Saturday, March 01, 2008

Linguist Deb Tannen
Identifies the Paradox
That's Haunted Hillary

'Women in authority are subject to a double bind, a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't paradox. Society's expectations about how a woman should behave and how a a person in authority should behave are at odds. If a woman speaks and acts in ways that are expected of a woman, she will be liked but may be underestimated. If she acts in ways that are expected of a person in authority, she may be respected but will probably be viewed as too aggressive. The characteristics that we associate with authority are also characteristics that we associate with men. This doesn't mean that every man possesses those traits, but if he aspires to, his path is clear: anything he does to fit society's image of a good leader will also bring him closer to society's image of a good man. For a woman the two goals conflict. To the extent that she fulfills the expectations associated with being a good leader, she violates those associated with being a good woman. If she meets expectations associated with being a good woman, she veers away from the characteristics we expect of a leader. That is the essence of a double bind: anything you do to serve one goal violates the other. And that is the vise that has Hillary Clinton--and potential voters--in its grip.'
--from Deborah Tannen's remarkable chapter in the new book, Thirty Ways of Looking at Hillary--Reflections by Women Writers. We think the Georgetown University linguist, who specializes on the different ways men and women talk, listen and interpret the world, is one of the most consistently enlightening authors we encounter, and someone who wonderfully bridges the gap between academia's normally jargon-laden gibberish and clear writing for general audiences. We could use a thousand more like her. You can learn more about her here, and to check out all of her books, go here.
UPDATE: Former Wall Street Journal book editor Manuela Hoelterhoff, now with the Bloomberg news organization, interviews the book's author, Susan Morrison.


At 3:31 PM, Blogger elme said...

REAL News - Dick Cheney's NEXT Big Energy MONOPOLY Power RIPOFF:

Obama is the pre-packaged "New & Improved Chocolate Flavor" Presidential candidate PRODUCT - being hyped & PUSHED by GE and its WHOLLY-Owned subsidiaries NBC & MSNBC...along with Westinghouse & its subsidiary CBS...while slamming the Clintons all day every day. (Assisted by...CNN/FOX/ and a lot of newspaper & radio media dependent on advertising$$.)

GE is the 2nd largest corporation on the planet.

Obama is IN with the Nuclear Industry: Excelon Corp of Illinois has been one of his largest contributors from his entry into politics to the present. Excelon is the largest nuke operator on the planet;owns Con-Ed of NY; more nukes in Illinois than any other state.

GE, Westinghouse, Excelon & 3 consortiums of other companies are planning to build 29 new nuclear power plants. Their Wholly-Owned & Wholly Influenced "News" media are selling the Obama Product because Obama is in favor of Nukes.

In 2005 Obama Voted FOR the Cheney Energy Bill (H.R.6) which ENABLED the nuke industry to make its Plans to build 29 new nukes-by Guaranteeing Taxpayer Payback of any nuke loans that default. (No nukes were built for the past 30 years because the banks wouldn't loan the money - too risky)

Obama Voted FOR the Cheney Energy Bill-despite the fact the Congressional Budget Office rated the risk of default on the nuke loans at 50% or greater. (Does that sound like...GOOD...JUDGMENT to You?)

[NY Times has several articles about the nuke plans & a map showing all 29 locations; Wikipedia covers the subject]

Clinton Voed AGAINST the Cheney Energy Bill and said her Energy Plan does not include nuclear.

? "Its about the FUTURE...Turn The PAGE" ?

Nope. ts about Turning the PAGE BACK to the PAST: Obsloete 50 yr old nuke power plants-the dirtiest most expensive kind/centrally-controlled MONOPOLY POWER-instead of inventing New, Clean, Green De-Centralized inexpensive Energy.

An ad campaign has already begun on the TV media to re-package & re-name nuclear power plants as: GREEN & CLEAN -for-everybody too young to remember the 1970's anti-nuke movement and all the Bad News about nuclear energy.

Don't be taken in by the ad campaigns-Google:'nuclear waste dumps' & read about the hundreds of BILLIONS of gallons of nuke waste at the Hanford Washington dump; 140 tons of plutonium stored at Rocky Flats, Colorado; Barnwell, South Carolina; leaking into groundwater and rivers; plutonium released into the air around Denver from 500 instances of fires at Rocky Flats; stored on-site at every nuke reactor in America...presenting hundreds of potential "dirty bomb" targets for terrorists.

Is it true that Obama takes No Contributions/NO MONEY from Registered Federal Lobbyists?

Yes. It's a LawyerSpeak/Trick of: Speaking a Small truth covering up a Big Lie.

Nope, doesn't take money from REGISTERED FEDERAL Lobbyists.

DOES take money from STATE Lobbyists, Not Registered Lobbyists, AND the wives, husbands, law partners, aunts, uncles cousins...of Registered Federal Lobbyists. Gets money from the same big corporate donors as any other candidate.

