Tuesday marks the 4 year anniversary of the Intramuralist… fire up!
I am excited not only about the election and our post that day, but I am also excited and honored and humbled and a little, truly blown away to acknowledge this coming week how far we have come — and yes, what the Intramuralist is still called to do. It is a joy and a privilege to share these postings together — modeling respectful dialogue. Thanks for being part of something bigger than you and me.
While Tuesday awaits, no less, I must initially acknowledge some of the many things that strike me; in fact, there is one development that continually makes me pause and ask, “What? Really? People said that?”
Over the past few months especially, I’ve noticed the evolution of a very specific rhetoric, a rhetoric that’s evident of something bigger — albeit a rhetoric that may well be the manifestation of foolishness.
Over the course of these campaigns, many times we have witnessed the promotion of a candidate being “pro-woman” or “all about women” or “the woman’s candidate.” The identification suggests that one candidate is solely empathetic of how women feel, while the other candidate has zero in common with the feminine gender.
Here’s the zillion dollar, semi-subtle sanctimoniousness within that gender specification:
All women don’t feel the same.
Let’s be clear…
Do all men feel the same?
Do all children? … teens? … youth?
Does each demographic category feel the same about all issues?
Are all individuals equally passionate?
Do demographics extinguish individuality?
How about all Hispanics?
Would it ever be appropriate to conclude that all African-Americans, Puerto Rican Americans, or caucasian Americans feel exactly the same way?
Of course not.
Unfortunately, I thus conclude that any messaging campaign suggesting that one candidate is “the candidate for all women” is inaccurate and arguably inappropriate, as the message doesn’t resonate with a significant portion of the female population. Most of us have multiple female friends. Believe me… they don’t all think the same way.
Wait… there is one additional, tangent, seemingly highly sensitive aspect of this argument… that is, that the pro-woman’s candidate is also often identified as someone fully supportive of abortion or perhaps more politically correctly (and extensively) stated, women’s reproductive rights. In other words, because the stance implies the allowance for an individual woman to make all decisions regarding her own body, this is thus more empathetic of women. The inherent inaccuracy, however, is that factually via the process of abortion, lives of women are also terminated. Friends, this post proclaims no opinion on the wisdom of abortion; that is tough topic and one which we would never treat arrogantly nor insensitively. What this post does suggest, though, is that to proclaim either above opinion is more “pro-woman” than the other is illogical.
Therein lies another attempt at persuasive rhetoric. All women do not feel the same way.
As this election season winds down (finally, thank God), I am beginning to quietly resent this notion that all demographic categories are likeminded…
We feel different ways and believe different things…
… about abortion… about economics… about debt, unemployment, and entitlements. We feel differently about the campaigns and their candidates.
My concluding sense is that the idea that one candidate could possibly be the candidate for all women is merely a rhetorical re-election ploy — just as if someone asserted themselves as the candidate for all men, all African-Americans, all college students or Californians. So when we don’t all feel the same way, what do we do? How is the candidate to handle himself? … to arrogantly assume he knows best for an entire gender, race, or people group? … or to tenderly and correctly handle words of truth?
We’ll see beginning Tuesday. I wish I was certain the rhetoric would go away.