May 15, 2012

"Barack Obama, the first female president."

A predictable headline — don't you feel you thought of it first? — after Newsweek's "The First Gay President," which played off Toni Morrison's famous declaration about Bill Clinton.
Do you regret referring to Bill Clinton as the first black President?...

People misunderstood that phrase. I was deploring the way in which President Clinton was being treated, vis-à-vis the sex scandal that was surrounding him. I said he was being treated like a black on the street, already guilty, already a perp. I have no idea what his real instincts are, in terms of race.
The "first female president" riff comes from WaPo's Dana Milbank. He doesn't mean it in the Toni Morrison way — that Obama's getting the kind of shabby/unfair treatment typically aimed at women — but in the way Morrison was misunderstood. Milbank's evidence for his proposition is that Obama has gone on “The View” 4 times and that he gave a commencement speech at Barnard. Obama is. speaking to women, boosting them, pleasing them, hoping to get something in return. Hello! He's not getting treated like a woman. He's not even acting like a woman. He's acting like a man, angling for the favor of women.

Milbank admits it:
His reelection campaign has been working for months to exploit the considerable gender gap, which puts him far ahead of likely GOP rival Mitt Romney among women. But Monday’s activities veered into pandering, as Obama brazenly flaunted his feminine mystique.
Pandering. Let's consult the OED:
1. trans. To act as a pander to; to minister to the gratification of (another's desire or lust)....

 2. intr. To act as a pander; to minister to the immoral urges or distasteful desires of another, or to gratify a person with such desires. Also in weakened use: to indulge the tastes, whims, or weaknesses of another. Now usu. with to.
Sorry. Pandering to women is not acting like a woman.  (Or being treated like a woman.)

And Milbank doesn't really know what "the feminine mystique" means. Betty Friedan defined her term clearly in her classic book, in the first paragraph of the first chapter, which was famously titled "The Problem With No Name":
The problem lay buried, unspoken, for many years in the minds of American women. It was a strange stirring, a sense of dissatisfaction, a yearning that women suffered in the middle of the twentieth century in the United States. Each suburban wife struggled with it alone. As she made the beds, shopped for groceries, matched slipcover material, ate peanut butter sandwiches with her children, chauffeured Cub Scouts and Brownies, lay beside her husband at night—she was afraid to ask even of herself the silent question—“Is this all?”
The "mystique" — she says a few pages later — was the pervasive cultural belief in "feminine fulfillment" in the home...
... the American suburban housewife, kissing their husbands goodbye in front of the picture window, depositing their stationwagonsful of children at school, and smiling as they ran the new electric waxer over the spotless kitchen floor. They baked their own bread, sewed their own and their children’s clothes, kept their new washing machines and dryers running all day. They changed the sheets on the beds twice a week instead of once, took the rug-hooking class in adult education, and pitied their poor frustrated mothers, who had dreamed of having a career. Their only dream was to be perfect wives and mothers; their highest ambition to have five children and a beautiful house, their only fight to get and keep their husbands. They had no thought for the unfeminine problems of the world outside the home; they wanted the men to make the major decisions. They gloried in their role as women, and wrote proudly on the census blank: “Occupation: housewife.”
No way Obama was "flaunting" his feminine fulfillment in the house. Presumably, Dana Milbank (who is a man) thinks he can pontificate about female matters and use a feminist catchphrase and give it whatever meaning it seems to have to him. He's got a longstanding column in the Washington Post, so he feels he can do that. Ironically, that feeling is utterly the opposite of feminism. It's patriarchy. And this patriarch, Milbank, is himself pandering to women. It's funny that he's attempting to flatter and impress women by tagging alongside the man he thinks all the women love, Barack Obama.

Milbank tells us that Obama told the college women that "'Congress would get a lot more done' if more women were there." And Obama gave the women the supposedly good news that "more and more women are out-earning their husbands. You’re more than half of our college graduates and master’s graduates and PhDs." (Presumably, he didn't tell them they're going to have a hell of a time finding a mate on their level.) Milbank goes on:
And they can look good doing it! “You can be stylish and powerful, too,” he said. “That’s Michelle’s advice.” 
And this makes him "a woman"... how? Oh, what's the point of looking for reason in Milbank's lame obeisance to the alpha male?
There were some ironies in the appearance. When the White House asked Barnard for the commencement speaking role, the college dumped its original speaker, Jill Abramson. In addition to being an actual woman, Abramson is the first of her sex to become executive editor of the New York Times.
Obama made no mention of Abramson, but he did mention that he knows the past three Barnard commencement speakers, including Hillary Rodham Clinton, whose presidential aspirations Obama dashed.
Ha ha. Step aside, ladies. The patriarch is here.

