Speak Your Piece: City Voters & the Unfairer Sex
Why do city dwellers hate women, or at least women political candidates? With reflections on Eve and That Girl, we offer proof and abundant speculation.
Uncomfortable as it may make us all, it's time to own up to what the primary election results are bearing out.
City people are misogynistic. It’s not clear whether urbanites fear the idea of female leadership or (like T.S. Eliot, who was from St. Louis, by the way) they just don’t like the way women smell.
Before you call us bigoted, let’s look at the evidence.
We can start with Tuesday’s presidential primary in Kentucky. Hillary “X-Chromosome” Clinton won in every county of the state except for the core urban centers, Louisville and Lexington. Unconvinced? Okay, further proof: in Louisville (Jefferson County), which is the bigger of the two cities, Barack "Y" Obama got even more of the vote (53%) than he did in less-big Lexington (Obama winning with 51% there). We’ve heard it all our lives but have been too polite to admit it: size matters, to men and to women. And the bigger city they live in, the more terrified voters of both sexes seem to be of a female presidential candidate.
Take Minnesapolis. That's a really big city. Obama won 71% of Hennepin County. But without having to contend with city sexism, Hillary Clinton easily carried Red Lake County, with its 64 voters. She won by eight votes!
Why do urban dwellers hate women politicians so much? We welcome your views on this. It may go back to Genesis, a fundamental mistrust of the female sex, except that farmers, lead miners, and hermits, we are told, have Adam and Eve on the brain more than do cab drivers, snipers and magazine editors. Could it be a function of population density? An underlying resentment that women take up more costly urban space? (This accusation, even if you include handbags, is of course unfair.)
Less speculation, more evidence —
"In the Lair of the White Witch 2"
Photo: Chris J. Fry
Nationwide the Democratic contest, as we all know, has been close. Obama now claims 1956 delegates to Clinton’s 1776. But the neck-and-neck race is the outcome of thousands of landslide elections (we at the Yonder write a lot about that). It's just that in Obama's case, more of the land is covered with pavement.
Consider: In primaries thus far, the vote in 2371 counties has been a landslide; one candidate or the other won by 20% points or more. Of Clinton’s landslide counties, 641 were rural, non-metro, lady loving; Obama won by 20% or more in only 266 rural counties. But among the urbanmost (women-phobic) counties, Obama won more landslides, 120 to Clinton's 114. See?!
We can hear some of you protesting: This doesn’t make sense. Women (HEART) cities. The opportunity! (think Sister Carrie and Dianne Feinstein)… the dating pool! (Mary Richards),…"The stores!" (Eva Gabor).
Numbers don't lie, people. Just ask all those folks who've been looking at the strong support for Clinton in Appalachia and claiming it shows that Appalachians are basically racist. We actually got started down this path thanks to those astute observers — some of whose best friends, we're sure, are women.