Romney and Gender at Liberty University — Sometimes it’s what’s not said that’s emblematic

Excluding various references to God, and two where his wife Ann served as a prop to introduce the actions of a man, Romney mentioned 19 people in his speech — all male. He claimed christianity builds “heroic souls” — but, you guessed it, he couldn’t imagine that any women’s souls were the equal of watergate conspirator Chuck Colson’s, nor were any women scholars worth citing along with David Landes or Viktor Frankl (!). Ironically, the one reference to women in his speech appears to be a direct quotation of materials produced by Liberty University.

Perhaps the Cranbook ethos lives on in Romney today.


17 thoughts on “Romney and Gender at Liberty University — Sometimes it’s what’s not said that’s emblematic”

    1. One wonders, in the recent findings of an apparent correlation between wealthy businessmen and sociopathy, whether it is an inherent personality trait, or rather something promulgated by a normative ethos. I work with teens at-risk for gang affiliation, and there is definitely an ethos that draws them in to a variation of sociopathy, driven less by inherent personality than a lifetime of emotional brutalization and absence of counter-veiling role-models. There seem many parallels between the frat-house/boy’s club mentality and urban gangs – a sense of “being above” the rest of the world, a diminished sense of humility, and an almost total defining of the self in the context of others born out of a seeming overwhelming insecurity and need to impress.

      1. Well, this is not so much about Mitt being a sociopath than it is about him having to appeal to them. A generation or so ago, solid New-Dealers like George Wallace and Orville Faubus found themselves in similar, indeed in even more extreme, situations.

        In contrast, Mitt’s Pop, also wealthy and powerful, was a rather descent figure. Indeed, even an extraordinary one by the standards of the day…in regards to Civil Rights. Rockefeller level.

        I don’t think you’ll find too many Liberty U graduates at Goldman Sachs.

  1. In other news, a blog written by 9 men & (infrequently) 1 woman complains about unequal gender representation.

    1. Actually there is more than 1 woman who has posted at RBC… but in any case … do as we say, not … ?

    2. Your complaint about hypocrisy is beside the point, because this was a post about unequal recognition, not unequal representation.

      Besides, why should a predominantly male group be quiet about perceived discrimination? It is totally possible, you know, for men to recognize discrimination and speak up about it. As a straight Caucasian woman I feel absolutely no reason why I shouldn’t talk about discrimination affecting gay or black people (or men, for that matter — such as with prison rape, which predominantly claims male victims).

      Small groups frequently have an inherent gender bias because new members are often recruited from the social circles of existing members. I remember how our amnesty international chapter back in college had a self-perpetuating gender imbalance (primarily female), because outside of boyfriends and such, our social circles were predominantly female. And unlike an amnesty international chapter, a group blog cannot just add people indiscriminately without driving blog frequency up too much.

      One of the best feminist blogs of the early aughts (okay, technically a general lefty blog with many articles about feminism) was for the longest time written by just a man. One of the smartest comics that (inter alia) talks about feminist issues is drawn by a guy also.

      Personally, I like hearing men discuss feminist issues, pro or con. It allows me to see different perspectives, especially because I’m not a fan of echo chambers.

      1. I like it because it’s so exotic.

        It’s nice of you to make excuses for RBC, but I’m sure they already know at least one or two intelligent women. Maybe fewer women want to waste time blogging though. ; > If not, I could suggest some names.

        1. I’m honestly not trying to make excuses. I think it’s pretty normal for a group blog to be more homogeneous than the general population (you will note that most of the RBC crew, aside from being male, also tend to be professors with a fair amount of overlap in their research areas). That is, I think, because most group blogs are started by a guy or gal with his or her friends and quite naturally are birds-of-a-feather constructs.

          And … that’s fine. There are plenty of blogs with predominantly female posters, too (such as Shakesville). It’s not like a woman who wants to blog would be suffering from lack of internet space where to do just that or be blocked out by a blog of primarily men. In short, intra-blog diversity is not much of a concern for me because there’s plenty of inter-blog diversity.

          I like to read the RBC because the posters are smart people with a lot of life experience who tend to have interesting things to say; and I have never been treated here as anything but an equal. So, it’s genuinely not something that bothers me in the least.

      2. I can agree with some of what you say – yes, of course men can be feminists and can have interesting things to say about feminism. But the complaint in the original post about the 19 men in the speech was only that they are men. Well, OK, Colson gets a Watergate reference and Frankl gets a “(!)”, but really, it’s all about the Y chromosome. So I don’t think it really is beside the point, unless what’s good for the goose isn’t good for the gander.

        1. I must have misread. I didn’t realize Quincy was commenting on the gender makeup of Romney’s blog.

  2. Well, looks like Mitt and the Liberty U crowd have more in common than they think!

Comments are closed.