July 29, 2016

In the old days, one person getting through was seen as a token and not necessarily helping anyone else, possibly even hurting the others.

The idea that the first one through breaks what had been "glass ceiling" and now there's no barrier... how did that develop?

Do people even remember why it was called a "glass ceiling"? The idea was that women were coming into various enterprises and not perceiving any barrier. There was no discrimination policy and no one came out and said you can't advance because you're a woman. But as any given woman rose in the system, she encountered a limit, a limit that had not been visible, and when it keeps happening, to all the women, at the same level, at some point, you have to say, it's not something about the various women. It's a problem with the building. There's no visible barrier, but there's an invisible one — a ceiling made of glass.

The idea of shattering the glass ceiling came later, and it was embraced by people who were not too good at metaphor, at least not in the way that I like, which is maintaining a concrete image of what's being talked about. In a real building, shattering a glass ceiling would ruin your hope of getting to the next floor. You'll have wrecked the floor. Let's see if I can get Paul Simon to wander out on stage again....
There's been some hard feelings here
About some words that were said
There's been some hard feelings here
And what is more
There's been a bloody purple nose
And some bloody purple clothes
That were messing up the lobby floor
It's just apartment house rules
So all you apartment fools
Remember: One man's ceiling
Is another man's floor
If we get back to the original idea of a glass ceiling and realize that you can't remove floors, we see that there's nothing to break. The one woman who gets through has found a path, perhaps a stairway in that building, perhaps she's been led around to the special door that the men knew about, perhaps because she's in a sexual relationship with one of the powerful men on the other side — maybe the president of the company.

If some women are finding that access, it doesn't necessarily open the place up for all the women. It can be actually worse for the other women, as they get a false impression that women can rise in the organization in the same way the men do. The image of a glass ceiling only becomes apparent as all the women are stopped when they reach it. If some women get through, then you stop perceiving what is invisible.

But that doesn't mean there isn't sex discrimination. It only means that something more subtle is going on and that if there is discrimination, the perpetrators are more savvy.

109 comments:

rhhardin said...

K. T. McFarland says she was deeply moved by Hillary breaking the glass ceiling, as a mother of two daughters herself, but she won't vote for Hillary.

Apparently deep moving runs in women, which constitutes a barrier to advancement, it seems to me.

If you're going to run a system, you have to like abstracting from stuff.

It's not a metaphor problem, unless you take the glass ceiling as internal to female thought preferences.

If they break it, it's because soap opera women watch TV, or some guy has decided to be magnanimous, hopefully with only his own money.

Hagar said...

Whatever you say, Hillary! still is no Mrs. Thatcher, or even Theresa May (who may yet turn out to be another Maggie though perhaps less colorful).

Laslo Spatula said...

I wouldn't mind working where women in skirts were on the glass ceiling above me.

I think I am using the metaphor correctly.

I am Laslo.

rhhardin said...

There's what's-her-face running HP, and Merissa Mayer running Yahoo, two glass ceiling breakers.

I know the latter from an interview with Armstrong and Getty, when she was a Google exec making a radio tour to tout Google search features, apparently in reaction to Bing.

The interview turned out to be boilerplate, annoying A&G, one of which commented to her, after a list of search options from MM, that "Merissa Mayer nude" came up with no search hits.

Well. No sense of humor at all about the most used search feature on Google. Can't think like a guy.

Henry said...

I dropped my car off for a recall this morning and took the courtesy car to the commuter rail station. It was just me and the old, bearded driver. He had a morning show on the radio and the DJs were talking about Hillary's speech. Historic moment. Glass ceiling.

Some drivers are talkative. I once took the courtesy car from the same dealership and the young African-American driver talked door to door about model rocketry. But this old white guy said not a word. We just listened to the radio. Until he dropped me off at the station. I opened the door to get out and he said, "No big deal."

And that was it.

pm317 said...

Trying to have it both ways? You all can't say she is riding her husband's coattails and therefore, she is where she is (meaning that other women can't do it because they are not married to a certain guy) and then complain that what is accomplished can't be a common goal for every girl/woman. Oh, let us not forget how you insinuated that a certain 'girl' needed a daddy to carry her. You diminish your own at your own peril. It takes an evolved mind to treat a woman on her own merit as an individual. Like her or dislike her, but give her the respect and the credit she deserves for her own life goals. Like she said once, she could have stayed home to bake cookies, but she didn't.

n.n said...

The female chauvinists' unequal treatment of people, and women specifically, put to rest the myth of their good motives. They are their male chauvinists' counterparts, and worse, endowed with an unearned reputation for advancing human dignity and value. Fortunately, this partisan movement only delayed reconciliation of moral and natural imperatives, but the damage to human relations, individual standing, human rights, and even scientific (and medical) integrity, has had measurable effects.

David said...

Many barriers are in the mind of the person who thinks it is there. It may be more difficult for a class of people to progress, but that is an obstacle, not a barrier. Obstacles can be worked around and new paths opened, but barriers have to be destroyed. There is a lot of collateral damage when you destroy something, and targets are damaged because they are mistakenly perceived as part of the barrier. Contemporary militant political feminism confuses barriers with obstacles, in some cases deliberately and with knowledge of the actual difference. The result is considerable damage to valuable assets of the society they purport to want to improve and personal pain and destruction.

Mike Sylwester said...

It's just apartment house rules
So all you apartment fools


I like how he rhymed two of the lines.