39 comments:

Phil 3:14 said...

Hillary Clinton was not available for comment

Scott M said...

kissing their husbands goodbye in front of the picture window, depositing their stationwagonsful of children at school, and smiling as they ran the new electric waxer over the spotless kitchen floor. They baked their own bread, sewed their own and their children’s clothes, kept their new washing machines and dryers running all day. They changed the sheets on the beds twice a week instead of once, took the rug-hooking class in adult education, and pitied their poor frustrated mothers, who had dreamed of having a career. Their only dream was to be perfect wives and mothers; their highest ambition to have five children and a beautiful house, their only fight to get and keep their They had no thought for the unfeminine problems of the world outside the home; they wanted the men to make the major decisions. They gloried in their role as women, and wrote proudly on the census blank: “Occupation: housewife

AA, if you can find an Amazon link to get one of these, I will definitely click through your site to acquire one.

Ken said...

Identity politics is one of the most immoral politics to have.

Christopher in MA said...

Obama told the college women that 'Congress would get a lot more done' if more women were there.

Like the hoary trope that, if only women were in charge of the world, there would be no war, that quote yet again reveals the SCOAMF to be the emptiest of empty suits; a shallow panderer with the intellectual depth of a bumper sticker.

But yet, somehow, he fascinates you.

Paddy O said...

But, admit it, Obama was dreamy there for a while. Dreamy in a way that a Navy pilot, a man's sort of man, could never be. The kind of dreamy man that has complex emotions that never get expressed but needs some help by a sensitive, self-aware sort of woman to help better explore his inner feelings.

Twilight dreamy.

He's dangerous and no one else gets him but I do sort of dreamy. The sort of dreamy man that allows heterosexual women to indulge their lesbian sides without going over to that team.

He's everything such a woman wants because he's a blank slate upon which dreams, dreams of a womanly father!, can be attached.

Hope and change.

Palladian said...

Obama wrote an apology note to Jill Abramson that read "Sorry, sweetie!"

Ann Althouse said...

"AA, if you can find an Amazon link to get one of these, I will definitely click through your site to acquire one."

The link is in the post!

Bob Ellison said...

I didn't think of that headline. But let's see...

And yet, [Obama] identifies with them, in an alienated way: They are "my own sodden youth."

Barack Obama: the First Alien President

No, I mean really alien, not just from Hawaii.

Jay said...

Which "considerable gender gap" does Obama have?

Yesterday's CBS/NYT poll said among women, Romney’s two points ahead, 46 percent to 44 percent.

Milbank is a goof.

pm317 said...

A rebuttal to Obama's speech at Barnard from a junior. Yeah, she sounds like a liberated woman, liberated from the sexist and retrograde that Democratic party has become under Obama.

Scott M said...

The link is in the post!

I don't want the stinkin' book. I want a bread baking, electric waxing, sheet changer that lets me make all the major decisions.

CLEAN SHEETS TWICE A WEEK, BABY! BECAUSE I COME A LONG WAY.

pm317 said...

BTW, Romney has caught up with Obama and ahead among women in the CBS/NYT poll. May be women can see Obama for what he is.

traditionalguy said...

The Interesting Mr Obama wants to be the women's leader.

He will tell them that they are oppressed by having more education and more career opportunities than the enemy men, and that the Dear Leader understands they need him his leadership them into the land of free stuff taken from the RICH.

Divide and conquer is all Obama does around election time. Is that a Kenyan trick that he learned from his father?

I fear Mr Obama also learned Kenyan Mau Mau from Jumyo Kenyatta for use during the coming days of mega inflation caused civil disorder after the election.

The only question women should be asking is whether Obama will put the women into their own Detention Camps with better rations than the enemy men?

kcom said...

Milbank: "His reelection campaign has been working for months to exploit the considerable gender gap, which puts him far ahead of likely GOP rival Mitt Romney among women."

Read this and laugh:

New CBS Poll -
Among women
Romney 46%
Obama 44%

Ah, the deliciousness. The Obama campaign is exploiting the "considerable" gender gap and Milbank is crowing about it and yet an objective measure shows he's simply an incompetent shill blowing smoke. But he understands women.

Canuck said...

"You’re more than half of our college graduates and master’s graduates and PhDs." (Presumably, he didn't tell them they're going to have a hell of a time finding a mate on their level.)"

From what I've seen -- it's harder for men once they reach their mid-30s.

Know a woman PhD who recently moved to a new job. Asked out on a date by 4 people within weeks. She was married quick and now has a baby. It was hilarious.

