February 9, 2024

All the women Trump might pick for VP fit "the demeaning gendered stereotypes Trump basks in..."

"... whether it’s the steely, stilettoed vixen or the no-nonsense broad. Of the first sort, [Kristi] Noem and [Kari] Lake both look the part, which has always been top of mind to Trump, who told his female staffers to 'dress like women.' They’re impeccably groomed in the ready-for-TV mold of Ivanka Trump and Kellyanne Conway. Of the second type, there’s Mean Girl Marjorie Taylor Greene, a QAnon fantasist whose relationship to the truth rivals that of the election lawyer turned criminal Sidney Powell, and the forceful but unthreatening Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Yes, these are all distasteful stereotypes...."

Writes Pamela Paul, in "Please Let It Not Be a Woman" (NYT).

Why is it okay to articulate these stereotypes... and what's so bad about them? Anyone who hopes to be seen as a possible President must be steely and no-nonsense. What's "demeaning"? These adjectives only sound demeaning when attached to the nouns the New York Times writer chose: "vixen" and "broad." Those terms are used to divide the women into 2 groups based on looks. And Trump is supposed to be the sexist here? The writer is expressing contempt for women if they glam up and if they don't. And that's in a column expressing the hope that all the female options are rejected.

By the way, did you know that "vixen," referring to a human woman, originally meant a quarrelsome shrew
The “combative, bad-tempered woman” sense has a very long history in our language, going back as far as the 16th century and extending well into the 20th. It may be found in Shakespeare and Swift as well as in latter-day descriptions of mothers-in-law and the names of gun boats. By mid-century, however, vixen begins to be used of glamorous and attractive women. Perhaps its application to female characters who combined combative and seductive qualities led to the word's reinterpretation. Or perhaps it was influenced by fox, another term for an attractive young woman that made its appearance in English around this time.

The OED only has the first meaning for "vixen" (as applied to a human woman). The use of "fox" to mean an attractive woman only goes back to 1963. Oddly enough, "fox," referring to a man — a crafty man — goes back to Old English.

96 comments:

Charlie said...

Ann, thank you for reading the NYT, so that many of us don't have to.

Wince said...

Did she leave out Elise Stefanik?

Leland said...

By demeaning, they mean what the NYT is doing. It is what progressives do these day, Divide people by stereotypes, then Exclude the ones they don’t like, and make sure everyone knows to be Intolerant of the excluded stereotype.

rehajm said...

They're just worried the first will be Republican.

Put a chick in it and make her gay! is their mantra.

Ampersand said...

The vixen etymology is fascinating, of course. As Jimi would sing, "Foxy Lady".

Anything derisive about anything touching Trump cannot possibly be sexist, racist, or wrong. The NYT sells words, and they're only getting started on Trump. At least nine more months of this, until they reelect the elderly gentleman with the poor memory.

Joe Biden Is Corrupt said...

The Trump-hating left do not see how vile they are with their bigoted opinions.

Howard said...

Librul MSM only knows how to step on their crank when going after Trump.

gilbar said...

Why is it okay to articulate these stereotypes... and what's so bad about them?

because they Don't Want Trump to Win!! They KNOW that a woman VP helps his chances

GingerBeer said...

Is there any woman that feminism and the Left won't betray to advance its causes, goals, and players?

Darkisland said...

Is any of those worse than going specifically affirmative action and choosing the best qualified black woman to be VP? And if anyone thinks Kamala is the best qualified or even black woman around, that is one helluva insult to black women everywhere.

Re vixen, I always thought that vixen specifically meant a female fox. In the same way that "bitch" means a female dog. That would be more of a British usage but going back to at least the early 1900s and probably much further.

John Henry

Bob Boyd said...

This talk of Trump picking a female VP raises an important question for the style book. What is the correct term for journalists to use in reference to a woman who joins the Trump ticket?

Nazette? She-Nazi? Nazess? That Nazi bitch?

Biff said...

I think "broad" may be more about class than looks, per se.

"Broads" are a bit proletarian for the sophisticated NYT crowd.

McGehee said...

What she really means is, "Don't let the first successful woman vice president be a Republican."

Meade said...

