Return of the Monolithic Ladyvote

Actual Headline: Would Women Support Newt Gingrich for President?

At least the author, Jill Lawrence, specifies she's talking about "moderate and independent women," thus acknowledging that women are at least TWO separate groups—progressive women who would never vote for Gingrich in a million zillion biebillion years because of his politics, and "moderate and independent women" who might vote for him, if they don't object to his being a serial philanderer who cheated on his first wife then dumped her while she was in the hospital recovering from surgery for uterine cancer, who cheated on his second wife then dumped her over the phone on Mothers' Day after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, immediately marrying the Congressional aide with whom he was having an affair, who is now his current wife.

I'm going to go out on a lady-limb and suggest that there are some people who will vote for Newt Gingrich if he is the Republican nominee, and some of those people will be women.

Some of them will be women who don't care about his personal life because they genuinely believe it's none of their business and/or doesn't reflect on his ability to be president; some of them will be women who don't care only because there's not a D behind his name on the ballot—and they want to make quick with the federal marriage amendment to protect the sanctity of straight marriage. Ahem.

Either way, of course some women will support him.

It's not like Lawrence doesn't know this. Nor any of the other hundreds of journos who wrote similar pieces about the Monolithic Ladyvote during the last election. It's just that "will women do X?" is a lazyass way of creating a justifying frame for a piece on Gingrich's personal life. Or to implicitly condemn female candidacies by pointing out, as if it's a scandal, that NOT ALL WOMEN will vote for any single female candidate. Or whatever.

There's a legitimate story to be written about the relationship, if any, between a politician's private ethics and public ethics. "Is the personal political for Newt Gingrich?" examining how privilege inoculates straight white male politicians from that reality. (Are you reading, Newsweek?) It doesn't have to be buried beneath yet another reinforcement of the pernicious idea that women are a hivemind.

The silly season has begun.

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus