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Implicit Bias

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"Implicit Bias"

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John Sides and Kevin Drum discuss some provocative evidence suggesting that around a quarter of the population — including both men and women — have a strong implicit bias against the idea of putting a woman in the White House. That’s sobering information, if true. On the other hand, it’s not really all that surprising — all of us have grown up and continue to live in a deeply gendered world and participate in a popular culture that’s suffused with a lot of sexist assumptions. Most people would probably say that they’re not affected by such things, but there’s something arrogant about it. I try to do my best, but I’ve taken things like the Project Implicit tests and they show pretty clearly that I’m not without sin.

That said, the political implications of this, though real, are also limited. Whether or not I have some subconscious bias against female politicians, I also have a large very conscious bias against Republican politicians, against proponents of extending the Bush tax cuts, against advocates of “rogue state rollback,” against politicians who favor Social Security privatization, etc. Long story short — if Hillary Clinton emerges as the Democratic nominee then I’m not going to hesitate to vote for her, notwithstanding any subconscious prejudices I may or may not have or any mean blog posts I may or may not have written about her.

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