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Sunday, October 30, 2005 - 11:01amSanction this postReply
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Can I conceivably interest people involved on the all-important threads and speculation about unproven personal accusations in shifting their focus and using their minds instead on a topic of a somewhat more intellectual nature...even though it deals with entertainment?

I've watched every episode of the new series "Commander in Chief" [Tues, 9:00, ABC]. It is about the first female President. I've enjoyed it because of Geena Davis. She's always been a highly intelligent actress, and this is one of the few times she's had a role that displays that. She got her start in cheesecake or bimbo roles.

It's been a long, long time since I've seen an actress inhabit a role with a weight and seriousness that a Hepburn or a Bette Davis or one of the classic 30s actresses would bring to it. Offhand, I don't recall seeing a female 'heroine' in the mental and moral sense recently (as opposed to a kung-fooey action figure). If you watch this series, watch the play of thoughts and emotions on her face. You could do this with the old classic actresses (and actors). When difficult issues are brought to her desk, part of the pleasurable part of watching for me is the thoughtfulness and degree of focus that a leader and a thinker needs to manifest. And yet, with this woman, the emotional reactions are there, but controlled by the needs of dealing with a national security or political emergency.

She operates like a full, very focused, very admirable human being. One who does serve, in the cliche, as a tough, independent "role model for women." [Just as she did in a lesser way in "A League of Their Own" or Julia Roberts did in "Erin Brockovich".]

[Side Issue: Yes, she is to some extent a liberal as clearly was Jed Bartlett, another masterful portrayal for many of the same reasons, but one very tough on national security and defending the country. And I know many Objectivists, like conservatives, are not going to be able to get past when they disagree with her on an issue, as opposed to grasping that the series is about character and courage not about politics. It's unfortunate that when Hollywood does succeed in showing us an admirable human being as opposed to an action hero, that person's political views, when identifiable, seem to always be left of center.]

In a way it's a secondary issue, and I don't want to focus too much on it as a fan of this series or in a thread, but I didn't realize I would start coming to a conclusion about Ayn Rand's psychological view that a woman should not be a commander in chief because it would be acutely painful to her to not have any man around her to look up to.

I had thought I could not assess this unless I were a woman. But seeing Geena Davis, who admirably portrays a leader and a woman worthy of respect who has to struggle with issues of male and female roles and how she relates to the men around her (including her husband), what I am now almost ready to conclude is that the job -does- fit this particular woman.

For Ayn Rand, it would have been psychologically not a "fit" to be a commander in chief in terms of how she would relate to the men. (In fact it wasn't a good fit for her to be the supreme leader of a movement.) But I don't see that Rand can generalize in this case from even -correct- introspection about her own psychology to all women. And one of the attractive things about this show is how Mackenzie Allen switches roles in seconds from national leader to mother to wife. How she deals with the men quite well in the practical performing of her job as well as inside her own mind. It is a rare actor who can convey on the screen what he or she is thinking or feeling. [She can switch roles in her relationship to her husband, even though the person this is psychologically difficult for is -him- as "first husband" and no longer her chief of staff.]

Also: If a woman cannot psychologically be a commander in chief, can she be a CEO of a major corporation? Should she turn down or not seek such as job as well? Rand's answer to this was that outside of the corporation, there were other men equally or more successful she could look up to. The key to why a woman can be a leader and still look up to, respect, admire men who are subordinate to her or outside of her line of work, is that one separates functions and spheres, competitiveness and nurturing or support, independence and leaning on or relying on someone, in one's mind. If you are an integrated personality, you can do it. If you are not, you will have problems no matter what job level or function you have. [Separate out as a different topic the issues of motherhood - the time and focus it takes to do that properly. That is an entirely separate issue, but one that can arise at far lower levels of a hierarchy than being the top boss.]

Watching Geena Davis in this role (which has some parallels to her real life), I can clearly see the psychological mechanisms of thinking and emotional shift by which this is done. She "gets" it.

Another virtue of this series, is that it focuses on vital issues and has a real and plausible, non-cardboard villain. But it is a series you have to watch glued to the faces of the people on the screen, not half-attentively while you are cooking or doing other things as is so often the case.

Otherwise, you won't "get" it.

