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Schrödinger's Pussy
Observing a box has never been this much fun
You've got to be kidding. 
30th-Sep-2008 07:36 am
cat-canary-deadly
Can I secede? Maybe just our street. I think if I could get 6 neighbors (3 this side, 3 the other side of the street) to agree, we could have a sustainable commune.

I'm watching Good Morning America and there were two female politicians. Now, I used to think I was not sexist. But I think I was wrong. They were interviewing Marilyn Musgrave from Colorado, and Marcy Kaptur from Ohio. It wasn't what they were saying as much as how they were saying it.

Women in positions where a strong personality is important seem to adopt "calculating, haughty, condescending bitch." As women, don't we have other effective options? That 'smile' that says "I'm well rehearsed and won't let you make me answer anything I don't want to." Makes me want to slap a bitch. I think that someone needs to market a class that looks at strong, effective men to see how they present themselves, particularly in the facial features during difficult interviews. And contrast that to both effective and ineffective women in the same scenario. Then someone should attempt to learn something. It's no wonder that women aren't taken as seriously as men. I think it has less to do with being capable, and more to do with how women show their emotions when they present their case.

Palin demonstrates this infuriating machination often. Her interview with Charles Gibson drove me insane. In particular, the part about the Bush Doctrine. Sarah, worst stall tactic I've seen to date with the nominees.

Charles Gibson: "Do you agree with the Bush Doctrine?"
Sarah Palin: *folding hands, deep inhale, conveying attitude of disdain* "In what respect, Charlie?"

In the respect of "Do you, Sarah, agree with The. Bush. Doctrine?" It was the whole thing; the body language, the voice modulation, the answer. I hope she's gotten better coaching for the debate.

Working in a predominantly female company and having a brain that tends to function more male than female, I am frequently appalled and disgusted with my Gender.
Comments 
30th-Sep-2008 01:34 pm (UTC)
Maggie Thatcher rarely smiles. Neither does Madeline Albright. Certainly, neither of them is known for their bright smile (when they do smile, it's a refined, subtle smile).

Barack Obama smiles when he's being friendly, and doesn't when he's not.

Hillary Clinton's "smile" did far more harm than good, making her the fodder for people who distrusted her to make her into a boogeyman. Er, boogeywoman.

I think it's really pretty simple: A confident person knows that a smile is for when it's appropriate to be friendly or happy. When you're talking about invading Russia or increasing taxes for the rich, it's not appropriate to be friendly or happy, so you don't smile.

Looking at recent political women, it looks like they're being advised to smile more and more. Janet Reno, not a big smiler. Condi Rice, quite a few fake smiles... she's certainly made famous the "I'm smiling because I'm planning to kill your children and throw you in prison" smile. Barbara Boxer is somewhere in the middle: Her smile is quiet, like Albright's, but she uses it more. Nancy Pelosi has the same fake ear-to-ear smile as Clinton, but Pelosi doesn't look bitchy, she looks terrified (and terrifying).

Regardless, now that you mention it, that's one thing that really strikes me as off about Palin: Her vapid smile. I don't find it disarming or endearing, I find it frightening.
30th-Sep-2008 01:54 pm (UTC)
Palin's smile is in turns frightening and dismissive. It's not a thing that instills any confidence or insight.
30th-Sep-2008 03:30 pm (UTC)
I've always loved Madeline Albright. It's a pity she is not a native-born USA citizen, 'cause I would have voted for her in a heartbeat for the role as president.
30th-Sep-2008 01:35 pm (UTC)
I tried switching teams, but sadly that's easier than switching gender. Booo!
30th-Sep-2008 01:58 pm (UTC)
I wish there were more options than plumbing choices.

Having played for both teams, I am amazed that we aren't seeing more evolution movement, genetically, towards something more optimal and blended.
30th-Sep-2008 02:28 pm (UTC)
can you be a little more specific about what you reacted too?

30th-Sep-2008 02:35 pm (UTC)
It was the way the two congresswomen presented themselves. It was coy in a "we know better than you ever will" sort of way. They smirked. They had body/face language that was condescending and they employed a frustrating stance that they would not stop speaking until they were finished (a thing that denotes bullying, not trying to be heard in an interview). They gave the impression that they were playing a game in which they were winning, not participating in resolving a major problem.
30th-Sep-2008 03:18 pm (UTC)
I find condescending smirks irritating when anyone does them. I thought McCain made quite a few of them during the debate last week, and I didn't like those at all.

