I don’t normally pay much attention to what’s posted over at the National Review’s blog, The Corner. I mean, if I had to pick apart every lop-sided argument and pot-shot that Kathryn Lopez made, I wouldn’t have time to write posts on abortion rights or hang out with my gay married friends.
But this morning’s post by Lopez on her exchange with Dana Perino, former White House press secretary, made my jaw drop. In reference to the adultery of Gov. Mark Sanford, Perino writes bemoaning the philanderers in modern-day politics. And her solution to all this extra-marital sex in Washington? Elect more women.
While I am not able to explain, I do think I know the answer to all of this: Elect more women. No woman I know has the time for such trysts, nor do I know any who say the desire one. They’re too busy trying to keep all the plates spinning at home, at work, and at the gym to make sure none fall and break.I mean, of course we should elect more women to office. But is Perino really suggesting (and is Lopez really agreeing!?) that the impetus to women in office is because they’re too busy (read: too sexless) to be having affairs?
That argument strikes me as awfully similar to that made by Richard Nixon, in his recently released tapes. “I don’t do it because I’m for women,” he said to then GOP Chairmen George H.W. Bush, about supporting women for election. “But I’m doing it because (a) woman might win some place where a man might not.” Doesn’t seem like the Republican backing of women in office is any less utilitarian now than it was then.
And let’s not forget that just a few years ago, people were making the exact opposite argument to that made by Perino and Lopez today — that women who had careers were more likely to be having affairs. To whit:
While everyone knows that marriage can be stressful, recent studies have found professional women are more likely to get divorced, more likely to cheat, less likely to have children, and, if they do have kids, they are more likely to be unhappy about it.So which over-generalizing, mind-numbing, anachronistic stereo-type are we to believe? Perino and Lopez’s asexual Mother Mary politician? Or Forbes’s philandering professional feminist?
I’d like to suggest an option C : We elect more women to office because they’re qualified (well, most are), competent, and - oh yeah - representative of more than 50% of the population.