Skip to main content

View Diary: Words matter (192 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  I find this discussion a little curious. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, riptide, cslewis

    One of the staples of political critique is that a politician lacks the courage of his convictions, and isn't willing to risk conflict to get what he or she allegedly wants.  Given the gendered and profoundly sexist nature of high-level political representation in this country, both in terms of who's doing the representing and who's speaking about it to a wide audience, for many decades we've tolerated "has no balls" as derogatory shorthand for that critique--and rightly derogatory, because it's a pretty serious charge.

    And now you're telling me--and you're like number 10,000--that we shouldn't say that because it references a nasty racial stereotype and nastier racial history in our country.  Well, where the hell where all 10,000 of you when it was merely gendered and sexist?  I know where a lot of you were in 2008, and it wasn't a river in Egypt if you get my drift.  But hey, if this is what it takes for you to get off the wagon of sexist language and gendered notions of what makes good political leadership, that's awesome.  

    In the meantime, where does it leave people who really do believe that President Obama lacks the courage of his convictions and isn't willing to risk conflict to get what he allegedly wants?  Because something tells me that if a critic (rightly) passes on the balls trope and just says it like I've said it, they'll be accused just the same, of invoking the emasculated-black-man stereotype and history.  And that leaves critics without any language to make their case.

    It's better to curse the darkness than light a candle. --Whoever invented blogs, c.1996

    by Rich in PA on Sun May 22, 2011 at 05:39:08 PM PDT

    •  Actually, some folks did HR 'balls' comments for (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      foufou

      sexism pre-Obama.

    •  There's a nuance here that gets lost in the yellin (6+ / 0-)

      A politician who folds in the face of opposition before he even gets started is a wimp. But a politician who firmly believes that what he wants is not achievable and therefore must be deferred for something later is pragmatic and wise.

      The problem comes in telling the difference. This is not always easy.

    •  The personal slanders are only adhom persiflage... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Christy1947, foufou

      to distract from the huge glaring contradictions of the actual line, that Obama coulda, woulda, shoulda run roughshod over the Republicans, while hostage to a right wing majority, even after '08.

      Ignoring that realpolitik, and making his political weakness, due to insufficient genuine Democratic plurality, somehow a personal fault of Obama, or even "teh Dems", is Nothing but deliberate oppositionalist hyperbole, seeking to sow cynical defeatism and demoralization, and suppress likely Democratic voter turnout.

      Instead, the fools should be attacking the right, for blocking everything Obama tries to do, and for continuing to attack everything we have accomplished in the last 50 years, and calling out the electorate to swamp the polls going into 2010, and again for 2012, to further purge and suppress the right...Certainly Not insinuating electoral boycott and splitting, then or now.

      Such contradictions in practice, regardless of how accurate other aspects of political analysis may be, indicate something...drastically wrong, irrational, and thus...suspect, seems to me.

      Democracy is the most fundamental revolutionary principle. Information is the ultimate key.

      by Radical def on Sun May 22, 2011 at 07:50:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  If you can't think of more precise language than (0+ / 0-)

      n.b, language that only men use and then not in front of their families in many places, that you can think of nothing else to say what you want to say is some indication you might avoid speaking until you find better words.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site