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Chicks and Politics

Betsy Newmark writes at the Examiner today about the history of women in politics and looks at some female politicians on the scene today trying to capitalize on their gender.

Why should gender matter in politics today? Have we returned to the arguments from a century ago that women are more moral and will clean up politics? In the 2006 campaign, Pelosi argued that it might take a woman to clean out the House of Representatives, unconsciously echoing a 1912 cartoon showing a giant woman voter sweeping away corrupt politicians. What happened to all the feminists' slogans about how there was no difference between women and men? Wasn't it questioning just this idea that got Larry Summers into trouble?

Women can't have it both ways. Either men and women are essentially the same, or each gender has certain strengths that the other lacks. If women are going to claim that they bring special gender-based skills to politics, men can start claiming that they, too, have particular strengths as leaders.

Wouldn't it be interesting to see that happen? There is not a male politician I can imagine brave enough to go there.


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Comments (28)

My guess is that Pelosi was... (Below threshold)

My guess is that Pelosi was making a joke about "cleaning house", perhaps not expecting that conservative women bloggers would take that opportunity to twist and distort what she said... or perhaps not caring that conservative women bloggers would snark and snipe at her for that remark like immature whiners.

Just my guess.

Geez, Lee. Must everything... (Below threshold)
Lorie Byrd:

Geez, Lee. Must everything that comes from your keyboard be so negative and whiny? That is getting so old. Try reading the column.

Betsy did not twist anything. She simply (and you would know this if you read it) noted the way women got the vote in part based on what were perceived as their strengths and the way some women politicians now play up some of their feminine qualities as positives for holding office. Betsy is a high school AP history teacher at an award winning charter school and the bit of history regarding women's suffrage that she goes through in the column was really interesting to me, especially when she describes the reaction of her female students to it. Hopefully some other readers will find it interesting as well.

Lorie, Thanks for ... (Below threshold)


Thanks for the tip, that was very interesting. I agree with you that there isn't a politician brave enough to discuss differences between the positive differences that men and women each bring into a situation. Maybe we can trick Joe Biden into it, or dare John Mcain though.

If there aren't inherent differences between men and woman (thank God there are), then why all the hoopla about a woman being the Speaker of the House? If Nancy Pelosi is just and androgynous politician, then making Speaker of the House was a non-event.


I agree with you that Nancy Pelosi was only joking about cleaning house. You could tell she was "joking" because her lips were moving. So far it has been politics as usual for both parties. So much for new beginnings. Male conservative bloggers are snarking and sniping too.

" Pelosi argued that it ... (Below threshold)

" Pelosi argued that it might take a woman to clean out the House of Representatives, unconsciously echoing a 1912 cartoon showing a giant woman voter sweeping away corrupt politicians. What happened to all the feminists' slogans about how there was no difference between women and men?"

Must everything I wrote be so negative? What a joke. Read the wuote you included, above. The conservative women bloggers' DWDS (Democratic Women Derangement Syndrome) has been in full bloom for quite a while now. Lies about Pelosi favoring San Francisco-based companies in the Minimum Wage legislation (a post you wrote which was nothing more than a smear piece) is a perfect example.

I've noted an increasing number of snarky, childish attacks from conservative women bloggers against Democratic women politicians recently. I think it's a laugh-riot. Please don't assume for a second that I was trying to slow you and Kim and Betsy and Mary Kay and Anne and Michelle down at all. Go get 'em!

Lee,This is exactly ... (Below threshold)
Lorie Byrd:

This is exactly why so many people despise politics and want no part of it. It is impossible to say anything without being labeled snarky or bitchy or racist or homophobic or whatever. It is now considered racist to refer to any black person as articulate or intelligent for goodness sake. Betsy can't even accurately describe things Pelosi and Hillary has said without being attacked for it. I am not playing with you anymore. It is a waste of time.

