Have I Been Acting Like a Man Lately, Or Am I Just Not Succeeding?

From NPR’s “The Feminine Effect on Presidential Politics”:

In the end, “American women usually don’t succeed in politics — or other professions — unless they act like men,” [political historian at Montana State Joan] Hoff says. “And so, aside from the condescension issue, they don’t usually have a distinctly female impact on the tone or issues discussed in political debates.”

Consider Jill Lawrence’s very good piece about just how distinct Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann are (I absolutely agree and have never bought the line “is there room enough for both of them” – what a ridiculous question – can we then say that there’s not room enough for nine white guys?

Would you mistake Bachmann or Palin for that matter for a man?

I don’t know – I get that NPR wanted to explore the question of what happens, if anything, when women are engaged in something in which we’ve typically seen only men.

6 thoughts on “Have I Been Acting Like a Man Lately, Or Am I Just Not Succeeding?

  1. Michele Bachmann is also very, very smart. She can think and talk circles around all the other Republicans, and Obama for that matter. Check out Stephen Moore’s profile of Bachmann in the 6/11/11 Wall St. Journal.
    We want a President who understands economics and has been successful in business. Her social views are irrelevant, especially because she is a constitutional conservative. As Bachmann said when asked about abortion, “Neither the President nor the Federal Government has or should have anything to say about issues like abortion or religion.”

  2. When I was facilitating DV classes for low-income male batterers the men would offer advice to their peers to just “man up.” My female co-facilitator would question them about what that meant to them. They would often describe the role a female had played in their life. One they were not currently fulfilling. That begs the question. Is it possible men should sometimes “women up.”

  3. Thanks, Ann – I agree. To accept so little as a sign of “headway” – talk about setting low expectations, for ourselves as well as for others, in terms of what we’ll accept.

  4. From the NPR story:

    “While women have made headway in the nation’s boardrooms and science labs — and even in politics — in recent times…”

    Hmm. I wish they would have defined what they meant by “headway” because, what?, 13 percent of the slots in the nation’s boardrooms are filled by women. Is that really headway? And how much has that changed in the last 20 years?

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