Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – Bringing Out the Worst in White Men

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Like the 291 members of the U.S. House of Representatives who voted before her, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (aka @OAC) rose to announce her vote for Nancy Pelosi for Speaker of the House.

Unlike the 291 members before her, she was booed.

An additional 143 members rose to vote and did not receive the same treatment.

I could barely contain myself as I screamed at my television in that sad and disgusting display of misogyny.

Who booed?  Well, the boos came from the Republican side of the room.  The Republican side of the House of Representatives is made up of nearly 90% white men.  There were enough boos and groans that it had to be more than the 10% who are not white men.  It was easy to believe that it had to be a majority of white men doing the booing and groaning.  Here is a picture of the NEW members of the Republican side of the House of Representatives.  (along with a dueling picture of the new members on the Democratic side)  It does not look much different for the entire Republican side of both houses of Congress.

As a white man raised by strong women and as one who has had several strong women as bosses, I am completely embarrassed by this behavior.  It is a reminder of the entitlement too many white men feel because they have historically been "head of the household" or been raised in such a way that demeaning women or bossing women around was considered acceptable.  Well, men, especially white men, if you don't change that attitude, I can assure you that you are in for a rude awakening.

Many men, some like me, owl guys (old white liberal guys), and more so, young white men, are waking up to the fact that the only way for women to HAVE equality is to FORCE equality.

While I may not personally experience the pain of misogynistic treatment, I do hear about it from the many women who find me to be a sympathetic ear.  As the son and step son of two women who broke barriers and found themselves doing "men's work in a man's world," I have heard what it can be like.  Naturally, most of this was kept quiet as I was growing up, but because I asked about it when I became an adult, it became increasingly clear that they both experienced the misogyny that comes with moving up in a man's world.  Even though neither of them came right out and said it.

Time and time again in my discussions with women, I have found that they have had to deal with both subtle and blatant misogynistic behavior.  There is a different level of expectation for women than for men.  Women endured lower pay than that which men received until it was demanded (and clearly earned).  Of course, this led to behind the scenes grumbling about how women don't know their place.

One example of this, of course, is when Elizabeth Warren famous attempt to read the words of Coretta Scott King during Jeff Sessions confirmation hearing in the Senate. She was forced back to her seat with these immortal words from Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, "She was warned.  She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted."  Naturally that became a rallying cry for women across the country - especially the last sentence.

Fellow owl guys (and younger liberal guys, too), it is time to make a change.  We know the power of strong women.  In our experience, most women do a better job of listening to all sides of an issue than white men do.  Why?  Because they are predisposed to desire fairness because they don't have it.  White men, especially those in power, on the other hand, enjoy a great sense of entitlement because they have mostly gotten their way in life.

Women, on the other hand, have always had to fight their way to the top.  To do this, they often have to be stronger and more firm than the comfort level of many so-called entitled white men.

The only way to fix that is to continue to vote white men out of office, even at the risk of voting the good ones out, so that they can be replaced with women.  This needs to be done, by the way, on both sides of the aisle.  OWL guys do not find this scary, but conservative men who consider themselves to be the leader of their own houses find it incredibly threatening.  Silly, isn't it?

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