Men behaving badly – The male leaders who failed the Covid-19 test

epa08225944 A carnival float depicts US President Donald J. Trump and Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during the presentation of the floats for the annual Rose Monday parade in Cologne, Germany, 18 February 2020. Rose Monday is the traditional highlight of the carnival season in many German cities. EPA-EFE/FRIEDEMANN VOGEL

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Around the world, authoritarian leaders are exploiting, exacerbating or grossly mishandling the response to the pandemic, placing selfish interest ahead of public good.

The Guardian carries an opinion piece by  which refers to the fact that the worst leaders in this pandemic are mostly male.

While gender might be irrelevant, Germany’s Angela Merkel, New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern, and Taiwan’s Tsai Ing-wen are among competent and compassionate women singled out for praise.

Yet do the worst-performing leaders share dysfunctional characteristics beyond mere maleness? A war fixation is one. Poverty of imagination is another. They routinely trot out tired martial metaphors and cliches such as “wartime president”, “blitz spirit”, and “fighting the invisible enemy”.

Lack of empathy also seems to be a common denominator, even among self-styled “man of the people” populists. This may be a product of class, culture or elite upbringing.

The list includes, Donald Trump, Bolsonaro, Erdogan, Rodrigo Duterte, Viktor Orbán,Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin and Benjamin Netanyahu are among those.

Read more on The Guardian

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