August 18, 2010

Althouse in the NYT.

Talking about feminism and the First Lady. (A Bloggingheads clip.)

46 comments:

ricpic said...

I'll bet Moochelle's respect for the country - that popped up for the first time in her entire life with the election of the lizard - is wavering. Bitter clingers everywhere are letting the Wookie down. And they won't even apologize! Racissssssssssssss!

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

You said you liked Mrs. Obama's Madison speech, that the 'proud of America' snippet you didn't notice. What 'powerful, engaged' things did she say and what's to keep her from going back there after the election? After all, Hillary didn't wonder Hamlet like through the White House saying 'cookies, cookies, bake the cookies' after her husband was elected. By the way, Central America excluded, foreign policy has shown some cleverness which I believe Hillary has probably contributed to.

traditionalguy said...

They got a good look at the Althouse smile and nuance detector in action together in this clip. Good job Professor.

edutcher said...

ricpic said...

I'll bet Moochelle's respect for the country - that popped up for the first time in her entire life with the election of the lizard - is wavering. Bitter clingers everywhere are letting the Wookie down. And they won't even apologize! Racissssssssssssss!

Not as long as she gets to spend the summer on vaca on the white folks' dime.

Turtledove said...

She is grating when she gives a political speech and grating when she is trying to be the fashion icon and all concerned about children. She's a shallow, lumpy, ignorant woman in way over her head.

c3 said...

"Laura Bush satisfies our fantasy of a wife"

Is that what you meant to say?

You know when you use "satisfy" and "fantasy" to a male audience you bring up images that maybe don't jibe with the public persona of Laura Bush.

Michael McNeil said...

Hm, the video appears to be unavailable right now.

However, I just checked out the Bloggingheads talk between Robert Wright and Mickey Kaus; and Wright there (see following the first hour in) provides the baldest endorsement of what are effectively “death-panels” that I've seen in this country — allowed benefits to be decided purely on a cost basis ($750 a day being beyond his cut-off for life) — then Wright flatly dismisses the probability that there will ever be anything like “death-panels” here!

Big Mike said...

By highlighting your Bloggingheads clip the Times is trying to woo you back to the Dark Side, Professor. Resist! You must resist!

ndspinelli said...

Michelle Obama is a tough Princess, which always makes for an interesting woman. I like the tough part[always like smart, tough, funny, women]but I'm bothered by the Princess. I think she's become much more "royal" since moving into the White House. I think her mom and/or brother need to have a sit down w/ their Princess and "get her mind right"[Cool Hand Luke].

Dust Bunny Queen said...

In what way is Michelle Obama a 'powerful' woman. She has never done anything that wasn't given to her. She hasn't ran for office, given any independent policy statements, ran a business.

What makes her a powerful woman other than she happens to be married to Obama?

Synova said...

Speeches always sound great when the person is saying things you want to hear in a way that is familiar.

I recall we sort of talked about this on and off in '08. Obama talks like a law prof, so what he says sounds normal... to another law prof. Michelle no doubt knows her audiences as well and says things that sound entirely reasonable. The problem is that when a campaign is going on you don't ever get to *just* talk to your audience.

It could be that the worst possible thing was to panic and take Michelle off the campaign trail. It could be that people would have liked her better if they had more time to listen to her and hear her say something other than that she was proud of her country for the first time. Also, of course, we can assume that her speech was written or co-written by someone else and vetted by the campaign, and if she ad-libed the "for the first time" part, oh, well.

Perhaps Michelle was an early victim of the bus.

I don't know what she thought she was going to be doing as First Lady. Maybe she should have gotten a job as an administrator at a DC hospital and just worked. Like a normal person. It would be a new template for First Ladies, and I think it would have most likely been a good one.

If the traditional, more "feminine" auxiliary role is uncomfortable for her I think she could have found something to do with herself. (Granted, my solution to being in a similar if far far more lowly ladies auxiliary situation, which I found intolerable, was to enlist, which wouldn't work for her at all.)

I never found Michelle overly relatable, though. A deal was made about her middle class upbringing but every time she talked about her kids or family life it felt to me (yes, I'm entirely subjective) like she was putting on an upper middle class domestic persona. I mean... who notices the fruit? You toss it in the crisper or cut it up and eat it and when it gets nasty you throw it out. Who worries, or mentions that they worry, about their kids having too much material stuff? It seems to me that parents get their kids what the parents can afford to get them.

Someone is going to accuse me of saying she was acting "uppity" but that's not it. She wasn't acting above her station. The Obamas were already wealthy people. It's okay for them to be wealthy and act wealthy and be well educated and act well educated. The problem wasn't when she tried to act sophisticated. The problem was when she tried to act down-homey.

Like the stupid garden.

Is she "acting out" and spending too much money now because she's trying to be the do-nothing social attachment to her husband? Maybe. But she'd get criticized if she was frumpy, too.