Taylor Swift dresses as a woman. Trump should pick Taylor Swift. Before the Dems do.

Kate said...

Why doesn't she just say, "pretty" and "not pretty". That's how she's divided the women based on her own tastes. She's also reinforcing the trope that an attractive woman isn't competent.

tim maguire said...

Typical partisan writing--start with a conclusion and choose your adjectives to make everything fit. Neither Trump nor his potential VP candidates matter in the slightest.

This reminds me of that (hopefully) short-lived direction to sports cameramen to not show attractive women in the stands.

Howard said...

Taylor Swift wears Montezuma Red lipstick from the Forties.

CJinPA said...

Nikki Haley just told the WSJ:

“By nature, I think women look for authenticity. They look for someone who is genuine, and they look for someone who is honest..."

Women speaking about women & politics is still a clumsy discussion, with Pamela Paul's stereotyping and Haley's Superior Female Voter views.

FYI: Pamela Paul wrote the highly controversial NYT piece on subjecting minors to sex surgery. She's throwing bombs.

Larry J said...

The writer seems to be one of those who hate any Republican woman as a sex traitor. If she's attractive, that's even worse. (see Palin, Sarah).

planetgeo said...

It's not just that these dismissive stereotypes are being cast by the NY Times, but also that it's by a female leftist journalist. To them, if you're a conservative woman, you're not even really a woman.

Iman said...

“Taylor Swift wears Montezuma Red lipstick from the Forties.”

Saucer of milk, Howard’s table. MEOW!

s'opihjerdt said...

The stereotypes are only demeaning when they describe Republicans. If they are liberal, glowing synonyms are used.

Cheryl said...

Congratulations. Four different women, quite different actually, shoehorned into a handful of stereotypes. Hooray. What daring journalism.

Joe Biden Is Corrupt said...

NBC-type anti-female bigotry on display from the... white left.

wendybar said...

Is she a biologist?? Does she know what a woman IS???

wendybar said...
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wendybar said...
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Temujin said...

Well...leave it to the Leftist Press to bring up the scourage of QAnon. Once again- I've never heard any conservatives in my life talking about QAnon, but here is the NYT keeping the flame alive. And I'm sure we can expect to see and hear far more reporting about QAnon in the coming election. You do know we all get our marching orders from him/her/them.

The paper of record. It's seemingly in the same stage of cognitive failure as the President.

Anyway, when you have the much accomplished Michelle Obama (who literally made her life by marrying Barack- got her jobs, property, money) what else do you need? Sure. She may hate America, but she loves power and really...that might be the only actual requirement these days.

John henry said...

Use of vixen for female fox

From Anthony Trollope 1875 novel "the American Senator"

Great novel, btw. About a senator visiting England and getting involved in the age old battle between farmers and fox hunters.

"Of course I remember," said the landlord. "Just the end of the season, when two vixens had litters in the wood! You don't suppose Bean was going to let that old butcher, Tony, find a fox in Dillsborough at that time."

John Henry

Big Mike said...

So now it’s the Republican’s fault that conservative women are, as a general rule, better looking than than the Prog-frogs?

Mason G said...

Nikki Haley just told the WSJ:

“By nature, I think women look for authenticity. They look for someone who is genuine, and they look for someone who is honest..."


Didn't lots of women vote for Joe Biden? That kind of shoots holes in the theory that women can reliably recognize authenticity and honesty, doesn't it?

Dude1394 said...

Man this is some sexist crap. Noehm and Lake are extremely accomplished women, but democrats, man they are some sexist racist turds.

West TX Intermediate Crude said...

I'm sure that DJT is hanging on to every word published by the former Mrs. Brett Stephens, graduate of Brown University, and that he will run his choices by her and follow her advice.

Paul Zrimsek said...

"Yes, these are all distasteful stereotypes... but I'm one of the anointed few who are allowed the privilege of trafficking in stereotypes."

Dude1394 said...

"Blogger CJinPA said...
Nikki Haley just told the WSJ:

“By nature, I think women look for authenticity. They look for someone who is genuine, and they look for someone who is honest...""

Whoa, haley is going to have trouble with the female vote then.

Rafe said...

