Monday, September 27, 2010

Angry White Males Continue to Chart Course of American History: Gender Gap Widening as Elections Near in U.S.

I noted in a post about a week ago that polls are showing that men are angry in the U.S., and are poised to turn out in record numbers in the coming elections to put the Republican party--the party of the angry no--back into the power seat.  

Ben Smith confirms that analysis in a post at Politico yesterday.  Smith cites a number of pollsters who are reporting that the gender gap for the coming elections is wider than any they have seen in a long time, since the angry-white-male dynamic first emerged in American politics to sweep Ronald Reagan into office.  As Smith notes, "[a]nalysts cite a political climate that is apparently ineffably male" at this particular point in American political history, though the reasons for the discernible gender gap as the elections approach are less clear.

In my view, at least one of those reasons is abundantly clear: the entitlement afforded to men in patriarchal, heterosexist socieites translates--always--into fantasies about controlling others.  About controlling everything possible.

And when heterosexual men sense that their control of everyone and everything is waning, they are likely to go ballistic.  They are likely to predict apocalyptic destruction of everything, and then they're likely to set that apocalyptic destruction into motion to fulfill their prophecies.  And they are very inclined to use religion and religious groups as a vehicle for that destruction.

The election of an African-American Democratic president, and the chipping away by our judicial system at the final bulwarks of legalized homophobia in our society such as DADT, are profoundly disturbing to many heterosexual men, who have invested everything in feeling superior to certain targeted and demeaned others, to others construed as feminine and weak.  When there is a sense that those targeted and demeaned others are entering the social mainstream and claiming the right to exist on the same plane of power and privilege that heterosexual white men enjoy, backlash occurs.

And we're soon going to see that backlash in all its ugliest manifestations when the fall elections arrive in the U.S.

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