Feminist Professor Does Not Believe That Women Can Compete Against Men

Promoted from the diaries by streiff. Promotion does not imply endorsement.

Apparently I’m a “top Democrat,” because this appeared in my Twitter feed:


Of course, it was a promoted tweet, which means that the former Vice President’s campaign paid for it to appear in everybody’s feed, so maybe they really don’t consider me a “top Democrat.” 🙂 But, whether they think I’m a “top Democrat” or not, they still want my money. And Suzanna Danuta Walters thinks that it’s absotively, posilutely horrid that Mr Biden should even ask me for my dollars. From The Washington Post:

If male candidates want to show they get it, they should get out

By Suzanna Danuta Walters¹ | April 30, 2019

In 2013, Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg urged women to “lean in” to their power and break through that pesky glass ceiling. Predictably — and correctly — feminists argued that “leaning in” not only left male-dominated corporate culture intact but also depended on underpaid female domestic workers to clean and care for children. Both Sandberg’s book and the critiques of it left actual men out of the analysis, as if leaning in (and sorting out the limits of this proposed solution) was yet more women’s work.

I’m reminded of that omission as we head into the Democratic primary season. More women are seeking the party’s presidential nomination than ever before. And yet a few white men sit at the top of the polls and rake in big fundraising hauls. As candidates such as Sens. Kamala D. Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand and Amy Klobuchar lean in, maybe it’s time for some of their male competitors to find ways to lean out.

Early media coverage of the campaign demonstrates why merely leaning in can’t dismantle the double standards and deep structural misogyny women face. Studies by FiveThirtyEight and my colleagues at Northeastern University found both fewer “media mentions” of female candidates and also more negative coverage than of their male counterparts. Meanwhile, Beto O’Rourke apparently merits multiple profiles, an HBO documentary about his failed Senate run and an Annie Leibovitz photo shoot in Vanity Fair — while Pete Buttigieg got a literally glowing New York magazine cover profile.


This is really laughable!  In an article in which Dr Walters is celebrating a different kind of presidential candidate, she’s decided that Mr Buttigieg, who is openly homosexual, doesn’t count, because he’s just another white male.  I suppose that the only different kind of presidential candidate she means is one with XX chromosomes, though the sarcastic attitude I entertain makes me ask what she’d say about a presidential candidacy by Bradley Manning or Bruce Jenner, even though she has previously argued for “transgender inclusion.”

Dr Walters is very upset that she sees white male candidates — she never addresses the candidacy of the very male but also black Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) — have what even Robert Francis “Beta” “Beto” O’Rourke has acknowledged as “privileges,” to the point in which she suggests that the male candidates should not only recognize but eschew such privileges”

They could refuse to give interviews to news organizations that have practiced gender discrimination in their coverage of the campaigns and say “no thanks” to the magazine covers that curiously feature only them. They could call out the disproportionate attention they receive, as well as the presumption that they are more electable by virtue of their gender, and instead point out the fact that the women running have already won multiple races, written many books, and have deep executive and policy experience — claims that could not be universally made of their male counterparts.

Male candidates should definitely stop offering a patronizing nod to women through the “offer” of a vice presidential spot on the ticket just so they keep on benefiting from the massive affirmative action plan that is male privilege. Naming Stacey Abrams his running mate wouldn’t actually fix Joe Biden’s problems with women — especially if, as Abrams said, that’s not actually a role she wants. Telling women we can play second fiddle is not proof of a commitment to equality.


Alas! That isn’t what Dr Walters really wants.  What she really wants is for men to just surrender:

The really radical thing for a male candidate to do in 2020 would be to step down and step away, realizing that real gender equity is achieved only when men actively refuse the benefits they receive simply for being born male.

Unspoken by Dr Walters is her underlying assumption, that women cannot really compete with men on an equal basis, because she does not truly believe that women are equal with men.

Nor is this even the first time she has expressed this.  In an OpEd piece entitled “Why can’t we hate men?“,² also in the Post, on June 8, 2018, Dr Walters wrote:

So, in this moment, here in the land of legislatively legitimated toxic masculinity, is it really so illogical to hate men? For all the power of #MeToo and #TimesUp and the women’s marches, only a relatively few men have been called to task, and I’ve yet to see a mass wave of prosecutions or even serious recognition of wrongdoing. On the contrary, cries of “witch hunt” and the plotted resurrection of celebrity offenders came quick on the heels of the outcry over endemic sexual harassment and violence. But we’re not supposed to hate them because . . . #NotAllMen. I love Michelle Obama as much as the next woman, but when they have gone low for all of human history, maybe it’s time for us to go all Thelma and Louise and Foxy Brown on their collective butts.

The world has little place for feminist anger. Women are supposed to support, not condemn, offer succor not dismissal. We’re supposed to feel more empathy for your fear of being called a harasser than we are for the women harassed. We are told he’s with us and #NotHim. But, truly, if he were with us, wouldn’t this all have ended a long time ago? If he really were with us, wouldn’t he reckon that one good way to change structural violence and inequity would be to refuse the power that comes with it?