Philip Coates
(Edited by Philip Coates
on 10/30, 11:18am)

(Edited by Philip Coates
on 10/30, 11:30am)




Post 1

Sunday, October 30, 2005 - 1:05pmSanction this postReply
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Phil, this is a wonderful show! Much better than I expected it would be (the previews were horrible!).
Gena Davis is one of my all time favorite performers because she's so believable and she's pulling this role off without a hitch. I love the humor with her kids (ice cream sundaes at all hours, aids giving her husband "First Lady" duties, etc.) and the serious issues she's forced to deal with and how she deals with them.  She's never "bitchy" or irrational, ever. It's as if she's got a grasp on every negative emotion that could come her way. Fear never gets in her way. It's freaking inspiring!

Regarding the "a man to look up to" thing, I saw that in her efforts to win over an adversary to be her VP in the show. To me, it was sheer brillance how it was written and played out, almost as if Rand herself had a hand in it if a women should become president.

It's a great show.  




Post 2

Friday, November 4, 2005 - 12:20amSanction this postReply
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     I'm aware of Geena's skills and intelligence; if anyone could handle this part properly, no argument: she's right up there with the best of the established actresses of the past.

     But, I must admit, I've slowly, over the years, started to reconsider my disagreement with Rand re a female...let's get this straight...not mere 'President', but, 'Commander-In-Chief'...of potentially country-wide LETHAL FORCE.

    If we view the Presidency as merely a 'bureaucrat' (no denigration meant there by the term, believe it or not) oriented at nothing more than 'management efficiency' (as if all we're talking about is 'running a buisness', like, oh, GM)...not that we couldn't use someone with this ability; or, a bit more, a domestic-oriented Parental monitor of citizens' needs, even in terms of chronic conflict with Capitol Hill over what laws are and are not relevent to such, all in the most benevolent (yet, not necessarily 'Paternalistic'...or 'Maternalistic') sense of being a 'President', then I quite understand the "What's the so-called 'prob'?"

    (Uh, sorry for the paragraph sentence, but, it'd take more sentences to get all that specified otherwise.)

    However (this'll be shorter), if, as I suspect Rand did, view the Presidency more in terms of international-dealings rather than primarily domestic-dealings, we'd see the Presidency as primarily the head of our international SWAT team. I've since come to see the office as properly (if not actually, since Lincoln, to be specific) to be viewed in that perspective.

    Now, I have no prob with female-leaders of commando-teams, but, I believe that Clancy brought up this sensible idea re females-in-combat. Co-ed don't work (regardless that I thought that G.I.JANE was extremely good; co-ed'll definitely cause more probs than it conceivably can help--probs that are not militarily ignorable); but, a female-TEAM (granted motivation) I have no doubt could hold their own against a male one.

    Now, consider a female C-I-C, up against the psychology of...well...the total group of psychos leading most of the rest of the world.

     Let's say, that if I were to consider voting for her, I'd have to know that she knows more about the psychology of conflict-to-the-point-of-eliminating-that-opponent than is learnable from the best academic war schools or political mud-slinging; I'd have to know that she had 'experience' in the psychology involved in making sure the opponent will not return. Why? Because she'd have a unique problem if she became president: that of being aware that all others in the world are aware of 'her;' see above 2-line paragraph.

     Then, there's her 'motivation' to consider. WHY would she want to take the office? To be 'President'? Or, to be C-I-C? Which would the likes of Hillary want to think in terms of?
Condoleeza has the smarts; methinks she doesn't have the desire, so, she's out. I can't think of any female (but then, I'm not up on all the females in commando-training; there you learn a quite different mindset than most others) that I would trust to not fall in dealing with the U.N.-protected psychos.

     I will now put my battle-helmet on.

LLAP
J:D

P.S: I've seen not a one of Geena's new TV-series, but do intend to...when the series comes out on DVD. I found myself fascinated with West Wing (hell, Sheen was good, as all the rest, as well as the scriptwriters), and don't plan to screw up my nights with a missed episode because my VCR didn't record it. I'm sure Geena's series is well...written. Too bad we can't do that to the world.

PPS: I thought that Glenn Close was great (as well as the screenplay writer of her part) as 'acting' C-I-C in Tom Clancy's Air Force One, if that gives me any points. (...ducks...)

(Edited by John Dailey on 11/04, 12:22am)




Post 3

Friday, November 4, 2005 - 2:57amSanction this postReply
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In a libertarian government (small "l"), the function of the President is to be the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.  In theory, the Constitution says it is the first and foremost function of the President of the United States.  In that context, I agree with Ayn Rand that a women should not be President.

When I first heard her say it in that interview with Phil Donahue, I was surprised and dismayed.  I did not realize that she had been right all along until I served with the Marines.  Without going into details, I know first-hand that women are not warriors.  Period.  I challenge anyone to prove otherwise.




