Your Binders Full of Women Wednesday Morning Discussion Post
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Your Binders Full of Women Wednesday Morning Discussion Post

By Dustin Rowles | Miscellaneous | October 17, 2012 | Comments ()


Out of respect for our conservative and Republican readers -- who I appreciate and respect, especially when you articulate your points cogently -- I ask that you consider not reading this post. There is no other way to characterize it other than gloating, and gloating is very unbecoming. However, while I understand many of you don't like your politics mixed up with your pop culture, last night's televised debate spilled into our territory, and besides, it's the only thing I've been able to concentrate on this morning. But instead of serving up my own easily refutable opinions (I'm lousy at discussion politics; my brain has been addled by too many episodes of "Sons of Anarchy"), allow me to offer links to the best posts I've seen about the debate so far this morning (and by "best," I mean: Those that reflect well on the President).

If our conservative readers do decide to engage, please show them some respect. It's a hostile environment, and while many of our conservative readers do have differing opinions on the economy and on fiscal matters, 99 percent of them do agree with liberals on social issues.


The Binders Full of Women point in last night's debate that has elicited so much Internet ridicule wasn't even true, according to the Boston Phoenix.

Because every website on the Internet is doing it already, here are my favorite television and movie related Binders Full of Women Memes.






Naturally, there's already a tumblr account associated with it, and if you haven't seen it yet, you should. (Can someone please explain to BWeaves what a tumblr is?)

The Guardian does a great job of articulating why the Binders Full of Women comment was offensive.

Why did the phrase resonate? Because it was tone deaf, condescending and out of touch with the actual economic issues that women are so bothered about. The phrase objectified and dehumanized women. It played right into the perception that so many women have feared about a Romney administration - that a president Romney would be sexist and set women back.

The most tone deaf part of Romney's answer wasn't actually the binders full of women; it was the concerns that he had that women might not be able to come home in time to make dinner.

I recognized that if you're going to have women in the workforce that sometimes you need to be more flexible. My chief of staff, for instance, had two kids that were still in school.

She said, I can't be here until 7 or 8 o'clock at night. I need to be able to get home at 5 o'clock so I can be there for making dinner for my kids and being with them when they get home from school. So we said fine. Let's have a flexible schedule so you can have hours that work for you.

I also loved Amy Sullivan's take on the debate in her "A View from a Woman" post on The New Republic.

The dismissive lecture Romney gave Crowley was devastating--but not in the way he intended. He defended his honor as a businessman, but at the cost of reminding undecided women of every man who ever made them feel stupid or who cut them down just to win an argument.

If you thought the cost of gas price that Mitt Romney cite when Obama came into office sounded suspect, it's because it was. From HuffPo.

What they won't tell you, for example, is that under George W. Bush, the price of gasoline increased from $1.60 per gallon when he took office in January 2001 to $4.40 per gallon in July 2008, a jump of 275 percent.

Now it's true that when the economy crashed, the price of gasoline decreased temporarily, in part because the economic meltdown suppressed demand. When Obama took office in January, 2009, the economy was at its low point, and as a result the price of gas was at a low point as well. As the economy improved under Obama's direction, the price of gas returned to its pre-crash baseline.

According to the Daily Kos, the odds of Obama winning the election increased by 4.4 points on Intratrade within 20 minutes of the debate beginning.

All the polls have Obama winning the debate, but I'm going with Politico because it shows the highest margin of victory: 68 to 25.

Finally, because most folks were probably digesting the debate at 11:00 last night, rather than watching The Daily Show, Jon Stewart went to town on Paul Ryan for his cynical soup kitchen photo op, in which he cleaned already clean dishes for the cameras.

If you're curious, here's raw footage from the photo op.

Better Late Than Never: Material from Unfinished Empire Strikes Back Documentary | "Beauty is Embarrassing" Review: Inside the Mind of Wayne White, the Emmy-Winning Designer on "Pee Wee's Playhouse"

Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Jim Slemaker

    You're going to lose, Dustin. And all the binder jokes in the world won't change that.

  • BierceAmbrose


    Everybody's annoyed that the gladiators don't answer the questions asked. So, why do they do it? They're self-interested and aware or they wouldn't have gotten to the big game. There's gotta be a reason.

    The problem is the rest of the audience.

