SASHA AND MALIA: DAMSELS NOT IN DISTRESS


President Obama managed to muse publicly about guarding the innocence of his preteen daughters twice in one week. Politico reports that he stopped by Sister Act on Broadway to joke

that the “Sister Act” movie series helped him decide to which convent to send his daughters Sasha and Malia, who are “getting a little too old and a little too cute.”

That comes one week after he went on Good Morning America to discuss Malia turning 13 and said

I should also point out that I have men with guns that surround them, often. And a great incentive for running for reelection is that means they never get in a car with a boy who had a beer. And that’s a pretty good thing.

Get it?
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FIVE MOST MISOGYNIST SUPERBOWL ADS NOT FEATURING TIM TEBOW

“Honorable” Mention: Dove: Men + Care – This one got edged (barely) out of the misogyny top 5 because instead of going full-on essentialist it acknowledges that guys suffer from being socialized not to show the “sensitive side.” But you’ve still got the man saving the family from a bad tire while his ungrateful wife waits in the car – and the general “Life is harder cause you’re a man, but you triumph cause you’re a man” shtick.

#5: Dockers: Men Without Pants – What’s become of our society? If the men don’t “wear the pants” are we doomed to wander the fields forever? Have the trappings of modern civilization collapsed because of insufficiently dominant men, or have they just been abandoned?

#4: Mars’ Snickers: You’re Not You When You’re Hungry – Hunger makes young men play sports like old women. Get it?

#3: Bridgestone: Your Tires or Your Life – This time the wife gets thrown out of the car as bad-guy-bait so our protagonist can save his tires. “Man’s best friend” etc.

#2: FloTV: Injury Report – Like the pantless guys in the field, without the subtlety. A man who fails to boss his woman around enough might as well be wounded, or a woman (same thing?). Like the Moynihan Report, just less racist and more homophobic.

#1: Chrysler: Dodge Charger – The most interesting thing about this one is the way, like the Fight Club guy, it grafts a free spirit anti-corporate message onto a macho anti-woman one. Your wife is another boss, women crush men’s spirits etc. And don’t you want your wife to be civil to your mother?

NO SURPRISES HERE

Supposedly liberal Washington Post publishes op-ed about how stupid women are.

Supposedly woman-friendly Independent Women’s Forum’s VP writes of the piece, written by one of IWF’s contributors, that she sees the point it was trying to make but hopes it doesn’t reinforce the idea that people who think men are smarter than women are sexists.

PUT DOWN THE FEMALE CANDIDATE AND NOBODY GETS HURT

Andrew Sullivan approvingly cites a reader’s nasty argument against Hillary Clinton:

If everyone is admitting that a Hillary Clinton’s potential nomination to the Democrat Presidential ticket is only fuel for the religious right, then what do you think Senator Clinton’s view is on that? Why is it that this either doesn’t concern her, or she thinks she can overcome it? If I were in the same position, I would realize that winning the nomination, only to further create a dichotomy between the American politic, would be disastrous for the country.

Now it’s one thing to say that Hillary Clinton shouldn’t run because she’s too unpopular to win the general election (though the polls won’t be much help to you there). It’s another thing to say that running for president even though a lot of people hate you shows “fathomless narcissism” (Sullivan’s phrase). In other words, if you love America, and there are a bunch of people in America who hate you, you shouldn’t run for election in America because it will divide America and that’s too great a price to pay.

There are good reasons not to like Hillary Clinton. Those are not the ones that make her unpopular with the religious right. Hillary Clinton, for all her caution with the personal and the political, is a lightning rod for anti-feminist forces in American politics who don’t believe women should exercise power traditionally reserved for men. Andrew Sullivan knows that.

It’s silly, though all too common, to suggest that the main problem facing this country is a lack of consensus about where it should go or what kind of person should lead it. And it’s outrageous, though by no means unusual, to argue that the enlightened response to the troubling views of a certain number of Americans is to accommodate them rather than to engage and challenge them.

Some people in this country think Hillary Clinton is a bitch because she wields power and wants more of it. It’s a shame to see pundits who should know better suggesting she’s a bitch for not acceding to those people’s wish that she would disappear.

I’m yet to run into anyone on this campus who supports Yale’s History Department’s decision to deny junior professor Mary Habeck tenure. Several people have pet theories about why it happened and what it demonstrates – that Yale discriminates against women, that Yale discriminates against conservatives, and so forth. What this demonstrates most compellingly, though, is that Yale’s ongoing casualization of its academic labor force is contrary to the best interests of faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates alike. I’ve never met or studied with Habeck, but I’ve heard only good things about her from students, all of whom are poorly served by a system which transfers more and more work from ladder faculty to transient professors and graduate teaching assistants. As “Blackboard Blues” demonstrated, a real concern with undergraduate teaching should translate into institutional support for transient and graduate teachers who do 70% of the teaching here, and into an expansion of the ranks of ladder faculty. Mary Habeck, it seems, is the latest casualty of Yale’s failure to follow that advice.