So, anyone catch the American presidential debate last night? I did, as you would know if you followed me on Twitter like sensible people. Obama is a feminist! Romney thinks single moms cause gun violence! Romney has binders full of women! Sorry, Romney, but all the women really want to get into my binder.
In the leadup to the debate, Richard Williamson, a former ambassador and top foreign policy adviser to Romney, said that Romney would ask Obama to “man up” about the Libya attacks by taking full responsibility for them and explaining his failure to the American people.
Agh agh agh agh agh I hate the phrase “man up.” Men who do not take full responsibility for failures on their watch are still men. Women who do, in fact, take full responsibility for failures on their watch are still women. Your gender identity has nothing to do with your ethical actions. You could reasonably argue that not taking full responsibility for one’s mistakes is bad behavior, but it is bad behavior for people of every gender. Gender is completely extraneous here! Why are you even talking about it? A man who believes the buck stops over there somewhere is still a man, and there is no call to be considering him less a man than someone else.
Not to mention that there’s a certain… racially charged… angle to a white man telling a black man to man up and accept his responsibilities. I’m not saying that this was Mr. Williamson’s intent, but there is a stereotype of black men as feckless people who abandon their children and other responsibilities, and his statement plays into those racist beliefs.
Image: A red-white-and-blue elephant and donkey with US-flag-like stars for eyes and on their bodies, intended to be symbols for the Republican and Democratic parties.