September 20 2011
In the aftermath of the 2008 presidential election, in which both Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin were raw meat for a rabid media, it's hard not to believe that a not-so-subtle layer of sexism tainted the Obama White House in the early years.
As someone who's worked in Washington - on and off Capitol Hill for more then a decade - there's no doubt politics can be a challenging environment for women. (I encourage any man who objects to try to navigate the old brick streets around the Hill in high heels!)
Still the irony of this book is that President Obama has been praised for paying special attention to women. This is the same president who national feminist groups commended for signing the Lilly Ledbetter act aimed at improving equality in the workplace, recommending more spending on a series of "women's" issues such as programs to help victims of domestic violence, and giving female military personnel serving overseas access to the morning-after pill.
I've always been frustrated by this attitude that women are a victim class in need of special protection and policies by the federal government. Of course, I'm not alone - Mr. Obama is losing the support of women at a rapid clip, who view his policies as intrusive and ineffective.
But I guess treating women fairly may just be something easier to preach than practice.