The following two lines are a rhyme too:

That were messing up the lobby floor
....
Is another man's floor

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...But that doesn't mean there isn't sex discrimination. It only means that something more subtle is going on and that if there is discrimination, the perpetrators are more savvy.

I think I know what you mean, but consider the problem of falsifiability. Your hypothesis is that there is sex discrimination. Women hitting a glass ceiling is evidence of that. Ok. New data shows that lots of women aren't hitting that glass ceiling any more. You say "well that's not evidence that there isn't sex discrimination." From a logical standpoint that's true, but it's also true that you now have LESS of what you asserted earlier was evidence of your hypothesis. Right?

Ok, so how would one prove to you that your hypothesis was incorrect? If women being held back is evidence for, and women not being held back is not evidence against, what would count as evidence against your hypothesis? If the answer is nothing, or "practically nothing" then you're not using a valid scientific-method informed/evidence & reason based approach--if that's the case you're begging the question and further discussion or argument or debate is pointless. I'm not saying that's the case here with you here, Professor, but it certainly seems to be true of a lot of people who "debate" these kinds of issues. They assume that their particular view/hypothesis is correct and accept any and all facts as evidence for their hypothesis, even when those facts seem to objectively point in different directions (ie "women held back" = sex discrimination & "women not held back" also = sex discrimination).

Falsifiability is really something we should discuss more and use to judge the quality and type of others' arguments more frequently--it could save a lot of time and applies to all sorts of public policy/political questions.

What would you consider evidence that universal pre-K wasn't working or wasn't worth the cost?
What would you consider evidence that anthropogenic global warming was real/that human action is driving large climate change and that we should take action to stop it?
What would you consider evidence that gun control proposal X would not prevent crime?
What would you consider evidence that gun control proposal X would be worth the restriction on freedom because it would prevent X amount of crime?

If people can't give you a general sense that their own theories are falsifiable in any way then you know not to waste your time arguing/reasoning based on facts or empirically-based ideas--at that point you're having a religious or faith-based discussion. Nothing wrong with those, of course, but they're different and we ought to be clear about what type of discussion we're having up front.

Lawler Walken said...

I thought it was a glass ceiling because you could look up there and see that there was a higher floor, where there was more power and prestige and status and money, but everyone up on that floor was a man. In most scenarios, a white man, in other scenarios, an older white man (but not always if a younger man was related to one of the older men). And women couldn't figure out how to get up there.

So then shattering the glass ceiling became the thing because it was the only way women were going to be able to get up there, they couldn't get up there through any of the ways men did. The only way to get there was just to shatter that ceiling and ascend to where all those mostly old, nearly all white men were running the show. Of course that meant having to build a new floor but that would be okay because once women smashed their way through they would have the power to do that, to construct a new platform to stand on, alongside or even in place of all those old white men.

pm317 said...

Laslo, may be that is what women have to do to get to the other side of the glass and burn those panties, dammit!

rhhardin said...

Women have more obstacles than men.

My favorite metaphor.

rhhardin said...

Hillary crosses the panty line.

Lots of opportunity here.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

She has certainly showed herself to be equal to any male in the areas of incompetence, corruption and opportunism. Congratulations Hillary, you truly are "historic".

Darrell said...

Since the Presidential Primary on the Democrats side was rigged--fixed in advance, how can any woman feel good about winning when there was no real choice?

Lloyd W. Robertson said...

For a while feminists were focused on saying Thatcher's success didn't prove anything about freedom from discrimination among Tories, or among men. Also Thatcher was not a role model--the things she had done to get ahead, like going out of her way to be cruel, or debasing herself to certain men (her heroes) had made her a deformed and bad person. There was a play, "Top Girls" that developed both themes.

If women's success at the highest levels is still unusual, we might still be stuck with Beauvoir's conundrum: failure is obviously a sign that there are problems with "the world"; but success may not be much better.

Martha said...

Quite insightful, Professor Althouse.
I have many problems with Hillary! as President—the increased opportunity for the inevitable corruption on an even larger scale being my prime concern.
But my emotional devastation is caused by the celebration of Hillary! as possibly the FIRST WOMAN PRESIDENT of the USA.
Hillary does not represent what the first feminists envisioned. Those truly strong women believed women should achieve on their own merit. Not marry success. Not sleep with the boss to get ahead. Hillary! who has stayed with a philandering husband —even appearing to condone his behavior as long as he left no DNA evidence behind....Hillary! whose actual achievements are practically nonexistent but whose failures from her failed healthcare plan to her sanctioned invasion of Libya and subsequent Benghazi debacle to her use of an insecure personal server for classified State Department emails......Hillary! who brazenly lies to us repeatedly, reflexively.
Hillary's career reeks of rising not on her own merits but of rising to prominence and then to dominance on the coattails of her husband. Like boss' wives and mistresses everywhere, Hillary was given extra privilege with little to no accountability for her failures.
The way Hillary! got to where she did last night was not the method feminists had in mind in the 1960's.

Jupiter said...

As usual, all women are asking is to have their cake, eat it too, and not gain any weight. Oh, and someone else should pay for it.

Unknown said...

Any woman who thinks that sex discrimination will go away now that a well known woman has found a way through, under, whatever, to a place only formerly held by men is delusional. We see the fear and pushback by men who are threatened by successful, powerful women daily. We see the response Cilnton got to being the first woman presidential candidate from a major party. As in all societal earthquakes, the firmly entrenched powers that be will fight to keep the change from being realized on a larger scale. Clinton is not an unintelligent person, she knows she must be careful in every single thing she does, because she is under a microscope. She'll do a good service for her female counterparts, those who want to find that path forward too. Clinton won't break the floor, the building will remain sound and possibly even be strengthened.

Mike Sylwester said...

I've written an essay explaining Paul Simon's song "Sounds of Silence".

http://seward-concordia-neighborhood.blogspot.com/2015/11/the-meaning-of-song-sounds-of-silence.html

pm317 said...

Laslo is funny and insightful. Others stealing our repartee are not.

rhhardin said...

Any woman who thinks that sex discrimination will go away now that a well known woman has found a way through, under, whatever, to a place only formerly held by men is delusional.

You can generalize this a little.

Unknown said...

Martha,
No one truly knows what Clinton would have achieved had she not been married to Bill Clinton. Her marriage to him wasn't a positive for her, it was a negative. She was viewed as weak for not divorcing her husband. She continued pursuing her goals DESPITE her husband, not because of him. I suspect she would've been successful without ever having met him.

bbkingfish said...

Our blogger's post shambles along amiably enough until it leaps headlong from the rails of logic, thusly...

" In a real building, shattering a glass ceiling would ruin your hope of getting to the next floor."

This is so remarkably and obviously a fatally flawed premise that all her following ruminations on the faults of other peoples' metaphors are nothing but guffaw-inducing examples of the author's own preternatural lack of intellectual self-awareness. Or is something more sinister at work?

It could be, I suppose, that some rube has wrested control of the soapbox from our hostess, someone who assumes her disinterested affect as it pertains to politics, but simultaneously is engaged in a full-frontal assault on the canons of clear rhetoric, and is working actively to destroy whatever reputation for pedantic thinking that might attach to the eponymous blogger.

Does the real Ann Althouse still exert any influence on what is posted on this blog?

As Howard Cosell used to say...one has to wonder.

bagoh20 said...

In a company run predominantly by women, what do you think the chances of advancement for a highly competent man with strong pro-masculinity opinions, a man who is openly second amendment, maybe hunts, and openly disagrees with feminist overreach? I'd expect him to be held back consistently, treated less than fair based on performance. I'd also expect him to not bitch about it, and simply take his talents and energy to where it makes better sense, and gives more opportunity. That's how men think, at least they used to, and that's a superior mindset for success if you measure success in what he earns and accomplishes rathan than what he is given.

rhhardin said...

And Hillary has touched the third guardrail.

rhhardin said...

This is so remarkably and obviously a fatally flawed premise that all her following ruminations on the faults of other peoples' metaphors are nothing but guffaw-inducing examples of the author's own preternatural lack of intellectual self-awareness. Or is something more sinister at work?

It could be, I suppose, that some rube has wrested control of the soapbox from our hostess, someone who assumes her disinterested affect as it pertains to politics, but simultaneously is engaged in a full-frontal assault on the canons of clear rhetoric, and is working actively to destroy whatever reputation for pedantic thinking that might attach to the eponymous blogger.


Avoid words with Latin roots.

Fernandinande said...

But that doesn't mean there isn't sex discrimination.

There's plenty of sex discrimination - it's official, approved and advertised, no reason to wonder about it.

SBA Announces Contracting Program For Women-Owned Small Businesses

Grants for Women: What Every Female Entrepreneur Needs to Know

Women preferred 2:1 over men for STEM faculty positions

rehajm said...

I won't support her because of her countless bad polices that harm the people she professes to help. To her that must look like a glass ceiling.

rhhardin said...

If women are great, think of all the money you can make by hiring them, especially in a market that doesn't.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

I think "iron curtain" is too much of a stretch.

rhhardin said...

The stripper pole of success.

The Cracker Emcee said...

"It takes an evolved mind to treat a woman on her own merit as an individual."

Exactly the point. Hillary has no individual merit and she is worthy of no respect. She's a massively corrupt sociopath whose entire career is built upon enabling a rapist.

Every Historic First! seems to end in disaster. Reno, Albright, Powell, Obama, Hillary, a drumbeat of failure and mendacity. It's almost as if race and gender have nothing to do with competence and character!

rhhardin said...

Has the fireman's pole been renamed, is the question.

Laslo Spatula said...

"Ms. Meadows, Clinically Depressed Therapist"

Many of my female patients feel depressed because they perceive a 'glass ceiling' in their lives. They believe that, if only they were on the other side of that ceiling, they would finally be happy...

There is no 'glass ceiling.' There is no Happiness to be found on the Other Side. We are all trapped in our own individual little glass boxes, like despairing mimes. Depressed, defeated mimes. Any action we take has about as much meaning as the making of a balloon animal, and all the balloons are dull gray...

Of course, I cannot tell my patients this. It is better for them to have their delusion of outside forces aligned against them, than the understanding that Life is just the accumulation of all your personal failures. And then, of course, you die, leaving only those failures as a sign that you were ever really alive...

I am very drunk, but I will drive to the Liquor Store to get more alcohol. It's OK, I make the drive drunk all the time...

I am Laslo.

Unknown said...