    There's one person asking some specific question that matters to them. Answering *might* satisfy that one person, but will probably alienate or turn off some fraction of the millions of other people watching. So, the politi-bots stick with their carefully crafted semi-responses, the ones tested to death for the best ratio of voters locked in vs. driven away.

    Until we can tolerate and even reward people with other preferences, if well-grounded, we'll keep getting this kind of carefully crafted pandering. Once again, we have met the enemy and it is us.

  • Strand

    "Did you bring the pre-whacked snakes?"

  • googergieger

    So does anyone have any word on Weird Al's cover using The Smith's Girlfriend in a coma?

  • jollies

    I get that Romney has a poor track record with hiring/appointing women to prominent positions in his businesses/cabinet, and so anything he says about efforts to try to bolster his credibility here is suspect and to be mocked.
    Nonetheless, I'm a bit confused by the uproar over the "binders full of women" comment. Is the point that women are not, in fact, their resumes? If he had said, "I wanted to consider more female applicants, so I was sent binders full of women's resumes to look over," would that have been mockworthy or okay?
    If the point is that he, being in a position of power, should have been able to think of scores of qualified women without help, I can get that too. But I'm not sure that's what everyone is laughing about.

  • abell

    Yet again, I don't get it.

    I get that binders full of women is a dumb turn of phrase and that much of what Romney said about hiring women was an exaggeration. That's all par for the course for a political debate. It just doesn't seem relevant, and certainly not the major story to wake up to.

    We could talk about tax policy (interestingly very small difference between the two), how one restarts an economy (who actually knows?), about real distinctions in social beliefs between the two (two parent families?), about differences in foreign policy (sadly hasn't been in the debates much), but we chose binders full of women. I understand why it's here on pajiba, I don't understand why it's the biggest thing to come out of last night.

  • AudioSuede

    The "Women in Binders" is, I agree, not the most substantive thing to come out of that debate. But it's so much harder to make a Tumblr about tax policy.

  • alwaysanswerb

    Not a tumblr, but there is this...

  • InternetMagpie

    I think partly because it was ASININE, and partly because Romney took a question about the pay gap and made it a question about HIRING women, totally ignoring the issue of women being paid equally once they manage to secure a job.

  • Shonda

    I keep myself in a Trapper Keeper because I need a place for my tampons and maxipads.

  • lowercase_ryan

    you need both tampons and pads? WSV&HF??

  • katy

    A small point buried in there, but regurgitated last night, is how often Romney talks about 'remembering when the economy was strong', like he has to remind the stupid masses that such a time existed what with us now being brainwashed socialists and all. Well I remember when the economy was strong too, and it was when Bill Fucking Clinton was president. And it was AWESOME. Viva la 90's!

  • FinanceGuy

    Clinton balanced the budget on the internet bubble, which burst immediately after he left office. Clinton also started policies in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that effectively allowed and encouraged the two government sponsored mortgage agencies (AKA the biggest hedge funds on Earth) to accumulate and guarantee mortgage loans decreasing quality. Also under Clinton, a number of acts were put in place that forced banks to write a higher number of low quality mortgage loans relative to the high quality loans they made. He also began the process, accelerated by Bush, of deregulating banks so they could run larger loan books. So yes, Clinton balanced the budget on an income stream that proved to be false while setting in motion a process of legislation and deregulation that led to the credit boom/bust cycle we're on the bad end of right now. Fuck the 90's.

  • BierceAmbrose

    It extends further than back to Clinton.

    And there's the pernicious effect of *policy* treating avoiding low-quality loans as a kind of racial discrimination.

  • BWeaves

    Dustin: "(Can someone please explain to BWeaves what a tumblr is?)"

    Bwa-hahahahah. Very funny. OK, what's a tumblr?

    No really, what's a tumblr? Is it like virtual Liquid Plumbr?

  • lowercase_ryan

    Regarding Candy Crowley's role last night:
    - I thought she handled them well enough considering at one point I honestly expected physical contact between the candidates.
    - When mittens pulled the whole, "of course it adds up", I knew it was a horrible moment. All I heard was "How dare you challenge me?!" At the time I thought it was him freaking out to gloss over a question that he had no answer for. As a man, I didn't pick up on the condescending sexism oozing out of his mouth. I sincerely hope that more women interpreted the exchange as Amy Sullivan did (correctly I might add).
    - Was anyone else shocked by how easily mittens got flustered (or seemed to)?