Obama's campaign finances are involved in the prosecution (by Patrick Fitzgerald)and trial of his friend of 20 years Antoin Rezko. Some of the funds... allegedly...extorted by Rezko went into Obama's campaign coffers. Curiously, Iraqi Power Plants amd fraud are also involved in Rezko's trial. (Google: Obama -Rezko- Alsammarae-Auichi- IRAQ POWER PLANTS)

GE & the same wealthy people who sold the "new & improved vanilla flavor" Presidential PRODUCTS: Reagan & Bush/s 1 & 2 - are behind the massive ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN to sell you OBAMA.

At the beginning of this campaign season a large majority of voters were looking forward to electing Clinton. Then Obama stepped in and started the dirty campaigning that has created the DIVISION he so hypocritically decries. Obama played "the race card" so he could win in South Carolina. He was caught red-handed playing that race card-but the media blamed it on Clinton-even though they all knew they were pushing the Big Lie.

With nearly ALL "the mainstream media" pimping for Obama & slamming, smearing, and lying about the Clintons-it is truly amazing enough voters have seen thru the Media-Created Obama "movement"-for Clinton to STILL be in the race.

The only way a very small minority can CONTROL a very large Majority is: DIVIDE & CONQUER-Exactly the same Republican Strategy/Deception they have successfully pulled for most of the last century And ALL of this century, so far. . .

GE, the nuke industry/wealthy have hedged their bets & they will get Billions of your money via 29 new nukes IF either Obama or McCain is elected President.

Ladies & Gentlemen, Dads & Moms buy nothing GE & Westinghouse are selling - not Obama, not a washing machine, a dishwasher, 29 nuke power plants, or a garbage disposer .... because there is no garbage disposer for Radioactive Nuke Waste. Do not allow them to poison the earth and your children anymore.

At 4:27 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

This is paranoid baloney. Please shop it elsewhere.

At 11:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I have to admit--I'm downright sick of women in the workplace. That includes that curious, generally good hearted and somewhat bewildered person staring back at me from the morning mirror while she's applying (lightly, dear) the workforce face. Honestly, there's something to be said for that Mad Men existence that some of my self righteous (though well meaning) sisters love to liken to the dark ages of women's history in work. Truth be told, I often wonder if it was all so bad, particularly since what we know now is quite possibly more informed by caricature than actual evidence, or so one could argue. Anyway, I've nothing worthwhile to say except this: I am voting for Hilary. Despite my circuitous carnal attraction to Obama (now that I think about it, with his looks and sartorial splendor, he is IS Mad Men), despite the way his elocution caresses my ears (and that lil ole organ hiding between them), despite my romantic and simplistic leanings--that is, I do believe we need someone to believe in and I don't think we should be embarrassed about it--despite the fact that I think he exhibits an intellect that far surpasses any of his accomplishments and that that intellect actually could be the makings for a truly great president... Okay, I could go on here, but let's get to the point, dear Watson. Despite all that lofty stuff, I'm hanging with Hilary, because dammit, just as it is in sex, experience is damn important in politics, and many times more so when we're talking the oval office. (Oh me...i really had to resist saying the "ovulation" office...too many nights out with my cynical, but hopeful, sisters...oh well, that's another discussion) Goodness, I'm meandering like a movie star on a talk show. But that's the crux of it. I'm not sure if it was Hilary who convinced me or it was just the common sense gene kicking in latently, but there you have it. Mr. Obama should take his Mad Men looks, suits, ties (I do love his ties) and gift for gab, and put them all to good use doing some serious work in our government, and then come back in a few years and show us what he's learned. Of course, this may all be too late. But let's hope not. Hilary is not my first choice by any means, but maybe we really do need one smart bitch--with or without pants--running things for a spell...


At 5:56 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

You're always a delight to read, dear Madchen, but this goes even way beyond your usual enjoyable self and right into opera-quality riff. I quite agree with you about Obama, and equating him to the AMC Mad Men series is a stroke of genius. What I'd give to tag along and listen in to your sisters' night out...

At 3:44 PM, Anonymous Scott said...

People seem to take it as gospel that Sen. Clinton (I have a hard time calling her "Hillary"...seems a little demeaning, really) has more experience than Sen. Obama. It's treated as a foregone conclusion. I figured it was just a sign of my own ignorance when I kept asking myself, "Um, what experience are we talking about, exactly?"

To be honest, I still have a hard time answering that question. The only relevant experience I see on her CV is that she has been a U.S. senator (and not a bad one, at that) since 2001. That's a definite point for her, though we could mention that Sen. Obama has been a legislator for 10 full years, albeit a U.S. senator for only three.

