The Malta Independent 20 October 2017, Friday

Macho men and dumb women

Daphne Caruana Galizia Sunday, 17 September 2017, 08:59 Last update: about 2 months ago

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. 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 middle-aged, 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.

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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-in-my-clothes Delia surrounded by savages.

www.daphnecaruanagalizia.com


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