    - I'm down with the Dems playing dirty pool so I was ecstatic that she did it, but was Candy Crowley out of line when she told mittens he was wrong about the President's statement on Libya?

  • InternetMagpie

    No way was she out of line. There needs to be more real-time fact-checking by moderators, I think.

  • lowercase_ryan

    Fair enough, but if it went the other way I would be ready to kill someone right now. Granted, so much out of Romney's mouth is a lie that it provides more opportunities for him to be corrected. But Obama said some misleading things last night too and he didn't get called out for them (thank god). I only brought this up because I heard some right wingbats complaining about it.

  • BierceAmbrose

    Yes, she was out of line.

    Also kinda, semi-incorrect. President Obama's Rose Garden statement was a pretty well crafted exercise in having it both ways. Follow that with a parade of surrogates talking about *anything but terrorism* and the story we're supposed to buy is pretty clear.

  • lowercase_ryan

    It may have been semantic word play, but Romney should have known the answer before he asked the question. It was his fuck up, not Obama's. Not to mention that Romney and his GD press conference were intended to put pressure on the administration before they knew what was going on. It's unacceptable for a president to say he doesn't know what's going on while it's not always possible to know what's going on. imo.

  • InternetMagpie

    how do you figure a moderator giving facts as necessary is out of line? I mean, she should have done it for every point possible, but I don't understand how someone correcting or clarifying a claim made by someone in a debate is over-stepping.

  • BierceAmbrose

    ...but I don't understand how someone correcting or clarifying a claim made by someone in a debate is over-stepping.

    But who checks the checkers?

    Take the regulation changes on the welfare work requirement as an example. I did my own research & concluded that this is, indeed, a lightening of the requirement, out of line, and a change to the operation of the law directly at odds with both the letter of the law and the intent of the legislators at the time. Yet, there's a gaggle of folks who think differently (or say they do.)

    It gets worse when you're dealing with political speech, where they're deliberately vague. This President has a particular gift in prepared speeches of leaving an unequivocal impression, without actually saying the thing if you go back and parse the words. (I'm tired of it. It's way too much work to deal with what this guy says.)

  • BierceAmbrose

    Why's she out of line? Mainly because this isn't a "debate" between her and, well, anybody.

    1 - She's not one of the debaters. She's a ref, not a participant. If you want some other format, that's fine, but do that.

    2 - She's wrong. Could you listen to those Rose Garden remarks and form any impression but that it was a riot, a video and just one of those things? (Then the administration trots out every surrogate they can find to talk about a stupid web video.)

    3 - That wasn't the deal, the agreed format.

    4 - She interrupted him to do it. She's a pretty skewed ref. Count up who got interrupted more.

  • AudioSuede

    What InternetMagpie said.

    Also, while we're on the topic, anyone else catch the times Mitt flat-out said "No" when Crowley prompted him to respond on a certain point? He didn't even just avoid a question, he flat-out said he wouldn't answer it, then went on to whatever it was he wanted to talk about.

    Along with the way he seemed to think he owned the rules and kept railroading her when she tried to, you know, do her job, Romney's relationship with the moderator was even worse in this debate than in the last one.

    Obama, meanwhile, only challenged her once, and politely, and when she told him they needed to move on, he let them move on. That's how an adult does it.

  • BierceAmbrose

    If you're gonna note that, you might want to count up the number of times she cut Romney off right as he was bringing in a point.

    I wonder if we'd be better served just dispensing with this idea of independence or objectivity in the "moderators" of these circuses. Nobody can seem to agree that the ref is fair. OK, everybody brings their own ref, and they trade off.

  • AudioSuede

    She cut off Obama too. And when is she supposed to do it other than when he's bringing up a point? When the candidates were over time, if they were in mid-sentence and weren't rambling forever, she'd wait for them to finish and then cut them off. But Romney (and Obama a few times) kept taking her silence as some kind of agreement to give him extra time, and he'd start launching into a new point. Then he'd fight with her about it. Obama would get cut off, and either he'd wrap up what he was saying and sit down or he'd try once or twice to throw in another thought before sitting down. He didn't berate her or accuse her of somehow changing the rules or insisting that "He went first so now it's my turn" during follow-up questions that are meant to be loosely structured and meant to get the candidates from one topic to another more naturally. If (and I say that with a big "if") the moderator was at all being easier on Obama, maybe it was because he didn't treat her like a doormat and patiently waited his turn like a candidate should.