Leftists: consistently, openly, and proudly racist and misogynist. Relatedly, they are also world class projectionists.

It’s a sure bet that if they’re accusing the right of something, they’re doing it themselves.

- Rafe

AlbertAnonymous said...

How can they even know if/when Trump picks a woman? These morons can’t even define the word.

Trump should pick the guy that gives him the best chance to win (and really stick into the lefties) and just keep saying over and over again “He’s the first Woman to be VP”

Then don’t respond or argue or explain the statement at all. Just leave it hang there every time. F these self-fellating “entitled” lefty fuckers. F them all.

Tina Trent said...

The Pamela Paul of the early 2000's would not have used these words. She's the rare bird who becomes more leftist, not more conservative, with age. She won't be there long anyway. She still has a few contrary notions. They'll purge her no matter how hard she tries.

tim in vermont said...

With propagandists, every confession is framed as an accusation. They have to do this because the truth does float around out there, and has to be managed.

"Any woman he chooses will be portrayed by us in the most stereotypically sexist and degrading terms." - We who are on the side of all women, except for just a couple of them."

Skeptical Voter said...

Another "journolist" at the NYT prattles on about not much.

hombre said...

"These are all distasteful stereotypes...."

The only stereotype is that they are strong, conservative adult females. No definitional problems there. Not to worry, Pamela. They are not likely to appeal to the loopy, pink pussy hats of the left.

tola'at sfarim said...

Whats the list for our current vp?

Lem the artificially intelligent said...

“By the way, did you know that "vixen," referring to a human woman, originally meant a quarrelsome shrew?“

So the pejorative “crackpot” could somehow push through and become complimentary.

When the truth outs one way or another.

prodigal said...

I wonder if she felt the same way about Biden's selection of Harris for VP? She fit the mold for the democrats - Female? check. Woman of color? check. Qualified? well....

hombre said...

The two strong, smart Democrat womyn who come to mind are Hillary and Fauxcahontas. They are both dishonest grifters. Kamala should be up there. She's VP, but she's a nincompoop.

Joe Biden Is Corrupt said...

A little taste of what is in store from vile leftist-propaganda NBC-NYT-WaPo slime machine for 2024.

Michael K said...

Personally I think Trump is going to pick Tim Scott. Suburban white women are still obsessed with abortion. Why choose a woman ? I think he is going for the black male vote.

n.n said...

Gender (i.e. sex-correlated attributes): masculine, feminine. Perchance the fairer sex.
The horror.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Mean Girls. They should have had Rachel McAdams write the op-ed.

n.n said...

All women, but not her, and not her, and definitely not her, too.

Rocco said...

So she called them Vixen, huh? Well, hard-rocking chicks are always cool. Don’t know much about that specific band, though.

As a side note, former lead singer Jenna Sanz-Agero was a founding member of a law firm before rocking out.

Original Mike said...

"And Trump is supposed to be the sexist here? The writer is expressing contempt for women if they glam up and if they don't."

At this point, it is unremarkable that the liberals, left, progressives, whatever you want to call them, are the biggest racists and sexists in our society. My only surprise is that they don't see this themselves. It's so glaringly obvious.

Joe Smith said...

Lake is always well-dressed as I suppose a TV news anchor would be...quite appropriate for an office job in government.

Tulsi always looks professional in a more relaxed way as you'd expect from a Hawaiian.

I don't see the problem.

Women (and men) used to dress in business suits back in the day.

The slacker, bro culture of tech is relatively new and not appropriate for government work...

Mary Beth said...

Pamela Paul or Regina George?

Joe Smith said...

'Taylor Swift wears Montezuma Red lipstick from the Forties.'

She's channeling Veronica Lake.

I'm sure it is calculated...

Wa St Blogger said...

Can't he just pick a black woman with notable oral sex skills? Worked for Biden.

Michael said...

Count me as another far right winger who has never once met a QAnon or heard them referred to by a far right wing pal. Do they even exist

boatbuilder said...

Speaking of stereotypes--"MEEOWWW!"

robother said...

Steely is good, in either gender. And stilettoed sounds better than loafer, at least if we're talking adult footwear, as opposed to 50s era juveniles.

Jupiter said...