The vacation might have been a tipping point, though, as there seemed to be so many of them lately and many people are like me... I haven't seen my parents in two years because I just can't afford to.

BJM said...

I thought Althouse got it right, Michelle is a strong willed woman who never expected to fulfill the traditional subservient wifely role and she's floundering/chafing in the First Lady box.

It's a bit of a cliche that when wealthy women feel frustrated or bored they go shopping, but both sexes, of all means, shop for entertainment. It's just an easier trap when money is not a consideration...but I digress.

The position of POTUS is not a two-fer.

It's time to retire the official First Lady role. The position and title are passe when most women work and make their way in the workplace on merit, not as an adjunct of their husbands.

Why should presidential wives be forced into an outdated, artificial role? Does anyone really buy into the good little woman standing by their political man anymore? We could give a whoop, except when it makes for low comedy or scandal.

We allow the children privacy,so perhaps it's time to allow their wives to opt out of being political arm candy/photo fodder and pursue separate lives apart from their husband's political office.

AllenS said...

Michell is pissed she had to give up her $300,000+ job at the hospital. Now all she has is the taxpayer's dime to spend.

Synova said...

I still can't imagine how any job at a hospital is worth $300,000.00 if it's not neurosurgery... and she wasn't THE hospital administrator.

Maybe what she ought to be doing with her First Lady status is talking about ways to save money in health care.

shoutingthomas said...

I still can't imagine how any job at a hospital is worth $300,000.00 if it's not neurosurgery... and she wasn't THE hospital administrator.

Michelle was a diversity cop.

But, fortunately, the job didn't require that she actually show up.

lemondog said...

In what way is Michelle Obama a 'powerful' woman.

Michelle Obama has a strong physicality. She looks strong translating into 'powerful' for some: tall with strong cheek bones, brilliant smile when used, strong looking shoulders and arms.

Like the stupid garden.

Whoever advising her is not allowing her to be natural.

American people can spot phony: recall Lady Bird Johnson, Pat Nixon, Nancy Reagan and others all spiffied up in their designer clothes with pasted on smiles

Why not more like unelegant, unattractive but genuine Eleanor Roosevelt who went around poking her nose into peoples business because she genuinely cared?

And tell the detractors who obsess on looks and clothing to shove it.

miller said...

I know that free speech means it's free, but really - this is a non-issue to talk about.

I really do not care about Michelle Obama's doing. Do. Not. Care.

I do not care about their children. They are off-limits.

She is not the politician and is not the one holding any elective or appointed office.

She might have interesting things to say from time to time, but that's about it.

Geez. Such a non-issue.

fivewheels said...

But of course, seeing this bhtv episode, the NYT chooses to highlight a woman talking about a typical whiny feminist issue: being "forced" to endure gender roles, as if Michelle Obama has a gun to her head.

Meanwhile, there's also a constitutional law professor explaining rational basis to us, and handicapping the chances of the Prop 8 case before various courts. How about seeing Althouse in that role, rather than as "woman"? There was plenty of newsy substance in that diavlog, but they went with the fluffiest part. Unsurprising.

jamboree said...
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AJ Lynch said...

Is there any evidence that Michele Obama has ever had a meaningful impact within any organization where she worked?

AJ Lynch said...

Is there any evidence that Michele Obama has ever had a meaningful impact within any organization where she worked?

David said...

Michelle predicts the future in her Princeton Senior Thesis:

" . . . the path I have chosen to follow by attending Princeton will likely lead to my further integration and/or assimilation into a White cultural and social structure that will only allow me to remain on the periphery of society; never becoming a full participant. This realization has presently, made my goals to actively utilize my resources to benefit the Black community more desirable.

Irene said...

fivewheels nails it.

Synova said...

That's interesting, David.

I wonder if anyone on the race-studies bandwagon examines how much certain things aren't "white" culture at all, but indicators of a particular socio-economic status.

AJ Lynch said...

Michelle was a crappy writer too.

c3 said...

Just noted:

The sole male featured in a post today was

Harry Reid!?

The Professor is p**sed at the Y chromosome today.

Irene said...

c3, I usually think of The Wall Street Journal as a man.

But I'm old.

El Pollo Real said...

@David
Do you have a handy link for that senior thesis? I'd like to read more. I think FLOTUS is in a unique position to win friends and influence people. I'd like to gauge the size of the chips on her shoulders.

Mark said...

Who is taking care of the weeds in her garden? Probably a suspicious looking Mexan.

deborah said...

AJ,
"Is there any evidence that Michele Obama has ever had a meaningful impact within any organization where she worked?"

Yes:

http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/03/michelle_obamas_patientdumping_1.html

traditionalguy said...

I believe that Pelosi knows her days as Speaker of the House are over. She is apparently willing to position herself as a cover for Obama's pro Islamic positions in exchange for an increase in Soros and Arab Sheik monies in future election cycles. Or she out of her mind.

