Sunday, February 21, 2010

Gender essentialism for a good cause? or at least with some good outcomes for women

This story in today's New York Times, dateline Sofia, Bulgaria, intrigued me--in part because of the gender essentialism angle. Dan Bilefsky writes of the rise of women in Bulgarian politics, thanks at least in part to support from Prime Minister Boiko Borisov. Bilefsky quotes Borisov, who mentions his mother and German Chancellor Angela Merkel as among his role models:

“Women are more diligent than men, and they don’t take long lunches or go to the bar.”

* * *

“Women have stronger characters than men because when they say no they mean no, and they are less corruptible,” he said last summer, inaugurating the women’s wing of his center-right party.


“It’s hard to admit, but women are less corruptible than men and are cleaner. ... Because they are more risk averse.”

The story features further speculation about whether women are, in fact, less corruptible and, if so, why that might be. It also provides details of women's rise in Bulgarian and other Balkan states' political arenas and is well worth a read.

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