Carole James: the guys’ manifesto

“Grow some balls”, “get some cajones” “grow a pair”.

No, there’s no sexism in the small but determined attempt by a handful of old white guys to replace Carole James right when she’s taken the NDP to its highest mark in twenty years.

Absolutely not.  The commentators must be right… She’s too nice, she’s a whiner, she’s too strong, she’s too weak and the kicker, she’s a bitch.

Yes, there’s no reason why a woman like her can’t grow balls, as so many of the commentators say.

And then there’s the Sun’s on-line poll – who’s the hottest contender for Premier.  Face it, you can’t be a good Premier if you’re a woman but you don’t top the hotness charts.

But let’s leave Carole James out of this.

There’s a real question as to whether you can be a woman and a good leader at all.

Why’s that?

Because women remind you of when your mom told you to get off your ass and do your homework.

Because women don’t stop off for a beer after work cause they have to cook dinner, get the kids under control and get a report done for their boss in the morning.  Boring!

Because women keep the books in order and let you know that blowing the pay-cheque on a road trip with your high school buddies means the mortgage won’t get paid.  Bummer.

Because women get pissed off when you lie and guys always need to lie a little bit – see Gordon Campbell.

Because women don’t appreciate how important it is to talk about stuff, especially your own opinions.  They’re always trying to spoil it by doing things.

Because when we let them into university they broke the rules and showed they were smarter than we were.

Because if we let them be Premier, people might see how badly guys screwed it up.

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9 Responses to Carole James: the guys’ manifesto

  1. Torpedo says:

    Very amusing take on the gender gap.

    My concern is not that a woman heads the NDP, but that the NDP is not kicking those asshat liberals when they are down ( what would the liberals, ya, right, “liberals”) be doing if the situation were reversed? They would be having a field day with the NDP!
    The election is for the NDP to lose, so they better get their proposed policies in order, get face time with the public, and when passing a liberal in the street, kick him ( or her) in the nuts, the harder the better. Figuratively speaking, of course ( wink, wink, nod, nod ) 🙂

  2. In Victoria says:

    Because women notice when you come in to work drunk or hung over and tell you to straighten up instead of reminiscing about their own epic binges.

    Because without women permanently below you on the non-leadership track you might have to consider that it’s actually you that doesn’t have what it takes to rise to the top. The natural order of the universe can not be upended like that, unless it’s in a video game and the woman is really hot. And wears shorts. And a bra top. Maybe high heeled boots.

    Because any woman who wore red mittens for 6 weeks straight would just look like she was driving to hockey practice, not like a wise, important and powerful leader.

  3. Sue says:

    I think it’s really interesting that the NDP’s now on a feminist narrative to save Carole’s leadership, since “Bob Simpson represents the extreme left of the party” (laughable) and “the Liberals are going to call a snap election” messages didn’t get any traction.

    The fact of the matter is, a woman would make a fantastic leader (and arguably a better one), but not because she’s a woman, but b/c she’s a woman and so much more. Would you have such glowing endorsments of the leadership styles of Dianne Watts, Christy Clark and Carole Taylor if they decided to run for the Liberals? I think not.

    Carole James should no longer be leader of the NDP not because she’s a woman, but because she has left the party and caucus moribund, depressed, lifeless and without a sense of what she or the NDP stands for. These are not gender issues, but basic leadership issues. Leaders need to inspire.

    But this isn’t just about leadership – the party needs to open itself up to divergent, dynamic opinions that challenge the Liberals and the status quo. For a woman to successfully lead the party, dissent cannot be quashed like a bug – women are already reluctant enough to speak out, without someone silencing before they’ve even begun. When that happens, women will flock to the party (and throw their hats into the ring for leadership, I’d venture, too).

  4. pludda says:

    This conversation reminds me of the one about Israel. If you criticize, even mildly, some of the Israeli positions vis a vis Palestine, suddenly you are an anti-Semite.

    Same with Carole. Criticize her in a rational way and suddenly you are anti-feminist?

    Give me a break!

  5. Not Really Martha Nussbaum says:

    “Because if we let them be Premier, people might see how badly guys screwed it up.”

    Really? Responding to simplistic sexist stereotypes with reductionist gendered caricatures is no solution at all. Neither are casual allegations of sexism as a defense against legitimate criticism, by the way.

    As far as Carole James goes, I respectfully disagree that her unpopularity to is due primarily or even significantly to her gender. Politics is harder in some ways as a woman, but with Carole there are just so many other reasons. The major one right now is probably her unpopularity (as opposed to the Party, which as you know is polling very well and much better than she is personally). Sure, it’s circular, but the caucus doesn’t want to stay behind someone who can’t rally the votes. It’s too bad she can’t see the writing on the wall- this fight could get ugly. In fact, reading this blog post, I can see that it already has.

  6. NA says:

    “Grow some balls”, “get some cajones” “grow a pair”.

    I’ve never understood this criticism of James. I mean, she’s been the leader of the NDP for the last 10 years and that’s not for the faint of heart.

  7. Get it together says:

    Good gravy, people. We have a party 20 some points ahead in the polls, led by a woman. We are at near record levels in popular support. There is not a chance in hell that any male leader would be under attack in the same circumstances. Not a chance. So you can say it isn’t sexism – and you can deny that every stereotyped critique of Carole that you launch so thoughtlessly isn’t sexism – but maybe you should take a good hard look at who you are and ask yourselves if you’d be doing this if she were a man.

  8. Gary says:

    Sue. I can’t disagree with you more. I think we would see a different style of leadership from a Diane Watts or a Carole Taylor and I will be very ready to acknowledge that. The problem for Diane Watts, should she make the mistake of running this time, will be the chorus of washed-up and corrupt has-beens lining up behind her in order to catch some of her shine – and they’ll bring her down by doing so.

    The problem for Carole is a small minority of the old-guard who were never happy she won as leader, being given far too much air time because it makes for good radio. And it is sexism. I remember the number one argument used when MacPhail ran for leader: “the province isn’t ready to vote for a woman.” Same small number of people making the argument then that are opposing Carole now.

    When the majority of the elected representatives of the party (provincial council) speak out next weekend and support Carole, as they will, I pray that the always disaffected will respect democracy, just as they would expect Carole would if she were to lose the vote.

  9. cherylb says:

    We may be 20 points ahead in the polls right now. We may be at near record levels of popular support. Course, Gordo is still here and the election is more than 2 years away. I would say that the best way to gauge Carole’s leadership (under Moe’s tutelage) is to look at NDP membership. Which is NOT doing well. Not only are we not attracting new members, but we are also slowly bleeding off existing ones. Not a good indication for chances of success next time around. I like Carole. I really do. But it’s time for a fresh face.

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