I would say it's harder for women if divorced w/ young kids. But two divorced PhD friends w/ young kids decided to get married and are trying to have another baby. That ruins that assumption!

Women have a hard time if they really don't want to get married again or if they are overwhelmed with baby care & have no time to date.

edutcher said...

So, if he's the first Gay President and the first woman President, does that make him the first Lesbian President?

Christ, these people are getting desperate.

The Romster must doing sooo much better than we can imagine.

PS Ms Milbank and all the other feminists ought to think (I know...) about why those women wrote proudly on the census blank: Occupation: housewife.

After the Depression and WWII, they wanted some permanence and order and stability and, yes, prosperity. They had earned it. They wanted their men home and safe, working and providing a living for their families.

How dull and ordinary of them.

PPS Wasn't Betty Friedan, who, when she burst on the national scene in the 70s, looked pretty much the same as Dohrn does now, a Commie plant?

Bob Ellison said...

edutcher said "The Romster must doing sooo much better than we can imagine."

There's a lot of evidence supporting that notion. Dick Morris recently predicted a landslide, and said the most important question in his mind is whether the GOP will get 60 Senators.

The Obama campaign is acting desperate, naming Romney so early and running ads against him so early.

The Romney campaign is mostly withholding fire at this point.

Obama supporters keep making mistakes like the Hillary Rosen one, and conservatives keep punching back twice as hard, especially via Twitter.

All elections are unique, but I think this one is starting to look like 1980.

Darrell said...

There's a lot of evidence supporting that notion.

Which is why Nancy Pelosi has been sending me letters telling me that she will definitely be getting her old job back with an even stronger majority than she had last time. And to send $3.

Joe said...

Each suburban wife struggled with it alone. As she made the beds, shopped for groceries, matched slipcover material, ate peanut butter sandwiches with her children, chauffeured Cub Scouts and Brownies, lay beside her husband at night—she was afraid to ask even of herself the silent question—“Is this all?”

Uh, this is called life. The conceit that women are the only sex who ask this question is a big part of the problem.

Moreover, that sounds like a great life. A whole load better than going to an office every day to work on something that solves some narrow problem for companies too cheap to buy a better solution.

Tank said...

Dana Millbank is an idiot.
End of story.

The only reason to read him is for the cosmic humor, see Tom Friedman at the NYTimes for same.

Hagar said...

How long before Obama shows up on Jeopardy?

bagoh20 said...

I think the word he was reaching for is "beta".

bagoh20 said...
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Methadras said...

Now we know why he has always been cunty.

bagoh20 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bagoh20 said...

Being a woman sounds absolutely horrendous, and then having children too? I would slit my wrists at the onset of puberty if I was born with the horror of being female.

Jane said...

So Obama wasn't even invited, but invited himself to speak, for purposes of building a "war against women" narrative?

Chip S. said...

The obvious next step in this progression is for Time to declare him to be the first Muslim president.

William said...

I kept the sound off to minimize the pain, but I watched Obama mount the podium and be greeted by the students and faculty. Those women were bug eyed with adulation and love. They looked like teenagers at a Beatle concert. That's not the way people are supposed to look at their elected leaders. Romney may very well win the election, but, not even on his honeymoon, has any woman ever gazed on him with such a look.

William said...
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rhhardin said...

Look again at R. E. Tyrrell's chapter on Friedan for comparison.

It tracks pretty closely.

Chip Ahoy said...

brazenly flaunted his feminine mystique hahahahaha he kills me.

He could'a said at commencement "Okay, about that composite Julia thing we put up, if things don't work out you out there, you'll always have that."

William said...

There are patriarchies and there are patriarchies. In the current issue of The New Yorker there is an article about the Kenyan runner who recently fell to his death. It seems that Obama's father was not the only drunken sexist in Kenya. The runner won a few marathons and made some money. He had trained in Japan, but he went back to Kenya and married a pretty girl. There was some conflict with her because she objected to his heavy drinking and womanizing. He attempted to resolve the conflict by threatening her with an AK47 and taking a second bride. Sadly, these strategems did not work and his domestic woes doubled rather than diminished. One night, his first wife caught him in the bedroom with a bar waitress. He attempted to escape by jumping off the balcony but, due to heavy drinking, he jumped clumsily, hit his bead, and died....The writer makes the point that the runner's excesses were due to his childhood in poverty stricken rural Kenya. I would make the opposite point: that the poverty in Kenya was due to the excesses of men such as this runner and the culture in which they lived. If you want to see sexism in its purest form go to third world countries......Nonetheless, third world sexists have seemed to escape the ire of Bernard feminists. It takes a village to properly subjugate a woman. I wonder if Obama in his book examined African sexism with the same critical eye that he viewed American racism. Not a chance. Fabian socialists could only see a worker's paradise in the Soviet Union. Bernard students and Obama can only see a garden of Eden in African tribal societies.....If I were a high grade, fully evolved Mormon with my own planet in which to dispense justice, I would wed these Bernard groupies to the President-- but Zuma not Obama. Let them spend their days discussing the sexism of western bourgeoise society with that distinguished man.