  • BierceAmbrose

    When the candidates were over time, if they were in mid-sentence and
    weren't rambling forever, she'd wait for them to finish and then cut
    them off ...

    In the previous game in the series, President Obama ended up with a bunch more talk time than Governor Romney.

    Five will get you ten that's true this time, too. Any takers?

  • BierceAmbrose

    I said "count." I didn't watch the whole thing. What I saw seemed a bit skewed.

  • L.O.V.E.

    I admit, as a pre-pubescent before the internet age, I also had a binder full of women. Mostly from the lingerie portion of the JC Penny ads, some Marie Claires my mom left around, and some choice trips to my Uncle Ray's porn library.

    Good news, some dude from Reddit wants to buy it from me!

  • AudioSuede

    An even more disturbing moment to me came when he was talking about guns, and not only did he tell a woman who was asking about access to AK-47s that he would issue no new legislation regarding guns, but started a weird tangent about how we should be encouraging our children to get married because single parents are typically poor and therefore more likely to breed murderers. He basically straight-up told a woman that her kids should be getting married whether they like it or not, because without two parents in a home they'll go on killing sprees with AK-47s, access to which he refuses to make more difficult with new legislation.

    My wife, who has four siblings all of whom were raised by her mother alone, was in an email chain with her family about the debate, and she just wrote, "See Mom? That's why I became a serial killer. Thanks a lot."

  • True is True

    The statistics bear him out. His conclusions may be wrong-headed and there may be false causality in his interpretation of the numbers (single parents tend to be poorer, are more likely to live in poor areas, tend to have less education, etc., any of which may be the cause of increased violence). The numbers, however, are there. Children of single parents are more likely to have criminal records, more likely to be poor and live in poor neighborhoods, less likely to finish high school or go to college, more likely to rely on public assistance, and more likely to end up in the bottom third in income than children that have two parents in the home. Do what you want with it, but it's true.

  • Jezzer

    The whole thing boiled down to this conservative idea that you have to be tethered to someone for the rest of your life if you have sex especially with the unvoiced conservative understanding that you shouldn't have access to birth control or the right to terminate a pregnancy. Mitt didn't give two fucks about the conditions of poor families. He just wanted to slut-shame single moms.

  • Maguita NYC


    I am still waiting for that moment where both Obama and mittens are asked about abortion and gay rights... Could anyone please have the balls during the next debate, even if it's on foreign policy, to make some sort of connection with same-sex marriage debates and women's rights??? PLEASE!

  • Jezzer

    They should bring out binders full of abortions.

  • AudioSuede

    The problem isn't the statistics, the problem is the notion that we should be encouraging our kids to get married instead of addressing the problems and difficulties faced by single parents and the communities where they're living. If a single mother or father is left alone with their child because their partner dies or runs out on them and they have to work and put their kids in daycare and apply for welfare support and hope that the schools can devote enough attention to the kid and that the police and community activists will be able to keep the violence in the neighborhood low, the outcry shouldn't be, "Well, just get married!" The outcry should be, "Let's fix our schools, our daycare centers, and our welfare system, fund our police and community centers, and make sure people are earning fare wages for their hard work so people who aren't married can survive."

    It's a centuries-old patriarchal notion that marriage solves our problems; the government still gives tax benefits to married couples and single parents are still treated like failures for not being able to keep a marriage together or having the bad form to let their partner die in an accident or of some disease or something. It's not a single parent's fault if their community is in dire straights, and it's not their fault if their children are trapped in a bad environment. That blame is on the community, which is managed by the government, all the way up to the office of the President of the United States, who sets the tone for our national discourse. If the President says that the solution to reducing crime is telling kids they should get married and stay married for the sake of the children, that's the conversation we're going to have, which is a nice neat little way to package a scapegoat that can't defend itself rather than addressing the real problems the government can solve like, for example, passing legislation to limit the ability for people to get their hands on AK-47s regardless of what the NRA has to say about it.

