In one corner, we have a man who has written novels -- gasp! novels! -- that lack any strong female characters! In the other, we have a man who has a sister who's written a memoir -- oh, no! a memoir! get me Oprah! -- in which she tattles that he pulled her hair!
In its latest attack, the [George] Allen camp takes particular issue with the portrayal of women in [Jim] Webb’s novels, saying female characters are consistently “servile, subordinate, inept, incompetent, promiscuous, perverted, or some combination of these.”And:
Mr. Webb ... attacked Mr. Allen personally. “You ought to read what George Allen’s sister wrote about him if you want to read about attitudes toward females,” he said, alluding to an autobiography by Jennifer Allen in which she describes her brother as a bully who once dragged her upstairs by her hair because she had defied her father at bedtime.Oh, come on, Althouse. Get the story straight! It's not a memoir, it's an autobiography. And he didn't just pull her hair, he dragged her up the stairs by her hair -- the caveman! -- because she defied her father -- the patriarch!
Well, who is this Jennifer Allen character that she merits an "autobiography"? It looks like a memoir to me. She tells the story of growing up with that patriarch, who was a "legendary" football coach and, apparently, a mean daddy. Too bad Amazon doesn't have a search-inside-the-book function for that one, because we could find all the references to brother George and quote them -- in or out of context, as suits our fancy.
But come on, let's not stop with Webb and Allen. It's time to dig in. I want to know about all the male candidates. Who respects women more?
And all you guys who are hoping to make it in politics, who are burnishing your credentials right now? Better make sure you show nothing but respect from now on. Better go crawling on your knees to any woman you ever disrespected, lest she dash off a memoir. Bonus political tip: Hire a ghostwriter to write a novel full of upright, feisty females.
ADDED: From Maureen Dowd's TimesSelect column:
Mr. Allen’s younger sister, Jennifer, wrote a memoir in which she described her brother pulling a Michael Jackson and dangling her over a railing at Niagara Falls, and slamming a pool cue against her boyfriend’s head. (She later said the pool-cue story was a joke, calling the book a novelization of the past.)So it's that kind of memoir.