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Ziad Isa Khan Headshot

Herman Cain's Promised Misogyny

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HERMAN CAIN AQUILA GAS UTILITY
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This Herman Cain sexual harassment story reminds me of the Clarence Thomas trial, but that could be due to my personal bias, since all Republicans look alike to me. I couldn't frankly care less about what Herman Cain does in his spare time. His unsophisticated romantic methods are not pertinent to his leadership ability. What does concern me is the shock and awe people have exhibited upon discovering that he is a tad misogynistic and sexist. We should not have been surprised; he has shown disdain for, and promised to undermine, the rights that women have been fighting for centuries to achieve.

His stance on abortion, while hidden beneath the cloak of morality, is a condemnation of women's ability to choose, and not just on abortion, it is a referendum on women's intellect. He has stated that even in cases of rape or incest that a woman's free will should be relinquished and determined by a man -- a man named Herman Cain. He believes that he is moral, educated, and righteous enough to make decisions for the women of this country. He is saying that women are not able to properly decide what is best for them and need a man to do the heavy mental lifting.

Herman Cain believes that he is a throwback, that he is, in his words, "an extension of the Reagan philosophy." And I agree that he is a throwback, but not a Reagan-era throwback; he is a Richard Nixon relic. His stance falls painfully close to the chauvinism of Nixon and the misogyny of the 1950s. According to Barbara J. Berg's enlightening book, Sexism in America: Alive, Well, and Ruining Our Future, Nixon believed that "publicly funded daycare...was un-American, anti-family." In honor of Nixon's daycare stance, Cain has called Planned Parenthood "planed genocide." Nixon was also as dismissive of a woman's intellect as Cain. According to Nixon biographer Fawn Brodie, "not only was Nixon contemptuous of women's intellect generally, but he was also oblivious to women as individuals." Cain's belief that he should be in charge of what a woman does with her body is analogous to Nixon's contempt for a woman's intellect. A vote for Herman Cain is a vote to set women's rights back 60 years.

During his campaign he has done two things: said the number nine way too much -- so much so that other numbers are getting jealous -- and repeatedly promised to marginalize women. His lack of respect for the women in his employ seems not to be a deviation from his character -- it seems to be his character. His lack of respect for women is so prevalent that it has infringed on his conservative political ideals. He is sublimating his Republican ideals in lieu of a sexist agenda. He is eager to dedicate government power to manage what women do with their uteri -- which is a slap in the face to his stance on smaller government. His lack of respect for a woman's cognitive abilities supersedes his conservatism. Nixon's ignominious presidency fueled the suspicion that has developed between American's and their leaders -- the feeling that the plight of the average American is not all that important to our leaders. And Herman Cain is doing nothing but swelling the dissent and environment of derision.

The sexual harassment allegations are disappointing and sad -- but they are not surprising. Herman Cain's platform is built upon two principles: regressive tax initiatives and regressive women's rights initiatives.