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Pikasyuu
exactly what it says above - was hillary a poor nominee because she might have PMSed and bombed a country? are men superior to women in their leading ability, or have women leaders in the past done just as good (or bad) a job?
pgrmdave
I have no doubt that there is no difference in the intrinsic ability of women in terms of leadership, though I suspect that certain cultures may have a tendency to produce better leaders from one or the other gender.
Phyllis
QUOTE (syuu @ Nov 5 2008, 10:08 PM) *
was hillary a poor nominee because she might have PMSed and bombed a country? are men superior to women in their leading ability, or have women leaders in the past done just as good (or bad) a job?

Oh, I really dislike the whole "PMS" argument, even as a joke. It is ridiculous. Men have bad days too. Even good old George Washington must have gotten pissy from time to time. A good leader doesn't let mood swings affect his/her decisions. Whether they're able to keep a level head in spite of how they happen to be feeling that day has absolutely nothing to do with gender.

From the US Elections thread:
QUOTE (I_am_the_best @ Nov 5 2008, 07:53 PM) *
Well obviously there are exceptions to the rule, but my (insignificant) opinion is that women don't make as good leaders because often they have a lot of 'want', and are quite manipulative and needy and are a lot less noble than men. Myself included. But! It's only my opinion, and yes I am aware that there are some really great women out there too.

A penis does not make someone noble. Actions do. Men are just as bad and just as good as women. The problem with comparing male and female leaders is that there are far more examples of men in leadership positions. Sexism is still alive and well (as your opinion proves!), and the glass ceiling still exists. No matter how many names of great female leaders I throw at you, you will probably still say that they are "exceptions" (I would NOT use Thatcher as an example, but how about Aung San Suu Kyi?). If I expand the list to include activists like Elizabeth Cady Stanton, you might say that they only inspired people to action because they wanted something themselves. I don't think I'm going to change your mind by providing you with a list of names.

Instead let me ask you this: who raised these noble men that you speak of? Who were their primary caregivers; the ones who shaped their personalities and taught them right from wrong? If they are over a certain age (which most leaders are), chances are very good that it was their mothers. Do you really think that people with the negative characteristics you describe would be able to raise thoughtful, compassionate sons?
EvilSpork
Cand, to accentuate your point about 'who raised them'... My dad wasn't around. Not until I was 12 or later on even. When looking through pictures from us growing up (that my mom took) my dad more than once said, sadly I might add with a tear in his eye, "I don't remember that..."

My dad didn't raise me. I'd say I turned out pretty well.

What makes a man? The woman that raised him and the one by his side when he's old and gray. Without women, men (especially those of leadership age, as cand mentioned) would not be who they are today.

So yeah, women can lead and pretty damn well.
voices_in_my_head
Spoon, I don't think it could be said any better than that.

"Behind every great man, there is a great woman"

smile.gif
Sir Psycho Sexy
It's a valid point. But I don't really see how that addresses the original point raised. No, most men wouldn't be who they are without their mother's to guide them, but that's a something of a moot point when you consider there are usually plenty of other role models as well, I, for example wouldn't be who I am without my father, close family and close family friends (one example was our neighbour who had a lot of time for me and was kinda like a second father).

But that's really all beside the point. On a base level, gender really doesn't matter in politics, or at least shouldn't. Men and women are both capable of making informed, intelligent decisions, seeing a problem or need and acting on it. There is no difference there. The downfall if anything, is perhaps society and societal norms. As already mentioned, women are mothers. Mothers are warm, caring, gentle and many other things which, probably not on a conscious level, may hold sway of someone's perception of women in politics. It may just come down to perceived strength, and on a base level, people always want a strong leader.

Before I get slammed, I should point out that I am indifferent to gender on politicians; Michelle Obama was a driving force in Barak's campaign for president, Sarah Brown is being hailed as instrumental in helping Labour win a Scottish by-election in a place where the Scottish Nationalist Party were thought to easily win. Just look who's the German Chancellor is, Angela Merkel.

Edit: As for the whole Sarah Palin/Hillary Clinton thing, I think that's just the old adage of those who seek power are the least suitable to wield it.
Phyllis
QUOTE (Sir Psycho Sexy @ Nov 9 2008, 12:25 PM) *
Edit: As for the whole Sarah Palin/Hillary Clinton thing, I think that's just the old adage of those who seek power are the least suitable to wield it.

