Political Elites, Public Opinion, Social Media or No — Women Writing Politics

Men don’t follow the rules; they make the rules.  And by rules I mean political rules that do determine economics or the market, let alone society (norms, beliefs, values, et al.).  Though women in power get to dictate in a multitude of directions (which is why they get called “uppity bitch” all the time).  (My partner does not know what color of shoes to wear to what function.)

Put differently, SMIGS (straight male, Ivy, gender speak), instead of mugs (not to be confused with maiden names), who are not all smug (who again don’t know how to pair maidens with mugs any more than Ivies and their sisters — colleges that is).

At least my mug is not smug.  He may have gone Ivy, and the only one in the largest city once controlled by the Dutch (New Netherlands), but he wasn’t about to attend HPY (our license plate – Harvard-Princeton-Yale connection, though we had no intention of being part of the “H’s: when it came to license plates).

My partner also helped me with SLAMs and SCAMs, though a great colleague thought this was insulting to men.  With a 50 percent admission rate for legacy, we are talking about a very small group of smug people, and only one gender who could get in.  Not only my partner but first generation of any nationality, let alone religion or tradition, or mixed first generation of any kind has this high of an admissions rate.  (CUNY has a much lower admissions rate, in effect, than Harvard,  Go figure.)

How do I know this?  I went from CPS (Capitol Page School) to CMC (Claremont Men’s College), where they tried to “GCO” us (Get C-word Out). This is similar to the Princeton University Press book ”Keep the Damned Women Out”: The Struggle for Coeducation.

A better way to look at gender, or women as the most trod-upon gender, is that when we enter the institution we make it stronger — intellectually first and foremost.  No more need for Gentleman’s C’s.  Having been disappointed by my mother’s notion that I only had to “earn” a Gentleman’s C, I was happy that I got into CMC instead of an all-female sister school, or the Western equivalent nearby.  She transferred from Mills to Berkeley and regretted it.  I got in via transfer and decided against going.  I preferred understanding how socialism succeeded in the former Yugoslavia rather than attending a university with more men. I didn’t even accept an invitation to be the prototype or the type of professor — University Professor — since I found California less diverse than, yes, NYC, even though it is a one-Ivy town.  UC Berkeley, or Cal, is over 85 percent privately funded with a public purpose, so where better to hide your former superiority to Harvard?

Before I forget, though I haven’t found the citation to this day to “Gov-Speak,” a Harvard thesis, MA thesis, or dissertation that gave us the rules of Gov-Speak, which is to say male speak.  And while I’m the third professor in my 11-generation family, I’m only the second one who addresses religion.  The first helped found Brown, was George Washington’s aide-de-camp, and practiced “pro-fessing,” not confessing, when he was a prof back in the 1790s.  So the first prof in my family was a prof of religion.  Back then Brown and other institutions were “liberal” (i.e. secular).  Not only did I assume that this meant the religion professor helped clean Washington’s boots, but that the town he professed in must have been Princeton or New Brunswick, not Providence, Rhode Island. Being from a radical county of a radical state — New Jersey — (which allowed women to vote for a nanosecond or from the 1790s until 1807) — he helped found the community with Native Americans from one sovereign nation.

A Higher Education Way to Stop Keeping the Damned Women Out* of TECH Too?


So long Silicon Valley.  So long sexual harassers and non-diverse SLAMs — who live or work in the 50-mile radius Time Well Spent blogger Tristan Harris is talking about — in San Francisco.  Tristan is now a social-media design ethicist who is outing how social media unaccountably design our local/global lives.  And so long auto traffic.  This is the new Silicon Alley — Cornell Tech.

Now, having grown up in California, I appreciate the lack of traffic, and the benefits of serving four boroughs in this new innovative institution that serves all of us in New York City.  But what I noticed only recently that is truly remarkable and worthy of note is Women in Technology and Entrepreneurship in New York, or WiTNY.

It’s a program or blog that the New York Public Library (NYPL) — the one with the lions — produced over a year ago.  I, myself, missed the announcement and am only now catching up how the largest public university in one city — CUNY1st — is now collaborating with Cornell Tech, which itself is part of Israel’s Technion in Haifa on an initiative that gives women a chance to lead in the traditionally male macho field of technology.  I would hope Lean-In Sheryl Sandberg will pay us a visit too, as the venerable public and private higher-education institutions serve one of our most neglected pool of leaders — women.

More on women and leadership (e.g. American workplace politics) later.  For now, follow the links.#

Two Rights Make an Exhilarating Left – Showcasing a Leader Who Happens to Be a Woman

  Listen to this exchange, elevating and advancing the most significant postwar political thinker – Hannah Arendt — who happens to be a woman in the United States. Indeed, a newly vacant seat is named after her. This woman spoke truth to power in 1963 in The New Yorker, and took a lot of flak for it — so much so that she passed away tired at another venerable institution that hosts her name – Bard College.

What I’m talking about is that Chelsea and Corey got into it this weekend. Chelsea Clinton tweeted that the burning of an LGBT youth center in Phoenix reflects Hannah Arendt’s most famous and infamous phrase — “the banality of evil.” Corey Robin, my esteemed colleague, a full professor at the City University of New York, corrected Chelsea, saying that she had misunderstood and that Arendt was actually saying the exact opposite of what she thought.

Now, no one likes a correction, so Chelsea took Corey’s bait, and they went back and forth at some length, she maintaining that the Arendt phrase was apposite and he maintaining that it wasn’t.

This is, according to two more political scientists (Brendan Nyhan and Jason Reifler), an example of the “backfire effect” — which is fodder for another blog, so going back to the Chelsea/Corey brainy brawl, Chelsea repeatedly stood up and defended herself, only to be corrected by Corey again and again.

Corey has the better argument, though Chelsea (who initiated the discussion) is doing us a civil service, as Corey points out. Chelsea, as the author of a bestselling children’s book (She Persisted), is really setting the agenda to let women speak as leaders — really saying women are leaders.

How could Chelsea not be right in instigating and showcasing the most heretical political thinker who happens to be a woman in the United States? To top it all off, Hannah Arendt was an immigrant, a refugee, in exile – and she can no longer defend (i.e. correct) how understood and misunderstood is her political thought – though we have all benefited from it and a new book series is launching with other heretical thinkers, men and women alike.

Chelsea Clinton is right. Corey Robin is right. Chelsea is showcasing how women happen to lead. I’m going to get Chelsea’s book, and reread Corey’s analysis.