They're distracting and tend to focus attention on the person speaking rather than on what's being said, and they feel manipulative to me.
30th-Sep-2008 03:34 pm (UTC)
Obama's eye rolling wasn't good, either. I missed the debate last week, but picked up on the post-debate breakdowns, and that was mentioned. I'm sure I would have been rolling my eyes at McCain, too, and you know his horde of "prep" people are going to be working with him on that "habit".

30th-Sep-2008 03:50 pm (UTC)
I didn't notice any eye-rolling, and I watched the entire debate. You might want to question your sources, or at least watch the debate for yourself before making and spreading conclusions from second-hand sources.
30th-Sep-2008 05:51 pm (UTC)
Several news reports that I listened to on Saturday brought it up, and both liberal and conservative media reports covered it. As an Obama supporter myself, I doubt if I would have noticed him doing it, because I would have been rolling my eyes, grinding my teeth, and saying WTF at McCain on the tv.

They also talked about how McCain didn't look Obama in the eye, and how Obama called him "John" instead of "Senator". These media reports were "rating" how they both did, and the whole "oh he said this, and he did that" and "he better not do this or say that in the next debate."
30th-Sep-2008 07:28 pm (UTC)
I stand by what I said. The debate is readily available. The MSM make mountains out of molehills, and vice versa; watch it yourself and form your own opinion.
30th-Sep-2008 04:00 pm (UTC)
i'm all over the place on this topic, so forgive me if i'm scattered.

in my experience, women like the politicians you mention above, including Sarah Palin, are still "playing" in a male-dominated arena. if we smile too much, or we, god forbid, shed a tear, we're seen as weak-willed, wimpy and emotional. if we don't smile enough, we're seen as ball-busting, cold-hearted bitches. it's such a fine line to try and convey an important message all while trying to keep a professional public face. this is one of my biggest struggles when dealing with the politicos and schmoozy stuff.

as for Sarah Palin specifically? she's a nitwit and trying desperately to hide it. so are her handlers. she doesn't do small interviews, and comes out looking like an ass on the big ones. she needs major coaching.

i'm no more disgusted with my gender than i am with people in general. i think women are just as bad as men, we just show it in different ways. men are somewhat up front about their competition, or they take it out in other ways - pool, darts, softball leagues. us? not so much. rather than work harder, do a great job and be proud of it, women get bitchy and territorial and play nasty and set their colleagues up for failure.

me? i struggle with how to portray and convey myself to the public, to my staff, to my friends, but i do my best to be consistent. i don't hate my gender, or the fact that i'm a woman. i do my job, and most of the time, i do it well, and i let that, more than my smile (or lack thereof) stand for me.

30th-Sep-2008 05:58 pm (UTC)
You know I love you dearly, so my response isn't an attack, it's just bouncing thing ball back and forth a bit with no underlying lashing out.

Your response sounded in places very much like a knee-jerk defense. In particular, the second and last statements.

Your first argument is a standard one. The thing is that we don't have to smile too much or shed a tear to maintain our feminine identity. Smiles when genuine, and a tear when appropriate will not get a woman labeled as wimpy and emotional. It's part of appropriate behavior. As a woman who has played long and hard in a man's arena, I was able to keep my identity and be all woman. My biggest gender stumbling block was that my voice regulation needed work. The more upset I got, the faster and louder and higher pitched my voice would get. That's just a factor I knew I had to work on.

As for the last statement, I never said I hated my gender or being female. Far from it. But I am often appalled and disgusted when I see women doing things that promote the stereotype. After all, stereotypes generally exist for reasons, even unsound ones.
30th-Sep-2008 06:28 pm (UTC)
i fully admit it was knee-jerk. i see things like this all over the place, and i find it both interesting and frustrating. i rarely, if ever hear men griping about who they work with, other than very specific individuals/situations (Scott griping about his chatty cube neighbor, etc). i'm always hearing women griping about working with other women, and that gets me thinking about my own situation(s) at work. i have almost always worked in female dominated environments, and it's never been an issue for me. there were (and are) individuals that drive me insane, but women as a group has never been a problem for me. maybe i'm lucky? maybe we only hear women griping because we're more likely to say something out loud? maybe my bossiness is the problem and i'm just ignorant of the masses that hate working with/for me (;

my argument may be standard, but it's still valid. women in leadership positions have to be actresses on top of whatever it is they are actually hired to do. guys get to be "guys" (which i realize is a stereotype in and of itself), but if i were to have an off day, it'd be blamed on PMS or cramps or some other bullshit thing rather than simply being an off day.

the last statement? that was more a reaction to some of the other comments about hating being a woman or female; i see that often, too, and while i realize that some folks truly do have gender identity issues, most don't. hating being a woman because you *are* one just seems kind of silly and a waste of time.
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