Sarah Palin is not on the same level as Hillary Clinton. No matter what you think of her, it's hard to deny that Clinton is intelligent. I'm not convinced that Palin is even qualified to be a small town mayor.

I did my senior year project in uni on women in leadership, and the points you make about the perceived "softness" of women do have some validity. It's kind of a double edged sword for women in politics (and female managers in the workplace, for that matter). If they act in a typically female way, they're deemed weak. If they act in a typically male way, they're called a shrew. Can't win, really.

My comments about women as mothers weren't really directed at syuu's original question. They were in response to IATB saying that she thinks most women are petty, selfish, and less noble than men. I don't think it's a moot point in that context to bring up those supposedly "noble" men's mothers and ask who taught them to be so virtuous in the first place.
Sir Psycho Sexy
QUOTE (candice @ Nov 9 2008, 08:35 PM) *
QUOTE (Sir Psycho Sexy @ Nov 9 2008, 12:25 PM) *
Edit: As for the whole Sarah Palin/Hillary Clinton thing, I think that's just the old adage of those who seek power are the least suitable to wield it.

Sarah Palin is not on the same level as Hillary Clinton.


True, Palin at least seems to be taking defeat a little more graciously.
Phyllis
QUOTE (Sir Psycho Sexy @ Nov 10 2008, 01:44 AM) *
True, Palin at least seems to be taking defeat a little more graciously.

Pft. McCain took the defeat graciously. Palin just stood there silently, fighting back tears. She was only gracious because she wasn't allowed to open her mouth. If she had been allowed to make a speech after him it would have been 20 levels of ridiculous.

Clinton took too long to bow out, sure. There's no doubt that she is shrewd and probably campaigned for Obama after her defeat at least in part because she thought it would help her own image. But I still don't think she would have been a bad leader. I think she would have been quite good at it, actually. I voted for her in the primaries in part because at that time I thought she stood a better chance of beating McCain than Obama did (I'm thrilled that I was wrong, and cast my vote for Obama in the general election with much more excitement than I cast my primary vote). I'm all for political satire, but saying that Hillary Clinton is as ill-suited to leadership as Sarah Palin is just going too far. tongue.gif
leopold
QUOTE (candice @ Nov 9 2008, 08:35 PM) *
I did my senior year project in uni on women in leadership, and the points you make about the perceived "softness" of women do have some validity. It's kind of a double edged sword for women in politics (and female managers in the workplace, for that matter). If they act in a typically female way, they're deemed weak. If they act in a typically male way, they're called a shrew. Can't win, really.

Cand, I'm not singling you out and I'm not suggesting you agree with it, but what you wrote here pretty much sums up the debate for the "Let's all be homogeneous and pigeonhole genders" group. Whilst on the whole women are more "feeling" and men are more "dominating" it's not true across the board and there's plenty of women able to lead as men who are utterly incapable of doing so.

As for women in politics, I have just one name: Margaret Thatcher. Yes, I'm sure history has vilified her somewhat, but this woman was neither weak nor shewish. She was very firm in her beliefs and didn't take any messing about. This is in stark contrast to the man who took over from her, John Major, a man who couldn't run a bath, never mind a country.

I know a few female managers too, and on the whole they tend to be pretty effective. But that could be because women usually have to have to earn it, rather than most male managers who drift into it whether they deserve it or not.
Witless
To single out the part where people talk about women being more feeling than men. Research suggests 60% of men fall into the more feely decision maker category and 40% of men fall into the more feely decision maker category.

While research like this needs to be taken with a bit of skeptism since it is a pigeon holing survey. Still what leaps out at me all the same is that even in a pigeon holing survey a mighty 40% of women don't make decisions with the more emotional side of their personality. 40% is a massive percentage.

I am aware that their are general differences between male and female personalities, but I think it's pretty dangerous to draw too many conclusions from them. In a gender unbiased world I have a feeling that a lot of the so called differences between male and female personalities would suddenly evaporate without cultures influence on us when we grow up. The differences left would essentially be like splitting hairs, and even then the differences wouldn't be universal across all people.

