I almost swallowed my teeth.

Susan Faludi has an editorial in the NYTimes essentially saying that Obama is a wimp, and that she is happy about it.

Faludi’s theory is that we are beyond the macho paridigm (she uses a statue “the rescue” of a man protecting his wife and newborn from a Native American attack as an example of that paradigm). No, no macho needed. What we really need is a “new man” as President.

Actually, what Faludi wrote is:

Senator Obama, for his part, will not be cast as the avenging hero in “The Rescue” any time soon — and not because of the color of his skin or his lack of military experience. He doesn’t seem to want the role….. If Mr. Obama’s candidacy seeks to move beyond race, it also moves beyond gender. A 20-minute campaign Web documentary showcased a President Obama who would exude “a real sensitivity” and “empathy” and provide a world safe for the American mother’s son. Mr. Obama is surrounded in the video by pacifist — not security — moms.

What’s wrong with this picture?

Oh, we hate war, we’re for peace. Right.

But if there is one thing I learned as a physician in a civilian hospital during a civil war in Africa was that just because you support peace and refuse to take sides doesn’t mean you are safe. There are evil people out there who don’t play by the rules of polite society.  And sometimes they will kill you just because you are for peace, and they figure you won’t fight back.

You know, like in Rwanda, or in Srebrenica…

Faludi’s defense of the post macho Obama doesn’t stop with Republicans. Hillary is just as bad:

Hillary Clinton’s candidacy showed that a woman, too, can play the tough-guy protector. But Mr. Obama takes the iconoclasm a step further — by suggesting that martial swagger isn’t what America needs anymore.

Pshaw. If we old fashioned pre 1970 feminists rejected the macho paradigm described by Faludi, it was not because we were pacifists, but because we were like the pioneer women who worked next to their husbands and were able to fight off the bad guys just as well as any man.

You know: like Boudicca? Or  Hazrat Aisha Siddiqah?

And one cannot imagine any of America’s enemies saying: let’s attack America because they have a weak woman as president. Because Hillary would defend her country with a ferocity of a lady tiger.

But Obama? What happens when someone decides they aren’t afraid of tea and sympathy?

Faludi is really saying is that feminism no longer means strong women like Hillary Clinton should be the leaders of America.

No, now, feminism means that women are supposed to shut and and be led by a man.

And not a man who would fight to protect them, but by one who rejects “martial swagger”; and who”exude(s) “a real sensitivity” and “empathy” and provide a world safe for the American mother’s son.”

Gee, that really makes me feel safe.


Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. She writes on Human rights at Makaipablog.

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