I mean that literally — the way people mean things like, "This book will literally blow your mind." Which is to say figuratively. Women are figuratively running away from Herman Cain. (Though, if for a moment after reading that headline, you pictured a bizarre running of the bulls type scenario outside a town hall in Iowa, I can't say I'm sad.) After weeks of sexual-harassment allegations, Herman Cain's campaign has lost the support of a huge number of women voters. In the latest CBS poll, his support among women, which was 28% in October, is now just 15%.
It's a positive development, and one of the few to come out of the Cain allegations. In general, the media's unrepentant slut-shaming of the accuser who came forward, the suggestion that the ones who didn't are liars (they're contractually obligated not to, as part of the settlement), and Cain's lawyers' flat out intimidation of other women who might have been harassed by Cain (they should "think twice" about stepping forward) has made these past few weeks feel a little like 1951.
Now if only people would stop giving Cain so much goddamned money, we could all sit back and enjoy his candidacy for what it really is — a post-modern farce of U.S. media culture, a weird funhouse mirror that's secretly making fun of us, and the most unnecessarily drawn-out bid for a Fox News commentator job ever.