  • abijah

    I wish I could upvote this a million times.

  • L.O.V.E.

    Romney has a binder full of woman and Obama doesn't know what's in his pension.

    Yah, democracy! Bring on the next 4 years of suck!

  • Pookie

    Rowles, what I admire about you the most is your ability to be civil to Republicans. I am not so civil, nor do I want to be civil to these motherfuckers. Romney is a lying piece of shit that will do and say anything to advance his ideas. This guy will get in bed and suck any country's dick (not that its anything wrong with sucking a dick) just to make a dollar, this fucker has no equal when it comes to hiding money in offshore accounts just to avoid paying taxes. Fuck all of you Republicans that visit this site, you serve no purpose in life but to fuck this country at every turn.

  • comfortable madness

    Fuck THIS country? Nahhhh.....well maybe after a few beers. Clown.

  • John G.

    He'll do anything to win, not to advance his ideas. He has no ideas beyond lowering taxes for billionaires.

  • Artemis

    That's not true, and I think it's important that we acknowledge the other ideas that Romney has put forward, because a lot of them are a lot worse than lowering taxes for billionaires. For example:

    He wants to gut financial regulation because he believes that it's unnecessary and just slows down the economy -- and I guess because he assumes that big banks will self-regulate and stop taking the kinds of very profitable risks that tanked the financial system in 2008.

    He wants to move Medicare to a voucher system, because he thinks that the private market will always supply things more efficiently and less expensively than the government -- even though private health care in this country is consistently and notorious inefficient and expensive. Yeah, right now the government is paying more than it's able to afford for healthcare, but all his system would do is shift the risk of cost overruns to individuals (who will have to cover the excess cost when their vouchers aren't big enough).

    He wants to "get tough" with pretty much every country out there -- and since he keeps accusing Obama of not doing enough, I guess that means military action in Iran (since the current sanctions regime is the harshest of all time), military action in Syria (where he keeps claiming that Obama has failed to get involved militarily, even though he said that Obama shouldn't be doing anything more than enforcing a no-fly zone during the Libyan conflict), and seriously pissing off China (which has steadily raised the value of its currency due to diplomatic pressure from Obama, but which is too important to the U.S. economy to start a trade war with). He refuses to sign arms treaties with Russia because he thinks the U.S. should be putting missiles on submarines. He's strongly in favor of the Cuban embargo and has criticized the small ways in which Obama has loosened those restrictions (allowing more family members to travel back and forth, allowing people to send remittances to family there). He's said he thinks the Palestinians have no interest in peace, which should make negotiations with them super fun.

    He rejects all forms of amnesty for undocumented immigrants, including people who were brought here as children, have lived here their whole lives, have graduated from college here or served in the U.S. military, and do not have a criminal record.

    He supports subsidies for oil and gas producers. He opposes subsidies for renewable energy. He opposed the new fuel efficiency standards for cars.

    He supports abstinence-only education. He says he will appoint Supreme Court justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade. He supports a personhood amendment to the Constitution. He would reinstate the global gag rule. He supports three-strike sentencing laws. He tried to reintroduce the death penalty in Massachusetts. He opposes same-sex marriage and civil unions.

    That's just a sample of the stuff I find most odious about his platform. I think it's really important for this race not to simply become "higher taxes for millionaires!" vs. "lower taxes for everyone (no idea how we'll pay for that!)" There are a LOT of issues at stake, and tax policy is one of the areas the President has the least control over.

  • John G.

    See, I'm not sure about any of that, because he changes his mind so much, and seems to say anything he wants depending on the venue. However, he has never nor will he ever waver on the idea of cutting taxes for his billionaire buddies. That's his main reason for seeking political office.

  • Maguita NYC

    You might enjoy this then:

  • dizzylucy

    That tumblr is pretty fantastic. I especially like header picture of this post and the one of Paula Deen riding a binder.

    The "home to cook dinner" thing struck me as very tone deaf too. It just seems so old fashioned and divisive. Flexible schedules to allow people to balance family and work are great, my office does that too (and all the employees with kids are male) but something about the way it was worded just really bugged me. Plus he didn't actually answer the question.

