliefs. We learn the most when our beliefs are challenged.

Master of Science, Physics, 1975. Computer Game Designer. Interactive Storytelling. www.erasmatazz.com

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