Where are the women?

It would have been awfully nice if Republicans wouldn’t have unfairly maligned the wonderful and eminently qualified Susan Rice for Secretary of State, but we can’t blame them entirely for this room full of dudes. And great (and unsurprising) that the Obama administration has appointed many more women than the Bush administration. But women need to be at the highest levels and in the inner circle. And…


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About Jill

Jill began blogging for Feministe in 2005. She has since written as a weekly columnist for the Guardian newspaper and in April 2014 she was appointed as senior political writer for Cosmopolitan magazine.
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25 Responses to Where are the women?

  1. samanthab says:

    Yeah, and what makes it worse is that the one woman in the room- Valerie Jarrett- got a very nasty NYT piece written about her in the run up to the election. I could come up with criticisms of Valerie Jarrett, but they wouldn’t be, as were in the piece, substance-free whimpers about how close she is to the President. I didn’t get anything out of that piece beyond, wow, sexism reigns, and no one at the Times or in Obama’s cabinet has the least bit of a clue about how it operates.

  2. Marni says:

    Yeah. Having spent a lifetime in a room full of dudes (I know – miracle I’m still partly sane) I can describe the concrete bunker ceiling very clearly. You know, the impossibility of moving up. Work hard on a project, and they say you need to cooperate more. Cooperate and they take the credit for your writing. Sneakily write something on your own, and they say you need to know about XYZ (irrelevant stuff). Study XYZ and they say you don’t know JKL. After 30 years of this you utter one word of complaint, and they say you’re a whiner. Etc.

    • samanthab says:

      It get’s old, doesn’t it? I know I’m supposed to be envious of the dudes winning by the dudely rules, but, at the end of the day, I have to say I’m rather fond of the self-respect that they can never have.

      • Marni says:

        Yes, given what happens behind the scenes, where your fate is decided at every moment, they can’t possibly even know what self respect is.

  3. We need to understand that equality isn’t accepting the lowest common denominator. It’s broadening our understanding of diversity, not tokenism. True inclusion would be quite thrilling, but are people too afraid of change to make more than the first few steps?

  4. Sillyme says:

    Why is the headline about republicans and the pic about Obamas inner circle?

    • hotpot says:

      What are you talking about? The headline is “Obama‚Äôs Remade Inner Circle Has an All-Male Look, So Far”

      Really, I don’t see this as all too different from Obama’s first term. The only difference is that in his first term, Hillary was there, and that made the lack of diversity in his inner circle a bit less glaring. I was hoping this time would be different since Obama campaigned on womens’ rights.

      I don’t believe for a second that he’s not aware of the imbalance among his close advisers (his campaign was the same; the top advisors Jim Messina, David Axelrod, David Plouffe, Jeremy Bird, etc. were predominantly white men. As was his much heralded technology dream team) but he probably thinks that it’s just the result of chance and merit. Probably, he doesn’t realize that he unconsciously feels more comfortable around other men / in a male-dominated political culture and that as the president, it’s something that he shouldn’t allow to go unchecked. It’s the typical “boys’ club” mentality.

  5. Paula says:

    It also would help if our beloved democrats treated the women in the room like professionals… i.e. Joe Biden caressing and ogling women in a disgusting manner at the Senate swearing in last week. What a disappointment from the man who wrote the the Anti-violence against women act. What’s most disappointing is that he doesn’t realize his behavior… or that it is acceptable.

  6. Foxy says:

    It does not make any difference if susan rice is absent.Extrajudicial assasinations,targeted killings,drones.Business as usual i guess

    • RoryBorealis says:

      The point: you have missed it by several light years.

      • Lasciel says:

        Their point: missed by you as well.

        Oh the irony.

        Essentially, it doesn’t change things if there are more women in politics, if they will only make real the wishes of the corporate elite, as male politicians do.

      • RoryBorealis says:

        The point is, Jill’s post wasn’t about the other deeply problematic things that the Obama administration has engaged in. It is about the gender imbalance in Obama’s inner circle, which has widened this term and which is problematic in and of itself. So no, I didn’t. Nice try, though.

      • hotpot says:

        I would vote for a male politician who agreed with my policies and politics over a female politician that disagreed with them, and I don’t think anyone is saying otherwise.

        But that doesn’t mean we can’t talk about gender diversity at all. This strikes me as just another version of “oh but there are more important issues elsewhere, so shut up about yours.”

  7. TomSims says:

    It’s interesting to see liberals being critical of their own liberal president, vice president and advisors.

  8. Angie unduplicated says:

    What’s the story on Solis’ departure?
    Overlooking DeParle is insulting, not just on the health care front, but to environmentalists as well. She grew up about 10 minutes from the big ash spill in TN. This just got personal.

    • samanthab says:

      Well, and Lisa Jackson. You hear all that bullshit about how dangerous tokenism is, and then, funnily enough, it sometimes turns out that the minority voices are the voices that need to be heard most of all, the voices of conscience.

  9. Sillyme says:

    So whose fault is it, that the women are not there? Whom is to blame?

    • Marni says:

      New here, are you? Almost everyone is to blame. Every time you stand back and say nothing when the myth of meritocracy is cheered, you support the patriarchy.

  10. Catherine says:

    Can’t agree on Susan Rice. What the Republicans chose to malign her for was indeed a bunch of bullshit, but based on the way she dealt with several situations in east Africa, I’d take John Kerry any day, even if he is another white dude.

    And yes, I know that’s not exactly the point, here. Just couldn’t help myself.

  11. Omar says:

    This is a remarkably lazy post.

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