America's Politico said...

Ann, I would be pleased to see you have a regular column in the NYT. I think MoDo is too predictable and not very up-to-date on day to day American Life. You are. Your blog is the online version of "This American Life." I hope NYT calls on you one day.

Re: The First Lady, please note that she is not going anywhere till January of 2017. The GOP should think of their First Lady only starting 2016 election season.

Why? Very simple: GOP has no leadership. No vision.

But, surely, GOP has some skills? Right you are:

GOP is terrific at:

- Over-reaching (see Mosque debate).
- Too much cable TV noise (see any cable show)
- Dreadful websites (see any GOP websites)
- Lack of diversity (see Michael Steele)
- No celebrity powerhouse (Dennis Miller cannot be everywhere, unless he is elected, of course)
- Etc, etc. etc.

GOP is doomed. I see no future for six years. Then, only if there is a miracle, and the stars did this and that, then perhaps, there may be a slight hope for 2016.

But, 2010, forget. 2012, do not make me laugh.

traditionalguy said...

I believe that Pelosi knows her days as Speaker of the House coming to an end. She is apparently willing to position herself as a cover for Obama's pro Islamic positions in exchange for an increase in donations from Soros and Arab Sheiks in future election cycles. Or she out of her mind.

LilyBart said...
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LilyBart said...

AJ, you're right about her writing skills (and punctuation). This is work she did as a senior in COLLEGE? Does this say more about Michelle Obama or about Princeton

Synova said...

The mosque over reach?

How is that playing in New York? It's easy for me, say, or all of the multitude of multi-culti cultists who live elsewhere to insist that no one should care. But do they not care? Will they not care when it's not in the news any longer and the rest of us forget?

Oh, and did you happen to see the mamma grizzlies? Dems are rocking!

bagoh20 said...

Women have been talking about feminism for a long time, developing an entire section of culture around it, demanding it be paid attention and respected; yet still don't know or agree what it is.

That itself may be the definition of feminism.

AlphaLiberal said...

Sarah Palin also spoke out on feminism. I hope your command of the English language was better:

"Who hijacked term:"feminist"?A cackle of rads who want 2 crucify other women w/whom they disagree on a singular issue; it's ironic (& passé)"

That's the shining light of the Republican Party.

Penny said...

It's a wonderful thing seeing Althouse in the NYT's, and your theory was excellent...assuming that Michelle Obama's poll woes have anything to do with feminism.

Through my tinted glasses, I would suggest it has as much to do with her husband, our president.

American's on both sides of the aisle are angry. Mr. "Hope and Change" doesn't seem to HEAR us...yet, if we are to learn anything from his appearances on national television shows like "The View", it is that he sure listens to his jet-setting wife, Michelle. How many times do we have to hear him say, "Michelle tells me that...*fill in the blank*, but it is generally some kind of self deprecating statement where it seems he isn't even in charge of his own household, for cripes sake.

These two will race each other to the bottom of the polls, and as a couple! One, Obama, for not listening to us TOO, and the other, Michelle, for being blind to the unquestionable power she DOES HAVE with the most powerful leader in the world.

These two, and now sadly this country, need a friggin’ marriage councelor! Or a pill? Or something…QUICK!

Fred4Pres said...

Althouse wisdom should be spread around. Like Cheez Whiz. Only more refined.

reader_iam said...

What work-for-pay work could a First Lady (/First Gentleman) do that *wouldn't* be considered a potential conflict of interest--and, more important, that everyone would and could agree **will not** be considered a conflict of interest (or even fodder for intense speculation)?

That's the realist, more-to-the-point question.

Lem said...

Anybody up yet?

LilyBart said...

Jam: That's an interesting question. I am sure there are a few things a first spouse could do - most of them involving a charitable cause, or maybe work in the arts. (First Spouse-dom cannot be an easy thing)

However, millions of American women go about the business of their families' lives without being employed by an outside firm, or using their time to work as an unpaid ambassador for their husband's company. It is possible to be a private First Lady, without a large staff and a busy 'social' calendar.

I can introduce you to may lovely, graceful women who live their lives in just this way and are happy, content people.

As for Michelle, she strikes me as a person who is never quite happy or content no matter the situation. A former employer said as much about her.

E.M. Davis said...

There you go again, talking about yourself in the third person.

Will you be taking your talents to South Beach anytime soon?

Synova said...

Alpha... what exactly about that wasn't true?

reader_iam said...

However, millions of American women go about the business of their families' lives without being employed by an outside firm, or using their time to work as an unpaid ambassador for their husband's company.

Indeed, they do. I've known that all of my life--and by that I mean, quite literally (in the old-fashioned, not the currently either ironic or specifically a signaler for NOT literally, sense)--and still do, given the abundance of evidence, continuously, in my own real life.

I can introduce you to many lovely, graceful women who live their lives in just this way and are happy, content people.

No need. See above.

: )