One of the small pleasures in life I’ve adopted recently is following national politics on television. There have been numerous times in the last few months when I’ve lamented missing The News Hour while on a ride, and I try to catch This Week sunday morning whenever I can; sundays usually being slow or off days when we’re not out for the weekend. (Like today, my legs are cooked.)
An hour ago I was watching This Week‘s roundtable with George Will, Cokie Roberts, and Harold Ford, Jr while making coffee and raspberry pancakes. Inevitably, discussion turned to Nancy Pelosi, dark purple suit, gavel, and grandkid. Robert’s mentioned that, unlike what often happens during such rituals, the child was not terrified of the politician, which presumably reflected positively on Pelosi’s family dedication or at least matronly proclivities (I’m extrapolating a bit). Will called her “a tough grandmother” running the House.
It seemed to me that the agenda’s of Will and Roberts were substantially less hidden than usual. George Will live cannot seem to discuss anything he dislikes without contempt; a sort of revilement which particularly struck me today as less passionate than intellectually dishonest. Though he is almost unfailingly eloquent. Roberts is usually a bit more even keeled, but today her words on Pelosi carried an undertone of hero worship. (I had to restrain myself just then from making some comment about teenage girls and Justin Timberlake, revealing that I have a foot in both sides of the issue, see below.) The unqiueness of it all added up to a distinct exchange.
American culture is still struggling to come to grips with feminism, and is for me still usually misogynistic. Ergo Hillary’s presidential run and the ensuing questions, so different from those directed at Obama. I think that, on a cultural level, there’s still a terror of the woman in power, as something unpredictable and dangerous. Someone who may not follow “the rules” when embroiled.
All a vague thesis at this moment. I do hope we really are seeing the cracking of the marble ceiling over the next two years. Part of me would have a hard time not voting for a woman for president, just because she was a woman. My own bias.
Marble ceiling can now be entered in the cultural dictionary.