And they probably just ran for office looking to find husbands anyway, so I wouldn’t worry too much about what they think.
Yesterday the Austin Statesman-Journal reported a on a new mandatory training given to city staffers on how to best best deal with the city council now that it has more women than men elected to it.
The training ended up being just about as sexist as one might expect, and I expect numerous peoples on the Intertubes to be noting this sexism quite a bit over the next few days. But what I anticipate will be lost in the whatever kerfuffle this story produces is what this training inadvertently had to say about men.
Jonathan Allen, the city manager of Lauderdale Lakes, Fla, … pointed out that his classification as an “expert” on the topic was based on the fact that his local council was made up entirely of women.
Allen said that instead of reading agenda information, women ask questions. He advised staff members that while it may seem easier to instruct women to read the packet, “the importance of being patient” should be remembered during these times. Allen credited his 11-year-old daughter with teaching him this lesson.
Allen also reportedly said women would prefer to hear how implementations impact “the whole community” versus being shown the financial argument. According to the paper, Allen said that while presenting the financial analysis may make sense, if he wants to secure votes with his all-women council, he has to present information “in a totally different way.”
Forget for a moment what a load of tosh all of that is, and forget that it’s a surprisingly condescending attitude toward professional (and, I presume, educated, experienced, and driven) women authority figures being pushed by a city with a reputation of being highly progressive. All of that is interesting, of course. But what strikes me as being far more interesting is what this professional city manager — not to mention the people running Austin who hired him for his expertise — is inadvertently saying about himself, about all professional men in general, and about men in government in particular: That they don’t ask questions, and that they don’t stop to consider how their actions impact the community at large.
Oddly, in crafting an argument for why we should be “patient” with the little ladies playing at city council, he instead makes a case for why you should never, ever, ever elect a man.
I’ve long believed that most forms of bigoted frameworks do damage to those on the dispensing end as well as the receiving, but it’s rare that it’s done is such obvious terms as it was done here.