Tag Archives: women and politics

Suskind Flap: Is the Obama administration sexist?

You might look at my headline and reply, “Is the Pope Catholic?” because you agree with my contention that institutional sexism is bound to exist in a structure so traditionally male-dominated. Read on and let me know what you think about Arena’s question of whether the new Suskind book’s revelations about the treatment of women in the White House will damage Obama.

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Arena Asks: Tuesday’s release of a new book by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ron Suskind is causing heartache at the White House. “Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington and the Education of a President” describes a difficult work environment for women in the Obama administration’s early months, among other revelations. How much, if at all, will the book damage the Obama White House? And did staffers err in giving access to the author, who previously wrote books often critical of the George W. Bush administration?

My Answer:It should come as no surprise to anyone that institutional sexism exists in the White House, as it does in virtually all leadership structures traditionally run by men, progressive or conservative. Suskind’s findings were hardly new or unique to the Obama administration…

Posted in Feminism, Gender, Leadership, Media, Politico Arena, Politics, Women & Politics, Women & Work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

An Auspicious D.C. Tea Party

Change is in the air this week in Washington, D.C. “This is what happens when they ban smoking in those smoke-filled rooms,” observed Congresswoman Rosa De Lauro (D-CT) as she welcomed some 1,000 women to high tea January 3 in honor of the first female speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

The mood in the Mellon Auditorium on Capitol Hill was buoyant among this gathering of partisans and issue advocates. Many, like me, have tasted both victory and defeat time after time in the struggle to advance liberty and justice for women. Now, with Nancy Pelosi leading a newly elected Democratic majority, a question was raised repeatedly in conversations throughout the elegant hall: “Will this time really be different?”

Change can be elusive in a Washington culture that seems to suffer from attention deficit disorder. But a more enduring transformation could be seen in the nature of the audience itself. Collectively, these women had raised or given millions of dollars and worked millions of hours on behalf of candidates. Women have always been the envelope stuffers and door-knock organizers in political campaigns. Now—thanks to the clout that results from gains in economic equality won through many election cycles—we’re also writing the big checks. And we’re writing them for the causes and candidates we choose from bank accounts we have earned ourselves.

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