Now we will hear how successful women hurt men's ability to be successful. Why do men fear competing with women if they are both in the running? I see men longing for the days when the competition from women was just an occasional thing, an annoyance. Now that the competion is real and there is more of it, men seem to melt down onto puddles of self pity, with cries of how they are being discriminated against. Nevermind all those years white males were those who perpetuated the discriminations.

rhhardin said...

Hillary tastes the testosterone of success.

bagoh20 said...

Opportunity can be earned or handed to you, but from my experience it only turns into something when it's earned. I've hired, trained, and employed over 1300 people. My top employee, best paid by a big margin is a woman. She earned her position over 20 years ago and it has nothing to do her being female. Half my managers and supervisors are women in a highly male manufacturing environment. The sex of these people never comes up in any context at work, except that they occasionally get pregnant. It doesn't come up, not because it's a forbidden subject, but because it's completely irrelevant.

jaydub said...

Gender discrimination in employment, like racial discrimination in employment, is mostly in the minds of the perceived victims. It's simply not good business to keep good people down. However, Hillary, not being a good person, needs a lot of good people to look the other way for her to get ahead.

rhhardin said...

Now we will hear how successful women hurt men's ability to be successful. Why do men fear competing with women if they are both in the running? I see men longing for the days when the competition from women was just an occasional thing, an annoyance. Now that the competion is real and there is more of it, men seem to melt down onto puddles of self pity, with cries of how they are being discriminated against. Nevermind all those years white males were those who perpetuated the discriminations.

Go into math or physics and there's no competition. You can't get women.

bagoh20 said...

I hope the Presidency has a glass ceiling that felons can't penetrate, or is that unfair?

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Isn't this metaphor about climbing the corporate ladder? You're climbing and you hit a ceiling that you can't see and didn't know was there. The guy right next to you doesn't have a ceiling and keeps on climbing. There is no building. The ceiling is in the category of the maximum altitude a particular aircraft can reach.

rhhardin said...

Do women know about the Peter Principle. It may need renaming.

Unknown said...


"Every Historic First! seems to end in disaster. Reno, Albright, Powell, Obama, Hillary, a drumbeat of failure and mendacity."

White males have been making mistakes from time immemorial. When a minority makes the same sort of mistake it is forever attributed to their membership in a minority class. This is an example of a double standard. What male in power never made a mistake? All the aformentioned minorities did no worse a job than a white male would've under the same circumstances.

Unknown said...

Women are not greater victims of the Peter Principle than their male counterparts. That is a dumb premise.

traditionalguy said...

Wait a minute. Why limit the Presidency ceiling to men and women. What about Transgenders. Hasn't anyone read the Constitution here?

rhhardin said...

White males have been making mistakes from time immemorial.

See Thurber, Is Sex Necessary. It all started when we left unicellular.

Susan said...

The obstacle that women face in this day and age is that to succeed, really succeed, in the business world it has to be your driving priority. Women overwhelming choose to have their home relationships their driving priority. Especially once they have children. Men have the same choice but choose business success over family much more often.

The man who chose work over his wife and kids often loses them. But so do women who make that choice.

This is the key to why Democrats are the party of abortion while at the sametime claiming to be For the Children. They are really that conflicted about motherhood. Because if you see that little bundle and actually fall in love with it your ceiling will no longer be glass. It will be made of Lego bricks and Barbie dolls. Best to kill it before it gets to that point.

Women tend to make the choice at the front end by killing off the possibility of family and men kill off the relationships they do have over the course of years of neglect.

Ann Althouse said...

"Isn't this metaphor about climbing the corporate ladder? You're climbing and you hit a ceiling that you can't see and didn't know was there. The guy right next to you doesn't have a ceiling and keeps on climbing. There is no building. The ceiling is in the category of the maximum altitude a particular aircraft can reach."

The metaphor is pretty screwed up.

If we are talking about ladders, we're on the outside of the building where there are no ceilings. That's why I said stairway. Even so, who pictures a ceiling in the middle of a stairway.

It's just a worn-out metaphor, used so often in connection with Hillary that it's irksome. Her success does not make me feel hopeful about women, because she climbed into her position through sexual alliance with a powerful man.

chrisnavin.com said...

As your President, I will approach this topic head-on as we head forwards together into the 21st century.

I will select a Cabinet full of smart, capable women.

Women used to be relegated to teacher, nurse and secretary ghettoes.Together we said. 'No More.'

In my home state, the Employment And Security Protection Act has given sex workers more safety, security and visibility to law enforcement. Together we said: 'No More.'

Studies show that intelligent women from stable families with successful parents and good educations tend to do better....yet, my experience has shown me that a lot of women don't fall into this category....

Join me tonight, fellow Americans, in saying 'No More.' The hard work begins NOW in making it possible for all Americans to have a shot at creating their own stable families as successful parents, with good educations, good jobs, and good institutions.

***Any bullshit buttons being sounded?

Ann Althouse said...

And other women tried to use the same man. She tried to destroy those women. If that's the story of American progress, I'm completely disgusted.

rhhardin said...

Murphey's Law kicks in pretty fast, too. Who knows if that needs updating to except women.

rhhardin said...

Wittgenstein said that an infinite ladder is not a ladder.

rhhardin said...

Women are held back by a glass harmonica.

Unknown said...

Clinton only achieved success because of a sexual alliance with alliance with a powerful man? You have no way of knowing what she would've achieved had she not been married to Bill Clinton. You only guess she wouldn't have been as successful. Guesses and assertions are like noses, we all have them.