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Post 4

Friday, November 4, 2005 - 3:58amSanction this postReply
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Byron, John -

What about Margaret Thatcher? She was a great warrior for freedom, and her stance on the Falklands was to not give in till the enemy was eliminated, and freedom restored.

Bring back Maggie, she'd get my vote over the majority of men anyday.



Post 5

Friday, November 4, 2005 - 6:23amSanction this postReply
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Just a few things
Did anyone see Meryl Streep in Manchurian Candidate? She almost had me wanting to be a neo-con! Of course the movie was stepping towards socialist propaganda but who cares. She was amazing!

Also, this past weekend, I attended a 3 day seminar with the excellent Target Focus Training company. They are a company that teaches everyday people as well as special forces groups and security teams how to use the tool of violence when facing sociopathic violence. Aside from master instructors and mastery students the best person I trained with was a 40 or 50 something woman of thin frame. If I am in a violent situation, I want her to be next to me. She had the intelligence to assimilate the principles completely and the tenacity to model them effectively. The other two women in the class did not have her capacity, but neither did many of the men.

I think that it boils down to the capacity to make decisions based on reason and not emotion. Maybe AR had some doubts about herself in that situation. Doesn't mean that she didn't understand and beautifully communicate that reason is the ideal and it doesn't mean that there aren't women who have developed this capacity as well as some men have.

Bill Sipes




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Post 6

Friday, November 4, 2005 - 6:25amSanction this postReply
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I am sure some believe defending some islands in the middle of nowhere from Argentina (gasp!) was impressive (at the cost of 16 ships, the majority of the naval task force), but I'm not so sure.  I was not so impressed when she compromised with the Chinese.  After the Falklands, she asked China to extend the British lease on Hong Kong.  In response, China said "China is no Argentina" and "we can order troops into Hong Kong this afternoon".  The rest is history.

Margaret Thatcher, like Ronald Reagan, was a symbol for liberty.  Like Ronald Reagean, she was an imperfect symbol, but there is no denying that better symbols are few and far between.  If there had to be a female head of state, I do not know of a better choice.  This is true in a mixed economy, like the UK or US today, where we have a long way to go before we are indeed free.  In a libertarian society, the only function of government is to defend their citizens from the initiation of force, nothing more and nothing less.  That is a job that falls to warriors who are trained to close with and destroy the enemy.  I can only trust a fellow warrior to lead other warriors.

I know women who serve in the military honorably.  None of these women are in the infantry (much less special operations) nor should they be.  The infantry is the backbone of the military (that is where I disagree with Ayn Rand).  The Taliban and Saddam Hussein were not toppled with cruise missiles or air strikes, but by men marching through Afghanistan and Iraq.  That may change one day when women are fine with humping a 70 lb. pack 25 miles through cold mountains or hot jungles and deserts, stopping only to take a piss or shit in front of your men while they provide you cover.  Unfortunately, that day is not today.

By the way, Tom Clancy is one of those geeks who reads about our high-speed gear, but has no idea what it is like to be a grunt in the mud.  That is a painfully obvious fact whenever I read his novels.  Bringing him up makes my blood boil almost as much as Demi Moore's "GI Jane".




Post 7

Friday, November 4, 2005 - 4:04pmSanction this postReply
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> I thought that Glenn Close was great (as well as the screenplay writer of her part) as 'acting' C-I-C in Tom Clancy's Air Force One [John D]

Particularly the focused intensity and laserlike seriousness she brought [as she often does in her roles] to what was a very secondary role. She didn't have to carry the show, like Geena Davis has to carry the series.

By the way, is there another series in which a female has to 'carry' the show with a dramatic (as opposed to comic) role?

> I agree with Ayn Rand that a women should not be President... I know first-hand [from serving in the Marines] that women are not warriors. [Byron G]

Byron, I'm not sure I get your point. The Commander in Chief doesn't have to fight herself or lug a pack or ever have done so (many haven't served in the military...did Reagan?) He or she just has to be tough enough to issue the orders. Right?

> Tom Clancy is one of those geeks who reads about our high-speed gear, but has no idea what it is like to be a grunt in the mud. That is a painfully obvious fact whenever I read his novels.

That's interesting. How (specifically) does it damage his novels? I particularly like the spy or secret agent ones like those with Mr. Clark more than the war-figting ones...although I particularly liked Executive Orders and Hunt for Red October. [I'm probably hijacking my own thread with that question, but it seems to have pretty much died in regard to its original purpose.]

