Stepford Feminists

I’m shocked! (not):

No criticism from women’s groups

We asked representatives of the major women’s groups what they thought about Anita Dunn’s comments on the anti-woman atmosphere in the Obama administration.

But even though these groups often jump to respond to claims of sexism — like with the unflattering Newsweek cover of Michele Bachmann last month, for example — they appear to be staying out of this one.

Sam Bennett, president and CEO of the non-partisan Women’s Campaign Forum, said she had never heard any allegations of tough conditions for women in the White House.

“Never once … have I heard anything negative about the Obama administration in regards to its internal treatment of women or is goals,” she said. “I can’t imagine that it would be lost on the Obama administration that it was women, particularly unmarried African-American women, who elected him.”

Julie Burton, of the Women’s Media Center, also passed on the chance to criticize the Obama administration.

“Anita Dunn says she was misquoted, and in any case, only she can characterize her experience in the White House,” she wrote in an email. “I can say that women outside the White House are concerned about administration policy as it affects their lives.”

And Susan B. Anthony List spokeswoman Ciara Matthews declined to comment, saying the issue was outside the scope of their organization.

Representatives of two other groups — EMILY’s List and the National Organization for Women — did not respond to a request for comment.

I haven’t seen any feminist groups going postal over Joe McGinniss’ tabloid trashing of Sarah Palin either. Since when is it okay to bring up a woman politician’s (alleged) premarital sexual history?

The reason is simple – they have been assimilated into the Oborg. If they want access to the White House they can’t rock the boat. The Obama administration has also put out the word to big donors that they shouldn’t donate to anyone that isn’t a team player.

There is one feminist group speaking up:

One lesser-known women’s group, The New Agenda, does have an objection. The group’s president, Amy Siskind, emails:

Clearly Anita Dunn has pushed back on the notion of a ‘hostile work environment;’ but, there’s no disputing the lack of women in President Obama’s inner circle and in senior roles in his administration. There have been a troubling number of departures including Dunn, Moran, Romer and Bair, to say nothing of women simply passed over like Warren. Which can only leave one to wonder: are Obama’s all-male golf outings parts of a motif?

One of our front-pagers (Sandress) also blogs at The New Agenda.


Riverdaughter has an excellent post on this.

Well, alright then. I guess that’s that. Those female Obama staffers are just making it all up.


Everything can be quantified, ladies. We have the technology. The White House has data at its fingertips that can be analyzed. How long does it take to get your email answered, how many meetings were women invited to, who was left off the group meetings lists, who didn’t return phone calls, who went to lunch with whom, who went on golf outings. All that information can be pulled from the servers. Statistical packages can determine if there is a correlation to positions on org charts, locations of offices, office and desk size, or some yet unknown component. If the meetings were recorded, how many times were women presenters interrupted or talked over them? Who interrupted them? How many times were they called on to give their expert opinion? Performance evaluations can be analyzed for words that can indicate if a staffer is being graded on acceptable social behaviors or actual accomplishments. Get some computational linguists on the case to sift through the words.

If the women of MIT can do this kind of investigation, the White House certainly can. This isn’t rocket science.

What she said.

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21 Responses to Stepford Feminists

  1. Melissa says:

    Yeah, I see that now. Silly me, shows you how much attention I’ve paid to Digby.

  2. jjmtacoma says:

    I commented on this at RD’s place too, both of those “women’s groups” that responded to Ben Smith have nothing to do with women’s rights or sexism in the workplace.

    The Susan B. Anthony group is an anti-abortion group.

    Ben Smith is doing exactly what is being done in the White House to the women who complain by using incorrect information to say “See? Nothing to see here!”

    The only group who is actually a “women’s group” who could speak to such a thing would be TNA and I’m glad he used her quote from the email.

      • myiq2xu says:

        Wouldn’t ANY women’s group have standing if not a duty to speak up on women’s rights and sexism in the workplace?

