Binders Full Of Women

You know the definition of a social error, faux pas, gaffe: inadvertent, unintentional and unfiltered blurt.

It happened – again – during the last presidential debate, and now the rest is history and a useful lesson in public speaking, self-control and the dangers of overblown rhetoric. The “binders” moment went viral right away with @RomneysBinders and @womaninabinder Twitter handles. Almost 350,000 people have supported a Facebook page about what a politically dumb statement this was. But this is not about politics – just inspired by it.

People have a tendency to need heroes however crooked and deceitful. Popular actors who play doctors on TV are stopped on the street by folks who want to ask them about their medical problems. They know perfectly well that they are only actors and yet, they are looking for hope and consolation – who cares if it’s ephemeral and fake.

It’s the impression that counts – and what better than the electorate’s impressions of a presidential candidate – hence the political example. And the hilarity lived on while “Hillary/ty” and the feminist agenda blew out of hysterical proportion.

“None of us really likes honesty. We prefer deception —but only when it is unabashedly flattering or artfully camouflaged.” Bill Boner put it very eloquently in his Mobs, Messiahs, and Markets book (fun reading).

Psychologists have looked into the mystery of persuasion and studies confirm that people are more likely to be swayed by a confident con man than someone with less confidence or charisma who actually knows what he/she is talking about. In a range of experiments, simpler explanations are judged more likely to be true than complex explanations, not because simpler explanations actually explain more, but rather just because they are simpler. But truth is not necessarily always simple.

So, we live in the age of impressing or the state of being impressed- actually we always lived in this age. It’s just that today it’s much easier to win/lose our battles in milliseconds. So, be simple, be brave, be real to what you really believe in – but whatever you do – just don’t put it in binders – unless you really want to be bound:-)

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