Likability as a fig leaf for misogyny
November 21, 2019 3:09 PM Subscribe
For voters and pundits, worrying about women’s likability is a nice way to express a nasty bias. Since voters aren’t working from any single accepted definition of likability—or coldness, or aloofness, or anger—it seems foolish to try to accommodate them. There is no accommodating them, because their judgments aren’t based on rational metrics. Sexist voters turned off by presidential candidates who just so happen to be women aren’t going to be won over by a pleasant lady who smiles and makes bland pronouncements of unity when faced with a climate apocalypse and a rapacious health care system....The waning of sexism in politics won’t be marked by people starting to like women in leadership but by the decline of likability as a political criterion—by people not liking female candidates, the same way they don’t like male candidates, and voting for them anyway.
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