EDH said...

"The one woman who gets through has found a path, perhaps a stairway in that building, perhaps she's been led around to the special door that the men knew about, perhaps because she's in a sexual relationship with one of the powerful men on the other side — maybe the president of the company."

And she's buying a stairway to heaven?

Dear lady, can you hear the wind blow
And did you know
Your stairway lies on the whispering wind
And as we wind on down the road
Our shadows taller than our soul
There walks a lady we all know
Who shines white light and wants to show
How everything still turns to gold
And if you listen very hard
The tune will come to you at last
When all are one and one is all
To be a rock and not to roll

And she's buying the stairway to heaven

buwaya puti said...

Some things are the way they are, organically, if left on their own. Human phenomena just happen if unimpeded by law. The curious case of "market dominant minorities" for instance. Put a collection of peoples down in a place, and they will, mostly, sort themselves out, fairly neatly, into social roles, in a predictable way, the prediction being based on a mass of observations.
These things were meant to be for reasons we arent (yet) equipped to understand.
Much of modern politics (and organized ideological propaganda) is about messing with human nature, canalizing peoples into paths they wouldnt go on their own. This causes problems, and I suspect some of these will ultimately be fatal, to communities and societies.
Its the old conservative idea of the danger of unintended consequences.

shiloh said...

"In the old days ..."

Althouse, do you longgg for the old days?

Unknown said...

I'm disgusted that a woman would say another woman with obvious talents and skillsin her own right only made it as far as she did because she slept with a powerful man. Zoooooom, back to the bad old days when women could not achieve anything without a powerful man. What a disservice Althouse does to her own sex.

rhhardin said...

You have no way of knowing what she would've achieved had she not been married to Bill Clinton.

She wouldn't have been an economist.

rhhardin said...

I'm disgusted that a woman would say another woman with obvious talents and skillsin her own right only made it as far as she did because she slept with a powerful man.

Disgustibus non disputandum.

buwaya puti said...

There is no knowing what the could have beens could have been, ever. All we can know is what did happen. As far as I can tell, having followed the Clintons career, and not knowing what went on in private or secretly, Hilary wasnt a sort of grey eminence behind Bill.

Laslo Spatula said...

Lamar Gonna Set You Straight....

Glass Ceiling? Really? That is just more White Women Shit cause you White People always gotta be having your bitch-ass little White People problems...

You want to know about a ceiling? You Whites built a fucking Brick Ceiling above us Blacks, and you fucking put it on the first floor. You made it Brick so we can't get through it, and so that we would ALWAYS see it and know not to even try, that's the kind of Devils you White People are...

The only Hope of the Black Man is to blow ALL of the building the fuck up, you feel me...?

And don't give me any Obama shit, that Half-White Motherfucker...

You think you got Problems? Fuck You.

I am Laslo.

buwaya puti said...

Apply that logic elsewhere - would you say that its disgusting to think that Imelda Marcos would not have reached her position (wealth, political power, of which she still has plenty) without her marriage to Ferdinand? It is absurd.

Henry said...

Her success does not make me feel hopeful about women, because she climbed into her position through sexual alliance with a powerful man.

Is "sexual" the key word there or "man"? Every successful politician ascends to high position through alliances with a powerful men.

George W. Bush climbed into his position through a biological alliance with a powerful man.

Even bootstrappers like Bill Clinton and Obama clamber upwards through strategic alliances.

Darrell said...

Yesterday, Hillary looked like Colonel Sanders. Without the delicious chicken, of course.

bagoh20 said...

If Clinton becomes President it will be proof that sexual discrimination trumps conduct competence, honesty, and even corruption, or it's proof that no matter how bad a Democrat candidate is, the Republican party can find someone worse. It's a core competency of the organization.

jaydub said...

"I'm disgusted that a woman would say another woman with obvious talents and skillsin her own right only made it as far as she did because she slept with a powerful man. Zoooooom, back to the bad old days when women could not achieve anything without a powerful man. What a disservice Althouse does to her own sex."

Are you saying AA's not a credit to her sex? Isn't that sexist in and of itself? And why is having talent or skill mutually exclusive with sleeping with a powerful man? Frankly, you may be the only person I've ever heard say that being married to Bill didn't benefit Hillary. Is that why you wish to remain unknown?

Amexpat said...

One man's ceiling Is another man's floor

Not if you live in the penthouse.

Hagar said...

The ancient Egyptians had female pharaohs (their statues equipped with false beards, right enough), and Cixi was not the first woman to rule the Chinese empire. So it is and always have been around the world in all societies of whatever religion or mores. The Chiricahuas had a woman war chief, and that a fierce one.

The world's most exclusive men's club in the last century was not the U.S. Senate, but the British Tory Party. But when Ted Heath had led the party to three straight electoral defeats and still sat there as party leader, Maggie Thatcher thought this was all wrong, and if the silly men would not do something about it, she would. And what do you know, there was no glass ceiling.
Yes, she did get some thrashtalk for being a woman, and it hurt her feelings quie a bit, but it did not stop her from being the third most famous and effective British prime minister in modern times, and Lloyd George and Churchill had the wartime patriotism to float on.

As for Hillary!, you are all wrong about her riding on her husband's coattails. The Clintons come as a couple - Bill is the talent and Hillary! is the manager. Neither would ever have been heard of nationally without the other.
But that is the showbiz aspect of politics and does not say that either of them should be President of the United States.

