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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Comments

  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?

    I WANT TRUMP OUT OF THE PEOPLE’S HOUSE, BECAUSE THE PEOPLE DID NOT ELECT HIM, RUSSIA DID.

  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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j91ZKcp7wGw.

    • 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.

  8. Joel Berger Says: June 26, 2018 at 9:01 pm

    Hi Kathleen. I will be responding to you post within the next week. (I hope.) There’s a lot to unpack there! However, I would like to let you know that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez did actually win her primary against Joe Crowley. I can’t believe it! Something good actually happened!

  9. Kathleen Wynne Says: July 2, 2018 at 6:54 pm

    Joel,

    The irony here is that Hillary and sanders voted the same way 95% of the time when they both served in the Senate, but you’d never know it by the way sanders acted during the campaign. More like a petulant child when Hillary kicked his butt to the tune of 4,000,000 votes. Hardly a close race by any stretch of the imagination. Nonetheless, the media let sanders get away with this behavior. Just imagine if Hillary had reacted the same way as sanders if he had won by 4,000,000 votes?

    I like Ms. Cortez but, like sanders, as a democratic socialist she has her work cut out for her in finding common ground and actually getting something done in dealing with her colleagues in congress. The majority of the country is neither far left nor far right. One cannot govern by a “my way or the highway” attitude, which was how sanders conducted himself in the congress and how he ran his campaign in the 2016 democratic primary. However, sanders got away with this one-sided view on things and not attacked unmercifully for his views by the media but, since she’s a woman, Ms. Cortez will not be given the same latitude sanders has always been given.

    I am confident that you will see a slow but sure change in how the media and the politicians treat her if she threatens the patriarchy by speaking too boldly or standing her ground when they disagree with her and then you will understand why those of us who supported Hillary are still mad as hell with how she was treated and what we lost as a result of men who still believe women must be put in their place if they get too “uppity”.

    Hopefully, Ms. Cortez will benefit from the trailblazer, Hillary Clinton.

  10. Joel Berger Says: July 7, 2018 at 1:15 am

    Kathleen,

    You’re right. Hillary was constantly harangued by scandals manufactured by those who could not stand the thought of a woman who was a little too uppity. Whitewater, Benghazi, Servergate, are all examples of this. (Although I do think she brought the last one on herself.) I can’t recall a male candidate, even Bill Clinton, ever being hounded in this manner. Hillary did defeat Bernie Sanders in the primary. It is also true that Hillary cheated by rigging the primary against him. It’s not me that’s saying this; it’s Donna Brazile: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3W2GIZ8rN0. Look, I get it. It’s a dirty business. But, if we’re going to talk about the things Bernie did to Hillary, we can certainly talk about the things Hillary did to Bernie.

    Anita, I guess the real issue I have with you is that you present sexism as the main reason progressives and Bernie rejected Hillary, and I just don’t see it. It’s crazy to say that misogyny isn’t alive and well in politics, and just because I wouldn’t vote for someone based upon his or her gender doesn’t mean that there aren’t many people out there who are consciously or unconsciously influenced by their own sexism. I was not there on the ground, but what I heard coming out of media outlets like the Young Turks, Secular Talk, the David Pakman Show, the Real News, TruthDig, and Democracy Now were disagreements with Hillary’s politics. The main concern echoed time and time again was getting money out of politics. Hillary wasn’t going to do that.
    Hillary is a brilliant and extremely competent individual. She is also an extremely successful exemplar of a corrupt system. She was taking money from corporate pacs; Bernie was not. For me, that was enough. For others, like you Anita, the symbolism of having a female president, of pushing the boundaries of what a woman can achieve in America, is paramount. It’s not my number one issue but I think I understand why some people consider it so important.

    The number one issue for me as a Canadian is that the United States end its endless aggression against countries who refuse to do their bidding. Hillary was only going to continue with Obama’s policies. Bernie might at least have understood that bombing foreign countries does not benefit the 99% who cannot afford healthcare or post-secondary education. (BTW, How many girls and women have died in the wars America inflicts upon the rest of the world?)

    If there were progressives who couldn’t stomach Hillary because she was a woman then shame on them! But there were also many other reasons that Hillary was unacceptable us. If you think the status quo, and ending the wars and getting money out of politics is not a priority for you, then Hillary was as qualified as any candidate in American history to be president.

    Finally, Kathleen, you ran a series of ads during the Ontario provincial election in which you said, “I’m sorry people don’t like me, but I’m not sorry about the things I have done.” Kathleen, I want you to know that even though I was probably always going to vote for the NDP, I LIKE YOU.

    • Joel,
      Hillary never rigged anything. How exactly did she rig having four million more people vote for her than voted for Bernie? He lost by a country mile so stop spreading falsehoods.

  11. Kathleen Wynne Says: July 9, 2018 at 7:32 pm

    Joel,

    I am NOT that Kathleen Wynne from Ontario! I am an American who fully supported Hillary with all my heart and still doe.

    Bernie did not exhibit understanding of ANYTHING during the campaign. He wagged his finger at us and offered no specifics on how he was going to achieve all the pie in the sky free stuff he promised his supporters just to get their votes. Again, you give him way more credit than he deserves because he’s a man. Hillary had specifics on how she would achieve realistic policies she proposed which could be achieved, but the media and the sander’s supporters were not interested. All they focused on was those “damn emails!” In fact, Hillary achieved more in 6 years as Senator for New York than Bernie did in 40 for Vermont.

