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The Sweet Pursuit

Former Associate editor Margret Aldrich on the hunt for happiness, community, and how humans thrive

The Pink Elephant in the Room

 by Julie Hanus

Tags: Julie Hanus, political engagement, feminism, stereotypes, Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, Michelle Cottle, The New Republic,

Are Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann good news for women in politics? Writing for The New Republic, Michelle Cottle makes an awfully interesting argument:

When you think GOP rock star, who leaps to mind? Eric Cantor? Mitch McConnell? Mitt Romney? Michael Steele? Please. These guys aren’t exactly thrilling the masses . . . . Instead, it’s pugilistic lasses Palin, Bachmann, and increasingly, Liz Cheney who are channeling—and fueling—the passions of the base with their in-your-face conservatism.

On one level, I find this trend disturbing. On another, I cannot help but be impressed by—and even a bit grateful to—these conservative girls gone wild. Say what you will about their ideology; these angry female fringe-dwellers are arguably doing more than anyone to tear down some of the most tiresome stereotypes about women in politics.

You know what I’m talking about: Every few years someone writes a book, publishes a study, or simply drops a quote suggesting what a kinder, gentler, less competitive, more collaborative, less power-crazed, and fundamentally more ethical place Washington would be if only the gals were in charge. . . .

As gross generalizations go, this is, perhaps, more flattering than the one about women being too soft-hearted and weak-kneed to lead. But it’s still largely B.S.


Source: The New Republic (excerpt only available online)