[Ads-l] Male Chauvinism (and good ol' boys, and gender identification)

Brian Hitchcock brianhi at SKECHERS.COM
Mon Aug 14 22:31:04 UTC 2017

In the snippet, 
"...to eliminate male chauvinism with the Party."
was actually
"...to eliminate male chauvinism within the Party." 

The attempt continues to eliminate male chauvinism "within the party". For example, the California Democratic Party has established guidelines, and in some cases quotas, for female membership among their officers, governing bodies and general delegations. For example, the party Bylaws stipulate a state "chair",  "female vice chair" and "male vice chair", and in each local "ADEM" election for state delegates, there must be 7 women + 7 men elected. 

None of this wording, however, prevents the CDP from mobilizing a panoply of good ol' boy network* tricks, as they did this spring, to prevent the election of a black woman (Kimberly Ellis), as Chair.    Her insider opponent, a white gay Jewish male, Eric Bauman, is colloquially referred to as "Boss Bauman", and is known for aggressively bullying anyone who disagrees with him, but particularly females.

Some of the insider leverage is built into the language of the Bylaws, such as the 900+ delegate appointments allotted to 200 "Party Leaders and Elected Officials" (about 30% of the total delegates) ; other tricks (such as bribery or extortion of such delegates to ensure that such delegates vote properly) are just not prohibited---the Bylaws are silent on those matters.  But the muscle mobilized against Ms. Ellis was, I believe, based primarily on her iconoclastic views and "outsider" status rather than on her gender.   The institutional bias seems to manifest only incidentally as racial or gender bias.

So what to call this type of bias and/or the associated methods of subtly enforcing it?  The California Democratic Party goes out of its way to banish explicitly sexist language**, and even to legislate diversity of race, gender, able-ness, sexual orientation & identification, etc..  It seems the only kind of diversity it fears and fights is diversity of opinion. I'm not sure if there's any one term that is most apt. It certainly involves  cliquishness, closed-mindedness , cronyism, insularity, patronage, wheeling & dealing, and quid pro quo, (or as it's now called, "transactional politics"), as well as arm-twisting, slut-shaming, and an inbreeding of thought;  it's definitely more than "chauvinism". 

But I did hear a good term this season for the phenomenon whereby the CDP allows a certain small number of "progressives" into its convention each year:  INOCULATION.  (That is, they inject just enough of the virus so that the body of the party learns how to fight it off---not enough that it succumbs.)

* The "good ol' boy network", at least in California, now includes many women, almost all of whom are supporters of the most famous female member of this country's good ol' boy network, Hillary Clinton. 

** In its latest feat of linguistic adaptivity, the CDP is revising its Bylaws this year to redefine the gender categories as "self-identifying as female" vs. "NOT self-identifying as female", so as to allow for various non-traditional and non-cisgender variations while still guaranteeing 50% "female".

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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