The Shame in White Male Savior Syndrome

10 Jun 2018

Shame on every man from NBC’s Chuck Todd and Joe Scarborough, CNN’s Jake Tapper, Vox’s Ezra Klein, Rep. Trey Gowdy, former FBI Director Jim Comey, to Steve Schmidt to Senator Bernie Sanders and yes, even, Senator John McCain.  Every single one did nothing but bash Hillary Clinton, working to tank her poll numbers and depress her voters in the run-up to the 2016 election. All are now hand-wringing and lamenting the lies and frightening behavior of the pathetic man-child their actions helped to install in the White House.  They knew who Trump was from day one. But it was more important to them to burn this country to the ground first, before they would see a woman run it.*  The sick compulsion of white male superiority is that they alone can save us.  What do they think they will be able to rescue from the ash heap – and how many millions suffer needlessly because of their empty pride and braggadocio?

Think about how craven and ego driven a man has to be to do this.  They all knew Secretary Hillary Clinton to be an effective boss and legislator with a solid reputation for working across the aisle. Wonky as she is, she can actually make the mousetrap work. They knew this too, yet spent their waking hours working to destroy her so they would not look mediocre by comparison.  These men did this knowing the consequences would be an unhinged and likely compromised Trump.

This is not to discount the damage done by complicit females like NBC’s Andrea Mitchell and Mika Brezinski or NYT’s Maggie Haberman, Amy Chozick and Maureen Dowd.  But they would not make the same dent were it not for the steady drumbeat of male voices bashing a powerful woman on every conceivable corporate media outlet.

How small and insecure do you have to be to behave this way?  Yes, this is a rant. But if I see one more self-righteous male complain about Trump even though they helped put us in this fix, I will vomit.

Conversely, I applaud all fair minded men who were confident enough in their own beings to understand that it doesn’t matter who builds the widget. If a woman has the world’s most powerful political designation, that doesn’t take away from them personally or professionally.  Rather, a woman’s success on the job can only mean greater success for all of us.

The political and social behavior of Chuck Todd et al only reinforces yet another type of toxic masculinity we would do well to overcome – but first we must see through it so that we are not again seduced by it when we hear it.

Always consider the source when such a man tells you a woman is “nothing special.” Todd actually called Clinton “over-prepared” because he couldn’t think of any other way to dismiss her.

Senator Bernie Sanders is another case in point.  He was a purported ally, yet did more to lie about and bash Hillary than anyone, also under the guise of a savior.  This 77 year old white man has a paltry record as a legislator and is known more for stubbornness than effectiveness, yet we are still so willing to excuse him while jumping to every false conclusion about a powerful woman.

No one is perfect. But we must stop expecting women to carry the banner for all womanhood in order to be acceptable while having a “boys will be boys” attitude toward men and a knee jerk reaction to putting them in charge.

Men so ego driven that the very idea of a woman in charge repulses and threatens them will never acknowledge that woman’s true worth.

We do not have to reward their insecurity with power.


* To paraphrase Slate’s Michelle Goldberg.


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  1. Leon Dailey Says: June 10, 2018 at 8:53 pm

    Can’t blame all this on white men. A majority of white American women voted for Trump. Never will understand that. This is a failure of the American electorate w/out regard to race creed or gender.

  2. Love this. I have to admit, I was deeply disappointed when the email story broke. I’ll never forget sitting in my car at a light when the story broke on the radio. I remember thinking, “OMG no! Hillary just lost” I instinctually knew how bad this was. Then a few months went by and my hope was restored, with caution. And then Comey happened. I knew that was the nail in the coffin. I believe a part of the defectors were the women who had held out until then, women who maybe were married to men voting for Trump, third party – including Sanders- or no one at all, like one of my friends who jumped ship and didn’t vote at all. I am white btw, and most of my family and friends, if not all, are white. I’m one of the minority white, college educated female voters. Anyway, I witnessed first-hand the misogynistic antagonism against Hillary at my precinct’s caucus near Downtown Denver. I’d read about the “Bernie Bros” in articles beforehand, but you never really can take these accounts at face value. I try not to, anyway. Well, I can tell you they were true. Everyone was civil and supportive until Hillary’s surrogate grabbed the megaphone to speak. She got maybe five words in then the (mostly young, white) males surrounding me started heckling her. They’d interrupt her with questions about free college and the rest of Sanders talking points. But it honestly felt more like intentional intimidation than sincere concern. I finally turned to the guy next to me and said “Have some fucking respect and let her speak, what the fuck is wrong with you?”. He told me to F off. I find these people as repulsive as Trumpers. .

  3. Ifeoma Hill Says: June 11, 2018 at 3:57 am

    Thank you for your excellent article. My sentiment exactly. I have never been the same since the last Presidential election. To think that we are stuck with the monster in the WH because ppl can’t stand to see an accomplished woman in the WH. Ppl so cowardly and evil and now ppl are paying with their lives

    • We’re not stuck Ifeoma – as horrible as it is to witness powerful/wealthy men try to undermine the relatively “free” peoples of the world, the rest of us outnumber them. In the US particularly and even in my home state of Alabama, women have come too far to go back into servitude. Record numbers of democratic women are running for office (even in Alabama) by forming national and state networks through organizations like Emerge. Alabama was actually the 20th state to establish an affiliate…Emerge AL. And the women who made that happen are the same women who got Senator Doug Jones elected. The majority of women voted for the Democratic candidate and that’s all we need to shift control of our governments. Now, we are leveraging our skills to get each other elected and change the face of power. We can and will turn this thing around…

      Thank you Anita Finlay for writing plainly and honestly.