So men, if you really are #WithUs and would like us to not hate you for all the millennia of woe you have produced and benefited from, start with this: Lean out so we can actually just stand up without being beaten down. Pledge to vote for feminist women only. Don’t run for office. Don’t be in charge of anything. Step away from the power. We got this. And please know that your crocodile tears won’t be wiped away by us anymore. We have every right to hate you. You have done us wrong. #BecausePatriarchy. It is long past time to play hard for Team Feminism. And win.


What are we to conclude other than that Dr Walters believes that women cannot compete with men?  She concluded the first cited article:

Women are leaning in like mad, leading the resistance, voting in higher numbers and signing up to be candidates for office. But men have a responsibility — if they really do want a more gender-equitable world — to lean out, work actively to disavow their privilege and pitch in to get a woman elected president.

There are several highly qualified female candidates running for president. Every single man currently running or thinking of running should drop out and support one of these women. Now that would be real leadership.

For Dr Walters to be happy — if happiness is even a possibility for someone with so much rage in her heart — all men must simply give up, must surrender.

In 2016, Hillary Clinton competed successfully against a man, though it can be argued that she had some real advantages and still cheated, and still won the Democratic nomination.  Then, in the general election, despite the advantages of a credentialed media wholly in her favor, she lost to another man, though the left still complain that he cheated. Dr Walters supported Mrs Clinton, long before she secured the nomination, simply because Mrs Clinton has a vagina:

I want a woman president—and, no, not any woman president. Hillary is not, as her detractors would have it, Margaret Thatcher or Carly Fiorina—or Sarah Palin or Michelle Bachmann, or some other female candidate whose platform rests on antipathy to any feminist concerns. Like most in the Democratic Party, she is a centrist. In her political orientation, deep intelligence, and policy wonkishness, she is similar to Obama—and not as dissimilar to Bernie as one might imagine. Still, I support her less for her specific political positions (some of which I agree with, many of which I do not—all of which are far superior to the racist/sexist/xenophobic sideshow that is the Republican primary field) than for the iconic value of electing the first woman president of the United States.


She wrote this despite self-identifying as a “democratic social(ist)” and being far more in agreement with Senator Sanders’ political positions.

In the end, roughly 52% of white women voters voted for Donald Trump, and 57% voted for someone other than Mrs Clinton.  Though the exit polls as published did not tell us how many white women voted for Jill Stein, we do know that a majority voted for a male candidate. Why, it’s almost as though the candidate’s genitals didn’t matter as much to a majority of white women as they do to Dr Walters.

This is why Dr Walters believes that the male candidates should all pack it up and go home, and support one of the women running.  Deep down, she does not believe that women can compete equally with men, and I suspect that Mrs Clinton’s losses, in the 2008 primaries, in which she was heavily favored, and the 2016 general election, which she was also supposed to win in a landslide, reinforced that in her mind.  The trouble with her position is that, if all of the men drop out of the Democratic primaries, leaving the field only to the women, the eventual winner will still have to face President Trump in the general election .  .  . and he won’t drop out.

Dr Walters refers to the problem as “gender inequity,” not gender inequality, because the terms have different meanings. If the term used is gender inequality, then all things would, presumably, eventually even out if women are truly the equals of men, if gender equality is attained.

But gender inequity is something subtly different:

Gender equality, equality between men and women…does not mean that women and men have to become the same, but that their rights, responsibilities and opportunities will not depend on whether they were born male or female. Gender equity means fairness of treatment for men and women according to their respective needs. This may include equal treatment or treatment that is different but which is considered equivalent in terms of rights, benefits, obligations, and opportunities.


As Dr Walters uses the term, gender equity can only be achieved when the different outcomes of the past, in the political arena, are addressed by enforcing an advantage for women which yields at least equal numbers of women holding various political offices, an Affirmative Action for women in politics as it were. For Dr Walters, fairness for women “according to their respective needs” is a system in which women are simply granted the authority without having to do something really radical like compete for it.  That’s the kind of attitude you have when you don’t believe that women really are the equals of men.

It must be tough to have an inferiority complex like that!
¹ – Suzanna Danuta Walters is a professor of sociology and director of the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at Northeastern University.
² – Dr Walters is a lesbian, which, I suppose, makes it more convenient to hate all men, though one wonders if that extends to Dr Stanley Aronowitz, a heterosexual male who was her doctoral dissertation adviser.  Given that the Centers for Disease Control estimated, in 2013, that homosexuals constituted only 1.6% of the population, with bisexuals adding another 0.7%, there aren’t a whole lot of women out there who would be motivated to hate all men. Even a slightly more charitable estimate by the Williams Institute — which is biased toward a larger statistic — of 4.1% self-identifying as homosexual or bisexual leaves well over 90% of women attracted to men rather than hating them.
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