  • no one

    I have no problem. Gloat away. Obama got destroyed last night. Caught lying about Benghazi, which will never go away now before election. Caught lying about oil producton on public land. And according to CBS poll got creamed 65% to 34% on issue of Economy.
    So enjoy your silly "binder" meme. See you in Nov.

  • AudioSuede

    Actually, he didn't lie about either of those things: He called the Benghazi attacks an "Act of terror" in the transcript like he clearly said in the debate. On the oil topic, Romney was the one who was lying: Oil production on federal land went down 14% in one year (2010-2011, the year of the Gulf Oil Spill), but had gone up in the two years prior to that, so that since Obama took office, oil production on federal lands is up a total of 10.6%.

    As for economic issues, I can't speak about people who aren't paying attention.

  • Pookie

    Nice try Homes, but no matter how much you try to turn Benghazi into September 11, 2001, it just won't happen. When it comes to the Middle East I believe my eyes, Bin Laden is dead, Mubarak is dead, Col. Gaddafi is dead. Now about the oil, where in American won’t you drill for oil? Is there any piece of land that you won’t give to developers or oil men? You do know that no matter how much oil we drill for it will not lower the gas prices because the oil prices are not set by the U.S., please tell me you’re not one of those idiots that believe that we control the price of oil?

  • John G.

    I agree with part of what you said. While Obama did use the phrase "act of terror" in his press conference, he absolutely avoided the topic of terror attacks in relation to Benghazi for weeks. Although Mitt pointing that out is about the only time he wasn't lying in that debate, so it's a point, but not a very powerful one.

  • lowercase_ryan

    I'm going to go through this slowly, rolling around in each link like my dog would a field of cow patties. And I'll have the same shit-eating grin on my face when I'm done. This is gonna feel goooooood.

  • BierceAmbrose

    Apparently, I missed the big moment. ?Binders? I was off doing something else for most of the rumble in the ... I got nothing. Can somebody post a link to the clip?

  • mswas
  • BierceAmbrose

    Oh, yeah.

    Thanks & I separated my immediate reaction (snerk) from something on point.

  • BierceAmbrose

    On-point, it's a shame that The Stupid Party never forced the Bot's programmers to construct some proper heuristics and responses in this area.

    "Binders full of women" sounds to me like an impersonal Execu-bot talking. They aren't people, they are credentials, in binders. (Get me going sometime on the dehumanization in "hiring" and similar practices at several of the name-brand tech companies.)

    The politics on that are incredibly bad. The other bits are worse. And so easily changed. How would these play...

    "... binders full of profiles on qualified women, so we worked from there. I also assigned someone to figure out whey we didn't have these people in the pipeline already. We need the best we can get in Government, which means looking at everybody - men, women, old, young, white, black, green & blue."

    "Look, nobody can afford to leave talent on the table for long. The Democrats talk about 'creating demand' in the money system. I want to 'create demand' by letting our business take off.

    The two most powerful things I can think of to enable women's progress in the workplace are letting the economy grow, so employers can't afford to exclude talent, and creating more job opportunities so everyone - meaning including women - has more options and more leverage when negotiating for their pay & similar."

    Same point, but it reads better. Hiring biases exclude talent, so are stupid - S-T-U-P-I-D. Free markets punish stupidity. Also, that bleeds into a better "equal pay" answer.

    "Equal pay for equal work is the law, and as the President, my job is to enforce the law - all of the law. I agree. Equal pay for equal work is just fair. Unfortunately, enforcement won't be everywhere, and worse it mainly works after the fact - after the harm has been done.

    Along with enforcement we can do two other things to get women better results in the workforce. We can allow our economy to expand, creating more demand as I mentioned before. We can also make it easy for employers to be flexible in the arrangements they have with individual employees. One-size-fits all employment regulations make it hard to accommodate people with other interests or demands - raising a kid, going to school, caring for a parent or spouse. We've seen that with the waivers - over 1,000 - granted already on ObamaCare because the employers say they can't employ people *and* meet that mandate."

    He's have inoculated himself somewhat against the "barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen" thing by simply saying "people" and "wanted."

    I'm amazed that the handlers didn't see this one coming, and provide verbiage that makes the one point without giving foothold for the bias claim.

    Really, there's a parade of programming errors exposed in last night's "debate" - the part I watched. They had him off line for a couple weeks before the last one. Didn't take him off for upgrades prior to this one & it shows.

