I should change the way I talk as my identity changes — I think I am still having a hard time transforming myself from a doctor to a politician — I am not making the change well enough.
If what I said makes people uncomfortable, I should improve myself and apologize.
I would never discriminate against women. I used to work at the intensive care unit and 99 percent of my colleagues were female nurses, so women are important to me. But I am a poor speaker, I should work to improve that."
Independent Taipei mayoral candidate and physician Ko Wen-je (柯文哲).
Whilst Ko ‘Clusterf**k™' Wen-je might get a moldy cookie for at least having the courage to admit that he is an unreconstructed misogynist, any more of these kinds of gaffes and SilverSpooner™ will win by default, likely with a minority of the vote. The KMT are already going hard after Ko, smearing his face with anything they throw at him, so he will have to work twice as hard to preserve any slight lead he might still have. I can attest that Ko’s comments have already pissed off and alienated at least one female Taipei City voter who had previously considered voting for him.
On to his ‘defence’ Ko says he’s having a hard time changing himself. That’s understandable but what he’s implying is that his misogyny was fine when he was a doctor but it’s not so good a selling point as a politician. The misogyny is not so much the problem then as the negative reception it generates when a person is trying to convince other people to identify with them, trust in them, and vote for them. Note also the ‘if’ on the apology - essentially making it a non-apology. What he should have said was:
What I said has offended people and on reflection it is clear my comments are unacceptable and do not represent a constructive contribution to the practice of democracy or respect for constituents. I’m very sorry. I also apologise to Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chiayi nominee Chen Yi-chen (陳以真) for my comments.
And then he should have bowed, walked out, and focused long and hard on how his lack of respect for women might have cost the DPP (which sponsoring him) positions in Chiayi and his own chance at becoming mayor.
But no, Clusterf**k™ doubled down with a weak “well I know some women (who all work under me or other senior male colleagues) so they’re important to me” whilst managing at the same time to neatly illustrate the normative and pervasive gender division of labour in Taiwan’s health care sector.
And he did this after being caught making these appalling comments …
On Sunday, when speaking to students at National Yang Ming University about choosing to work as a surgeon, he said that he eliminated departments he did not like when starting at National Taiwan University Hospital.
He eliminated the obstetrics and gynecology department because he said working there would mean that he would have “only one hole” to deal with, adding “I would have to make a living between women’s legs, so, just forget about it.”
Yep, jaw-droppingly offensive and dismissive. Way to alienate your potential voter base, oh and air your pride in actively reducing women’s medical services because ‘you don’t want to have to only deal with one hole’. At this rate all SilverSpooner™ has to do is shut his mouth and wait for Clusterf**k™ to win it for him through incompetence. And that might be the defining difference between them. SilverSpooner™ was raised to inherit the business and political influence of the Lien Fiefdom. He has been molded for power and influence, and has been ‘introduced’ and integrated into the Lien family’s deep political networks and business guanxi. In contrast, Clusterf**k™ has spent his life in industry and although he’s probably got a good range of contacts and influence (certainly in the health sector) House of Ko cannot match House of Lien when it comes to experience (albeit not that successful) of elections, operating at the most exclusive levels of the political economy, and mixing with the ruling class. Where SilverSpooner™ is young and just needs a competent campaign manager to frame the debate around his opponent’s weaknesses and mistakes, Clusterf**k™ is egotistically running on raw populism and his campaign manager, eccentric and unpredictable in his own right, is having to engage more and more in damage limitation. If Clusterf**k™ wants to win he needs to constantly ask himself three questions: Does this need to be said? Does this need to be said by me? Does this need to be said now? Oh and he should take the DPP’s advice and start reading up on some basic gender theory such as “That Woman Is A Person Too, Just Like You!” and “Ten Simple Exercises To Help You Respect People With Holes” or the old classic, “Male Privilege, Arrogance & Aggression In National Taiwan University Hospital - A Case Study in Primate Behaviorology”.