I know I for one have more in common with some of my female friends personality than I do with than a random male chav. But also that I have more in common with my male friends than some random chav female.

Back on topic anyway.. of course I think females are capable of leading, I can think of many more than maggy thatcher too. The various queens we had that ruled alone in England. Boudicea the warrior celt that was the only celt that single handedly nearly rallied and pushed the romans off the UK and was a great deal of the reason why celts in the northern and western parts of the UK continued to have the willpower to keep the Romans at bay for generations afterwards.
The various nomadic tribes in africa and australia where women are considered the tribe leaders (infact many nomadic tribes around the world that have stuck to hunter gatherer society rather than an agricultural one continue to view women and men as equals for reasons that are pretty interesting actually).

Yes I do think women are capable, and I think in the future it will be a lot more common for women to lead with attitudes changing the way they are. The only issue I see is that attitudes change slowly.. too slow for people to appreciate within one life span.
Phyllis
QUOTE (leopold @ Nov 10 2008, 04:59 PM) *
Cand, I'm not singling you out and I'm not suggesting you agree with it, but what you wrote here pretty much sums up the debate for the "Let's all be homogeneous and pigeonhole genders" group. Whilst on the whole women are more "feeling" and men are more "dominating" it's not true across the board and there's plenty of women able to lead as men who are utterly incapable of doing so.

Well, of course it's not true across the board. I certainly don't agree with pigeonholing people based on their gender (or any other characteristic, for that matter). Most people are probably somewhere in between feeling and dominating rather than at either extreme, regardless of whether they have indoor or outdoor plumbing.

But the thing I was getting at (and possibly didn't phrase very well) was that the actions of female leaders are scrutinized more harshly than those of their male counterparts. Male leaders are given a bit more leeway. They don't have to try quite so hard to be the perfect blend of strong and soft so as to be viewed as both capable and likeable.

The playing field is far from even, and that's something that should be acknowledged when discussing gender and politics (or race and politics, or wealth and politics, etc). Acknowledging that certain stereotypes still exist doesn't mean that I believe them, but it'd be na´ve to pretend that they don't work against women in traditionally male professions.
leopold
Like I said, Cand, I wasn't suggesting you subscribed to the notion, I was just using the soundbite.

I think it's fairly safe to say that women do get given a harder time in political (and indeed business) circles: It takes a long time and a lot of hard work to progress anywhere, and when you do you're viewed much more harshly and sometimes on the stupidest of criteria. The main issue is nothing to do with any weakness on the part of womenkind, but on the weakness of men; we men, in general, are discomforted by strong women. Perhaps it's the need to get from under the wing of our mothers and prove ourselves in the world of men that we, too, have our place as provider and protector. In many ways, men haven't evolved anything like as quickly as women have.
Phyllis
QUOTE (leopold @ Nov 11 2008, 10:55 AM) *
Like I said, Cand, I wasn't suggesting you subscribed to the notion, I was just using the soundbite.

No, sorry, I know you weren't suggesting that. I was just restating my point for anyone out there who might have misunderstood and thought that I do believe that women=feeling and men=dominating because of the way it was previously phrased. smile.gif
Sir Psycho Sexy
QUOTE (leopold @ Nov 10 2008, 04:59 PM) *
Margaret Thatcher. Yes, I'm sure history has vilified her somewhat


Thatcher Thatcher the milk snatcher!
Daria
It's funny, the amount of subsidies the labour government give out to farmers, I'm surprised that kids don't get free milk again. Although I think they get free fruit and veg at breaktimes?

Another point to add to the business side of female empowerment- many employers view female candidates for new positions, if they are in their 20s-30s, risky as they could SUDDENLY HAVE A BABY ohmy.gif I can understand where they are coming from, as there have been cases of some women starting new jobs whilst pregnant, then springing it on their bosses who have to pay for someone to cover them and pay maternity leave. However- not all women want or can have children, and it should not be of any weighting in whether to employ someone or not, just because they might have a uterus.
Aislinn Faye
I love how people are fine with female governors (Palin for example), senators, and the likes... but when it comes to the position of president then everyone gets their panties in a twist (no pun intended). I think women would make fine leaders....I hate the people that say "I wish a woman would become president because no woman would send her son into war" though, and I don't like the PMS argue either. The argument in a whole is basically saying that the female population is of unsound mind. I came from a matriarchal family, so the idea of female rulers is completely natural, even for the men in our family.
leopold
QUOTE (Sir Psycho Sexy @ Nov 11 2008, 03:33 PM) *
Thatcher Thatcher the milk snatcher!
I remember that one. She was education minister or something, and in the very year I was to become milk monitor (and I was lined up for the position), she decided to drop free milk for schools. The cow mad.gif But she did say she'd never put VAT onto domestic fuel, and she stuck to that right to the end. It was her successor, John Major, who allowed the Chancellor to whack that on and increase everyone's leccy bill by almost a fifth.