  • Artemis

    Your answer is worded better but doesn't get any closer to addressing the actual question. The candidates weren't being asked about how to get women into the workforce, and they weren't even being asked about how to get women better wages. She was asking about how to get women wages equal to their male counterparts. if women are paid less than men, then saying "make the economy better and everyone benefits!" is a total non-sequitor because women will still benefit less than men.

    Romney's response to the question he was actually asked was INCREDIBLY telling. It showed that his policy is just "make the economy better" without any attempt to specifically address the particular hurdles working women face. It showed that he thinks that the main thing working women want is flex-time (which I agree is a good policy!), even when there is an actual woman directly asking him about the wage gap and NOT about needing to be home early every night. It showed that at least during his time as Governor, he surrounded himself with advisors who actually thought that the only qualified candidates for senior government positions were men, and that none of them saw an issue with that until (in his re-telling) he pointed it out -- and then, what do you know, it turned out there were lots of qualified women!

    And most damning of all, he made it very clear that he thinks that being a woman is a handicap in the workforce and that, rather than try to attack that perception where it does exist, the answer is to just stimulate so much demand that employers are forced to hire women, even though they really don't want to. And then, with no hint of irony, he went right on to point out that the recession was particularly tough on women and in a sluggish recovery it's been hard for them to get back to work. Gee, could that be the natural result of the kind of worldview in which women are the workers you only hire when demand is so high that you're forced to? Is the answer to that "never have another economic slowdown!" or might it be "address the reasons why some employers think that women are inferior workers and adopt policies that make it easier to enforce sex discrimination laws"?

  • BierceAmbrose

    Look, I'm not a Romney fan. Not a Republican either. I think the Obama-fans are being sloppy, incorrect and over-wrought a lot of the time.

    ...he thinks that
    being a woman is a handicap in the workforce

    Being a woman is a handicap in the workforce because some people are stupid. That or there's nothing to redress.

    More precisely, being a woman is not a handicap to job performance (for most jobs), while it may be a handicap in promotion, hiring or opportunities (because some people are stupid.)

    Is the answer to that "never have another economic

    Well, better economies provide better job mobility, so that's part of the answer, yes. Also, I see nothing wrong in forcing knuckleheads to do the right thing employment-wise, despite themselves.

    ... or might it be "address the reasons why some employers think
    that women are inferior workers

    Arguing people out of deeply-held biases never works, especially if you're some third party they don't know. Sometimes venting scorn makes the arguer feel better.

    Romney making sure to hire women for his own staff seems a direct way to
    address the idea that women can't perform as well as men. Betting
    part of your operation - which is what you do when you hire someone - is pretty telling.

    (Since I'm being inflammatory, what are the gender percentages and relative salaries in the Obama Whitehouse staff?)

    ...and adopt policies that make it easier
    to enforce sex discrimination laws"?

    He blew it on that one. "Policies that make it easier" also has its problems. Yet, you start counting scalps and you encourage people to take scalps, deserved or not. So, how?

  • Gina

    I don't know about the White House as a whole but throughout his administration he appointed 20 men and 7 women to his cabinet - less than 1/3 women.

  • Amen.

  • BierceAmbrose

    Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha ... snerk, gmpfff.

    OK, I got it. I think. Nope.

    Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.

    OK, breathing now.

    He's got pretty big feet. How'd he get *both* of them in his mouth at once, and apparently still standing. (Is that a Mormon thing - they can do that?)

  • JoannaRobinson

    The thrilla in manilla envelopes.

  • BierceAmbrose

    Genius. I knew I liked you.

  • mswas

    Super. Genius.

  • BierceAmbrose

    There is no other way to characterize it other than gloating, and gloating is very unbecoming.

    Thanks for fessing up. There's nothing wrong with a little gloating among friends. You're still wrong, but that's OK. Enjoy yourself.

    But instead of serving up my own easily refutable opinions (I’m lousy at discussion politics; my brain has been addled by too many episodes of “Sons of Anarchy”)

    You know, if the opinions you hold are "easily refutable" that might be a thing to look into. Just a thought.

    On the other hand, some of those pics are actually funny. (Nearly as funny as the zings and digs flying out of the conserv-o-sphere for the last 4-5 months. I know, it's not about the funny.)

