The Traditional Woman

by lizard

I can’t help myself. After reading Rob Natelson’s masculine appreciation of the Tea Queen, Michele Bachman, I was overwhelmingly compelled to break my once-a-week blog diet.

Like Pogie, I was immediately struck by this line in Mr. Natelson’s BIG PIC/small content post:

On the practical level in the TV age: Bachmann easily pulls off the challenging feat of looking simultaneously traditionally-feminine and competent.

the term traditionally-feminine is a quagmire. plugged in to Google images, that pic is the first image offered. Add to that Natelson implying being traditionally-feminine excludes being competent, well, that’s just icing on the cake cooked by a nice stupid submissive house wife, right?


To contrast that caricatured depiction of traditional femininity, I discovered a new poet this evening. Her name is Fatima Bhutto, and she’s got quite the family:

Fatima Bhutto is from a Sindhi family. She was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, while her father Murtaza Bhutto, the son of former Pakistan’s President and Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, was in exile during the military regime of General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq. Her mother is Fauzia Fasihudin Bhutto, daughter of Afghanistan’s former Foreign Affairs official. Her father was killed by the police in 1996 in Karachi during the premiership of his sister, Benazir Bhutto. Her parents divorced when she was young and Ghinwa Bhutto became her stepmother in 1989. Years later, her mother unsuccessfully attempted to gain parental custody of Fatima.

I don’t know about traditionally feminine, but she sure as hell is competent:

  1. ladybug

    Competent apparently won’t get you hired. 9 of 10 jobs since the “recovery” began have gone to men. Go figure. Do women need a union too? Or their own political party to get justice?

  2. Jesse Homs

    Part of the problem of the feminine mystique is the inability to say what is painfully obvious about one person without branding a whole of the set of people.

    Rob Natelson is deeply stupid, not in the sense that he is uneducated, but rather than that the whole of his career outside of teaching can be summed up as “I’m right. I’ve researched it, and it turned out I was right about that too.” He is confirmation bias on steroids, and so hides away at ECW and works for a right wing think tank whose research is aviable to other right wingers. He doesn’t like the discomfort of publishing and defending his views among skeptics.

    That says nothing of all scholars and researchers and people who make their living by thinking and defending their thoughts. Nor does it say anything about men in general.

    In the same vein, Michele Bachman merely stupid, having none of the accoutrements or educational polish of Natelson. She is simply a sloppy thinker, hardly worth a second look.

    Is it sexist to presume that different forms of stupidity can be graded, that Natelson’s is harder to describe than Bachman’s? That’s what I’m wrestling with.

    • It’s sexists to presume that stupidity is different, somehow, between the sexes.

      I don’t think you did that.

      She sounds like someone regurgitating talking points – just must have a photographic memory. You’re very right – hardly worth a second look and it’s scary (really) that she garners the attention she does.

      What I think is that she (like Palin) somehow fit into that traditionally feminine role that apparently appeals to a majority of conservatives, male and female…and moreso, I think, with the guys.

      Conservative men seem to always have to mention the appeal of these women, as women – as if their sex is a plus on the resume.

      And Palin and Bauchmann are only too happy to oblige.
      Which is part of their stupidity – but that isn’t female stupidity, that is whore stupidity and there are plenty of whores in politics, male and female.

      I don’t know anyone who would dare talk about Hillary Clinton, for example, that way – or Carol Williams for a more local reference. Neither one of them would allow that to go down without clearing that issue up.

  3. UMlawalum

    This was funny:

    “Rob Natelson is deeply stupid, not in the sense that he is uneducated, but rather than that the whole of his career outside of teaching can be summed up as “I’m right. I’ve researched it, and it turned out I was right about that too.” ”

    Having had to sit through Mr. Natelson’s Constitutional Law class in law school, let me assure you that the above quote sums up his teaching career as well. I’ve never learned so little or seen such arrogance on daily display as in Mr. Natelson’s classroom. Plus, he’s just not…that…smart. The facade held up about a day and a half.

  4. Pronghorn

    I don’t find “traditionally feminine” to be as offensive as “challenging feat.” This says a lot about how he views competent women.

    • JC

      Well, maybe not so much how he views competent women, but saying that is challenging to both look traditionally-feminine and competent is rather condescending, as if while looking “traditionally-feminine” it is normal to look incompetent.

