Carey Roberts
2010 will be Year of the Man
By Carey Roberts
October 14, 2010

"Granddad, why are all those football players wearing pink shoes?" That was the topic of conversation this past Monday evening as my 13-year-old grandson and I watched the star-crossed Minnesota Vikings take on the New York Jets.

I sagely explained that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. His logical mind now ratcheting into overdrive, he tried to pin me down: "So when do the players wear blue shoes for prostate cancer awareness?"

That proved to be a harder question.

In 1992, Barbara Boxer, Diane Feinstein, Patty Murray, and Carol Moseley Braun swept into the Senate in dramatic fashion, instantly inspiring the catch-phrase, "Year of the Woman." After the 1992 influx, female legislators continued to score steady gains, and now represent 17% of lawmakers, by interesting coincidence in both the Senate and the House.

But this coming November 2, the number of women in Congress is predicted to decline, the first time that's happened since 1978. David Wasserman, analyst at the non-partisan Cook Political Report, is now forecasting the number of females in the House will drop by 5-10 persons. In the Senate, the current count of 17 female lawmakers will be lucky to hold its own.

Although the Chicken-Littles are already yelping about the impending social calamity, the reasons for this sudden reversal of political fortune deserve scrutiny.

First and foremost, women are more likely than men to be of the liberal persuasion. As columnist Allison Brown once put it, "Most women are natural socialists." That fact doesn't sit very well with a disaffected electorate that has been moving steadily to embrace the tenets of conservative philosophy.

It wasn't too many years ago, of course, that female candidates openly voiced the view that female lawmakers are more trust-worthy and less corrupt than their greedy male counterparts.

Remember Hillary Clinton's chestnut that "Research shows the presence of women raises the standards of ethical behavior"? Hillary's declamation was instantly self-refuting, of course, in light her notorious Travelgate incident, cattle futures scam, and other ethical escapades.

And remember Nancy Pelosi's vow to run the "most ethical and honest Congress in history"? Then came the steady drumbeat of Democratic congressmen and women who were discovered to be delinquent on their taxes, forgetful with asset disclosure forms, or deceitful in funneling scholarship monies to family members. One wonders how Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) will refute the charge that she tried to steer federal money to a family-owned bank.

It's a political truism that fiscal conservativism appeals primarily to men. According to an April 18 Pew poll, 52% of men, compared to only 42% of women, favor cutting back government programs.

For the millions of men who gave the nod to Barack Obama two years ago, the turning point was the news that Obama had jiggered the stimulus package to favor school teachers, social workers, and other female-dominated government jobs, leaving millions of unemployed male factory hands and construction-workers holding the bag.

Shuttling millions of formerly well-paid men onto the welfare rolls — that's what progressives call "social justice." And that's what Barack Obama meant when he told Joe the Plumber, "when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody."

As a result, the perennial gender gap has tacked strongly in favor of men. "Men make up a larger share of the likely voter pool," according to Quinnipiac pollster Doug Schwartz. This year is "among the bigger gender gaps we've seen," reveals Democratic pollster Celina Lake. And a Marist poll conducted last month found 48% of Republican men were "very enthusiastic" about voting, while only 28% of Democratic women rated themselves in like manner.

In January, we saw the gender gap bare its hairy chest in Massachusetts race. While 52% of the female electorate pulled the lever for Democrat Martha Coakley, 60% of the smaller but more unified male vote swung sharply in favor of Republican Scott Brown, handing the political unknown a stunning upset victory.

Nine months later, the same dynamic is at work in Pennsylvania. There, Republican Pat Toomey is leading Democrat Joe Sestak, mostly thanks to an 18-percentage-point margin among men.

Commenting on recent presidential races, former Brandeis University professor Linda Hirshman explains, "With the possible exception of 1996, women have never voted a candidate into the White House when men thought the other guy should win."

Now back to the pink football cleats, pink gloves, pink chin straps, pink wrist and biceps bands, pink-crested baseball caps, pink towels, pink lapel ribbons, and of course the pink-themed Half-Time Show. Seriously, why isn't the National Football League giving equal play to prostate cancer? After all, funding for prostate cancer has long lagged behind research for breast cancer.

"Answer that question," I counseled my droopy-eyed grandson, "And you'll understand why 2010 is destined to be the Year of the Man."

© Carey Roberts


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Carey Roberts

Carey Roberts is an analyst and commentator on political correctness. His best-known work was an exposé on Marxism and radical feminism... (more)

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