Thursday, October 30, 2008

Judith Warner on Sarah Palin... in Yiddish!

By Chloe Angyal

I'm a little late on this (forgive me; I've been on holiday), but Judith Warner had a great column in The Times on Sunday:

In 1977, Bella Abzug, the former congresswoman and outspoken feminist, said, “Our struggle today is not to have a female Einstein get appointed as an assistant professor. It is for a woman schlemiel to get as quickly promoted as a male schlemiel.”

In other words: women will truly have arrived when the most mediocre among us will be able to do just as well as the most mediocre of men...

So first of all, high fives to Abzug and Warner for their mastery of Yiddish words for "idiot." Might I also suggest "schmuck" and "putz" - both serve me quite well. And secondly, while it would seem that Abzug's prediction has come true in the form of VP nominee Sarah Palin, Warner notes that Republicans - prominent pundits and voters alike - don't think this woman schlemiel is going to cut it (neither do I). Warner concludes:

With her five children, successful political career, $1.2 million net worth and beauty pageant looks, Sarah Palin is really not an average woman, much less the worthy schlemiel envisioned by Abzug. She’s actually, as Colin Powell carefully said, quite “distinguished” — for her looks, her grace and charm, her ability to connect with an audience, her ambition and her drive. Those are admirable, even enviable qualities. But the American public, defecting from the McCain ticket in a slow bleed, is clearly not convinced that they amount to vice-presidential qualifications.
Seems like “real America” wants something more than a wife, mother or girlfriend in a female political leader. Maybe we’ve come a long way after all.

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