NY Times columnist Judith Warner writes today about “the fact that our country’s resentment, and even hatred, of well-educated, apparently affluent women is spiraling out of control.” Her proof? A college professor is being charged with child endangerment for dropping three young children (ages 3, 7 and 8) at the mall in the charge of two 12-year-olds.
How many people reading this would have left such young children at the mall under the supervision of 12-year-olds? None, I hope. Maybe the charges of child endangerment are too stiff, but hardly proof of a societal hatred of educated, affluent women. A real stretch.
But Warner has even further proof: The rise of Sarah Palin.
It’s precisely the kind of thinking that has fueled Sarah Palin’s unlikely — and continued — ability to pass herself off as the consummately “real” American woman. (And it is what has made it possible for her supporters to discredit other women’s criticism of her as elitist cat fighting.)
How convenient to blame Sarah Palin because a professor is charged for reckless parental behavior. Is there anything for which Sarah Palin is not to blame? [clarification added: Warner argues that support of Palin is a reflection of hostitility towards women, not the cause of the specific incident which took place before Palin’s nomination.]
And how telling, that this criticism comes from the same Judith Warner who wrote how people in her liberal circle joked that Sarah Palin probably never met a Jew before she met Henry Kissinger during the campaign, and who could not understand how professional women were attracted to Palin:
What, I’ve wondered, could the kinds of suburban moms I met, for example, at the McCain-Palin rally in Virginia, some of them former professionals with just two children apiece, one a former grad student making links between Palintology and the work of Homi Bhabha, have in common with a moose-killing Alaska frontierswoman with her five kids, five colleges and pastoral protection from witchcraft?
The same Judith Warner who felt uncomfortable at a McCain-Palin rally because of all the “real” people, which made it harder to execute her plan to make fun of the rally and Palin:
I should have been finding this funny. My whole plan, after all, had been to write something funny this week about the whole Sarah Palin phenomenon. I’d arrived at an if-you-can’t-beat-’em-laugh-at-’em kind of a juncture, I suppose.
And the same Judith Warner who mocked the way Sarah Palin speaks:
She speaks no better — and no worse — than many of her crowd-pleasing male peers, dropping her g’s, banishing “who” in favor of “that,” issuing verbal blunders that linger just long enough to make their mark in the public mind before they’re winked away in staged apologies.
And yes, the same Judith Warner who could not resist, just days after Palin’s nomination, a shot at Palin’s family:
Why does this woman – who to some of us seems as fake as they can come, with her delicate infant son hauled out night after night under the klieg lights and her pregnant teenage daughter shamelessly instrumentalized for political purposes — deserve, to a unique extent among political women, to rank as so “real”?
I don’t believe there is a pervasive hatred of intelligent, affluent women, as Warner proclaims. There is, however, a pervasive media hatred of women who do not read the NY Times, do not follow the traditional academic plan, and do not attend cocktail parties in Manhattan, but who obtain fame and sometimes fortune nonetheless.
How unfair it must seem to people like Judith Warner that a supposed simpleton like Sarah Palin achieved so much. I mean, aren’t the world’s riches reserved for those who did well on the SAT’s?
And the hatred of women who do not fit the NY Times’ mold owes much to snobs like Judith Warner, who sit on their perch passing judgment on everyone else, while refusing to examine their own shortcomings.