Phil





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Friday, November 4, 2005 - 9:34pmSanction this postReply
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Byron, please define 'warrior'.



Post 9

Saturday, November 5, 2005 - 5:34amSanction this postReply
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Byron:
     I've got to disagree with the worth of your statement "I know first-hand that women are not warriors"...unless...you merely mean 'some' (as in an innuended 'most'). Such a categorically-put statement (which implies NO exceptions) is one that properly can only be induced from MORE than mere experience; it is blatantly fallacious to say 'From my experience with x-amt of cars, MUSTANGS (implying all) are junk cars.' --- 'First-hand' experience is a base-factor to generalize from, true, but, rarely sufficient.---Now, if you merely meant 'most' (in *your* specific experience), ok, but even in that case, to rule out ALL others as potential 'warriors' is definitely over-generalizing, unless you can refer to something more than...well...only your personal experience re those you happen to have observed.

     Re your 'challenge,' I'd say that you're offering it to, and in, (safely, methinks) the wrong group. Put up the 'challenge' ad in the ARMY TIMES (or whatever the paper's called) and the equivalent places for the NAVY, MARINES, AIR FORCE, etc. Methinks there'd be a few females ready to wipe an aircraft-carrier deck with you. They ain't ALL lookin' for curtains on windows, you know.

     I know. I've met 3 females that impressed me as 'warriors' in my former military sojourns. And...they definitely weren't 'dykes'.

     Some females are definitely 'warrior' material; but, I'll agree: not many (percentage-wise, that is; who knows, quantity-wise?)

     But then, what 'percentage' of males are anything worth calling 'warriors'? Think about it. --- That one would expect 'more' males than females, few (even females) would argue against methinks. But, so much more that...females should be ignored in the category? I think not.

     Methinks, Byron, that you are giving too short a shrift to a large percentage of a group based on a narrow personal experience of...I'll agree here...lessers that just didn't measure up.

     Think twice...if I may suggest.

     Re your 2nd post, like, what 'choice' did Thatcher really have, given the agreement re Hong Kong going to China? Even Reagan couldn't have unilaterally decided "Well, we're keeping it anyway" if it were the US rather than Britain, given the treaty. Well, he 'could' have, and caused WAY MUCHO TO THIS DAY probs for us, as Thatcher also 'could' have for Britain; but, think sense here.

    Sorry I mentioned a couple of sore spots for you which clearly distracted you from my main points. You don't like Clancy; ok. He's yucky; and Demi's GI-JANE is yuckier. Ok. But, about the points I was making when referring to them, I'm a bit unclear about your agreement or disagreement. To remind, re 'Clancy' I was arguing about the worth of gender-identity 'teams', and re Demi's movie I was mainly referring to the worthlessness of 'co-ed' policy in combat (though I stress: ONLY in combat...ahem.)

Jordan:
     Re Margaret; I agree, she was something else. Clearly a 'no-nonsense' person. My hat's off to her. (Then there was Indira Ghandi, for that matter). But, I can really only think of them in terms of their 'domestic' orientation, regardless their involvement in dealing in international affairs. I really think that if Thatcher didn't already have an agreed backing from/of the US (whether Reagan or Joan D'Arc) she probably wouldn't have been that noticeably 'aggressive' re the Falklands. No reflection on her, so much as her country's LONE military capability.

Bill:
     Yes, I saw Meryl Streep in (the new re-make of) The Manchurian Candidate. Some actresses (like Jane Fonda) are definitely 'amazing' in their acting capabilities; and some seem to be type-cast.

Phil:
     Re other females 'carrying' a show, well, I used to be a real TV (not to be confused with "RealTV") watcher, but, over the last decade, not really all that much, re routine-watching of series. Yet, I do believe that a few series have been around the last couple years where a female 'carried' a dramatic (as opposed to comedy) -if not 'action'-show. I'm sure some readers here can amplify on this.

     Re your concern about Byron's comments, I see your rhetorical points as a bit superfluous, sorry to say. What any given past President hasn't done is not really a good bar to place as a criterion for what future electable Presidents should be expected to jump over. Reagan didn't serve in the military; methinks maybe he should have. Do I really have to spell out exactly...w-h-y? Re his lugging a pack, I give him credit: he sure seemed strong enough to. For that matter, if he can take a bullet and come back, then for THAT  continuance, he passed my bar (unfortunately, it was AFTER he was in office, for such to be relevent.)