Gahrie said...

Ok, so how would one prove to you that your hypothesis was incorrect? ... what would count as evidence against your hypothesis? If the answer is nothing, or "practically nothing" then you're not using a valid scientific-method informed/evidence & reason based approach--if that's the case you're begging the question and further discussion or argument or debate is pointless.

This is actually quite common on the Left...and it is a sign of lazy logic and ignorance. The Left is used to existing in a self-reinforcing bubble, where no one challenges the orthodoxy. So no one develops the ability to debate their own positions, let alone anticipate a counter argument. If you look carefully, almost all of the "evidence" the Left uses is anecdote or survey results. (It is about feelz, not facts) when confronted with a challenge of "show me evidence", instead of producing evidence, they reply that lack of evidence means nothing. Look at Climate change for example...literally everything is evidence of climate change...floods, droughts, heat, cold, volcanoes, earthquakes.....When you ask an alarmist...'what would be acceptable evidence that the AGW theory is incorrect", they cannot come up with an answer.

The Left accuses the Right of being anti-science, when the problem is, the Left doesn't understand what science is, and treats it as faith.

bagoh20 said...

I'm disgusted that a woman would deny another woman with obvious lack of talent and honesty made it as far as she did because she slept with a powerful man. Nothing does as much of a disservice to truly accomplished women as that soft sexism, especially at such a high profile job. Hillary is just about the worst woman possible to make the case for equality. She not only slept her way there - she lied, cheated, and put the entire country at risk to get there.

Gahrie said...

After finishing your post Hoodlum, i realize you already said everything i was trying to say, better than me.

Gahrie said...

Now that the competion is real and there is more of it, men seem to melt down onto puddles of self pity, with cries of how they are being discriminated against. Nevermind all those years white males were those who perpetuated the discriminations.

Ever hear the phrase: "two wrongs don't make a right"?

dustbunny said...

Althouse just nailed the nonsense of Hillary as a metaphor for female success. I'm seeing memes now promoting Michelle for president. Same bullshit minus the attacks on other women. Theresa May and Thatcher are much more inspiring but feminists are loath to admire those nasty Tories. I think Hillary has reached her high point, reality is going to knock her down.

Mrs. X said...

I think Ann's going to vote for Gary Johnson.

Martha said...

Unknown—
Hillary Rodham Clinton ditched even the "Rodham" during this campaign. She had to run as Hillary Clinton to capitalize on her relationship to Bill.
Tell us again what Hillary Rodham would have accomplished without Bill and now Barack dragging her along behind them.

Meeeea said...

"Blogger Darrell said...
Yesterday, Hillary looked like Colonel Sanders. Without the delicious chicken, of course."

She did!!! And her pants and jacket sleeves were too damn short.

And why does she get a pass on not wearing an American flag pin? Wasn't O attacked for this in his campaign? They are both claiming to be people that are discriminated against due to visible characteristics, why the unequal treatment?

Big Mike said...

"In the old days, one person getting through was seen as a token, and not necessarily helping anyone else, possibly even hurting the others."

Is that why feminists hated Margaret Thatcher, and today hate Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman? Because I don't think any of those women were "tokens." When Meg Whitman was hired as CEO of eBay it had 30 employees and just under $4.7M in revenues. When she stepped down to run for Governor of California eBay had over 15,000 employees and revenues of $7.7B. And I'm on record as saying that Carly saved HP from becoming a niche market company making printers and little else, and brought it safely into the 21st century. If she "wrecked" the company, as ignorant Dumbocrats like to allege, how is it that the company survives so well today?

Because the aftermath of Bill Clinton's dot-com bubble and the transition into the 21st century was quite hard on HP's contemporary computer corporations. Gone are Sun Microsystems, Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) with its famous VAX computers, Cray, Gateway, and many others.

The Cracker Emcee said...

"White males have been making mistakes from time immemorial"

Again, exactly my point. So why would you support someone for a responsible position based on race or gender?

Sebastian said...

@HD: "I think I know what you mean, but consider the problem of falsifiability. Your hypothesis is that there is sex discrimination. Women hitting a glass ceiling is evidence of that. Ok. New data shows that lots of women aren't hitting that glass ceiling any more. You say "well that's not evidence that there isn't sex discrimination." From a logical standpoint that's true, but it's also true that you now have LESS of what you asserted earlier was evidence of your hypothesis. Right? . . . Falsifiability is really something we should discuss more and use to judge the quality and type of others' arguments more frequently"

Now, wait a minute. That would mean we would be making statements capable of being refuted by reality, or treating claims as such. I seem to recall that our hostess prefers to say things that do not risk such trouble. Regardless of her own current inclinations, you are asking too much. The science is settled: in politics no one cares about the scientific method.

chrisnavin.com said...

Verily a barrier is a barrier, but a ceiling can be a floor. Sometimes a glass ceiling is just a ceiling, but another man's floor can be another man's ceiling. The two are one in the same, but different. The glass opaque.

On the relation of ceilings: Time must be made whole in the mind of the observer...

eric said...

If we elect a black man to president, all racism will go away and white Americans will be absolved of their sin. Right?

Now they want us to believe electing a woman will break through a glass ceiling. Except it won't. It'll just mean more bitching about glass ceilings.

