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Women in politics
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Tehanu
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Toronto Star is having a field day on the fact that a (right wing, but does that matter?) female city councillor spent $4,500 on voice lessons because she had been criticized for being too loud and shrill.

Okay, first of all, who pays for politicians' professional development? Arguably they should themselves, unless it has something to do with them acquiring specific knowledge or skills related to their position. I suppose you could say that being able to speak credibly might fall under that umbrella.

Second of all, why does voice so often become an issue of credibility for female politicians (Preston Manning being the obvious exception)? Isn't this the classic double-whammy that women face in politics? How many women are called "shrill" when in fact they are forceful? Or they're loud? How often is a guy seriously critiqued for being loud?

Pity she drank the sexist kool-aid, I'd say.

Quote:
Criticized for talking too fast and sounding "shrill" during city hall meetings, Councillor Karen Stintz decided she needed to do something about it.

So she spent $4,500 (U.S.) for public-speaking lessons last year. Then she got taxpayers to cover the costs.

The vocal opponent of Toronto Mayor David Miller used the services of Lynda Spillane, an author and vocal coach who has advised other female politicians.

Expenses from other councillors last year included about $3,875 in French lessons for Adam Giambrone and $750 to rent the services of "Silver Elvis," a spray-painted human statue, brought in for a picnic thrown by Glenn De Baeremaeker.

... Residents had told Stintz her message was often getting lost because she spoke too quickly, and "my voice at council could be shrill."

... Stintz said she researched competitive rates for coaching and got approval from the city clerk, who must approve all expenses.
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fork
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is Silver Elvis the moonwalking bear?
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Tehanu
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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 3:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lithuania elects its first female president.

Quote:
The European Union's budget chief Dalia Grybauskaite won a resounding presidential election victory in her homeland Lithuania, with 69.05 percent of the vote, official results showed.

With 99.46 percent of votes counted, the figures from the Baltic state's electoral commission showed that Grybauskaite, who stood as an independent, had come far head of the next-best candidate in Sunday's ballot, Social Democrat Algirdas Butkevicius, who obtained 11.87 percent.
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Tehanu
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 3:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seems our esteemed male Ontario premier and MPPs aren't handling having a female party leader all that well. They've been observed acting with both awkwardness and condescension towards Andrea Horwath.

Quote:
... The premier hasn't seemed quite sure how to deal with her. He usually maintains a faintly uneasy politeness, thanking Horwath for her questions, but instantly averting his gaze from her for the safer tack of clapping eyes on the Speaker, the better that he can fill the chamber with another round of purring bromides that have the twin merit of running out the clock while saying as little as possible.

... Too often for his cabinet's own good, there is the sort of condescending insult about a woman's intelligence that would earn the boys a rhetorical box on the ears if they tried it with, say, Education Minister Kathleen Wynne.

The air has been thick in recent weeks with smugness of distinctly macho subtext.

... It was also more than a little rich – given the embarrassing reliance of so many government ministers on briefing notes and scripted talking points – when [George] Smitherman was admonished by the Speaker for one insult of Horwath and apologized by saying "I didn't have a script to work with."

The funny boys and swaggering smartmouths of the McGuinty government – which has few women in the key inner circle of decision-makers – might do well to remember that a lot of women have been talked to in just such a patronizing way by a lot of men during the long march toward equality and respect.


Toronto Star.
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Tehanu
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apparently being a female politician, going from Ottawa to Toronto and leaving your kids at home, causes your brain to melt. At least, that's what the judge in the Larry O'Brien corruption case seems to think. He said he largely discounted testimony from Lisa MacLeod (Conservative MPP) because "the defence was able to demonstrate that there were a number of rather significant things going on in her life when she gave her statement to the police. … She was commuting regularly to Toronto for her work, leaving her husband and child in Ottawa."

Hence he concluded her testimony should be given "little weight."

Clearly she should resign her seat in Queen's Park and get back to the kitchen where she belongs, since presumably she's going to be equally flustered when asked to make decisions on provincial legislation.

Sigh.

Globe and Mail.
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Hephaestion
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Merkel's cleavage heats up German vote campaign

Quote:
With seven weeks to go until German elections, billboards of Chancellor Angela Merkel sporting a very revealing low-cut dress have pepped up a campaign that has so far struggled to grab public attention.

The election placards have been put up by Vera Lengsfeld, from Merkel's conservative CDU party, who is running in a long-shot race in a left-wing district of Berlin for a parliamentary seat in the September 27 poll.

They show photographs of each woman in an evening dress showing plenty of cleavage with the slogan: "We have more to offer" emblazoned over the chancellor's breasts.

Lengsfeld, a former East German dissident, said she had not cleared the picture beforehand with Merkel, 55, telling rolling news channel N24: "The chancellor could never have allowed me to do this, otherwise everyone would have wanted to do it."

[...]

Meanwhile the women's arm of the CDU chided Lengsfeld for an outdated "sex sells" campaign: "We don't need to do things like this any more," its head, Maria Boehmer, told a news conference.

A CDU spokesman would only say the party's central office was "not notified".

[...]

Lengsfeld said she did not understand the fuss.

"I find it amazing how little humour some people have shown over this placard. People always complain election posters are boring and then as soon as someone does something different, people get annoyed."

The famous photo of Merkel's cleavage, taken at the opening of the Oslo Opera House in April 2008, prompted headlines such as "Merkel's Weapons of Mass Destruction" from British tabloid the Daily Mail and "Deutschland boober alles" from media gossip website Gawker.

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Hephaestion
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Signorile: Mary Matalin says it's fine to slap women around

Quote:
(Via CrooksandLiars)
Mary Matalin, who, in addition to being a CNN commentator and Republican political consultant, is "editor-in-chief" of Simon & Schuster's Threshold Books. There are enough conflicts of interest there to warn anybody less arrogant that that some topics, including Sarah Palin's book, shouldn't be weighed in on, lest you appear as if you're defending your friends and political allies as well as your own business interests. But this isn't someone less arrogant by a long shot.

