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It’s come to this: Old women hector and belittle young women to vote for Hillary or else

From my latest blog post for the Independent Women’s Forum:

Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright introduces Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton during a campaign stop in Concord, New HampshireFormer U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright (L) introduces Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton during a campaign stop at Rundlett Middle School in Concord, New Hampshire February 6, 2016. REUTERS/Adrees Latif

Albright: Vote for this woman or burn for all eternity


So–two old Democratic women sprang into action over the weekend to get those young Democratic women into line–kind of like the “Aunts” who regulate the social mores of younger women in Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale.

Gloria Steinem, age 81, accused the twentysomethings of being boy-crazy (the pro-Sanders “Bernie Bro” is a much-criticized-among-progressives male phenotype):

“’Women get more radical as we get older,’ she said, explaining that women lose power as they age while men gain it, and feeling oppressed radicalizes you…. ‘When you’re young, you’re thinking, “Where are the boys? The boys are with Bernie?”‘”

Madeleine Albright, age 78, went a step further, threatening the youthful female feel-the-Berners with eternal damnation:

“’Young women have to support Hillary Clinton. The story is not over!’ she said. ‘They’re going to want to push us back. Appointments to the supreme court make all the difference.

“’It’s not done and you have to help. Hillary Clinton will always be there for you. And just remember, there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other.’”

Uh-oh! Neither admonition went over particularly well. Steinem promptly apologized for her “where the boys are” crack. Hillary went on “Meet the Press” to defend Albright’s theological admonition as a “light-hearted but very pointed remark.”

Light-hearted Albright may have been, but the CNN/WMUR poll indicates that all the hectoring to date hasn’t pushed into Hillary’s camp the huge numbers of women voters she needs to overcome the Clinton Gender Gap (only 32 percent of men supported her in Iowa).

And the CNN/MUR poll shows that older women who aren’t named “Steinem” or “Albright” are feeling basically like the millennials about Hillary.
Posted by Charlotte Allen




Mandatory Mizzou “diversity training”: $145 million Serena Williams is a victim of racism

From my latest blog post for the Independent Women’s Forum:

You’re supposed to say “race” is the reason Sharapova earns more than Williams

But there could be another reason for the dropoff in Mizzou applications: the dull, hectoring and all-around excruciating  “mandatory diversity training” sessions that began this January for all incoming students, faculty, and staff in the wake of the protests.


But this New York Times report on diversity training at Mizzou strikes a creepier note:

“Scott N. Brooks, draped in a dapper shawl-collar sweater, looked out on the auditorium of mostly white students in puffy coats and sweats as they silently squirmed at his question. Why, he had asked, does Maria Sharapova, a white Russian tennis player, earn nearly twice as much in endorsements as Serena Williams, an African-American with a much better win-loss record?

“’We like to think it’s all about merit,’ said Dr. Brooks, a sociology professor at the University of Missouri, speaking in the casual cadence of his days as a nightclub D.J. ‘It’s sport. Simply, the best should earn the most money.’

“Maybe tennis is not as popular here as overseas, one student offered. Dr. Brooks countered: Ms. Williams is a global figure. As the room fell silent, the elephant settled in. Most sat still, eyes transfixed on the stage. None of the participants — roughly 70 students new to the University of Missouri — dared to offer the reason for the disparity that seemed most obvious. Race.

“The new frontier in the university’s eternal struggle with race starts here, with blunt conversations that seek to bridge a stark campus divide. Yet what was evident in this pregnant moment during a new diversity session that the university is requiring of all new students was this: People just don’t want to discuss it….

“[Brooks] offered a gentle explanation of the Williams/Sharapova discrepancy: ‘Maria is considered a beauty queen, but by what standards of beauty? Some people might just say, “Oh, well, she’s just prettier” Well, according to whom? This spells out how we see beauty in terms of race, this idea of femininity. Serena is often spoofed for her big butt. She’s seen as too muscular.'”

I’m leaving aside the fact that Serena Williams pulls in almost twice as much income as Maria Sharapova from playing tennis: $69.7 million in prize money compared with Sharapova’s $34.9 million. Serena Williams is, in fact, the highest-paid tennis player in the world. The lanky, supermodel-esque Sharapova may earn more in product endorsements–but that’s because people like to look at lanky, supermodel-esque women more than they like to look  at “too muscular” women like Serena Williams. Believe me, if Rihanna were a tennis player, she’d have no trouble pulling down product endorsements either.

What’s at issue here is that those Mizzou students who “silently squirmed” or “sat still” in their seats were obviously feeling cowed. They knew that they weren’t sitting there to have “blunt conversations about race” but, rather, to arrive at the politically correct conclusion: that it was “obvious” that the Williams-Sharapova product-endorsement disparity was all about “race.” Why bother having a “conversation” when its outcome is a foregone conclusion?