OK, fine, there's that. She was also an attorney at the Rose Law Firm for 16 years. That certainly means something, though it's not direct political experience, so I'm not sure how much weight it carries in trying to answer this question.

In fact, if we're just talking about political experience, the only way you can accept the proposition that Sen. Clinton has significantly more experience than Sen. Obama is if you count her years as first lady of Arkansas and of the U.S. And I'll be honest with you: No matter how many foreign dignitaries she met, no matter how much she tried to insert herself into the healthcare debate, I'm extremely dubious of anyone who would count First Spousehood as an asset on a political resume.

So again, I have to assume this is just me being ignorant here: When we say Sen. Clinton has more experience, what is it I'm missing?

At 3:54 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Scott, you ask a good question. And let's stipulate that you do so as an avowed Obama backer, and that I'm answering as a fan & backer of neither Obama nor Hillary (I'm for McCain).

I agree that Hillary does not have as much experience in government as I'd prefer that a president to have. She does, however, have more than Obama, who has shockingly little for a serious presidential candidate. The one area that she should get credit for that you didn't mention (and which I think those who know her record well count in this context) is her decades-long experience advocating for children's issues as a board member and for many years chair of the Childrens Defense Fund, founded and still headed by a woman who is perhaps her best friend, Marian Wright Edelman. That does count for something, because it's a pretty heavy duty group, with a substantial lobbying and advocacy voice on behalf of children and the poor (some critics contend, and I would have to agree, that Edelman has blurred the lines between adult and child poverty issues in order to more effectively push her cause). But anyway, that's an important part of Sen. Clinton's resume.

At 4:34 PM, Anonymous Scott said...

I agree completely, John, and wasn't aware of her work with the CDF. Kudos to her.

And really, you bring up a good point: What sort of experience do we want to see in our president? I'm starting to believe that while you obviously want he/she to have spent some time in high-level national politics, and business experience is a plus, I want to see something in the way of nonprofit or advocacy work. Sen. Clinton's efforts with the CDF is a good example, as is Sen. Obama's work in community organizing. A president is essentially a CEO, and the best CEO's with whom I've worked have been those whose whole lives haven't been spent in a law library or company boardroom.

At 4:42 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Yes, I quite agree, Scott. But I think the ideal candidates would be a blend of that kind of nonprofit/advocacy background with some executive track record, the kind one earns as a governor, even of a small state. When you have to simultaneously answer to a legislature and voters while also being ultimately responsible for a hundred or more departmental units (ranging from the DMV to the liquor control agency) you get the kind of experience that's valuable in the Oval Office. I think that's why no president has come from the U.S. Senate since JFK. But we're going to get another in 2008, unless something entirely unexpected occurs.

At 11:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh dearies, I wish I had the time to engage this. One of you is voting for a politician who should be on display in the political artifacts exhibit at the Smithsonian, the other believes that first ladies sit around waiting for the next high tea to commence so they can rest their regal rumps prim and proper on pricey Red Room chintz and gossip with Senator’s wives and old college roommates. With regard to McAncient, it's hard for me to comprehend the choice, unless one wants to remain indelibly linked to the Bush monarchy (Bush the lesser, in particular) and one has secret information about the war in Iraq and how that incredibly sagacious and wildly successful endeavor will continue to cultivate in the Middle East and elsewhere good will toward America, and never mind the looming $3 trillion tab. Honestly, I’m not sure if another presidency could cause as much damage on as large a scale in so many sectors as the one this one has. But since McAncient could win, I guess it is possible that being a rabid Bush fan and follower, he may try to best the unprecedented record. With regard to Spare the Rodham Clinton, you can’t be serious that her stint as board member of a nonprofit, albeit a high profile nonprofit, somehow tips the experience balance her way. If that is true, I shall declare my candidacy against the Mad Man Obama, for surely my experience working the nonprofit beat trumps anything he’s ever done. Oh, you silly men. Honestly, sometimes the comments on this mostly man blog mystify me. Oh well. Boys will be boys. I still love you. But I do worry…


At 3:05 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Entertaining as always. I'll proudly stick with McAncient, and you'll just have to deal with lingering charges of ageism on your record if ever you choose to run for office, dear Madchen. I'll make sure to leak this to the opposition researchers working for your opponent. Unlike Oriental societies, we trash instead of honor our elders, and (I think) are all the poorer for it as a society.

As for Hillary's nonprofit background, I wasn't saying it would so much loom too large under normal conditions, but it does help tip the scales against a competitor who is uniquely unqualified for the presidency by dint of lack of overall experience. And it's an issue (children's advocacy) that she stuck with for decades, so yes, I think it carries some modest weight in her resume for office.

Finally, McCain is hardly a rabid Bush fan and follower. I think that's a serious misreading of the man, his record and everything he's about. McCain and George W. are about as different in outlook, character and philosophy as two men can be.


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