The Effeminate War

What Women Really Think
March 22 2011 11:14 AM

The Effeminate War

Heather , I think I have your answer for why there's so much characterization of Obama as being hen-pecked into war. It helps conservative-minded folks handle the cognitive dissonance of believing war manly but Democrats effeminate. During times when Republicans are in charge, the formulation is simple: Support for Republicans + support for foreign wars allows many a conservative man to feel satisfied in his manhood. But when Democrats are in charge, it's just so hard to handle the cognitive dissonance! The desire to level-up in manhood by having other people put themselves in danger to kill foreigners competes directly with the fear that supporting a Democrat in any way will make you erupt into vaginas . The solution is to paint the war as not a real, manly kind of war.

Mark Krikorian of The Corner characterizes the choice for foreign invasion under Obama's leadership as the act of a pussy-whipped half-man who-can you believe this?!-listens to the counsel of women whom he appointed into positions of authority outside of the Secretary of Putting Children to Bed and the Secretary of Baking Cookies. While disingenuously claiming that he has no problem with female leadership, Krikorian describes Hillary Clinton, Samantha Power, and Susan Rice as literally nagging Obama into attacking Libya. Of course, the excuse is not that Krikorian is sexist. Oh no. He's just saying we should be sexist in order to be perceived as "strong" by "enemies abroad," who now supposedly see Obama as "an effete vacillator who is pushed around by his female subordinates." Well, if al-Qaida thinks women shouldn't have roles as leaders, then I suppose that should be good enough for the United States.


There are actual, grown-up reasons to oppose military action in Libya, which I do. It's especially disheartening to see the guns being whipped out after watching peaceful resistance topple the dictatorships in Egypt and Tunisia. Dudes who want to spend their days posturing over who is a real man should get out of writing about important issues where actual people are getting killed, and take the honorable path of spending their time lifting weights at the gym until they prove themselves by being unable to turn their necks sideways. It may not seem like the most lucrative path, but it got the guys on "Jersey Shore" some serious cash. It's not too late to put down the pen and start a new career of manhood demonstration through less harmful paths.

Amanda Marcotte is a Brooklyn-based writer and DoubleX contributor. She also writes regularly for the Daily Beast, AlterNet, and USA Today. Follow her on Twitter.


Sports Nut

Grandmaster Clash

One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.

The Extraordinary Amicus Brief That Attempts to Explain the Wu-Tang Clan to the Supreme Court Justices

Amazon Is Officially a Gadget Company. Here Are Its Six New Devices.

Uh-Oh. The World’s Oceans Have Broken Their All-Time Heat Record.

The NFL Explains How It Sees “the Role of the Female”

Future Tense

Amazon Is Now a Gadget Company


How to Order Chinese Food

First, stop thinking of it as “Chinese food.”

The NFL Should Lose Its Tax-Exempt Status, Which It Never Should Have Had Anyway

The Country Where Women Aren’t Allowed to Work Once They’re 36 Weeks’ Pregnant

The XX Factor
Sept. 18 2014 11:40 AM The Country Where Women Aren’t Allowed to Work Once They’re 36 Weeks’ Pregnant
  News & Politics
Sept. 18 2014 8:20 PM A Clever Attempt at Explaining Away a Vote Against the Farm Bill
Sept. 18 2014 6:02 PM A Chinese Company Just Announced the Biggest IPO in U.S. History
Sept. 18 2014 4:15 PM Reactions to a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Reveal Transmisogyny
  Double X
Sept. 18 2014 8:07 PM Crying Rape False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 18 2014 1:23 PM “It’s Not Every Day That You Can Beat the World Champion” An exclusive interview with chess grandmaster Fabiano Caruana.
Brow Beat
Sept. 18 2014 4:33 PM The Top 5 Dadsplaining Moments From The Cosby Show
Future Tense
Sept. 18 2014 6:48 PM By 2100 the World's Population Could Be 11 Billion
  Health & Science
Sept. 18 2014 3:35 PM Do People Still Die of Rabies? And how do you know if an animal is rabid?
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.