     You ask Byron, again, clearly rhetorically, "He or she just has to be tough enough to issue the orders. Right?" --- I'll ask you, rhetorically, "Where do us voters find out if 'he or she' is tough enough? The military, Right? If not, then an Enron executive is acceptable?" If they weren't in the military, then we don't know that they're '...tough enough to issue the orders," ...to risk the lives of others. One doesn't find this kind of 'toughness' in CEO work ('casualness', maybe, if the CEO is in league with the Yakuza or some such.)

     Re Clancy, I do have a fondness for commando-Clark who knows how to get justice/revenge on organized-crime thugs while simultaneously handling his military duties, but, Ryan's the one put more often into the 'thick of things' reluctantly getting shoved up the ladder, almost like a bubble in the ocean.

     Re your view that this thread "...seems to have pretty much died in regard to its original purpose," such seems, given 8 (not counting this) posts in only 4 days, and the thread's average que-location in the list across that time, I'd say such a perspective is premature. --- Maybe if some started commenting on the MAIN points made (I've noticed that no one has any problem with my...and a 'noted author's...idea about 'gender-teams' being worthwhile and/ or equivalent in function regardless of gender), rather than trivia, there might be more thoughts provoked in others to add posts;    ya think?



  
     At the risk of sounding like I may have contradicted myself re my above arguments against A, B, and C, as well as against my earlier post, I hereby nominate Camille Paglia for...C-I-C.

     I think we need a good Joan D'Arc now. (What that, as Rand might ask, implies about us males...I'll leave readers of this to think about.)

LLAP
J:D  




Post 10

Saturday, November 5, 2005 - 7:07amSanction this postReply
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OK John,

We can disagree concerning philosophical issues all day long and it can be completely civil, but to even mention Jane Fonda's name in the same sentence as Meryl Streep is entirely uncalled for.
(wait, I just did the same thing)

Bill Sipes




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Post 11

Saturday, November 5, 2005 - 7:54amSanction this postReply
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I did not see the interview in which Ayn Rand spoke out against having a woman as president, but my impression is that she was a creature of her times and this was merely an opinion, much like her opinion on gays. Miss Rand came of age when women rarely even worked for a living, but she created a strong female hero named Dagny who embodied many of the traits desirable in a president.  Imagine, for example, if someone like Dagny entered politics.  Would you have her stop at being a Senator?  I wouldn't.   Glass ceilings are made to be broken and if the best man for the job is a female, then give her the position.

Nowhere in the Constitution does it say that service in the armed forces, a law degree or even being male is a requirement for presidency.  I don't know if there will be a female president in my lifetime, but if a woman wants it, has the skills, qualifications, leadership abilities and character to hold the office, why shouldn't she be given the same opportunity as her male counterparts?  I agree that most women are not warriors, but neither are most men. 

Kat

 




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Post 12

Saturday, November 5, 2005 - 12:39pmSanction this postReply
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Kat: " I agree that most women are not warriors, but neither are most men."

Brilliant, Kat. :)



Post 13

Sunday, November 6, 2005 - 7:31pmSanction this postReply
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Bill:
     At 1st, boy, was I going to tear into you. --- Then I...thought-twice.

     You're absolutely right. In certain (what I see as 'basic') ways, they belong in the same sentence. BUT, fundamentally (not to be confused with 'basic'), they're on totally different planets (even if they both might disagree with me [or even you?] on that.) --- I'm sorry I insulted Meryl Streep, whatever I think of her political views. She clearly has some sincere ones, whereas Fonda has no 'political' views, ostensible 'interviews' nwst; Fonda merely has ONLY opportunistic ones (like, most of our next-election-oriented politicians.) I definitely have more (to say the least) Respect for Ms. (Mrs?) Streep than that...other AA-deserving actress. I apologize for putting them in the same sentence.

KAT:
     Rand was fairly beyond 'a creature of her times' and I doubt that any response she gave in a scheduled 'interview' was all that 'off-the-cuff.' I'm sure that she thought about the subject (generally/generically if not specifically) before she was asked the question.

     You ask: "Would you have her stop at being a Senator?" No; *I* wouldn't "...have her stop at..." But, think about this: nm "Would *Rand* have her stop?" Would (given Dag's view as akin to Rand's) Dag WANT to...be the Commander-In-Chief of sending (hopefully) totally-trusting, trained-to-be Extremely-Aggressive male-commando/female-amazon Macho/Valkyries...to a probably risk-filled death? Or, would Dag herself "...have her stop..."?

