I saw a great bumper sticker the other other day: it read, "it's the stupidity, stupid." No where does that seem more evident than the current crop of women Tea Party candidates: Uber-conservative, fanatically religious, most of them completely unqualified to hold office, and dangerous.
The conservative right is happy for 'sexy' female candidates so long as they don't demand abortion rights, maternity leave, equal pay and equal sexual pleasure. The 2010 Republican campaign is an attempt by the old order to reinstall its rejected program. Key to this effort is the promotion of “sexy” female candidates, the “new” conservative woman, whether Tea Party or Republican. She is a showpiece, a fig leaf, covering the impotence at the heart of the Tea Party’s politics of rage.
When, and how, did it become fashionable for women candidates to start being creepy? Women like the anti-masturbation candidate Christine O'Donnell, Sharron Angle (who tells Hispanic students they might be Asian and encourages Hispanics to stay home from voting), former WWE wrestling Exec Linda McMahon, to name a whacked-out few, and the self-promoting Sarah Palin who broke her vow to the Alaskan people by resigning as Governor so she could make money....lots of money. When did candidates like Meg Whitman, who is spending $140M of her own money on her California Gubernatorial bid, and Carly Fiorina, the ousted HP CEO who left with a $21M severance package suddenly become "outsiders?
What's going on here, and how do these women fit into our collective shadow?
There are a couple of archetypes at play, here. One is the Concubine to the Shadow King, with the female candidates playing the role of the concubine to the Shadow King, who is really the patriarchy. The Shadow King manipulates from the background, and the concubine plays out her role by allowing herself to be manipulated. In David Deida's model, this is the eternal first-stage woman, who models herself after the men she serves, but is only granted power through those men. She may or may not be fully aware of her role, but she has also assumed the mantle of the patriarchy. She does what she is told to hold on to what she thinks is her power. As long as she follows the rules, she can stay in "power."
The second archetype showing up here is the active and passive shadows of the Magician. The active shadow is the manipulator, or the Sorcerer's Apprentice. They have not mastered their technology (in this case, knowledge) or themselves, and their partial development is capable of wreaking havoc (example: Christine O'Donnell's claim of being a constitutionalist, but being unaware of Separation of Church and State). Although the magician archetype is neither masculine or feminine, the manipulator is the epitome of first-stage feminine.
The passive shadow is the Denying Innocent One: one who wants the power but who refuses to accept the responsibility inherent in the role of the magician. The Magician's power needs to be controlled and channeled by the other archetypes: the discipline of the Warrior, the compassion and values of the Lover, and the big-picture capacity of the King. If it isn't, then the magician becomes the charlatan.
This why I believe "men's work" is so important. First stage men, including candidates who are no better, with their hyper-masculinity, is what these women are emulating. Second-stage men, with their overly-feminized masculine are of no use, here, either. Until we have third-stage men embodying and modeling what the mature masculine looks like, in it's many emerging forms, with hearts wide open and their own fully integrated inner masculine and feminine, women will continue to model the only form of masculine they have in front of them: The patriarchy.
And ultimately, we, you and I, are to blame. We fell for this crap. We have successfully been dumbed down. That's why I started this out with the bumper sticker, "It's the stupidity, stupid."