The one thing we can all enjoy from the Obama Presidency is all the racial healing. And the one thing we will all enjoy from a Hillary presidency will be all the gender healing?

Sure. Sure.

Sebastian said...

@Meeea: "And why does she get a pass on not wearing an American flag pin?" Huh? You mean, like, to fake pride in country? Patriotism? That sort of thing? Sorry, no. Dems don't believe it and don't need to do that anymore. A corollary to the Tushnet con law approach: progs have just about reached the point where they can safely dispense with paying lip service to traditional American symbols.

rhhardin said...

Today is the first time I've been proud of my cunt.

Roughcoat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...If we are talking about ladders, we're on the outside of the building where there are no ceilings. That's why I said stairway. Even so, who pictures a ceiling in the middle of a stairway.

It's just a worn-out metaphor, used so often in connection with Hillary that it's irksome. Her success does not make me feel hopeful about women, because she climbed into her position through sexual alliance with a powerful man.


Ladders can be internal w/in a structure, but you're right that it's an old metaphor. Let's try....force fields! Yeah, there's a Star Trek movie out, so force fields and turbo lifts. Gotta get the girls into STEM, right, and since lady Ghostbusters didn't work out so well, let's make sure all our metaphors relating to sex/gender problems are sufficiently science-sounding.

And other women tried to use the same man. She tried to destroy those women. If that's the story of American progress, I'm completely disgusted.

I'll go one further: MOST American women don't seem to mind this fact, in the least. They don't hold Bill Clinton's behavior against him ("it was just sex, he's a good person and a great leader/example for others") and almost no women find Hillary's behavior--lying for her husband/to advance their careers, attacking women who credibly accused her husband of sex crimes, betraying feminist ideals in a thousand different ways, and using her position and power to attack other women who had the temerity to tell the truth about her husband's actions--to be disqualifying! She's still held up as an EXAMPLE of feminist triumph. Women buy that; women agree with that.

It's disgusting, yes, but it's sad to feel that disgust for the opinions of so many millions of my fellow American citizens. It's hard not to feel less respect for "women" as a group when so many of them seem to sincerely hold such misguided beliefs and opinions.

rhhardin said...

It might be a fur ceiling.

French gives that problem with glass slipper.

pantoufle de vair, pantoufle de verre.

Roughcoat said...

Women are special. They deserve everything. We should pay attention to them and talk about them all the time. You go, women.

Roughcoat said...

Women are stronger than men. They can beat up men. I see them beat up men all the time in the movies and on television. You go, women.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Sebastian said.... I seem to recall that our hostess prefers to say things that do not risk such trouble. Regardless of her own current inclinations, you are asking too much. The science is settled: in politics no one cares about the scientific method.

Well I had in mind the Leftist assertion that they "believe in science" and "love science" and what not (to imply that the Right doesn't), and I get your sarcasm, but in truth it's not even really about a semi-scientific method so much as it is about defining what kind of a discussion/argument you're having.

If the discussion is based on "I believe this and will accept no evidence or argument that this thing isn't correct" that's a different type of discussion from one that start "I think it's is the case/this judgement is valid but if X or Y or Z was shown then I would change my belief in N way."
People who call for a "conversation" but then allow no contrary points of view or evidence of any kind to stand as opposition to their starting belief or judgement...well those people don't really want a conversation and are using the false impression that they're interested in discussion and reason as a cover. It's tiresome.

Meeeea said...

The left always seems to be living in the past, despite (as someone said above) their actions and policies that did in fact keep some of the alleged ongoing harms (discrimination, racism, sexism) in existence.

For example, I've heard this resurrected a thousand times lately, even from friends, the sentiment in this tweet sent out during sheClinton's speech:

"Lynda Szeltner‏ @lyndaszelt
...where is GOP when poor mother needs $ assistance, attitude has always been take care of yourself."

The left has done everything in their power to thwart pregnancy care centers. In California, they have been mandated to post signage in an exact font, font size, placement etc. informing women that "other" services, including abortion, are also available for free, along with contact information.

This presents an excellent opportunity for Trump--he needs to take this exaggerated claim of non-help, get data and evidence of the decades/prevalence of women whining they can't get help in keeping a child, gather some stats (billions in govt$ to "women's health" centers, .000001 to pregnancy care centers) and present a solution, "true equality in women's care" and split what currently goes to PP 50/50 with pregnancy care centers.

Interestingly, the person that tweeted the above had a picture of her white infant in it. I bet she doesn't even realize her latent racism and classism in her tweet. She's really referring to poor women of color that need $, and her solution is to encourage and pay for the slaughter of their children.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Gahrie said...This is actually quite common on the Left...and it is a sign of lazy logic and ignorance. The Left is used to existing in a self-reinforcing bubble, where no one challenges the orthodoxy. So no one develops the ability to debate their own positions, let alone anticipate a counter argument.

I fully agree that it's a problem with the Left and since the Media is strongly Left it's a problem with most of our "public debates" today. I notice it mostly from the Left since I'm not on the Left, but it's certainly a problem with the Right as well.

Arguing in that way can be a tactical decision, but I think oftentimes it's not something people realize they're doing. Establishing up front what kinds of things would change you mind can really help define and circumscribe a discussion or argument & both bolsters your own credibility (that you're arguing in good faith) and helps everyone prevent wasting their time.

