Thursday, September 04, 2008
Linguist, gender expert, mender of marriages, and TigerHawk mother-in-law friend Deborah Tannen knows what's going on:
Georgetown University professor Deborah Tannen, who has written best-selling books on gender differences, said she agrees with complaints that Palin skeptics — including prominent voices in the news media — have crossed a line by speculating about whether the Alaska governor is neglecting her family in pursuit of national office.
“What we’re dealing with now, there’s nothing subtle about it,” said Tannen. “We’re dealing with the assumption that child-rearing is the job of women and not men. Is it sexist? Yes.”
“There’s no way those questions would be asked of a male candidate,” said Howard Wolfson a former top strategist for Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Not Deborah Tannen's most brilliant insight -- for those you need to read her outstanding book on language differences and gender -- but it needed to be said nonetheless. The press pounded the McCain campaign with questions that never would have been aimed at a man, and weren't in the obvious immediate cases of Joe Biden and John Edwards. There is no denying it.
CWCID: Glenn Reynolds.
The wonderfully named Mick Fealty makes a great point at the Telegraph. Feminists are very often left of center first, and feminists second, which is why you get these odd sounding criticisms of conservative women from well known female public intellectuals (Sally Quinn leaps to mind, saying that Palin's proper place is in the home taking care of her children. Bizarre reaction from a women whose spent her entire life saying just the oppo.).
Prominent feminists should be wary, lest they forget that Sarah Palin is being perceived by the voters who care about gender as a legitimate women politician, at least by the identity politics crowd, and criticism of her should focus relentlessly on her policy prescriptions. If they continue to attack her female legitimacy, as so many are doing, then these so-called "womens leaders" will become fully revealed as nothing more than the small thinking, fairly standard lefties they really are.
It's worth while comparing the accomplishments of Palin's critics with her own. Middle aged columnist affecting a breathless schoolgirl style vs. mayor and state governor? Some resumes, ladies. Whatever you do, don't let that uppity bitch wander off the reservation.
Incidentally I am amazed that you are acquainted with Deborah Tannen. I read You Just Don't Understand about ten years ago and still refelct upon its insights today.
I'm with Steve. Dr. Tannen's book is one of the most influential books I have read in my entire life. I recommend it to everyone (my extended family get's tired of my tirades about it) and I read it easily 15 years ago. Her more recent stuff is more of the same - go with the original.