Speak for Yourself, Charlotte

WaPo’s Charlotte Allen actually wrote a whole article about how women are stupid. It’s like she’s living through 1962 again, and second-wave feminism hasn’t happened yet.

There is, um, robust commentary on the blogosphere today regarding this article. Best comment so far is from Atrios:

It turns out the Post did have someone on the “other side” of the “are women stupid” debate. It turns out the conflict was not between whether women are stupid or not, it’s between whether they’re stupid or fickle. …

… Hopefully Camille Paglia will be along next week to tell us that the answer is, of course, both! Then we can put all this behind us and move on to more important issues. I suggest the inscrutability of Asians, or perhaps the brain/penis size tradeoff men face, but others may have some better ideas.

Find links to other observations here. I just want to answer one line:

What is it about us women? Why do we always fall for the hysterical, the superficial and the gooily sentimental?

I have two answers to that. First, if it weren’t for our lapses in judgment, the species would have died out a long time ago. Second, do we want to spell out what it is that men always fall for? And that makes them smarter, somehow?

10 thoughts on “Speak for Yourself, Charlotte

  1. Personally, I DON’T usually “fall for the superficial/hysterical/sentimental” etc. (unless you want to count my fondness for Basset Hounds). In any case, I have 5 college degrees, including a PhD, and deeply resent being branded dumb because I happen to have ovaries.

  2. I wonder if such an article would have been published while Katherine Graham was the publisher. Probably not. In fact, Charlotte Allen would never have gotten a job there.

  3. I read the article, and when I was through I tried to figure out where the author was really trying to go. Because what the article says, isn’t what it’s about. She slams the female fans of Obama, and Clinton as a debater and her female staff. Let’s see who is NOT mentioned in the article?

    Stupid Republican women seem to have been omitted, and the entire McCain campaign. Now look at the article again, considering what is NOT in the article and the message is clear. Turnout, even in the early primaries before things thinned out, was dismal for Republicans. The enthusiasm among Democrats can not have anything to do with principles or issues or candidates. So it has to be that all the dumb blondes in American are voting and voting Democratic. That’s the message in the message, and the intent is to add a page to the narrative, explaining away the demise of the Republican party.

  4. “First, if it weren’t for our lapses in judgment, the species would have died out a long time ago.”


    Seriously though, I’m not even touching that article. Perhaps someone should send her a book of Wollstonecraft’s writings.

  5. I think she’s just being facetious to convey a security in who she is as a women, and how no amount of derogatory criticisms or established differences are going to affect her understanding of women’s equal or superior intelligence and abilities. I could be wrong by trying to think above my waist line, but her last two paragraphs leads me to think that she knows women aren’t dumb… and she’s playing with heads.

  6. Astonishing. I can’t think of any of my female friends or relatives in every age group that would read that article & not erupt with laughing disbelief. The poor woman seems to be very unhappy she is female.

  7. Wow, What a bunch of piffle. Someone would have to point a gun at my head to make me read that again.

    It has a lot of the memes that are being pushed, some old chestnuts among them. I suppose the message is that today’s intelligent women can best express their insightful, rational liberated selves by voting for another old white guy. It is the rational thing to do after all.

    It even has the classic reference to our hunter gatherer past as support for this sexist nonsense. Hasn’t that strict division of labor in our prehistory come into serious question?

    I guess as a sentimental, occasionally hysterical, middle aged man with only average navigation and spear throwing skills, I feel a bit out of the loop.

  8. Not even going to read it, as I’m currently out of my blood-pressure meds.

    I did greatly enjoy goatherd’s comment, though. Blood pressure… down. Ahh.

  9. Ms. Allen makes the mistake of arguing from the particular (her acknowledged stupidity) to the general. Perhaps she should be more familiar with the saying ” Data is not the plural of anecdote.”

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