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June 29, 2007

Things have changed

Found in a "Friend's" journal .

From the wall card by one of Louise Nevelson's sculptures at the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City, quoting a critic commenting on one of her shows in 1947:

"We learn the artist is a woman in time to check our enthusiasm. Had it been otherwise we might have hailed these sculptural expressions as by a great figure among the moderns."

Things are a little different today, but we still have some of it.  Speaker of the House?  We got our first woman in the job less than a year ago.  Israel had Golda Meir, Britain had Thatcher; those were the chief executive.

We have people who argue that Clinton ought not be running, because she's a woman.  That to get anywhere she'll have to prove herself more manly than her competition.

Concerned Women of America are complaining that Code Pink isn't being feminine (having an opinion, and sharing it with others is masculine, and evil; at least for women).

So things are a little different.  But we still have a culture which wants to say: had it been a man, we could count those people among the best of the moderns.


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Nevelson...amazing. But artists in general are pains in the ass. Solipsistic. Nevelson was extremely solipsistic.

We have people who argue that Clinton ought not be running, because she's a woman.

I have no doubt that people say such things, but in the broad media culture I doubt if they're more than a small subset. OTOH I don't read right-wing blogs, so perhaps there are more such folk than I know.

But we still have a culture which wants to say: had it been a man, we could count those people among the best of the moderns.

To be accurate, I think you'd have to replace the phrase "a culture which wants" with "a culture in which some people still want".

>But artists in general are pains in the ass. Solipsistic. Nevelson was extremely solipsistic.

Kinda the job description, isn't it? If you don't have to live with them, what's the diff? As an arts-consumer, I'll take a gifted personality-disorder near-threat over a facile populist, any day.

Bill O'Reilly says Hillary should not be president because she is a woman. Maybe he's a small subset, but he's an influential one.

Do you have a link about that rabbit. Not that I don't believe he's likely to say something like that, I just hadn't encounter that particular bit of idiocy.

Where-ever Clinton lands, even if it's the VP slot, it's bound to be cushy.

I wish Clinton were a man. That way, she'd be where she belongs on polls, listed one step above Joe Biden. Instead, she's a woman so she's the front Runner. I'm sorry if this offends, but that seems to be more or less the Totality of her appeal.
No male with her positions would be running this strongly, nor should they be. I won't vote for Hillary under any circumstances (okay, I voted for her in 2000, but I was young and I liked Clintons then). Not because she's a woman, but because I know she won't even attempt to end the war and she'll be ever bit as corrupt and pro-business as any Republican would be.

and for that matter, Chris Matthews:

I'm not a Hillary supporter. I just find this repellent.

Hello there,

Nice blog you have

Your father was one of my greatest heros. He taught me the most important lessons of my adult life. He taught me to question with an open mind, but be sure to quesion. I loved being one of his students and I will always honor his memory --every day--by practicing the skepitcism with which he elightened me. I know how hard it is to loose a parent, and now I know how hard it is to loose a hero.
He will be missed by many.

--We have people who argue that Clinton ought not be running, because she's a woman.--
Bullshit. Provide some evidence.

--Bill O'Reilly says Hillary should not be president because she is a woman--

I doubt very much whether he said any such thing. And the Media Matters links from rabbit prove no such case either.

I hear a lot of conservatives criticize her because of her perceived extreme liberal-ness, I hear a lot of lefties criticize her because of her conservative-ness. her opportunism, and her Iraq vote,
and I hear a lot of people, predominantly women, criticize her because she came to power via her hubby, not through any automomous credentials she may have had.

I don't here anyone saying she should stay out solely because of her gender. I think that if an American Thatcher or Meir could be found, that conservatives would be among her biggest supporters. Can you one, one who is prominent? No? Did not think so.

Pretty weak post. There may have been the beginnings of a point somewhere, but it got lost in the sauce.


Hate that

So, Phantom, why aren't there any Thatcher's, or Meir's? What is it about England, and Israel and India/Indira Ghandi, Pakistan/Benazair Bhutto, Sri Lanka/ Sirimavo Bandaranaike and Chandrika Kumaratunga, Iceland/Vigdís Finnbogadóttir Chile/Michelle Bachelet, Germany/Angela Merkel, Liberia/Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Philipines Corazon Aquino & Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, New Zealand/Helen Elizabeth Clark, Bulgaria/Reneta Indzhova, Finland/Anneli Jäätteenmäki) that cause them to have women who are seen as capable of running the place, but us... we don't have, out of 300 million people, a single woman who is capable?

You don't think that has something to do with culture? I do.

Pelosi was slammed, among the usual shibboleth's of "Berkeley/San Francisco Liberal" "out of touch with "real America" for being to motherly, and wearing fancy clothes.

On the flip side, Cheney was lauded for being grandfatherly to his daughter's child, while leaving the daughter out of the picture.

Think that difference isn't part of the culture which says women are flighty, unserious, not capable of dealing with weighty matters (e.g. the people saying Clinton's campaign is going to have trouble because she has too many women advising her)?

I do.

You are supporting the very argument I'm putting forth, by saying the lack of candidates with any traction is because they just don't exist. So, which is it, are women inherently incapable, or is the culture inhibiting them.


I zeroed in on your bogus "We have people who argue that Clinton ought not be running, because she's a woman" comment, and on the other stuff about Hillary Clinton--not on the larger point about why America does not produce Presidential timber from the distaff side.

