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Academic: Feminist Law Professors
Meet the Sexism
By Bridget Crawford
Guests on today’s “Meet the Press With Tim Russert” were historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, Jon Meacham (Newsweek), Peggy Noonan (Wall Street Journal), Tom Brokaw (NBC) and Michele Norris (NPR) (L to R, above). Below is an excerpt from the transcript from the show:
MS. NOONAN: Can I say, on the campaign trail, one of the things I find jarring the past few weeks is that Hillary Clinton is the first major party woman running for president of the United States. She is a woman. She’s running for president. She’s running for head of the United States, chief executive officer. And she has to send her husband out to yell at the neighbors? It’s like she’s, she’s saying, “You go out there, you fight for me. My husband’s going to tell you off!” There’s something strange, jarring, unbecoming and even unfeminist about it.
MS. GOODWIN: I doubt that she’s sending him out. I think he’s going out on his own.
MS. NOONAN: You think he’s just on his own. Oh, my goodness, it’s her campaign. If she didn’t want him out there wagging his finger, turning red and arguing with reporters and bringing a level of temper and heat to the proceedings, if she did not want that, I’m sure she would stop it. And if she cannot, we should all just stop and take a breath.
The full transcript is here.
Goodwin’s comments are disingenuous and Noonan’s are sexist. President Clinton is not “going out on his own;” his participation in the campaign is planned (although not necessarily scripted to the word).
And Noonan criticizes Senator Clinton for doing what the male candidates do: having a spouse assist in campaigning. That’s hardly the same as sending one’s husband to fight one’s battles. Noonan’s real objections are that President Clinton is popular and Senator Clinton is still in the race.
I must add that I was as jarred by Professor Goodwin’s plastic surgery as I was by her comments. I long for the day when a mature woman can retain her natural face and her authority.
Hat tip to Allison Cappella.
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