Read the whole thing here.

Posted by Charlotte Allen

Politically Correct U.: Brown faculty renames Columbus Day “Indigenous People’s Day”

From my latest blog post for the Independent Women’s Forum:

Columbus: Once a daring navigator, now a genocidal non-person

The name change, which becomes effective this fall, came at the behest of the student group Native Americans at Brown, according to the Brown Daily Herald:

“NAB and other students rallied outside Salomon Center before the meeting took place, holding signs reading ‘250+ years of occupying indigenous land,’ ‘Native Americans discovered Columbus,’ ‘We don’t celebrate genocide’ and ‘#Changethename.’

“The vote was in response to a petition signed by over 1,100 faculty members, staff, alums and students urging the University to recognize indigenous peoples on the day formally celebrating the oppression instigated by Christopher Columbus, said Thomas Roberts, chair of the Faculty Executive Committee and professor of ecology and evolutionary biology.”

Actually, the Brown faculty had already dumped Christopher Columbus some seven years ago:

“A 2009 ‘student-led movement’ by NAB previously requested that the name Columbus Day be changed to Indigenous People’s Day because the ‘holiday was insulting and potentially misleading in many ways,’ said Linford Fisher, associate professor of history. But instead of changing the name to Indigenous People’s Day, faculty members voted to change the name of the holiday to a ‘neutral term,’ Fall Weekend, in order to avoid offending the Italian-American population for whom the holiday was originally dedicated, Fisher said.


“’The change from the neutral name of Fall Weekend recognizes both the role and the plight of Native Americans currently and historically,’ Roberts said, adding it will hopefully ‘go some way towards addressing the hurt students feel when they see a holiday named after Columbus.'”

And we can’t have the delicate little darlings feeling “hurt” by a name like “Fall Weekend.”

Read the whole thing here.

Posted by Charlotte Allen

Lena Dunham quits Twitter for the umpteenth time because the tweeters are so mean to her

From my latest blog post for the Independent Women’s Forum:

Dunham: Twitter allows people to make me feel hurt

Guess what? Lena Dunham has quit Twitter!

“’I’ve been fairly public about that fact that I no longer check my own Twitter,’ she said. ‘I found that the hostility, particularly the hostility towards women and the expressions of violence were too much.’

“Dunham made her remarks this afternoon during a forum hosted by MORE Magazine with First Lady Michelle Obama and actress Julianne Moore.

“Dunham said that believed that Twitter was an ‘important platform’ but demanded changes and protections from the hatred that she had exposed herself to. Dunham said:

“‘Many internet media platforms — social media platforms — have to be putting more barriers in place for what is ultimately the violent harassament of women. And just because it’s not face to face, doesn’t mean it’s not extremely dangerous emotionally, doesn’t mean it couldn’t transfer to something really kind of terrifying in the real world.'”

But wait! Didn’t Dunham just quit Twitter a couple of months ago?

“Lena Dunham is one of the few no-holds-barred famous faces we have in entertainment today, famous for co-creating Girls, embracing the overshare and giving us the realistic Goop we’ve been waiting for. So why is the 29-year-old quitting Twitter?

“‘Verbal violence,’ she says. AKA trolls.”

And then there was the time she quit Twitter in January 2015:

Read the whole thing here.

Posted by Charlotte Allen



A worthy lefty cause! Georgetown Law students fight to hand out Sanders material on campus

From my latest blog post for the Independent Women’s Forum


 Rallying for Bernie in Iowa: The enemy of my enemy is my friend

I don’t want to see America turned into Venezuela–but I love that Bernie Sanders is giving “Queen” Hillary Clinton a run for her money.

So I’m delighted that the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is going to bat for a bunch of Bernie-supporting Georgetown Law School students whom the school has banned from distributing their Sanders campaign material on campus.

“As the presidential nomination season officially kicks off today in Iowa, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is asking one school in the nation’s capital to act quickly to revisit policies that restrict students from engaging in political speech on behalf of their chosen candidates.

“Today, FIRE wrote to Georgetown University Law Center asking it to revise its policy governing partisan political speech. The school has prevented a group of students supporting Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders from handing out campaign materials on campus, incorrectly claiming that the school’s tax-exempt status requires this limitation.

“’Every campaign season, FIRE sees private colleges erroneously tell students that they can’t campaign for their candidate because it would threaten the school’s tax exemption,’ said FIRE Senior Program Officer Marieke Tuthill Beck-Coon. ‘That’s just not correct. As the IRS has made clear, and as FIRE has emphasized repeatedly throughout the years, nonprofit restrictions on political campaigning apply to the institution itself, not to students or student groups.'”