     I don't think that Dag would 'want' that...any more than any sane person (male or female) would. The 'Presidency' isn't something that, methinks, any person (Rand's response to the question of being  interested was equivalent to Cyrano's "Thank you, THANK You; but...no, thank you.") who has no desire of 'power-over-others' would really 'want'...other than to keep it's (especially NOW) power out of the hands of others. But, 'willing-to-accept'? Like, Joan D'arc presumably did? Maybe; maybe not (if not, you'd certainly never hear of Dag again, that's for sure.) Nowadays, ESPECIALLY nowadays, only 2 type of people want that office: those who primarily want to cut back its power, and those who primarily want to use (ergo, expand) it. The former have not been noticeable...for decades. --- I notice that you've responded to all previous threads in terms of the 'Presidency', rather than in terms of Commander-In-Chief, though I pointed out a difference re perspectives in the terms-use. Unfortunate perspective, Kat.

Joe:
     Thanx for agreeing with what I pointed out.To stress the 'problem' that Rand had, and, I had thought I made clear, but, no one seems to be pertinently dealing with: I only have 'reservations' about a female...'President;' not an anathema. Unfortunately, she'd have to jump a higher hurdle (for reasons given in my 1st post) than a male. I mean, think about martial arts (again) for a moment. Even restricted to boxing with all it's limitations on moves/hits. I have little doubt that a female-'heavyweight' could sweep the floor with a male-'flyweight.' But when you start matching calibre-for-calibre, who ya gonna put your money (or life) on? The one that (for whatever 'reason') has established their history of not merely Physical (a la Rocky) Endurance, but also, most especially, Psychological Aggressiveness. A female may be around that would outdo ALL (American) males on this. History shows it's a loser's gamble, re random guessing.

     Then, there's the Psychology of 'motivation'.    

     What ('kind of'?) *female* would be willing to be (I stress again the diff), not merely President (domestic-oriented Ruler-of-citizens, like Queen...as so many males since Lincoln have clearly viewed themselves as King), but, as a Commander-In-Chief of sending (trusting) others to probable death?   Hillary Clinton? Condoleeza Rice? Andrea Dworkin (ok; she's a 'non-operative' variable) Pat Schroeder? Gloria Steinham? Shirley Chisholm (sorry; another 'non-operative'...though she'd be in my consideration, now as well as then)? Phyllis Schlafly? Anna Nicole?

     In my 1st post re this thread, I made clear that I have reservations about the idea. This is not to say that I'd *never* vote for a female to be our chief head-honcho Death-Dealer (indeed, I nominated Camille Paglia; she does have the right 'feisty' mind-set).

     And, let's not evade this point: a Commander-In-Chief of the US (or any country) is the top head-honcho Death-Dealer whom ALL other 'countries' are expected/desired to see the leader as...if they're expected to 'think twice' about invading. If she's a bitch, she better be a better one than all the female hollywood celebrities have complained about being seen AS. Indeed, a better bitch than the bastards we've had so far.

LLAP
J:D




Post 14

Sunday, November 6, 2005 - 8:07pmSanction this postReply
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In a former thread in the Q & A forum, "Strange Passage in Fountainhead" I posted the following. The conext was Rand's pseudo-rape of Dominque by Roark in Fountainhead. I discussed Rand's notion of her feminine ideal:

From "Journals of Ayn Rand" :
**************

December 26, 1935 An important thing to remember and bring out in the book: while Howard Roark, at first glance, is monstrously selfish and inconsiderate of others—one sees, in the end, his great consideration for the rights of others (when they warrant it) and his ruthlessness only in major issues;
...
A man who is what he should be.
...
Dominique Wynand: The woman for a man like Howard Roark. The perfect priestess.
...
Sex—sensuous in the manner of a healthy animal. But not greatly interested in the subject. Can never lose himself in love. Even his great and only love—Dominique Wynand—is not an all-absorbing, selfless passion. It is merely the pride of a possessor. If he could not have her, it would not break him or affect him very deeply. He might suffer—in his own indifferent way, a suffering that can never reach deep enough to obscure life. His attitude toward Dominique is not: "I love you and I am yours." It's: "I love you and you are mine." It is primarily a feeling of wanting her and getting her, without great concern for the question of whether she wants it. Were it necessary, he could rape her and feel perfectly justified. Needless to say, it is she who worships him, and loves him much more than he loves her. He is the god. He can never become a priest. She has to be the priestess. Until his meeting with Dominique, he has had affairs with women, perfectly cold, emotionless affairs, without the slightest pretense at love. Merely satisfying a physical need and recognized by his mistresses as such.