In this CNN.com piece Matalin whines on about not acquiring the Sarah Palin book for her imprint. Then she goes on to a) say that it will have a hard time making money; and b) that Palin "napalms" too many bridges and complains too much in the book, particularly about people Matalin loves and adores. Her advice? Palin, even if she was mistreated, should have just sucked it up and taken it, and put it all behind her. That's when Matalin tells the story of a women on a Republican campaign who got slapped across the face by a "big" man and, rightly, just accepted it:

Quote:
Time is the most valuable commodity on a campaign and you just can't waste it thinking about how to choose your words carefully or get your job done more diplomatically. If someone isn't in tears every day, that day wasn't all it could be advancing the campaign. I once witnessed an experienced (big) man slap a professional female colleague across the face over an ad buy... and no one thought anything of it, starting with the woman. In fact, she would have been insulted if anyone told her she should have been insulted.


Wow, just speechless after that.

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Hephaestion
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 7:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

India's House passes bill reserving a third of all seats in the national parliament and state legislatures for women.
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Tehanu
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have to say the more I read about Australia's new PM Julia Gillard, the more cool she sounds. Which also says to me that she's likely being set up to fail, along the lines of woman comes in after mess, woman gets tossed, people say women can't lead a country. Kim Campbell, anyone?

I like how Feministing puts it: "Let's play a game. It's called Things That Would Never Happen in American Politics."

Quote:
I usually play it with French politics, like when Ségolène Royale replaced her former common law husband, with whom she had four children, as head of the Socialist party, and ran against Nicolas Sarkozy.

Today, let's play it with Australian politics. As you might know, last week Julia Gillard became Australia's first woman Prime Minister when she ousted the leader of the Australian Labour Party, Kevin Rudd. Gillard is not married, but has a de facto partner, and now, it seems that a not-technically married woman will be moving into official residences (there's The Lodge in Canberra and Kirribilli House in Sydney) and living in sin.


Here's a slightly withering look at the sheer unadulterated sexism in Australia from the Daily Mail. (Sadly, lots and lots more at the link.)

Quote:
... Julia Gillard is not just a woman, she’s an unmarried, childless, proudly undomesticated feminist agnostic — who also happens to be shacked up with a hairdresser.

In the land of cold beer and untrammelled misogyny, this is about the worst kind of human being possible.

One Right-wing senator has even described her as ‘deliberately barren’, implying that a woman is little more than a life support system to an ovary and somehow not fit for political office.

Gillard’s response was to accuse him of insulting all Australian women and force him to make a grovelling apology.

... Chauvinism is still rife today, as no doubt Julia Gillard has already discovered.

For example, former Labour party leader Mark Latham said recently: ‘The Aussie bloke is in crisis and in danger of being replaced by nervous wrecks and metrosexuals because Left-wing feminists have sanitised public culture.’

... Another fine example of Australian manhood is MP Andrew Fraser. In a parliamentary debate last year, he was accused of telling a female minister to ‘go and wash up’.

A union leader named Martin Ferguson, meanwhile, has described women campaigning for paid maternity leave as ‘hairy-legged femocrats’.

... Even the judiciary in Australia is not above wildly anti-female comments.

Judge Roddy Meagher chose to pontificate recently on the country’s most famous feminist.

‘Looking at the shrivelled old parsnip Germaine Greer has now become, I can hardly believe she was the comparatively beautiful young woman I once knew,’ was his withering verdict.

... A Sydney magistrate, meanwhile, recently peered down at a mini-skirted defendant and advised her to ‘come back when your IQ is as high as your skirt’.

... So, yes, it’s a momentous day for Australian women.

Having Julia Gillard as our Prime Minister might even mean we’ll no longer get concussion hitting our heads on the glass ceiling — or be expected to give it a clean while we’re up there.
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walterharris
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 2:31 am    Post subject: Women in politics Reply with quote

Brutus wrote:Many women and not a few men complain bout the lack of women in politics. But isnt politics, naturally, a male arena? I mean the subject matter of politics: economics, war, power, money, environment, strategy and all that jazz are «male» subjects. I dont see these subjects treated in womens magazines.
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voice of the damned
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 3:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I mean the subject matter of politics: economics, war, power, money, environment, strategy and all that jazz are «male» subjects.


Mods notified.
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TS.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 5:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[mod hat] walterharris, that is seriously unacceptable. We've had a complaint about your comment, and you are hereby officially warned that further such behaviour will not be tolerated. If you persist in posting sexist crap on this board, the other mods and I will not hesitate to apply EM's Acceptable Use Policy. I highly recommend that you go read that document.

As for why your post is offensive, it should be obvious. You are assuming that women are unqualified to handle issues of "economics, war, power, money, environment, strategy and all that jazz". This is patently untrue, and perpetuates discredited stereotypes.

To repeat, any more crap like that, and you will be suspended.[/mod hat]
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F.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 5:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This "Brutus" - he's working on the Rob Ford campaign, right?
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Tehanu
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TS. wrote:
As for why your post is offensive, it should be obvious. You are assuming that women are unqualified to handle issues of "economics, war, power, money, environment, strategy and all that jazz". This is patently untrue, and perpetuates discredited stereotypes.

And he hahaha is basing this on hahaha women's magazines! Certainly where I get all my feminist info. Wink

Daggy's back, perhaps?
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F.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tehanu: Nothing says "feminism" like a black beret and funky pair of Dansko clogs!
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Tehanu
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ha. Or "Top 10 sexy things to make him purr with pleasure." Razz
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