Here’s what’s happened:

“In September 2015, law student Alexander Atkins requested a table reservation in Georgetown Law’s McDonough Hall so he and his group could display and distribute materials supportive of Sanders, as well as inform other students about voting in the upcoming primaries. Georgetown Law’s Office of Student Life (OSL) denied the request because it was “in support of a specific candidate.” The following month, on the day of a Democratic primary debate, several students sat at an outdoor table on campus displaying Sanders posters, distributing campaign literature, and offering information about the primaries. The students were asked by OSL representatives to stop their activity, as Georgetown Law policy prohibited campaign-related activities on campus.

“After these two incidents, Atkins reached out to the coordinator of student organizations via email and was informed that Georgetown Law’s ‘Student Organization Policy on Partisan Political Activities’ prohibited campaign activity, and that as a tax-exempt institution, Georgetown University does not allow campaigning and campaign activity on campus.”

Read the whole thing here.

Posted by Charlotte Allen

Women taking up space: “power posing”–men taking up space: “manspreading”

From my latest blog post for the Independent Women’s Forum:

A power pose: When a guy sits like this, he can get arrested

Why is it called “power posing” when you’re a woman and you stand or sit so that you take up as much space as possible—but called “manspreading” when you’re a man and do exactly the same thing?

The former earns kudos as enabling women to exude them the self-confidence that will win them a pay raise at the office or speeded-up service at the dry cleaner. As Slate’s Katy Waldman puts it : “Think a cobra rearing and spreading its hood to the sun, or Wonder Woman with her legs apart and her hands on her hips.”

The latter is…a crime, at least in New York City, where two men were arrested in June 2015 for taking up too much seating space on a Gotham subway, even though the alleged offense occurred at 12:11 a.m., a time that made it unlikely that many other passengers were even riding the subway.

In 2010 Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist at the Harvard Business School, published a paper with some research collaborators asserting: “Humans and other animals express power through open, expansive postures, and they express powerlessness through closed, contractive postures…[R]results of this study confirmed our prediction that posing in high-power nonverbal displays (as opposed to low-power nonverbal displays) would cause neuroendocrine and behavioral changes for both male and female participants: High-power posers experienced elevations in testosterone, decreases in cortisol, and increased feelings of power and tolerance for risk; low-power posers exhibited the opposite pattern.”

Cuddy’s paper morphed into an ultra-popular TED talk and then, at the end of 2015, a book, Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges.  The book garnered a rave review in the New York Times. Google “power pose image,” and you’ll see dozens of photos of men and women with their elbows akimbo, their legs propped up on the conference table, and their knees and ankles spread as far apart as the Colossus of Rhodes’s.

Read the whole thing here.

Posted by Charlotte Allen

Annals of female oppression: Disney princesses not allowed to yackety-yack enough

From my latest blog post for the Independent Women’s Forum:

Pocahantas: Princess Only 24 Percent of Lines

From Mashable:

“Data linguists Carmen Fought and Karen Eisenhauer analyzed all dialogue in Disney princess films and found that men have three times as many lines as female characters. This trend started with the Little Mermaid, where men speak 68% of the time. The statistics carry on well into the ’90s from there, with men speaking 71% of the time in Beauty and the Beast, 76% of the time in Pocahontas and 77% of the time in Mulan.

“Even with the newer films, the balance is still off.

“Women speak less than 50% of the time in 2009’s Princess and the Frog and 2013’s Frozen. Brave and Tangled break that streak, with women getting 52% and 74% of lines respectively, though they appear to be exceptions to the rule.”

And if that weren’t bad enough:

‘In addition, the characters are usually surrounded by men, Fought and Eisenhauer note.

“’There’s one isolated princess trying to get someone to marry her, but there are no women doing any other things,’ Fought tells the Post. ‘There are no women leading the townspeople to go against the Beast, no women bonding in the tavern together singing drinking songs, women giving each other directions, or women inventing things. Everybody who’s doing anything else, other than finding a husband in the movie, pretty much, is a male.’

‘Their data shows that since Snow White in 1937, pretty much every Disney princess film has a mostly male cast. Aside from princes and villains, the sidekick/best friend character is typically also always male. For example Mushu (Mulan), Flounder (The Little Mermaid), Genie (Aladdin), Olaf (Frozen) and more.”

Well, maybe we could remake Snow White to include Grumpette, Doperina, and Sneezyella. And isn’t Flounder a fish?

Read the whole thing here.

Posted by Charlotte Allen

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