      Of course, we could also look at his statement as a view on what sorts of things he values one’s competency in. And the things that the stereotypical “traditionally-feminine” woman (like the one in the drawing Liz provides) might be competent at–like cooking, sex, cleaning, child-rearing, etc.–are not of value to him. That the only things he values in his traditionally-feminine women are those things that grace his genre: the ability to pull off a conservative political ideological charade, and look good (she’s a good-looker, that Michele, yes she is… she can go far in politics) at the same time.

  5. JC

    Here, this seems to fit right in!

  6. Rob Natelson

    For you folks that went bananas about my statement, “the challenging feat of looking simultaneously traditionally-feminine and competent,” I stand by it–with the understanding, of course, that I mean “competent as a political leader” rather than, say, “competent in playing chess.”

    Over the years, many women have talked to me about the challenge they face of walking the tightrope in this regard– if they look too “pretty,” they don’t get taken seriously. if they try to look too businesslike, they are taken as “bitchy,” or worse. It takes a deft person to walk the tightrope. That’s unfortunate reality, but it IS reality.

    • Then rather perpetuating a damaging stereotype, why not try to do something about it, Rob? It takes a “deft person” to understand and oppose sexism when it is apparent. You appear rather more deaf than deft.

  7. Rob Natelson

    Oh– and as for the personal comments:

    (1) To the dissatisfied student: The class evaluations show that most other students did not see it the way you did. If it is true that you have “never learned so little,” then perhaps you didn’t do the reading–because if you had, you would have learned plenty, even if you learned nothing from me.

    (2) Jesse Horns: “He doesn’t like the discomfort of publishing and defending his views among skeptics.” Are you kidding? Do you have any idea how many interchanges and formal debates I participated in during my decade in Montana politics and three years in talk radio?

    Think: Anyone who is a conservative at UM not only has to have an unusual tolerance for contradiction, but if he or she speaks up, it evidences a strong willingness to defend his views, don’t you think?

    • You ran for office and were forced to debate other Republicans. Do not overstate your exposure to true opposing views, especially to those who find your “free market” hypotheses to be devoid of real evidence and supported by instead intensive ‘research’ that validates what you already thought you knew. Please give us some links to debates that you participated in that have to do with your baseline libertarian philosophy where you are confronted by Keynesians, socialists, and economists who confront you on the essential nature of your philosophy.

      Put up, man. You’ve either been vetted by combat, or you’ve avoided it.

    • Jesse Homs

      Mr. Natelson: As a candidate for office, you were forced to appear on forums with other candidates. That is not the same as having a quizzical and open mind.

      Tell me when you have appeared on contentious forums against Keynesians, socialists, social democrats … you don’t do it. You don’t write in journals that invite dissent. You don’t even go to blogs where you know you’ll be held to task and forced to defend your philosophy, which appears to me to have no objective evidence to support it.

      Paul Krugman is but one example I hold up – a man with whom I both agree and disagree, and that does not matter in the least. He writes in an open forum, is constantly called to task, and mans up to his every word. He appears on contentious forums.

      It is only by testing beleifs in the open market that they are either given value or not. Your refusal to allow the free market to vet your philosophy does not speak well of you.

  8. i can not for the life of me think of anyone that is less worthy of my attention. who the hell cares what rob natelson has to say about anything. thank god montana is finally rid of his fatuousness. good riddance.

    by criticizing his ignorant twaddle we only elevate it above the ignored and lonely sewer in which it dwells..

    • Jesse Homs

      Again, coward, have you shut the tread down?

      • lizard19

        no one has shut anything down, Mark. i allow you to continue commenting on my threads despite all the nasty things you say to me in private e-mails that, don’t worry, i won’t post.

  9. Not my post. But some of us work for a living so adios. you might need to up your meds again mark. Your obsession with this bear indicates perhaps you should find something useful to do with your time.

    I am sure there are many volunteer opportunities in boulder to help less fortunate which could use the wasted time you spend on me. I could care less what you have to say here. And if it were my post I would not hesitate to help you find the door.

  10. JC

    Mark, you had a series of comments caught by Akismet as spam. I de-spammed them.

    NOw don’t go blaming 4&20 folks for something they have no control over. And I don’t know why you were Akismet-ized, but it happens.

    pb had nothing to do with this. Though I imagine he’s getting a little humor out of your accusations that he did. ;-)

  11. Jaysus

    It seems to me that, since 2008, Democrats have been in a mad race for the bottom. Republicans have been at the bottom since the sixties. Where is a man like TR when he is really needed?

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