December 14 2012

Susan Rice, Feminist Martyr--Not!

Charlotte Hays

Give me a break.

There were ample reasons for Susan Rice not to be Secretary of State.

Indeed, the reasons were so numerous that in the end it was the left that was furiously maneuvering to prevent her ascent.  See this Inkwell post for more reasons.

But Rice’s penchant for friendships with dictators, disastrous diplomatic decisions that led to genuine suffering, and misleading the public on Benghazi, and undiplomatic demeanor—nada.

It was sexism what done her in!

From talking head and former Gore campaign honcho Donna Brazile:

The boys network is alive and well. The war on qualified women continues here in Washington, DC. I am not going to stand down.

From Rep. Barbara Lee:

Disappointed Amb. Rice, such a well qualified woman of color, would be denied a fair shot @ Sec State based on unfounded political attacks.

Former community organizer and liberal pundit Sally Kohn:

Crushed that Rice & Obama Admin bowing to sexism & racism-tinged baseless attacks on Rice

Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post muses:

And, although I do not think this was conscious on the part of her critics, I cannot help but believe that it had something to do with Rice’s gender, and her bristly, non-traditionally-feminine demeanor. As I wrote a few weeks back, “The model of female leader has morphed from Iron Lady to soft power. And the controversy over Rice stems in part from the fact that she does not fit comfortably into this model of collegial, nurturing, division-healing woman.”

On what planet does Ms. Marcus reside? Does she seriously expect us to believe that critics of Rice’s performance don’t deal with and respect many professional women who are  known to have a “bristly, non-traditionally-feminine demeanor?” Get out more, Ruth.

An item on The Root highlights racism and sexism, calling Ms. Rice “this generation’s Lani Guinier.”

Ms. Guinier, you may recall, was a failed Clinton administration nominee for attorney general for civil rights. The nomination ran into trouble not after it was discovered that Ms. Guinier was a woman but when it was learned that Ms. Guinier disparaged standardized tests, prefering quotas instead.

And from the Atlantic, which predicts that Rice will be another Hillary Clinton who triumphs over Washington’s supposed sexism:

Rice may have been just been thwarted in her hoped for next move in the Democratic foreign policy world. But if there's any lesson in Clinton's career, keeping on keeping on has a way of taking a gal in some amazing directions no matter what people say -- and no matter who goes out of their way to block her. As Tina Fey so memorably noted all those years ago about the woman now hailed for her diplomatic finesse, "Bitch is the new black."

But the sexism charge is old and getting more tiresome by the minute.

For guest blogger Katie Todd's take on the real sexists in the Rice controversy, go here.

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