October 28, 2006

"If you want to read about attitudes toward females..."

So it's finally arrived! The day when we scour the files of political candidates for evidence about their attitudes toward females! And may the least sexist candidate win!

In one corner, we have a man who has written novels -- gasp! novels! -- that lack any strong female characters! In the other, we have a man who has a sister who's written a memoir -- oh, no! a memoir! get me Oprah! -- in which she tattles that he pulled her hair!
In its latest attack, the [George] Allen camp takes particular issue with the portrayal of women in [Jim] Webb’s novels, saying female characters are consistently “servile, subordinate, inept, incompetent, promiscuous, perverted, or some combination of these.”
Mr. Webb ... attacked Mr. Allen personally. “You ought to read what George Allen’s sister wrote about him if you want to read about attitudes toward females,” he said, alluding to an autobiography by Jennifer Allen in which she describes her brother as a bully who once dragged her upstairs by her hair because she had defied her father at bedtime.
Oh, come on, Althouse. Get the story straight! It's not a memoir, it's an autobiography. And he didn't just pull her hair, he dragged her up the stairs by her hair -- the caveman! -- because she defied her father -- the patriarch!

Well, who is this Jennifer Allen character that she merits an "autobiography"? It looks like a memoir to me. She tells the story of growing up with that patriarch, who was a "legendary" football coach and, apparently, a mean daddy. Too bad Amazon doesn't have a search-inside-the-book function for that one, because we could find all the references to brother George and quote them -- in or out of context, as suits our fancy.

But come on, let's not stop with Webb and Allen. It's time to dig in. I want to know about all the male candidates. Who respects women more?

And all you guys who are hoping to make it in politics, who are burnishing your credentials right now? Better make sure you show nothing but respect from now on. Better go crawling on your knees to any woman you ever disrespected, lest she dash off a memoir. Bonus political tip: Hire a ghostwriter to write a novel full of upright, feisty females.

ADDED: From Maureen Dowd's TimesSelect column:
Mr. Allen’s younger sister, Jennifer, wrote a memoir in which she described her brother pulling a Michael Jackson and dangling her over a railing at Niagara Falls, and slamming a pool cue against her boyfriend’s head. (She later said the pool-cue story was a joke, calling the book a novelization of the past.)
So it's that kind of memoir.


Gerry said...

"Hire a ghostwriter to write a novel full of upright, feisty females."

You mean like "Taming of the Shrew?"

The Virginia Senate race has been one of the most off-putting campaigns I have ever seen. I put the blame at about 40% on Webb, 35% on the media (especially the Washington Post) and about 25% on Allen, who seems to have decided to fight fire with fire.

It is the antithesis of what I prefer in a political campaign.

Gerry said...

Oh, wait. That wasn't ghostwritten. My bad.

Gerry said...


Off topic: are you familiar with the whole "Stop Sex Predators"/"Stop October Surprises"/"HRC" matter?

Am I reading this post correctly, and Tom Maguire of JustOneMinute is the guy behind "Stop October Surprises?"

altoids1306 said...

As Glenn Reynolds might say, "No sane person would run for president."

And I applaud the candidates for ignoring unhealthy distractions like the Iraq War and terrorism, spiraling social welfare costs, and yawning deficits, and focusing on what's really important - racy novels.

tiggeril said...

Sometimes I wonder if the world wouldn't be a better place if politicos were just shot into the sun.

Ron said...

"...and the insolent Althouse requested that Mr. Darcy 'Look it up in the post!' for his edification."

I suppose my attempt to get Matching Campaign Funds for Ron "The Real Tricky Dick" Jeremy isn't going to go well, eh?

AJ Lynch said...

Yeah Ann- you have written that you may not vote. I have skipped elections and felt better for not voting cause I just could not give my vote to either candidate.

Is there any way you could find a constitutional loophole for requiring the voters to have a third choice called "None of the above"? And I wonder if that would increase voter turnout?

John Thacker said...

On a slightly more serious "attitude towards females" note, Sen. Allen is right now running an ad featuring a woman narrator talking about Jim Webb's quotes dismissing Tailhook and saying that the Naval Academy would be "a horny woman's dream" in explaining why women shouldn't be in the armed forces. Fun stuff, really.

The Drill SGT said...

I'm with Gerry. This race is in my state. I crossed over and voted for Webb in the primary because I thought he was the better of the Dem's. I'm not overly impressed with Allen, but as the race has proceeded, I have had non-stop attacks on Allen by my local paper (WaPo) and some really slimy attacks by the Webb folks on Allen.

I voted for Allen yesterday based on my dislike of the way Webb ran his campaign.

Too Many Jims said...

I loved Tucker Carlson's take that Allen is running as a feminist.

Brent said...

My two favorite campaign stories from this year so far:

1) Wolf Blitzer on CNN spends 10 minutes of a 15 minute interview with Lynne Cheney on how her novels(s) might compare to James Webb's novels in the Steamy Dept. Cheney was booked to discuss her new non-fiction book on the United States.

News flash: Despite the impression left with many viewers,Cheney is NOT, I repeat, NOT running against James Webb for the US Senate seat from Virginia.

2) An anti-Harold Ford, Jr. ad is called "racist" by those who seem to call anything they desire "racist".
Though it is completely plausible that the ad had motivations that had nothing to do with racism, the Main Stream Media had a field day on the issue, quoting from a list of incredibly discredited people on the issue - the usual race-baiting racemongers and those that "agree" with them, seeking to divide the country along racial lines, all while playing the race card.

Listing of the above described despicable persons available on request.

This just in for those also reading Huffington Post, Daily Kos, at el:
Lynne Cheney has STILL not entered the Senate race for the seat from Virginia

Scott W. Somerville said...

Jane Austen for Senator from Bath!

Maxine Weiss said...

It's all about avoiding a lawsuit.

A Memoir is about things that never happened.

Fiction is the truth.

Peace, Maxine

Troy said...

Ann wrote: "Well, who is this Jennifer Allen character that she merits an 'autobiography'?"

Me: Actually quite a number fo fans of football from the 1960s and 1970s would be interested. Her dad coached the LA Rams in the '60s and the Washington Redskins in the 1970s. I can't vouch for the book because I haven't read it, but as a Dallas Cowboys fan since the early 1970s -- and therefore a Washington Redskin hater (and irrationally so) I might find it interesting -- at least as an insight into her father. She "merits" it vicariously -- and besides if she can wrte it and get a publisher to publish it then more power to her.

Ann Althouse said...

Troy: Her father (whom I acknowledge in the post) is a reason why should could get a memoir of her family life published. It doesn't explain why she'd have an autobiography, which implies her own importance.

Derve said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.