Looking at the history of women in politics it is interesting to see how we went from touting differences to claiming none existed (the feminist movement) to now recognizing and acknowledging differences and trying to use them to positive advantage. Some who read this will actually read the column and take an interesting history lesson away with them.

"If women are going to cla... (Below threshold)
Rob LA Ca.:

"If women are going to claim that they bring special gender-based skills to politics,"

Like bitch fighting , cat fights and jealousy already displayed by the Queen of Hypocracy Piglosi and her emotional gradeschool behavior in ignoring Harmon , qualified and next in line getting bypassed because of a grudge. The bizarre teenage behavior was not only a disgusting sight to see as a direct result of an incompetant treasonous criminal parties ill gotten gains , it was also a disgrace to our Country that the party of rats are proud of as they are equally proud of every single lie they tell and all the election fraud they pull to unseat good Americans and weasel their criminal cronies in their place.

This same criminal Party that had the gaul to disgrace our Country with their almost having put a traitor who still commits treason to this day as our "Commander in Chief" in the office of the Presidency. A direct result of not taking Treason seriously and we pay the price everyday just like we are for the 8 yrs of the corrupt Clintons.

Pelosi's joke about "cleani... (Below threshold)

Pelosi's joke about "cleaning house" was a joke. Newmark takes that joke and a few other snide, snarky observations, distorts them, and then runs with that false premise.

This isn't a history lesson, it's another snarky, baseless attack on liberal women by conservative bloggers.

Conservative women on the attack - spare me.

Lee, It doesn't much matter... (Below threshold)

Lee, It doesn't much matter whether Pelosi WAS serious or was making a joke. It should be evident to you that today there are "jokes" that a white male cannot tell in public that women and minorities can get away with - you know, the PC thing. Lorie's comments are quite accurate.

"that women are more mor... (Below threshold)
Rob LA Ca.:

"that women are more moral and will clean up politics?"

This makes me want to puke. The fact is that the so called women of the Democrat Party are more disgusting , vindictive and down right ugly evil bitches from the begging for power teary eyed Boxer , the dirty disgusting lies of blinky Pelosi and ashtray throwing power fiending fits of rage from an unqualified know nothing Clinton and the slew of token office holders to satisfy and appease all like affirmative action.

This is the Party of criminal frauds.

Rob LA CaYour comm... (Below threshold)

Rob LA Ca

Your comments, as well as you, are really P's.O.S. You are deranged.

"baseless attack on li... (Below threshold)
Rob LA Ca.:

"baseless attack on liberal women"

Baseless attacks? you consider those devil hounds woman? They have more balls than the pussified girly men who that tell lies , play the race card who are moraless incompetant cowards who surrender with out a fight and appease our enemies rather than fight and protect our Country.

They have women in their party to lay on the teary eyed emotional boo hooing to work on the emotions of the Public and to get the woman vote and to raise the rolling pin in the air when they need to act tuff. What good are the male bozos in the democrat party? Oh ya , to satisfy chubbing interns and the gay community, almost forgot.

Well I agree that it should... (Below threshold)

Well I agree that it shouldn't matter. However, the reality is that gender is used as an issue by both sides. Look at the disgusting adjectives some of the folks here use to describe, e.g. the slightly unhinged Rob referring to Pelosi as Piglosi and calling democratic women ugly evil bitches; or the frequent comments comments about botox etc. by other unhinged ones. Whether folks who use those words want to admit it or not those are nasty adjectives used only to describe a particular gender.

So, as usual it is a two way street. I don't think a woman has any more qualities than a man does. However, I do think each gender has their own experiences which are important and influential in their makeup and experience - and so important to consider in overall qualification.

Hey Puke , hows that fett... (Below threshold)
Rob LA Ca.:

Hey Puke , hows that fettish working out for ya, your obsession with crap filled depends ?
It depends?

You are the sick one with "FULL BLOWN BDS". exactly what is your purpose here? The cure is here however the cure is more painfull than the disease. So suffer needlessly idiot while I laugh.

