Womanly Politics, Manly War
Grenier, Richard, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)
At first glance it seems hardly logical. Here is Bill Clinton, by public reputation the most callous, conscienceless abuser of women in our national history, whose closet and even obscene intimacies with women have become a national scandal. He has often, moreover, treated his female sexual partners with open contempt.
And yet here he is the idol of women voters. Without the "women's vote" he's not likely to have been elected president of the United States, and he certainly wouldn't have been reelected in 1996. I'm speaking, of course, not of every single female in the United States but of the 10 percent, 15 percent, or on occasion even 25 percent of American women who constitute the celebrated "gender gap." These ladies have faithfully supported Clinton even through his sexual scandals, and bid fair to support a presidential candidate with similar ideology in the election of the year 2000.
But is this where we're headed? A country ruled by women (or their weak-kneed proxies)? This was farthest from the minds of the male supporters of the female suffrage amendment to the U. S. Constitution approved in 1920. And France, Germany and other great Continental military powers of recent times only gave women the vote after World War II (and in the Soviet Union no one of either gender voted). But Francis Fukuyama (he of "The End of History") has thrown another one of his bombshells into the intellectual world with "What if Women Ruled the World?", the lead, red-letter article in the new issue of Foreign Affairs.
In it he demonstrates, with abundant statistics, that the old feminist promise of a "world without war" is a substantially less hollow proposition than has been thought. Many feminists, indeed, contend that phenomena like aggression, violence and the intense competition for dominance are essentially masculine, and that the remorseless struggle for power associated with international politics are a "gendered perspective," describing the behavior of nations controlled by men. A world run by women, it seems, would be far more gentle.
The ongoing revolution in the study of life sciences has almost totally escaped the notice of much of the humanities and social sciences, particularly those concerned with feminism, postmodernism, cultural studies, and so on. A large majority of feminists are committed body and soul to the proposition that male and female are psychologically identical. Differences in behavior between men and women, consequently, are the result of social constructions passed on by the prevailing culture. Again and again American women have opposed military spending and the use of force.
Even today women oppose resisting a North Korean attack on our troops in the South, and would oppose by a large margin resisting Saddam Hussein if he were to invade Saudi Arabia. Indeed, our women have been conspicuously less supportive than men of the use of American military force to resist every tyrant from Adolf Hitler to Saddam Hussein, and it's probably thanks to women that we're at present totally without a missile defense system. …