"You won't ever convince me that X isn't true" you say at the start of the debate. Ok, fine, I will believe that and not waste my time carefully demonstrating why X can't be true. "My beliefs aren't based on reason or logic, I just FEEL this is how it is." Ok, fine, I might think that's stupid but at least we know what kind of a discussion we can have.

See what I mean?

rhhardin said...

Well, I had just got out from the county prison
Doin' ninety days for non-support
Tried to find me an executive position
But no matter how smooth I talked
They wouldnt listen to the fact that I was a genius
The man say, we got all that we can use.
Now i got them steadily depressin, low down mind messin
Working at the car wash blues.

jaydub said...

"White males have been making mistakes from time immemorial"

That's because white males have mostly been the ones out front. You can't make a mistake watching from behind the lines. Maybe it would be instructive to take a look around your current surroundings and count which objects were invented, developed or perfected by some white male somewhere and which were not, then get back to us.

n.n said...

It's the greenhouse effect where "warming" (e.g. stagnation) is caused by limited circulation exacerbated by the law of conservation (e.g. the moral imperative to recognize individual dignity).

That said, the feminist fallacy is the assumption -- assertion, really -- that fathers want less for their daughters than their sons. Class diversity (e.g. sexism, racism) is a left-wing phenomenon that has been projected onto the general population and men specifically.

mikee said...

Motorola used to have a Head of Diversity named, and I kid you not, Padme Warrior.
She led efforts to add more minorities and women to the company's work force and administration.

Her work included such things as putting a wall of pictures of successful women of color on the wall of a conference room at our Austin facility, including every woman of color on the leftist pantheon but oddly enough not including the then-current head of National Security, a black woman. Nobody thought it worth their job to point out this omission to the Diversity officer.

Such is life in the PC world.

Rusty said...

nn said, "
It's just a worn-out metaphor, used so often in connection with Hillary that it's irksome. Her success does not make me feel hopeful about women, because she climbed into her position through sexual alliance with a powerful man."

which just makes your achievements that much more admirable.

Unknown said...


""And why does she get a pass on not wearing an American flag pin?" Huh? You mean, like, to fake pride in country? Patriotism? That sort of thing? Sorry, no. Dems don't believe it and don't need to do that anymore. A corollary to the Tushnet con law approach: progs have just about reached the point where they can safely dispense with paying lip service to traditional American symbols."


During Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine‘s Wednesday night convention speech, the Twitter account for the North Carolina Republican Party mistakenly denounced him as “shameful” for wearing a pin in honor of his Marine son Lt. Nathaniel Kaine.

The North Carolina GOP somehow decided that Kaine was wearing a pin with the flag of Honduras on it. “@timkaine wears a Honduras flag pin on his jacket but not American flag. Shameful,” they tweeted.

Kaine’s pin somewhat resembled the Honduras flag, but his pin lacked the blue bars and only had one star where the flag has several.

As WNYT reporter Ben Amey pointed out, Kaine was actually wearing a Blue Star Service pin, worn by family members in honor of their loved ones serving in harm’s way. Amey also managed to grab a screenshot after the North Carolina Republicans deleted their tweet.

rhhardin said...

Behind every successful man is a woman. Behind her is his wife. Groucho Marx

Mike near Seattle said...

If Hillary was male, she wouldn't have been nominated. She wouldn't be the spouse of a former president, couldn't have parlayed that into a Senate seat, wouldn't be considered for a Cabinet job. She'd be a partner in a midsize law firm somewhere.

Likewise, if Barack was white, he wouldn't have been nominated. Heck, he wouldn't even have been a senator. His resume was even thinner than Hillary's. He'd be an adjunct professor somewhere, worrying about budget cuts in liberal arts.

The good news, assuming Hillary wins, is that future African-American and female candidates for president will have to compete for the job based more on their experience and judgment, and less on their race or sex.

coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rockport Conservative said...

Am I the only person in the world who could only think of the Wizard of OZ with that scene?

Basil said...

Has anyone even considered the notion that individuals succeed or fail for a variety of reasons and that telling someone they have failed due to discrimination when that is not the case is very damaging to that person and to the ideal upon which (at least Western) society rests that each person is an individual and has individual rights?

No one gains be being falsely convinced that they are not responsible for their own screw ups.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Basil,

Yes, many people have considered that notion. Some people have even said roughly that, out loud.
Those people are called "racists" and "sexists" and told they need to "check their privilege" and "not mansplain/straightsplain/whitesplain," and so on.

You're not wrong, but your perspective isn't exactly valued right now. Sorry.

jaydub said...

"Mike near Seattle" nailed it!

Unknown said...

Unknown said...
Clinton only achieved success because of a sexual alliance with alliance with a powerful man? You have no way of knowing what she would've achieved had she not been married to Bill Clinton. You only guess she wouldn't have been as successful. Guesses and assertions are like noses, we all have them.
7/29/16, 9:10 AM

Including Hillary Rodham Clinton, who with her cool intelligence, not to mention her woman's way of knowing, guessed that she would achieve more by marrying, and staying married to, Bill Clinton, and asserted this by doing so. There is no higher authority. QED.

Rusty said...

Unknown said...
Clinton only achieved success because of a sexual alliance with alliance with a powerful man? You have no way of knowing what she would've achieved had she not been married to Bill Clinton.

Then why didn't she make more of the opportunities presented to her as first lady of Arkansas and the United States? Elanor Roosevelt is a good example of a first lady with interests outside the White House.