Ms. Paul would prefer that Hillary Clinton be the Republican vice-presidential nominee.

Trump/Frump '24!

Iman said...

Biden screws himself on Thursday and QueMala Harris shoots herself in the foot on Friday morning!

MayBee said...

As opposed to....Kamala Harris and Gretchen Whitmer? Our current VP and the woman who wants to be VP so very much?

PM said...

"...the steely, stilettoed vixen or the no-nonsense broad..."
Usually the same thing.

Butkus51 said...

and then there's the age old question, "what is a woman"?


Dogma and Pony Show said...

Virtually all politicians fit into some stereotype of what a politician should look like. The only obvious exception that comes to mind is Fetterman.

JAORE said...

When the left attacks someone they often frame the attack in homophobic, misogynistic, racist or other styles they clam to abhor.

Hmmmmm.

Tom T. said...

Pamela Paul is the same reporter who just wrote a devastating story about "detransitioners" that has caused many on the left to denounce her as a right-winger.

Tom T. said...

We should start a viral campaign to promote the idea of Vice-President Althouse.

Lucien said...

A vixen seems more playful and tractable. Get me a real virago for true shrewishness (funny, she doesn’t look . . .)

loudogblog said...

Pamala Paul is quite the sexist.

Mark my words, if Trump picks a woman as his VP candidate, the media will pull out the Sarah Palin playbook. (Because it worked so well for them last time.)

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Well...leave it to the Leftist Press to bring up the scourge of QAnon. Once again- I've never heard any conservatives in my life talking about QAnon, but here is the NYT keeping the flame alive. And I'm sure we can expect to see and hear far more reporting about QAnon in the coming election.

So true. Now that Inga has given up engaging on here the term has virtually disappeared.

JaimeRoberto said...

They are "steely, stilettoed vixen or the no-nonsense broad(s)" when they are Republicans. They are confident and empowered when they are Democrats.

Michael said...

A vixen is a female fox, from which all these other meanings presumably derive.

There's always Sarah Palin. If McCain hadn't basically cancelled his campaign in 2008, she might well be finishing her second term today. And we might all be better off (joking !/?).

Paul Zrimsek said...

Vixen's The One!

Joe Smith said...

"I think he is going for the black male vote.'

Pam Grier.

Done.

Oligonicella said...

Althouse:
What's "demeaning"?

Because "Boss babe" only counts if you're also "Left babe".

Howard said...

Hitler hated lipstick. It was considered patriotic for women to wear bright red lipstick during the war. Victory Red was the most popular. Montezuma Red was made by Elizabeth Arden in honor of the women in the Marine Corps.

https://hprints.com/en/item/83089/Elizabeth-Arden-1944-Montezuma-Red-U-S-Marine-Corps-Womens-Reserve

walter said...

"This is — never forget — a man whose campaign should have been halted in Round 1 in 2016 after he was caught bragging about molesting women. Even if his pre-presidential record hadn’t fully revealed Trump’s thuggish sexism, the multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against him, as well as a judge finding that when a jury found Trump liable for sexually abusing E. Jean Carroll, it essentially said he raped her, have cemented it in.
Trump has said he likes “the concept” of a woman vice president, perhaps a more telling phrase than he intended. Of course, he sees women more as a concept than as a reality, an accessory or a servant to attend to his needs. At a time when women’s rights have been substantively stripped and threatened, this is the last vision of womanhood America needs.
Trump has also said he’ll choose “the best person.” Most likely this will be someone who carries out his will and does not get in his way. He will choose someone who subverts the very essence of what a vice-presidential candidate should be, someone fit to take over the highest office in the land. If he chooses a woman, it will be to cloak one of the most sexist presidencies in modern history."

Seems he has a lot of choices. How is that possible, Pam?

n.n said...

Sarah Palin was a good governor, a qualified administrator, an all-American, and the very stereotype of the feminine female: wife, mother, grandmother, and lovely lady without regrets, remorse, or sexist pretense.

Rusty said...

Conservative chicks are just hotter.

walter said...

Tom T. said...
Pamela Paul is the same reporter who just wrote a devastating story about "detransitioners" that has caused many on the left to denounce her as a right-winger.
--
Maybe this screed is to get her cocktail party pass reinstated.

