Chesler Chronicles

Mr. President: Mind the Gender Gap

The people are talking about it on television and in newspapers and magazines. Of course, I refer to the positive effect that President Obama’s election is expected to have on young African-American men and on the conversation about race.

Jonathan Kaufman and Gary Fields, in “Election of Obama Recasts National Conversation on Race,” in The Wall Street Journal.

WSJ describe African-Americans who feel that they can now hold their heads a “little higher” and, as important, hide behind fewer excuses in terms of their own achievement. In addition, white folk may feel that, in voting for Obama, they have atoned for their considerable historical sins and either are no longer “racists,” or will no longer be perceived as such.

Here’s what’s missing from the national conversation. In what way will electing another man, even a man of color, to be our Authority-in-Chief, psychologically effect young girls and women? Continue reading HERE.

Sarah and the Feminists
Where she hasn’t been ridiculed, Palin’s racked up curious endorsements in the world of American feminism

The Culture and Media Institute has just released a study entitled Character Assassination: How the TV Networks Have Portrayed Sarah Palin as Dunce or Demon. It documents that the mainstream media’s hostility to Governor Sarah Palin has been extreme, perhaps unprecedented. While the majority of the attacks have been launched by men, media women, including feminists on both sides of the aisle, have not been shy.

Many female journalists, including feminist activists Eve Ensler, Kim Gandy, Eleanor Smeal, Gloria Steinem, and Judith Warner, attacked Palin on the issues–abortion, birth control, equal pay, gun control, the environment, energy, and religion. This is entirely legitimate. But their tone was often unexpectedly and extremely personal, cruel, slightly hysterical. Palin gives Ensler “nightmares.” Warner views her as “fake as they come” and as “America’s Hottest Governor (Princess of the Fur Rendezvous 1983, Miss Wasilla).” Warner softens and, in a second piece views Palin as womens’ “inner Elle Woods,” the heroine played by Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde.

Some journalists, both male and female, including liberals and conservatives (Katie Couric, Maureen Dowd, Peggy Noonan, and Kathleen Parker), repeatedly insulted Palin and attacked her as both unprepared and unworthy. Dowd described Palin as “a fun zealot. She has a beehive and sexy shoes,” and as “the two-year governor of an oversized igloo.” Noonan writes: “She doesn’t think aloud. She just says things.” Parker, who initially praised Palin for having “common sense” concludes: “She is clearly out of her league.” The mainstream journalists, both male and female, and the left-liberal blogosphere, criticized Palin’s appearance, clothes and grammar, as well as her reproductive, parental, and beauty contest history. Fake pornographic photos of Palin appeared instantly and everywhere.

Shame on them—yes, of course, McCain picked someone who does not meet the usual standards for a male candidate but who meets his standards for a (modern) girlfriend or a wife. This is why career women feel “humiliated” and “unchosen” by him. Continue reading HERE.