And it is hereby noted that Gandhi, Bhutto and Aquino all got their jobs through marriage or family, not through the slightest hint of merit. The male leader got assassinated in all three cases, and the chick got the gig as a kind of a show of post-mortem solidarity, as it were. If we were as "progressive" as India, Pakistan or the Philippines, God help us, we'd have anointed Jackie Kennedy as President of the United States.

I'm not impressed by these three examples.

There may not indeed be a qualified female in the United States today. I certainly don't think Hillary is qualified. If there are a bunch of qualified females, please name a half dozen or so if you would.

It's fairly clear now that GWB was not and is not qualified to be President. He did save the country from Gore and Kerry, true, he made the right move in going into Iraq true, but he's hardly prosecuted the war well, and I could roast him on a number of other issues, especially environmental ones.

He got the job through family affiliation, the same way Hillary seeks to foist herself on the populace on Bill's coat-tails. I don't want any more Bushes or Clintons in the White House. I'll take the Italian from New York thank you very much, the one who knows how to run things.

In this country, in these dangerous times, the first woman President will be someone seriously conservative, one none of us knows of.

--why aren't there any Thatcher's, or Meir's? --

As to this point, who cares? The important thing is that the leaders are good. Not that they are of any gender or race or whatever.

Find me an American Thatcher or Meir, and we'll talk. We haven't produced any male Thatchers or Meirs recently either.

The only way to know if "leaders are good" or not, is through open, transparent government. Meaning NO SECRECY. As the founders intended. (It wasn't called "the enlightenment" for nothing...)

We're not talking about troop movements here, were talking about the basic workings of government.

But this administration is ALL ABOUT secrecy.

Well, that be a fine segue.

NO SECRECY, not even on matters of national security? I'll have to consult my advisors in London and Glasgow on that.

“Find me an American Thatcher or Meir, and we'll talk.”

No doubt these were two women who were smart, tough, and capable, and could probably run circles around our own president Dubya at close to the speed of light. They also prove that it doesn’t take testosterone to be belligerent. That, and Thatcher’s privatization/free market fundamentalism and Meir’s failure to understand the Palestinian perspective and see that the West Bank settlements would only lead to a trap leaves me a little less than thrilled about the prospect of an American version.

It occurs to me (going out on a limb) that Thatcher and Meir -to their credit in a certain sense-could be compared to Elisabeth I of England. Brilliant, resolute, hard as nails, master bureaucratic tacticians, ruthless, cunning, driven, but better at bulldozing than compassion and not particularly suited for democratic consensus.

I certainly had my own problems with Mrs. Thatcher. Her anti-Irishness hardly endeared her to me.

But her free market fundamentalism has to be seen in context. When she took power, the country was in clear economic decline, with one of the major reasons being untrammeled Luddite union power--ie the coal miners.

By taking on the unions and by privatizing enterprises that the government should never, ever been involved in--airlines, coal, trucking etc etc. --she led the foundation for the real growth that Britain has experienced since.

“the country was in clear economic decline, with one of the major reasons being untrammeled Luddite union power”

I don’t know if I’d call it Luddite, clean coal being the future and all.

Perhaps Thatcher anticipated globalization and recognized that worker’s rights have no place in the worldwide race to the bottom. Doesn’t mean we should be cheering about it. I know, a rising tide floats all boats, but some boats are manifestly not rising as fast as others and it’s breeding dangerous resentments.

Noone said that Britain should not have coal mines--the issue was why was the government owning such enterprises?

And the fact was that the national economy was completely vulnerable at all times to a coal miners strike. Well, it is not. And that's good for the companies, but also for the workers of the UK.

This gives rise to a whole bunch of chicken and egg arguments, but the parts of Britain that are more dependent on government largesse and intervention--north England and Scotland--are going nowhere, while the more free market south England is doing well, and is carrying the rest of the country on its back.

Same here in NY State. The New York City area thrives economically, while Albany, Rochester and Buffalo are dying. They have good schools and lots of bright young people, who all leave for NYC and DC and down South as soon as they graduate.

Why? The dead hand of the NY State government, which impedes growth and skews the labor pool and adds costs at every level. NYC can thrive despite the government, Buffalo, Albany, and Rochester cannot.

NY State needs a Thatcher. But will not get one. A union and trial lawyer influenced power structure ensure that the bleeding to death of upstate NY will steadily continue.

NY State, like Britain in the 1970s, is one of the many places where the unions have ultimately acted at complete variance with the interests of workers.

--Well, now its not--
Hate that

For what it's worth (not much), I have yet to hear any person on the street say "I'm not voting for Hillary because she's a woman." Have any of you? I'm not talking about the pundits.

There are plenty of good reasons not to vote for another Clinton. States rights is mine. Screw the phony Dems. Remember what Bill said about legalizing cannabis for medicinal purposes? "It would send the wrong message."

What message is that? That putting people in prison for using natural medicines was the wrong thing to do? Until these people support an end to the war on natural medicines, they will not have my vote. Ever.


Phantom - we're not talking about identities of CIA Officers (ala Cheney/Libby) or about giving away troop movements...dork! We're talking about the inner workings of our USA Government, which is supposed to be an open government. Don't play coy.

And if you can't tell the difference between the workings of the government, and the workings of a current administration, go back to elementary school and take a basic civics course.

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