Ma­cho men and dumb women

I can’t talk about the Na­tion­al­ist Party lead­er­ship elec­tion re­sult be­cause the newspaper went to print be­fore it was out in the early hours of the morn­ing.

The Malta Independent on Sunday - - DEBATE & ANALYSIS -

But I can and will talk about Delia’s ma­cho- man cam­paign – as far as a 50- year- old Maltese lawyer in spec­ta­cles can pass him­self off as ma­cho, that is – which turned the whole thing so ugly.

What we saw was an ex­er­cise in pure, unadul­ter­ated chau­vin­ism: a bossy, sex­ist, un­re­con­structed mid­dleaged, ill- man­nered and charm­less Maltese man be­hav­ing as though he never left the vil­lage ( even though he would have us be­lieve that he hol­i­days in Switzer­land every year off his credit cards and over­drafts), sur­rounded ev­ery­where he goes by a gang of thugs and heav­ies, and with no women to be seen, not even his wife. She ap­peared just three times in this en­tire cam­paign: twice at the bal­lot box, and once at that dis­grace­ful scene in the lobby of the Na­tion­al­ist Party head­quar­ters when her hus­band won the first bal­lot.

The ab­sence of women any­where near Delia is a very bad sign. So is the heavy pres­ence of the worst kinds of men – men who have a his­tory of sex­ual mis­ad­ven­tures, for­mer driv­ers of some of the least savoury char­ac­ters who ever be­longed to the Na­tion­al­ist Party and who are known in Malta as “bul­lies” from a by­gone po­lit­i­cal era. The two go to­gether, of course: the com­plete air­brush­ing of women from the equa­tion and the over­bear­ing pres­ence of ma­cho rough­necks. What we are look­ing at is the Far Right in mo­tion, the fas­cist el­e­ment – “tak­ing back our party” to what it might have been in the 1930s.

And when Delia’s wife did ap­pear, it was as a dumb ac­ces­sory: a Bar­bie who was per­plexed to find that Ken had gone miss­ing, only to be re­placed by a loud, rude man who ig­nored her com­pletely ex­cept when grab­bing her by the arm or wrist to drag her along be­hind him like Fred Flint­stone.

I’ve looked at a lot of what is be­ing said on so­cial me­dia in this cam­paign, and the one thing that leaped out at me most strongly is the fact that Delia’s most avid sup­port­ers are all men. Yes, men. Not even nice men, ei­ther. Bar­ring a few no­table ex­cep­tions ( you know who you are, chaps), they’re mainly men whose wives couldn’t stand them and who are su­ing the pants off them, men whose wives dumped them, men who dumped their wives, rough men from all so­cial back­grounds ( be­cause there are re­ally rough men in all so­cial groups), pigs, chau­vin­ists, typ­i­cally Maltese ma­cho prim­i­tives, sin­gle men who are prob­a­bly go­ing to stay that way un­less they can buy them­selves a mail- or­der bride off Censu’s ring- file binder, and loud­mouths ( you know who you are, too, chaps). Then there are the women. Some­thing was very no­tice­able there, too – im­me­di­ately no­tice­able. Prac­ti­cally all the women root­ing for Delia on so­cial me­dia are dumb. The ones I know per­son­ally, I know to be dumb – with an in­tel­li­gence quo­tient slightly above that of a chicken. The only rea­son they can write a sen­tence and spell is be­cause they went to proper pri­vate schools, but their rea­son­ing skills are abysmal. And the ones I don’t know per­son­ally I can tell are dumb from the fact that they can’t even write a proper sen­tence. Un­for­tu­nately, this fits the tragic pat­tern of the Trump fac­tor: ma­cho men and dumb women.

I couldn’t find a sin­gle in­tel­li­gent woman on the in­ter­net root­ing for Delia – not one. On the con­trary, all the in­tel­li­gent women I found were rip­ping into him and say­ing God for­bid that XYZ chau­vin­ist is elected be­cause I’m cer­tainly not go­ing to vote Na­tion­al­ist as long as he is leader. Some clearly in­tel­li­gent men are sup­port­ing Delia for rea­sons of their own, but no in­tel­li­gent women are. In­tel­li­gent women find him fright­en­ingly off- putting. They can read the signs of what he is, the sig­nals he gives off, but we needn’t go into that here.

I don’t know who is at the helm of the Na­tion­al­ist Party to­day, though the odds were what they were. But I can say this: if it’s Adrian Delia, the Na­tion­al­ist Party is go­ing to morph into the ma­cho, chau­vin­ist party and re­turn to the Mad Men era but def­i­nitely with­out Don Draper. No, in­stead of Don Draper we get the un­couth, ill- man­nered, I’ve- just- slept- inmy- clothes Delia sur­rounded by sav­ages.

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