David said...

They must have suppressed the news of the protests over replacing Jill Abrhamson with a man.

There were protests, right?

Or did these empowered college women just acquiesce because they did not want to cause a fuss?

jim said...

The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was one of the first laws President Obama passed.

PATRIARCHY PHAIL.

Some might argue that the GOP could stand to do more such "pandering" when their current gender gap versus the Democrats among voters is large & steadily expanding.

PROTIP: implying that contraception may likely be a Satanist-Bolshevik plot to destroy marriage, the family, baseball, NASCAR & Christianity isn't exactly making American ladyfolk swoon. Nor is strenuously jonesing to overturn Roe v. Wade when you still have both a mountain of historical evidence & living witnesses to the ugly reality of criminalized abortion - a time when the rich simply went overseas on a "vacation" to get quick, safe abortions on demand with ease, while the poor either did without or were crippled or killed while using the alternatives available to them.

chickenlittle said...

William Safire was the last real man I recall writing for The New York Times.

AllieOop said...

Bagoh said,

Being a woman sounds absolutely horrendous, and then having children too? I would slit my wrists at the onset of puberty if I was born with the horror of being female.

5/15/12 10:31 AM

Card carrying member of the He man woman haters club!
Little rascal.

sleepless nights said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
newquestionman said...

I don't speak for America OR the world, and I don't want to. I have no right. But that doesn't stop the racist right. Somewhere in their delusional hypocritical minds, someone made them speakers of the world and this country. No one did. No one ever win. But like I said, it doesn't stop them from spreading the wide-spread lie of hate. That EVERY SINGLE BEING in the United States of America and the Whole World of existence hates Barack Obama.

No that is not true. It's obvious they don't pay attention to how the world thinks. just how faux news and hate radio tells them how the world thinks, But the cold-hard fact is not EVERY single being in the world is an uneducated, racist, bigoted right-winger who hates that a black couple represents the United States. Week by Week, I keep saying how the racist right have lost their sense of reality (If they ever had one!)

Ever heard that retarded saying "SCOAMF" Can't tell you what it means, look it up. I said people if they are tired of hearing this crap. Turns out they aren't, because they never heard. One a certain group of people never head the disrespectful trope. Classy, Respectful, Intelligent People. Ob's such a Miserable Failure he grad Harvard Law and passed his bars and practiced law and beat the "war hero," John McCain & Simple Sarah. Got Bin Laden. The white supremacists of the GOP Base reek of envy and desperation.

Why does he need to release his school records? President Johnson didn’t even learn how to read until he was an adult, and he was taught how by his wife, not a school. There have been 7 presidents who never went to college at all, 2 that attended but never graduated, and one who in his entire life had a total of 1 year formal learning and everything else was self-taught. And please look up the definitions of Socialist, Communist, and Capitalist. I don’t think those words mean what you think they mean, and Socialist and Communist are not interchangeable.

Why go through all this crap? Because of Mitt Romney. He is the only respectful man in the cesspool of racism known as the GOP. He takes the high road so much, they should just re-name it "The Romney Road" But his followers CAN'T create reasons other than he's not black for the majority to vote for him in November.

They don't like him because he;s not the spitting image of their god, Ray-gun. As we more toward the November election Romney will increasing get more and more ludicrous in his attempts to find talking points to use, as the economic conditions slowly and surely get better. This in spite of all the efforts of the republicans in Congress to flush this country down the toilet just to make Obama a single term president. Mitt is the most out of touch politically and socially tone-deaf individual, in my lifetime, to run for President, and that goes back to the 1952 election.

So lies and slander is ALL the racist right have left. Not to mention character Assassination. Think about this. Obama said he's a Christian, He's a liar. But If he said he snorted cocaine, he's telling the truth Obama said he respects religions, he's a liar, But if he said that he used to bully people all the time, he's telling the truth. These hateful slime balls believes ANYTHING bad about Obama, even if he said it. He even said he was a Christian, but he's lying. Bet you if he, out of nowhere, said he used to kill for fun. The a-holes who believe it.

This is gonna be the most possibly racist election in history. As told by this man:

http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/obama-divorce-story-8950341