Monday, October 27, 2008

Women in politics

On the op-ed page of yesterday's NYTimes Judith Warner, a Times columnist, began an article with this: In 1977, Bella Abzug, the former congresswoman and outspoke feminst, said, "Our struggle today is not to have a female Einstein get appointed as an assistant professor. It is for a woman schlemiel
to get as quickly promoted as a male schlemiel." In other words women will have truly arrived when the most mediocre among us will be able to do just as well as the most mediocre men. By this standard the watershed event this year is ... Sarah Pallin's nomination as the Republican's No. 2"

She goes on to speak of how Hilary Clinton is one woman who believes she must be twice as smart and twice as good as a man to get ahead and that furthermore, Barak Obama is a man who believes that a person of color must be twice as smart and twice as presidential to get ahead. But the Republicans traffic in raising mediocrity to a national standard. This is a national standard that has us in a hateful war, in an economic crisis that hasn't reached bottom yet, and an ecological disaster the few have yet to comprehend. Not to mention the most extensive penal system on earth, the most arrogant nose thumbing at international agreements ... oh, I could go on. Was it Archie Bunker who said, "You take my meaning?"

1 comment:

MaryContrary said...

Unfortunately, yes, I do take your meaning. I find it a very sad commentary on our times that a man who graduated five from the bottom of his Annapolis class (a class he would likely not have been in if his father and grandfather had not been admirals) is hoping to succeed a man who scraped by with a c+ and only made it into his elite MBA program because his father was a wealthy graduate. I remember a book on the Kennedy cabinet and advisors was titled 'The Best and the Brightest.' A follow up on the Bush years could only be 'The Least and the Dumbest.'