There have been several a few truly awful news stories lately referring to female voters as “swooning” and “screaming” and “fainting” over Barack Obama. As opposed to, you know, just voting for the guy. Silly rabbit. Everyone knows women think exclusively in terms of relationships.
Now, Barack Obama is (on top of being a strong politician and intelligent, big picture thinker) a skilled rhetorician and a charming man. So maybe, you say (where you = several coworkers of mine who, to be frank, don’t really think very much), this wouldn’t happen if it weren’t so easy to imagine him as the spark igniting the next Beatlemania.
Except that back in September, I made this point with respect to a CBC article on the Ontario election. And they were talking about Howard Hampton. This has nothing to do with who the politicians are. The American articles are being quite a lot more explicit about it than the CBC was, but the message is the same: when we think of female voters, it is natural–consciously or subconsciously–to think and speak about them using language that evokes a starry-eyed little lady idolizing her man, looking for that fabulous guy who will protect her and save her from having to do any of that pesky thinking stuff.