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completely feminized

Hume’s remarks, granted, are politics-as-tediously-usual; anyone who’s suffered through an electoral news cycle can see the gears grinding. Christie is an early front-runner for the 2016 Republican presidential candidate, with the Democratic nomination widely presumed to be Hillary Clinton’s for the taking. Much of Christie’s potential appeal to moderates and undecided voters comes from his positioning as a “reasonable right-winger”: a moderate, big-tent nice guy, capable of getting votes from Democrats when need be, known to praise (and even hug!) President Obama upon occasion without spontaneously combusting or turning into a pillar of salt. Therefore, the “nice guy” image is being dismantled by Christie’s opponents, and his vindictive, belittling, confrontational side is being dragged out into full view. Hume’s sexist feint—the idea that Christie’s personal cruelty is essentially and admirably male; male like every other President in history, male like Hillary isn’t—can clearly be read as a bit of re-positioning. By stirring up fears of female power, of a nation so “feminized” that being openly male can actually get you “in trouble,” he’s not-so-subtly rallying male voters’ insecurity, rage and entitlement, trusting them to cling tighter to Christie as they instinctively resist the idea of a woman holding the highest office in the nation. Men aren’t inherently thuggish and nasty, but people like Hume surely aim to make them act that way in 2016.
And if that’s our option, well: I say, all hail the matriarchy. Sure, it will mean suffering through a few more years of sexist men having embarrassing, public meltdowns about how women are running everything and ruining their lives. But we can rest secure in the knowledge that, statistically speaking, we probably won’t be ruining those men’s whole lives, or even most of them. We’ll probably only ruin about 33 percent.
But the nightmare of a female-dominated world is not uniquely Hume’s. In fact, it’s not even uncommon.
Geena Davis Institute for Gender In Media found that, in crowd scenes, women tend to comprise about 17 percent of any given crowd. She’s argued, based on outside data and her own interpretations, that this imbalance relates to and reinforces the way men perceive the actual number of women in any given room.
“When men, when they want to make a decision, when they want to speak up at a meeting, when they want to say something, they’re sweating more than Paris Hilton doing a crossword!” Adams crowed. “They really feel uncomfortable.”
The idea of a gender perception gap is borne out by studies in other areas. In one study on gender parity in the workforce, sent my way by colleague Flavia Dzodan, it was found that men “consistently perceive more gender parity” in their workplaces than women do. For example, when asked whether their workplaces recruited the same number of men and women, 72 percent of male managers answered “yes.” Only 42 percent of female managers agreed. And, while there’s a persistent stereotype that women are the more talkative gender, women actually tend to talk less than men in classroom discussions, professional contexts and even romantic relationships; one study found that a mixed-gender group needed to be between 60 and 80 percent female before women and men occupied equal time in the conversation. However, the stereotype would seem to have its roots in that same perception gap: “[In] seminars and debates, when women and men are deliberately given an equal amount of the highly valued talking time, there is often a perception that [women] are getting more than their fair share.”
How the gender perception gap makes a female minority feel like a majority.
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The heart of the problem is one of the strangest manifestations of male privilege: It actually seems to interfere with men’s ability to count women. Specifically, it creates a tendency to actually see more women—or hear more female opinions—than are actually present at any given time.
How the gender perception gap makes a female minority feel like a majority.