An Open Letter To ALL Men Who Are Uncomfortable with Hillary as President

To Mark, my good friend, and to all my many men friends who are uncomfortable with Hillary as President,

Looking at our candidates purely on the basis of merit, Trump, for me, is clearly the lesser candidate; in fact, he is kind of an unequivocal disaster: a self-centered liar and opportunist who dwarfs Clinton's so-called lies or mistakes. It's not even close.

So I have come to suspect that something way more than merit is going on--something about Clinton as a woman--and a certain kind of woman: tough, sometimes arrogant, maybe even a bit phony at times. That in a man would be seen as "all in a day's work," "a necessary evil in order to get the job done." But not so with Clinton.

Not that men have anything going on with women leaders. Of course not! Notice how welcoming and supportive men have been with generating those myriad women leaders we have emerging in the C-Suites (up to 17 %. Wow! over 35 years since they began seriously knocking on the doors of leadership.)

I suggest to you, guys, that your dislike of Ms. Clinton may not be as innocent or as meritorious as you think. Same, for some of you, with your "almost bitter" reactions. Bias is very, very, very difficult to see. It's a lense, a filter; we see t h r o u g h it; we don't actually see IT in our field of vision or in our thinking. Because this lense, or framework, or set of assumptions are transparent to us, they are invisible to us. Bias for the most part almost never registers with us consciously, yet it is there. We human beings have preconceptions regarding almost everything with which we are familiar.

And many if not most men are certain that they are familiar with, know, who women "really are."

A good chunk of our male reaction to Hillary has to do with her being a tough-minded leader, ambitious enough to withstand bias over time, and thus she shows up as unfamiliar to men and that unfamiliarity is mostly unwelcome.

Let's get real. Men, we have been used to having power and decision-making rights all to ourselves for thousands of years. We have had 90%+ of the power 90% + of the time. This often leaves us threatened by powerful women, many of whom are better at actually governing than we are.

Worse, most men are unwilling or unable to confront or consider that they can be deeply threatened by and emotionally uncomfortable with powerful, effective women, especially those who do not go out of their way to curry men's favor. We almost never acknowledge feeling threatened. That would be unmanly. And what the hell is a man do with that? He can't pick a fistfight with a woman. So he belittles or undermines her work and casts aspersions about her character or ability, all of which Trump does constantly.

The kind of woman many / most men would accept as a leader is a fantasy. Gorgeous, thoughtful and kind, that kind of "she" would likely never, ever develop (in today's world) the toughness and resilience to be a serious candidate or contender and therefore a genuine "threat" to us, as men.

Know, Mark, that I share your celebration of men and our masculine "arts": sports, wilderness, heroic service, the building trades, raucous humor and play, fathering, creativity. Wonderful stuff! Because of that, I hope you seriously consider this. I have observed men (including myself ) over a good many years, and I am convinced that this unconscious or semi-conscious bias is in play.

I know you don't ( may not ) agree. But consider chewing on this possibility for a day or two, look at what's happening through this lens I am pointing to.... sleep on it, and see what distills over several days versus your immediate reaction. And let me know what distills down, once you do.

Maybe, just maybe, we can be men, fully men, wholeheartedly men, and be led by a woman with the wherewithal to become President of the United States.

Tony Smith