It is unhinged to point... (Below threshold)
Rob LA Ca.:

It is unhinged to point out the fact that one uses botox?

It just obvious how insecure and phony they are to disguise their true selves. They don't like what they see and their lust and fiending for power will have them do whatever it takes to appeal and deceive those to get what they want. They can paint their ugly faces but they can never hide their ugly and disgusting behavior. Their is nothing beautiful about woman that loves to live in the mudd who can only feel good about yerself by slinging mud on everyone else. Then they can wallow in their mudd of self-righteousness like filthy pigs.

You don't see it because you admire such traits. Speaks volumes.

Lorie: "It is impossible... (Below threshold)

Lorie: "It is impossible to say anything without being labeled snarky or bitchy or racist or homophobic or whatever. "

I count 63 posts on Wizbang since election day which mention Pelosi.

I count 24 posts mentioning Harry Reid since election day.

...and a lot of these posts, like your above, are thinly-disguised smears based on distortion. "Ohhhh, look at what Pelosi said," ignoring it was a joke. Some, like the hit piece you wrote on Pelosi over the Minimum Wage legislation, are just outright lies.

This has nothing to do with "PC". Conservative women seem to hate seeing liberal women succeed, and apparently feel compelled to smear and distort, judging from the behavior observed here n Wizbang.

Why is that Lorie? Reid has as much "power" as Pelosi -- why do you and Kim want to focus your smear tactics on Pelosi (and Hillary and any liberal woman you can find to snark at) at an apparent ratio of almost 3:1? Be honest - - or try anyway...

The studies show that women... (Below threshold)
robert the original:

The studies show that women, on average, speak 15,000 words per day where the average man speaks only 5,000 words.

This means, on average, three times more thought per word, for men.

For most men this seems intuitively correct.

And a 24-hour filibuster, once quite a chore, could be reduced to the effort of an ordinary cell phone call with her mother.

Quite an advantage, that.

This argument just demonstr... (Below threshold)
Steve L.:

This argument just demonstrates why we cannot make progress in terms of making this country better. What started as a commentary on hypocrisy (for lack of a better word) turned into name-calling.

The point that Lee and the others on the Left in this discussion missed is that Lorie wasn't commenting on the "cleaning house" statement as indicative of some mindset. She was merely pointing out that people on the Left spend a lot of time and effort railing that men and women are equally capable of runniing the government yet Nancy Pelosi stated that it would take a woman to fix things. This implies that a man is incapable of fixing the mess in Washington.

This may be an entirely valid point, but it does contradict the notion that men and women are equally-abled when it comes to politics. With Lee's first comment, he set up a strawman that led the discussion in the wrong direction and ed to name-calling that does no good, changes no one's mind, and leads to no new solutions.

"I count 63 posts on Wizban... (Below threshold)

"I count 63 posts on Wizbang since election day which mention Pelosi."

uhhhhh...she just made history, and took full advantage of that fact for her own publicity benefit. She's "newsworthy." And she makes a pretty good target too.

She wasn't "making a joke." She was using double entendre -- half of her remark was a joke, the other half was dead serious. Corruption was practically all she crowed about (becides Iraq) for the last year.

You've got thin skin and a thick head.

Old "pucker puss" (lee lee)... (Below threshold)

Old "pucker puss" (lee lee) (resident turd polisher) (resident moron) using his "ditto" key again and again and ag.........
poor old "pukeface is beyond words.....

Rob is so angry, he reads l... (Below threshold)

Rob is so angry, he reads like a parody of DailyKos.

As for the article, I enjoyed it and found it interesting. I also thought Larry Summers was trying to start a worthwhile discussion before he was shutdown for being sexist.

Nancy Pelosi was just making a joke, but it's not bashing her to use it as a springboard to discuss the differences between men and women. It seemed like that's all the author was doing.

Thanks for the post. I learned something.

Angry? he thinks that wa... (Below threshold)
Rob LA Ca.:

Angry? he thinks that was angry, lol. Him not know me vewy welll do he?