Here's an excerpt from Rand's controversial article on why a woman shouldn't be president, that illustrates her concept of femininity:

The Objectivist—December 1968 An Answer To Readers (About A Woman President) (published January 1969) By Ayn Rand
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But when it comes to the post of President,
...
do not ask: "Could she do the job"
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but what would it do to her? The issue is primarily psychological. It involves a woman's fundamental view of life, of herself and of her basic values. For a woman qua woman, the essence of femininity is hero-worship—the desire to look up to man. "To look up" does not mean dependence, obedience or anything implying inferiority. It means an intense kind of admiration; and admiration is an emotion that can be experienced only by a person of strong character and independent value-judgments. A "clinging vine" type of woman is not an admirer, but an exploiter of men. Hero-worship is a demanding virtue: a woman has to be worthy of it and of the hero she worships. Intellectually and morally, i.e., as a human being, she has to be his equal; then the object of her worship is specifically his masculinity, not any human virtue she might lack.
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the higher her view of masculinity, the more severely demanding her standards. It means that she never loses the awareness of her own sexual identity and theirs. It means that a properly feminine woman does not treat men as if she were their pal, sister, mother—or leader.
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a President does not deal with equals, but only with inferiors (not inferiors as persons, but in respect to the hierarchy of their positions, their work and their responsibilities). This, for a rational woman, would be an unbearable situation.
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To act as the superior, the leader, virtually the ruler of all the men she deals with, would be an excruciating psychological torture. It would require a total depersonalization, an utter selflessness and an incommunicable loneliness; she would have to suppress (or repress) every personal aspect of her own character and attitude; she could not be herself,
...
By the nature of her duties and daily activities, she would become the most unfeminine, sexless, metaphysically inappropriate and rationally revolting figure of all: a matriarch.


Rand's notion of her feminine identity is more important to her than the desire to achieve a purpose by leading men, or more common in politicians, the desire for the sick prestige of dominating and the desire of the envy of others.

While its true there are gung-ho women, its also true that many gung-ho men wouldn't appreciate being commanded in battle by a gung-ho women, especially one promoted to achieve a sexist, politically-mandated gender-quota.

Scott



Post 15

Monday, November 7, 2005 - 12:36amSanction this postReply
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I have not read any posts after my last one until this morning so I'll respond to each one in turn.

Phil,

To my knowledge, Reagan did not serve in the military.  I respect him as a President because of his "Reaganomics", even if he did not practice what he preached.  Until we live in a libertarian economy vice a mixed economy, there are other factors aside from military service I take into consideration when voting for President.

No, a Commander-in-Chief himself does not bear arms against the enemy, nor does any general or admiral.  However, I think a combat veteran makes for a better general or admiral than a pencil-pusher, all else being equal.  I think this also holds true for the man in charge of the generals and admirals.  Only a combat veteran knows what it takes to train, organize, and equip men for war.  Pencil-pushers don't.

As for Tom Clancy, some of his stories make for entertaining yarns.  What is painful to me is his portrayal of men in uniform.  He makes us sound more like Boy Scouts or accountants than warriors.

Pete,

I am sure there is a better definition in the dictionary but, to me, a warrior is someone who is trained and equipped to kill the enemy.

John,

Your arguments gave me some pause.  I had to think twice about my positions.  I realized I was not clear about what I meant.  What I should have wrote was:

"I do not know any woman who is a warrior.  None of the grunts I have worked with know any woman who is a warrior.  My guess is that if there are any women today who can be warriors, they are too few and far between."

I hope that clarifies my position.

I know women who can fire a rifle and pistol better than me.  I know women who can run and swim faster than me.  I know women who know Sun Tzu and Clausewitz by heart.  However, there is more to combat than physical and mental abilities.  I cannot describe it here without writing an article, and I'm not sure anyone else here  would understand it anyway unless "they've been there and done that".  You were in the Air Force, so you may have some idea what I'm talking about (no offense, but I do not regard the Air Force the same way as the Marines).

Kat,

Of course I know what the Constitution says.  Legally, anyone can be President if they're old enough and fortunate enough to be born in America (that disqualifies me).  However, if the job of the President is to lead the military (and it should be one of his only jobs in a libertarian society), then I think military service should at least be a factor in choosing who to vote for, combat experience more so.  You would want a lawyer in charge of a law firm, or an accountant in charge of an accounting firm, or an architect in charge of an architectural firm, right?