    BTW, how’s the Bernie revolution going? Since he lost the primary, he’s done NOTHING to continue all of the promises he made to the Bernie bros and sisters. One would think that such conviction expressed by sanders throughout the campaign would not have dissipated so quickly after he lost an election. Makes one wonder what he really cared about? Being president or continuing to stand for what he believes whether he won or not…now that’s a true revolutionary!

    Anita is correct – Hillary did not RIG the election and there is no evidence of that. But when it comes to Hillary, you can say just about anything, without the benefit of real evidence to back it up. That is the kind of rhetoric which is always reserved for a woman!
    Why don’t you question trump’s dubious victory? It was Trump, with the help of the Russians, who rigged the election. I would think even a Bernie bro would be more outraged about how trump “won” the election rather than attacking Hillary!

    BTW, I AM the Kathleen Wynne who worked with Bev Harris investigating election fraud (not to be confused with voter fraud which is almost non-existent and has no real impact on the final results of an election) which was featured in the HBO documentary entitled “Hacking Democracy”. In this Emmy nominated documentary, Bev and I, along with the help of many other election reform activists concerned about the vulnerability of our elections way back in 2004 proved that voting machines could, indeed, be hacked without detection and be declared a fair and honest election by the supervisor of elections with absolute certainty. We proved that they could be fooled because these voting machines can be manipulated very easily.

    Despite his questionable “victory”, Hillary did defeat him by 3,000,000 votes. As far as I am concerned, she was the choice of the people to be our president, not trump. He was the choice of Russia. But, again, those damn e-mails!

    Bernie was the choice of those who were willing to believe anything from someone who never did anything that brought about “real change” for the better in people’s lives, while living off the very government he railed against throughout the campaign – unless you count siding with the NRA as bettering people’s lives. Can you name any?

    Misogyny and Russian interference defeated Hillary, but she, not Bernie, won the popular vote. You can’t take that away from her no matter how hard you continue to white wash sanders’ behavior and total lack of understanding of policy.

    I hope Ms. Cortez does not deal with the same misogyny Hillary did. I have no doubt you will stand up and defend her if she does. That is exactly what we are doing for Hillary.

    • Mike Nelli Says: July 10, 2018 at 8:07 pm

      Kathleen, last I checked, neither Trump or Russia “rigged” it so that Hillary NEVER even set foot in my home state of WI to campaign during the general, and that was critical to the usually reliable rust belt “blue wall”. As for the 3M vote differential, if you drill into that a little more that was mainly driven by N.Y. and CA. In fact her win differential in CA (4.3M) alone was more than the 3M overall number, meaning the the sum of the other 49 states swing the popular vote in the other direction by a 1.4M margin. Sorry, but I don’t want the coastal elites picking the president.

      Anita, if you read this, I forgot to mention last time that I went to the KDWN memorial they hosted in Sep 2016 for Jerry in Vegas. I was hoping to see you there.. I snapped a couple of pictures if you have a generic place I could post them. My wife and I took a pic with Wayne Allyn Root..LOL…(I would not, of course, send that pic.. 🙂 We flew in from Houston for it. Flew stand by too – got in ok, but had to drive to Phoenix to get back home. One young girl flew over and back from Dallas in a 24 hour period for it as well. It’s amazing I can miss someone so much I never had the pleasure of meeting in person. I’ve tried to bug his cousin, Neal McCarthy, a few times on Facebook to see if Epic Times will ever get up and running again, but sadly no real response and no real solid content at Epic Times any longer.

      Mike

      • Mike, I only actually met Jerry once. Hard to believe we had 100 conversations on the radio! I still miss him very much. Was also sad that Epic Times, the accomplishment of which he was most proud, is now gone. If you want to post the pix to FB — or message me with them on FB, I can try to post them on our interview page here. Thank you for reaching out. Hope you and your family are all well.

  12. Kathleen Wynne Says: July 14, 2018 at 8:37 am

    Mike,

    I don’t want Russia choosing our president and by all accounts with the recent indictments of Russian intelligence officers, they did meddle with the election and influenced the outcome.

    You cannot ignore that Hillary won the popular vote by 3,000,000 indicating she was the people’s choice. As I mentioned in my previous posts, voting machines can be easily manipulated to change the vote “without detection.” The documentary “Hacking Democracy” clearly demonstrates just how easy it can be done, so my assertion that the votes in Wisconsin by a very slim margin could have easily been manipulated in trump’s favor.

    As always, when a woman loses by such dubious means, the men immediately push forward what I consider very lame excuses to give legitimacy to the man who won under questionable circumstances and expect the rest of us to accept it as a reasonable “opinion” which must be accepted, despite evidence to the contrary. Not this time.

    I have no doubt had Hillary won the electoral votes the same way trump did, you would be singing a different tune. the media would allow trump to protest the final result (as he said he would if Hillary won) of the electoral college and be allowed not to concede the election. You and those who support trump would then demand that the votes be recounted by hand to ensure that the outcome was indeed the will of the people.

    As the Mueller investigation continues, more and more of the truth of Russia’s involvement in the 2016 presidential election will prove that they did change the outcome and put their puppet in the white house. Sadly, trump supporters will close their eyes and ears to the truth and ignore it. Goebbels would be proud that his theory the bigger the lie the more people will believe it has worked for trump much the same way it worked for hitler.

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