THE BLOG
10/18/2012 05:14 pm ET | Updated Dec 18, 2012

Gender Politics: You Can't Have It Both Ways

One reaction to the presidential debate I found quite odd on the liberal side -- pundits claim that one mistake Romney made was to ride roughshod over a "female moderator" because that came across as bullying and disrespectful to women. I could not disagree more. If Romney was a jerk and lied through his teeth that has nothing to do with gender politics. I agree that aggression toward any moderator is risky business for a candidate. But I think the idea of differentiating between male and female moderators in fact is a bit outrageous and offensive, a reverse form of gender discrimination.

Beyond our obvious physical attributes and different genitalia, I believe women and men are perfectly equal in all respects, from the trivial to the significant. On the trivial side, for example, I open doors for men and women alike if I get to a door first in a line of people, but not because one in line behind me is a woman. I think opening a door for a woman, because she is a woman, is absurd and implies that in fact we are not equal. Why wouldn't a woman open a door for a man? Same with pulling a chair out to be seated -- why wouldn't a woman do that for a man? More significantly, a woman should clearly receive equal pay for equal work, have every opportunity to advance no different from a man, make her own choices about her own body with no interference from government, be unrestricted in what military and combat duties are available to her no different from anyone meeting the necessary requirements, and in all aspects of everything we do meet no limitations on the issue of gender alone.

With some very rare exceptions in occupations that require great physical strength (Sumo wrestler comes to mind), it is downright medieval to believe that women are not as perfectly qualified as men to accomplish all jobs, to do anything and everything men can do. So why on earth should candidates treat a male moderator differently or more aggressively than a female moderator? Is the poor little woman moderator going to melt under the pressure? Will her delicate disposition be crushed by the assault of bad words? C'mon folks, you cannot have it both ways. Women and men are equal, so to imply that female and male moderators should be treated differently is no better than telling us women should stay home and pump out babies. That is liberal hypocrisy and we should back away from it as soon and as fast as possible.

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