There is this premise that the military is like any other corporation, and that a President (or any unit commander) is like a CEO.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Unfortunately, pencil-pushers with stars on their shoulders manage the military like it was General Motors or IBM.

Joe,

Yes, the majority of men are not warriors.  To paraphrase Jack Nicholson in "A Few Good Men", that is why you need me on that wall.




Post 16

Monday, November 7, 2005 - 1:27amSanction this postReply
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I forgot one more post.

Scott wrote: "While its true there are gung-ho women, its also true that many gung-ho men wouldn't appreciate being commanded in battle by a gung-ho women, especially one promoted to achieve a sexist, politically-mandated gender-quota."

I will go further to say that I do not know any gung-ho man (i.e. grunt) who'd appreciate being commanded in battle by any woman.  I am not saying that is how it should be.  I am only saying that is how it is now.





Post 17

Tuesday, November 8, 2005 - 12:16amSanction this postReply
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Byron:
     I don't disagree with ANYthing in your last 2 posts. Including, no offense re the MC and AF. Indeed, I'd expect no different attitude from you, whichever branch you were in.     :)   But, our varied branches are irrelevent to this whole subject, methinks. --- Aside: sorry for the comment re the aircraft-carrier deck that may have sounded personally meant. I meant the generically-plural 'you' re all males who think they can outfight any-all females.

     As you say, re accepting females as, if not warriors, then warrior-leaders, "...that is how it is now."  Talk about a non-fiction 'reality-check' for everyone. --- But, I can't help but think of the line from GI JANE (John ducks, again) re the special-forces teacher, after near (pretending to be [?]) raping Demi, afterwards comments to his aide something akin to "No; these women aren't 'the problem'. WE'RE 'the problem.'" One day, I expect things can change down that line; but, as you say, definitely not today. (As an aside, I LOVED 'Vasquez' in Cameron's Aliens; I do not see her character-type as an ignorable consideration, warrioress-wise, if not warrior-leader.) --- Apart from that, any knowledge re the Israelis attempt down this line of female-combatants would probably be useful in the discussion, re military/SWAT leadership, and/or field-combat top-leadership. For that matter, any official discussions re females in police SWAT teams would be interesting...and relevent..., no?

     Indeed, maybe before we even talk about a female 'President' (or, more relevently, Commander-In-Chief), maybe there really should be some solid discussion about females not yet being any of the varied military's Chief-of-Staff, much less Head of the Joint-Chiefs-of-Staff. Anyone know of any official views on this?

Scott:
     I'm sure that everyone who's read this far is already familiar with Rand's article on a woman president, though maybe not all are familiar with the "Journal" comment, which seems to explicate her views a bit more...though, unfortunately, not all that much more. So many "But...?" questions left unanswered there, but she was merely explaining to herself...not to readers. Indeed, her comments show what she must have thought of Joan D'Arc: a good military-leader...who's only interest in males was...at best (think Andrea Dworkin for 'at worst')...as a nun.

LLAP
J:D

(Edited by John Dailey on 11/08, 12:40am)




Post 18

Tuesday, November 8, 2005 - 2:10amSanction this postReply
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John,

You wrote: "Aside: sorry for the comment re the aircraft-carrier deck that may have sounded personally meant. I meant the generically-plural 'you' re all males who think they can outfight any-all females."

It did sound personal, but no offense taken.  I have skin as thick as rhino-hide.  The comment did make me wince.  Being scraped across an aircraft carrier's non-skid deck is a painful experience!  If you know any females who thinks they can take me in a fight, bring them on.  That is kind of a turn-on for me.




Post 19

Tuesday, November 8, 2005 - 7:20amSanction this postReply
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I had this amazing experience!
In preparing for an action film I intend to direct next year, I attended an amazing workshop on effective violence and combat. For days, I worked with all types of body types, ages, genders, but the best work partner was a 40ish woman of thin frame. Her tenacity and application of the principles of effective violence were inspiring. 140 female lbs throwing 260 lbs of all man to the floor for a nice throat stomp was refreshing. I would suggest that anyone planning to do harm to this woman do it with a sniper rifle from a few blocks away. Does she have the character and intellect to be commander and chief? Can't say from my limited experience with her, but it is my opinion that she could be as much a warrior as any of the clients in the room. I'm not carving any of this into stone, just my take on a hard to define quality.

Bill Sipes

PS- I was only refering to the fact that Meryl Streep can act circles around Fonda.




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