        • jjmtacoma says:

          No Ben Smith used two “women’s groups” to support a position that there is no problem at the White House. I think it is dishonest that he uses an anti abortion group (yeah, they are ALL over women’s rights – but they are called Susan B. Anthony’s list so who would know?) and the other one has to do with getting more women to run for office, and I am sure they can’t afford to alienate the White House.

          He references them as if they actually are groups that would represent women’s interests in the discussion of sexism in the workpolace..

          If he had qualified who they were and what they represent, I wouldn’t have a problem with him using their opinions but the way he frames who they are is dishonest.

        • myiq2xu says:

          Okay, I misunderstood what you were saying. I thought you were saying they shouldn’t be expressing an opinion at all.

          My bad.

      • ralphb says:

        Maybe they’ll speak up LATER in 2013?

    • Jadzia says:

      While I think that *all* women’s groups should be concerned with sexism in the workplace, NOW’s silence is really the one that disgusts me the most. While the Susan B. Anthony group overtly states that its mission is limited to abortion (anti- in their case), it really feels like with many of the other groups, that’s the only damn thing they care about too.

      Why do we NOT have a huge, active, broad-based women’s group focused on workplace issues? The only group I can think of is 9 to 5, which has been focused solely on the issue of paid sick days lately. (Not that paid sick days aren’t important, but I just looked on their Website and found not one word about the Dunn dustup and nothing very recent about employment discrimination issues even though that is 1/3 of their platform.)

  3. Ralph Nader praises Sarah Palin WTH. Wonder what the SF Progressives think about this. Maybe Salon is getting scared of Perry.

    I think she’s a lot smarter than most people credit her,” says Nader. “Judging by her comments, she is squarely in the camp of conservative populism, opposed to corporatism and its corporate state.”

    • ralphb says:

      Have you read the comments? Bunch of dumbass Obots never let down.

    • ralphb says:

      As an aside, Anand Giridharadas of the NYT was on Stephen Bannon’s radio show last evening on KABC. It was a very good interview and they went into Sarah’s speech in Iowa in detail. He very much agrees that it was politically defining of a hoped for movement.

  4. myiq2xu says:


    This is precisely what the Left has done to Sarah Palin. In hive-mind fashion, they have applied labels to her as a matter of course. That is, they dismiss her as an idiot, as a fascist, as a religious fundamentalist, and yes, as a racist, as if her negative traits are such known quantities as to be universally accepted truths beyond dispute. This mindset allows liberals to self-inoculate themselves from the possibility that they themselves might be racist or, at least, are capable of doing racist things.

    This is why l’affaire d’Rice is so revealing of progressive thinking. Because only conservatives are bigots, it is acceptable to use dog-whistle racist tactics to defame their character, and doing so in no way implicates the accuser or the spreader of gossip as a racist. It is an extension of the Left’s appeal to emotion via the ultimate hyperbole: the notion that an entire group of people are all alike, which is precisely the way racism works, as well.

    I would need another post entirely to address the sexist connotations of the Rice smear. In a nutshell, the idea that what Rice is asserted to have done is something to be celebrated, at the expense of Governor Palin, using violent, anti-woman language or that Rice would have been party to some sort of sexual conquest further serve to undermine not Sarah Palin the politician but Sarah Palin the woman.

    Turning a woman into a sex object dehumanises her because she becomes just that: an object. Palin goes from an accomplished leader to just another notch in some man’s bedpost, all because of a story that makes the 9/11 conspiracy theorists look credible, by comparison. This, my friends, is slut-shaming, at best, and rape culture, at worst. Joe McGuinness should be proud to have released a book that may very well set back women in politics as much as smut baron Larry Flynt’s Who’s Nailin’ Paylin? did. Bravo.

  5. yttik says:

    Has anyone reported this anti-woman atmosphere to Obama’s Office of Women and Girls? Snort.

  6. I can’t believe the only thing Progressive feminists expect from this administration is backing on choice. The executive order reaffirming the Hyde Amendment in the ACA was not exactly strong backing either. The chatter lately has been about who replaces Justice Ginsberg in the next administration. The blogger boys are talking that up too.

  7. The New Agenda rocks!

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