Richard Goldstein has a very thoughtful essay in the Village Voice on the "butching up" of the Democratic Party. Here are some of the best paragraphs:
...Dubya couldn't remember the names of foreign leaders, but that didn't ground him. No one ever lost macho points for being stupid. Male hysteria is another story. Most women recoil from it, and most men show contempt, which is why late-night comics (all of them guys) rushed to piss on Dean [for "the scream"]. In a more relaxed time, his performance might have been regarded as passionate and roguish. But in this anxious age, it tapped into one of the worst nightmares for many men: losing your grip in a clinch. For a wannabe dude-in-chief, that's not just a sign of instability; it's a violation of gender expectations....
See how easy it is to mock a male candidate who makes a less-than-persuasive case for his machismo? It brings out the sadist in us, but of course this schadenfreude is a cover for fear. Of what? At the risk of being p.c., I'd say it's terror of a world without white male power. If you ask me, the butchest boychick in this pack is Al Sharpton, who can dance like a butterfly, sting like a bee, and do a mean James Brown. But he has to walk a fine, if funky, line between entertainment and self-assertion. Too much of the latter and it's Birth of a Nation all over again. That says something about who gets to be the man and who must play the clown....
Wednesday, January 28, 2004
The Dems--Searching for Alpha-Male
Posted by J.W. Williamson at 1/28/2004 11:14:00 AM
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