  4. Kathleen Wynne Says: June 15, 2018 at 7:57 pm

    Once again, you hit the nail on the head, Anita!

    We all knew Hillary had committed no crime, it was simply the knee jerk response from the patriarchy bent on stopping this “woman” from becoming president. It wasn’t just comey who facilitated this atrocity against Hillary, as you so correctly point out, it was all of the powerful white males not only in the media, the republicans and sanders, but many in the democratic party who did not defend her against these bogus, trumped up charges of wrongdoing. The dems were complacent in their silence when she was being attached every day by the media, republicans and comey. Shame on them.

    But you know, I am tired of saying “shame on them”. When will we ever hold them accountable when they are committing these atrocities? After the damage has been done, we see outrage from the very people who aided and abetted this to happen.

    When it comes to a woman, we have never seen the overwhelming expression of outrage shown by all when this kind of thing happens to a man and “WHILE IT’S HAPPENING!” If these same accusations and actions by the FBI Director had been done to ANY man running for office, the media would NEVER had stood for it. Instead, they were complicit in bringing down an extraordinary woman like Hillary Clinton. What we saw was the ugly head of raw misogyny at its worst and I will never accept the BS we hear that steps should be taken that this will never happen again! BS! If another woman with Hillary’s extraordinary qualifications runs for the presidency, she, too, will be attacked by the patriarchy.

    Trump should have been impeached a long time ago for treason. Can anyone visiting Anita’s blog ever admit that had the tables had been turned and Hillary had benefited by comey and the Russians and the media in the exact same way that you wouldn’t have demanded her removal from the oval office?


  5. Joel Berger Says: June 16, 2018 at 3:00 am

    Anita, I sometimes read your blog just to punish myself. Progressives stayed home on election day not because Hillary was a woman but because she represented the status quo. The only thing different about Hillary from Obama is her gender and the color of her skin. Her policies were virtually identical. She wasn’t going to stop the endless wars abroad or break-up and regulate the big banks, and the reason she wasn’t going to do these things is that her donors didn’t want her to. Yes, it is true, as hard as it is for me to believe, there are still men in the twenty-first century who won’t vote for a woman just because she is a woman. But, how many of those same progressives would have voted for Elizabeth Warren or Tulsi Gabbard? I don’t know, but I know I would have.

    I’d like to point you towards a woman running for congress, a woman who deserves your support. Maybe you could do a blog on her? Her name is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. If you are a fair-minded person, you should check out her ad which begins at the 0:11 mark:

    • Joel, why not get information about her from sources other than those who endlessly bash her? I never supported Hillary just because she was a woman and find your insinuation insulting and dismissive. I wrote a book on the subject of this sort of treatment. Read it. You might learn something. I proudly supported her in 08 and 16. She earned it.

      • Joel Berger Says: June 16, 2018 at 1:58 pm

        But, Anita. You are constantly saying that Liberal men did not support Hillary Clinton was just because she was a woman. And, I find that insulting and dismissive.

  6. Joel Berger Says: June 16, 2018 at 3:14 am

    P.S. If I was an American, I would have voted for Hillary.

  7. Kathleen Wynne Says: June 17, 2018 at 12:19 pm

    Hillary was the first woman to push the envelope and challenge the patriarchy. She was a trailblazer for women who followed her to have a better chance of finally being taken seriously than she was. That’s the way it has always been for women. Susan B. Anthony and many other women, paved the way for women to finally get the right to vote but never lived to see the fruits of their labor and sacrifice.

    For over 2 decades the patriarchy with the help of those women who are threatened by such a woman as Hillary (which puzzles me to this day), have bashed her continuously with false accusations and innuendo, which we all know when any accusation is hurled against a woman it is immediately accepted as true because, as history has shown us, every woman who is accused of wrongdoing is assumed guilty until proven innocent by society in general. On the other hand, men are always given the benefit of the doubt and even when they are found guilty, they are still not held accountable in the same way women have always been.

    Joel, Hillary won by 4 million votes against sanders and 3 million votes again trump. The election was stolen from her. She would be our president today if comey and the Russians had not interfered in the election as they did and the truth is finally beginning to come out confirming what we who supported Hillary always knew. I wonder what you would be saying if trump lost the election under the same circumstances as Hillary. We all know Hillary would NEVER had been allowed to achieve the presidency under such a cloud of suspicion and trump would have been allowed to contest the election and probably would have been given the presidency anyway in order to keep a woman out of the male preserve of the oval office.

    I am convinced, based on her experience, knowledge and understanding of how to govern effectively that Hillary would have been one of greatest presidents. A thought that put fear in the heart of the patriarchy and made them willing to do anything to stop her. Why? Because insecure men act this way in the face of being exposed for not being the superior beings they have claimed to be since the beginning of time. Hillary took them on and they did everything they could to destroy her, but still she persisted. I challenge any man to go through the hell she was put through and survive it in the extraordinary way she has and still she continues to make a positive impact on our country and the world.

    I have no doubt that the woman you have such strong support for, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez would be put through the same hell Hillary was if she poses a real threat to the power hold the patriarchy has on our society. I hope she does run for office so that you can see that ANY woman who has the potential to obtain “real” power would suffer the same fate Hillary did and maybe then you would understand why Anita and millions of other women AND men feel about how Hillary was treated by these men in power was a tragedy because it put trump in the white house.

    Many who are not American would have preferred Hillary over trump and for obvious reasons. But the patriarchy would rather destroy the village than have woman in charge of it.

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