Steve L.: "She was merel... (Below threshold)

Steve L.: "She was merely pointing out that people on the Left spend a lot of time and effort railing that men and women are equally capable of runniing the government yet Nancy Pelosi stated that it would take a woman to fix things."

Nope. My contention is that she was making a joke. Lorie would admit that if she was honest, but instead Lorie and Betsy took Pelosi's joke and, as you clearly indicate, indicated that "Nancy Pelosi stated that it would take a woman to fix things." Nope. She made a joke, not a declarative statement -- most everyone in this thread agrees with that.

And once you recognize that Pelosi didn't "state" that it would take a woman to fix it, you realize that Lorie and Betsy's diatribe is just PDS.

I contend that it's because conservative women don't like seeing women in power, and I say that because there seems to be a lot of distortion and lies coming from right-wing female bloggers attacking left-wing women politicians and staffers (like Kim's attack on Edwards' staffer yesterday).

[email protected]:53PM"Angry?... (Below threshold)

[email protected]:53PM

"Angry? He thinks that was angry, Him not know Me very well do He?"

Imao, no He dont!

New dual purpose Hillary bu... (Below threshold)
USMC Pilot:

New dual purpose Hillary bumper sticker;


Seen on the rear bumper of Democrat's cars.

Seen on the front of Republican's cars.

Women can't have it both wa... (Below threshold)
Rich Edwards:

Women can't have it both ways. Either men and women are essentially the same, or each gender has certain strengths that the other lack.

Sorry Lorie, but of course womyn can (or at least will try to) have it both ways. The Pelosi/Boxer/ Clinton crowd will happily claim that a female quality such as emotionalilty is best termed sensativity or compassion, and hence a strength while any male quality, decisiveness for instance, morhs into a liability - much as has been done with W - arrogance. The whole Pelosi- most-powerful-woman-in America has been one long exercise in female-chavinist piggery.

I think that there is no do... (Below threshold)

I think that there is no doubt that significant numbers of you righties were torn from your mothers teat way earlier than you wanted! You folks and your anger torwards and fear of women is kinda sad. Yeah I know, it's just the democratic women. But sadly your writings betray you in that regard. Sad sad sad.

USMC....where ya been you old fart? You wake up from your nap with the nasties?


More on the chicks and poli... (Below threshold)

More on the chicks and politics beat -- everyone remember Kim's "Pelosi is drunk on power II" rant from a day or two ago -- it's turned out to be another conservative lie also. - See here.

Another concrete example of conservative women bloggers LYING as they smear successful liberal women - this time it's Kim. Just like Lorie's hit piece on the min wage/Pelosi legislation -- no retraction, no correction, just lie -- and then move on to lie some more.

Nancy Pelosi's argument tha... (Below threshold)

Nancy Pelosi's argument that it might take a woman to clean out the House of Representatives does not seem to me to revert back to the idea that women in general are more moral and essentially better at cleaning up politics simply because of their gender. Undoubtedly a female politician is going to have a different perspective on what to do to clean up politics. Does this make them any more moral or able to do the job? No. It simply means that maybe a new perspective, a new outlook is needed to clean up politics. The comment that it might take a woman to clean up politics simply suggests that a woman may be able to bring something to the table that will make a difference. The specific words used her is that it "might take a woman", so we can only assume that it "might take a man". Either way, Pelosi as a woman, had every right to comment that the perspective that a woman brings to the job could be helpful in cleaning up politics without being criticized as damaging the feminist movement or "trying to have it both ways".

We can't simply ignore the differences between men and women. And it seems possible to recognize these differences, without arguing that either sex is better suited for on thing or the other. Different doesn't mean better, different doesn't mean worse, it simply means that their are recognizable differences in the way men and women handle things, including politics. That it might take a woman to clean up Washington, or any political arena for that matter, quite simply could be a probable possibility. On the other hand I can't imagine them dirtying it up anymore than men already have.






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