Mar 7, 2008

Misogyny by Any Other Name: No, Charlotte Allen, Women Aren't Dim, It's Really Just You

Charlotte Allen, pictured at left, a contributing writer to such well-read publications as the Washington Post, the Dallas News, The Atlantic, The Los Angeles Times, finds herself in the middle of a conflagration caused by her own writing. The topic? Her analysis of female Obamaniacs and how the seeming mental dimness of groupie behavior leads her to conclude women, “. . . could shriek and swoon and gossip and read chick lit to our hearts' content and not mind the fact that way down deep, we are . . . kind of dim.” (From the Washington Post article published Sunday, Mar. 3, entitled, “We Scream, We Swoon. How Dumb Can We Get?”)

Allen has published articles defending the sexist comments of the previous Harvard University President, Lawrence Summers, when he referred to what he presumed to be mathematical deficiencies in the minds of the female sex by way of explaining why so few women choose academia in the sciences. Summers later stepped down over his views. Allen, however, continues her thinly veiled sexism against her own. One wonders if Ms. Allen would also have defended the comments of, say, Don Imus, for his sexist-racist double-whammy when he referred to the stellar athletes of Rutgers women’s basketball team as “nappy-headed hos.”

Choose any bad behavior, for instance, violent crimes. 84% of violent crimes are committed by men in the U.S.. Does that make all men guilty of innate violent tendencies? Yet Ms. Allen gets off on condemning the “shriek, swoon, and gossip” we women are wont to do, as she puts it, and that makes us all “kind of dim.” I guess there will always be idiots with access to the Internet who are willing to broadcast their mind-numbingly ludicrous opinions, but what's up with the editorial staff of the Washington Post? Why is sexism pronounced by women any less sexist than that pronounced by the Imuses and Summers of the world? I've read way too many published sexist comments directed against Senator Hillary Clinton to have any delusions about sexism being a dying form of bigotry, but this Allen article stoops to a new nadir.

If you would like to let Charlotte Allen know how you feel about her sexist espousals, here is her e-mail address: If you would like to let her editors at the Washington Post know, e-mail and write “Smarter Than You Think” as the subject.

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