Former Illinois resident said...

But that South Dakota governor seems nonetheless quite competent, and qualified.

Former Illinois resident said...

Maybe Trump should pick Condaleeza Rice.

She'd check so many boxes it makes your head spin.

mikee said...

I get an offputting sense of "Oh, no, he better not do that or we're really screwed" from this desperate argument for Trump not to choose a woman for VP who would be both popular and politically sound. Kind of like a bully explaining to a kid he's attempting to beat up why that kid using a crow bar is somehow unfair. An argument made forcefully, but without any admission it is entirely self-serving, that is what this is.

MadTownGuy said...

Is there a special place in Hell for women who don't help other women? Asking because Madeline Albright isn't here to ask it.

Kirk Parker said...

"Do[es QANON] even exist"

If QANON didn't exist... the left would have to invent it.

Uhhhhhh, maybe the have; they certainly are pretty free about inventing Nazis!

Freeman Hunt said...

So she's saying his pick will be especially attractive or relatively plain? Doesn't that cover everyone? How is it worth saying? Are these even stereotypes? How did she choose who went where? Kari Lake, for example, seems to have a pretty no-nonsense personality. Babble.

Dave said...

Are these the words of some bleach-blonde bimbo?

Dave said...

>>[B]ecause they Don't Want Trump to Win!! They KNOW that a woman VP helps his chances...

If this is true, and it could be, then someone is very bad at general psychology or the psychology of Trump.

The Rabbit Hole goes deep but, if we assumed malice aforethought, and the aforethought is key, then they know Trump will push back against any suggestion made to him. So they think they are persuading him to choose a woman, by not telling him to choose a woman.

I could use another beer.

BUT, stay with me here, that means they think a WOMAN would hurt his campaign. WHY??? Because conservatives are ANTI-WOMEN.

It IS possible they could on the level here and just saying exactly what they think.

Either way it doesn't matter. It's end game now. No more Republican presidents. The left is done with that.

Mea Sententia said...

In 2008 I was so pleased when Sarah Palin was nominated, and then I was dismayed at the vicious ways progressives treated her. It was a mask-slipping moment when I realized they weren't as pro-woman as they claimed. I never forgot that discovery.

Ambrose said...

People like Pamela Paul do not appreciate that any vice president - even a boy one - has to be submissive to the person elected President.That's the deal.

PM said...

Mr. Boyd @ 9:07:
I'd add "Nazty" to your list.

Jerry said...

Mea Sententia said...
In 2008 I was so pleased when Sarah Palin was nominated, and then I was dismayed at the vicious ways progressives treated her.

-------------

Yeah - it was very instructive. She was doing really well, quite popular, dragging McCain's possibilities up. But then everything changed - they sidelined her (I'm thinking it's becase she was clearly more popular than he was, and his ego couldn't take it.) and didn't do a blessed thing to protect her from the progressive onslaught. Sure, why not portray a very successful governor as an airhead and incompetent? Feminists were incredibly vicious - and at first I thought a lot of it was just because she was an R - but it got clear after a while that there was a lot of almost personal hatred and anger there.

I think it was jealousy. They saw her as someone who actually did have it all - what they'd been told for decades that they could have if they believed hard enough.

Husband. Kids. High-level career. And here she was on the stage possibly becoming VP? When she hadn't SACRIFICED like they had?

It was intolerable. She had to be destroyed.

McCain was happy to go along with his political consultants - sideline her, minimize whatever effect she had - because in the end he wanted to RUN for President, but he didn't want to WIN.

Trump wants to win. He'll choose someone he thinks will help him do that. I'd like it to be Vivek or DeSantis - but I don't get to make that choice.

bob said...

I would take a steely and no-nonsense VP (or president) of either sex.

PM said...

Agree with Former Illinois Resident:
Condi Rice, VP.

bud said...

"Put a chick in it and make her gay! is their mantra."

Case in point: A new series on CBS, called _Tracker_, appeared after the Superbowl. I won't bother again, but at the end, my wife had a related comment. "Why," she said, "did they feel the need to make the (titular character's) handlers a lesbian couple?"

See the quote above.