QUOTE (Aislinn Faye @ Nov 12 2008, 03:06 AM) *
I love how people are fine with female governors (Palin for example), senators, and the likes... but when it comes to the position of president then everyone gets their panties in a twist (no pun intended). I think women would make fine leaders....I hate the people that say "I wish a woman would become president because no woman would send her son into war" though, and I don't like the PMS argue either. The argument in a whole is basically saying that the female population is of unsound mind. I came from a matriarchal family, so the idea of female rulers is completely natural, even for the men in our family.

On the Thatcher issue again, she is proof that women can start wars. She was the one who instigated the Falklands Conflict. Not that Argentina could ever be classified as a superpower. But she still did it.
Daria
Actually, and correct me if I am wrong- she didn't stop free milk to schools, she just stopped subsidising the farmers for the milk. They could have still given it, but obviously decided not to.

/pedantics
Sir Psycho Sexy
QUOTE (leopold @ Nov 13 2008, 10:40 AM) *
It was her successor, John Major, who allowed the Chancellor to whack that on and increase everyone's leccy bill by almost a fifth.


That's nothing compared to the naked profiteering going on by the utilities companies since privatisation occurred. Bastards.
sirdudly
Honestly, I think that had HRC been the Democratic nominee, she would have swept the floor with McCain. The only reason it wasn't a landslide is because the Democrats picked a joke to run against a joke.
leopold
QUOTE (Daria @ Nov 13 2008, 02:25 PM) *
Actually, and correct me if I am wrong- she didn't stop free milk to schools, she just stopped subsidising the farmers for the milk. They could have still given it, but obviously decided not to.

Tantamount to the same thing, Daria. Farmers are just businessmen at the end of the day, and they aren't going to give away their goods when they can sell them. If we say there are, ooh, 1.5 million kids at primary schools across the country, and each one has a bottle of milk measuring one third of a pint per day, five days a week, that's... ooh... two and a half million pints of milk every week. Lot of milk, lot of money.

QUOTE (Sir Psycho Sexy @ Nov 14 2008, 01:08 AM) *
QUOTE (leopold @ Nov 13 2008, 10:40 AM) *
It was her successor, John Major, who allowed the Chancellor to whack that on and increase everyone's leccy bill by almost a fifth.

That's nothing compared to the naked profiteering going on by the utilities companies since privatisation occurred. Bastards.

Yes, that's very true. Privatisation was one of Maggie's great notions. It wrecked the trains (Dr. Beeching would've been proud), turned the NHS into a big firm of accountants and made utility companies into huge monoliths in control of their own destinies. Along with yet another Thatcherite notion to scrap Supertax - where anyone earning a six figure salary paid income tax at 99%, thus preventing them from being greedy - the corporate heads became greedy. Now, of course, almost every utility company in the UK is owned by another country. These countries use our energy companies to rake in their desired profits whilst ensuring their own country has affordable domestic fuel. It annoys me deeply that I'm currently having to freeze my own kids because I can no longer afford to keep subsidising the continued personal warmth of the French.

QUOTE (sirdudly @ Nov 14 2008, 01:37 AM) *
Honestly, I think that had HRC been the Democratic nominee, she would have swept the floor with McCain. The only reason it wasn't a landslide is because the Democrats picked a joke to run against a joke.

Intriguing comment, dudly. Why do you consider Obama to be a joke? And even if he is, wouldn't that be the norm anyway? I mean, Dubya? for two terms??
sirdudly
QUOTE (leopold @ Nov 18 2008, 07:35 AM) *
QUOTE (sirdudly @ Nov 14 2008, 01:37 AM) *
Honestly, I think that had HRC been the Democratic nominee, she would have swept the floor with McCain. The only reason it wasn't a landslide is because the Democrats picked a joke to run against a joke.

Intriguing comment, dudly. Why do you consider Obama to be a joke? And even if he is, wouldn't that be the norm anyway? I mean, Dubya? for two terms??

I consider him a joke because of his cult of personality despite his staggering lack of transparency as well as his stance on several important issues being bereft of logic. I'm not talking social policy here, either, that is subjective and authoritarian in nature. I'm talking about him being a shill to a political machine of Keynesian tools.

And the problem is that it is the norm. An Obama presidency, or a hypothetical McCain presidency, is just another chronological step of the dissolution of the American Republic and will be just as terrible, if not more, to civil liberty and freedom in this nation as the George W. Bush administration.
leopold
I see. You'll have to forgive my ignorance of US politics. I thought that Obama was one of the better candidates, but then over here we don't always get the full picture. It works in reverse, too; last time I was in the US, everyone there thought Tony Blair was the messiah and we were lucky to have such a good PM. Which he wasn't, frankly.

Anyway, here's hoping he doesn't do anything stupid biggrin.gif
sirdudly
It's already out of his hands. Take a look at his cabinet selections, it's going to be Clinton 3.0.
leopold
Oh, goody rolleyes.gif

I assume the interns aren't going to include another Monica Lewinsky, complete with stained frock...
MistressAlti
QUOTE (sirdudly @ Nov 20 2008, 10:17 AM) *
It's already out of his hands. Take a look at his cabinet selections, it's going to be Clinton 3.0.


Yes, quite a few names from the old Clinton guard are back in business, so to speak.

Frankly I'm more of a libertarian so I can't say I'm Obama's biggest kool-aid fan, but still I'd much rather have him over McCain. A return to Clintonist politics is, in my opinion, a better option than a continuation of Bushist politics. If I have to choose between evils I mean.

Obama might not have much meat to his policies but I think at the least he has a greatly improved attitude towards America's place in the world. A little less imperialism could do us all some good.
Phyllis
QUOTE (leopold @ Nov 20 2008, 03:51 PM) *
I see. You'll have to forgive my ignorance of US politics. I thought that Obama was one of the better candidates, but then over here we don't always get the full picture.

I've found there to be plenty political coverage of the US in this country -- especially during the election. Don't be so quick to discount yourself as ignorant of US politics, Leo. Most Democrats would probably agree with you that Obama was one of the better candidates. I certainly do. When a lot of us voted for Kerry in 2004 we were muttering about "lesser of two evils" and "at least he's not W." Then this election came along and, hey, suddenly it feels like we're voting for our candidate rather than just voting against a candidate we intensely dislike.

There are times when Obama seems more like a celebrity than a politician. The Obama mania during the election was (and, really, still is) intense and supporters sometimes seemed like starstruck fans. I think a lot of that has as much to do with the past 8 years as it does with his charisma, though. He may well just be the lesser of two evils (I don't think so, though), and I'm sure there will be times when he'll disappoint a lot of people. Still, it seems a little bit silly to write him off as a joke before he's even been inaugurated.
leopold
QUOTE (candice @ Nov 20 2008, 05:30 PM) *
There are times when Obama seems more like a celebrity than a politician.

Hmmm. We had one of those too, in the form of Tony B. He was far more keen on getting his mug in the paper for some high profile thing or other than actually fixing the broken stuff on this sceptred isle. He still is. One thing I'll say for El Gordo, at least he's getting on with the job instead of trying to raise his profile.

But, being the leader is always tough. Every decision you make is going to have a negative impact on part of your demographic, regardless of how populist it may seem. All any leader can do is stick to their guns and hope it pays off; the alternative is to flim-flam and that just leads to nobody respecting them or trusting anything they say.

To be perfectly honest, I was glad that Dubya wasn't going to get re-elected regardless. I like that bit of the US constitution, that nobody can lead for more than 2 terms. If we'd had that here then Maggie would've gone before she irrevocably buggered up the country with the godawful Poll Tax and all that pointless privatisation, and we'd have had rid of the grinning ninny before we got embroiled in someone else's fight and his missus got herself into dodgy property deals with known criminals.
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