    It’s a hostile environment, and while many of our conservative readers do have differing opinions on the economy and on fiscal matters, 99 percent of them do agree with liberals on social issues.

    You might have said "many of our conservative readers have opinions on economic issues less easy to refute than mine." (Sorry to be thoughtful there.)

    Also, some self-described "liberals" agree with us on social issues. No need to be hostile about that.

  • no one

    lol. what on earth is there in that post to down arrow about?

  • BierceAmbrose

    Since I mentioned funny stuff flying out of the conserv-o-sphere, here's a Nick Gillespie meme:

    I'll count that one because most of the object-o-trons can't tell the difference between a "conservative" a "Republican", a "libertarian" or "Libertarian", or a "small 'r' republican-biased classical liberal" which I'd call myself. (That's only slightly stranger than a gay man who identifies as a lesbian woman. God I miss "The L Word", for it's sly humor about sexual politics. Also, hot women, being hot.)

    Now, bring on the downvotes.

  • BierceAmbrose

    Oh, EricD, I have a small, deeply irrelevant following, who downvote pretty much anything I post, double-plus-always when it's around politics & economics.

    Dear Overlord, on the other hand, seems to find me amusing sometimes, (despite his being so profoundly wrong about so many other things.)

    Also, dry humor and the appreciation of differences are lost on ... well, people who just downvote because I'm a reactionary, troll, or once didn't jump on the approved bandwagon.

  • no one

    Well it's nice to have a following I guess. Step one in forming your own cult.

  • BierceAmbrose

    I'm thinking a stepped series of initiations, with fees at each step, and maybe a mythology involving space aliens.

    Nahhhh. It'll never sell.

  • $27019454

    I downvoted you because I am, admittedly, a reactionary troll.

  • BierceAmbrose

    Well, that's fair. I'm at best a mediocre reactionary.

  • Pants-are-a-must

    ladyfriend: "Guns don't kill people, single mothers kill people."
    me: "Kill people for a living, come home just in time to cook dinner for your family!!!!"

  • Funky_Brewster

    I don't know how I made it out of middle class suburbia with only one parent without turning to a life of crime with guns. I guess I was one of the lucky ones!

  • MonkeyHateClean

    There's still time. You're not dead yet.

  • Guest

    And, unsurprisingly, the binders story is not true:

  • TK

    I, for one, am shocked (shocked!!!) that Romney told a falsehood during a debate.

    I feel shocked.

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    Could you elaborate? I'm not sure I understand your feelings.

  • John G.

    I believe he is SHOCKED

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    Like electrically?

  • athena23 he shocked and awed?

  • $27019454

    Yes. And I'm shocked he could not figure out that he's shocked. It shocks me.

  • Mrcreosote

    I was more interested in the idea that a Romney administration will supercharge the economy so much that employers will have NO CHOICE butto hire women, because they will need SO MANY PEOPLE!! Holy crap folks, Romney will create so many jobs PEOPLE WILL HAVE TO HIRE WOMEN!! When people are forced to hire someone who's not a rich white connected male, damn times are good.

  • dizzylucy

    Staples stores must be giddy at the thought. With all that hiring, people will have to buy tons of binders to the keep the women in. We should go into binder manufacturing!

    I'm still trying to figure out the logic of "Government doesn't create jobs!" followed by "Elect me (to the government) and I'll create 12 million jobs!"

  • ,

    Heh. I love (and by love I mean hate) the ads where some candidate insists that because he "created 300 jobs" in the private sector he's qualified to be a Congressman, as if running a top-down company where what you say goes and if employees don't like it too fucking bad is EXACTLY LIKE trying to work in a supposedly collaborative environment with peers, half of whom have no intention of ever collaborating with you and who will in fact actively oppose everything you do, but whom you can't tell what to do and can't fire.

    So you go right ahead and trying running the government like a business.


    Welp, the Libertarians will get my vote again. Who's with me?

  • Gina

    //because he "created 300 jobs" in the private sector he's qualified to be a Congressman// - That's no worse than Obama deciding to put people who know nothing about the auto industry in charge of GM...

  • Slash

    Logic? In politics? You must be joking.

  • BierceAmbrose

    I've never understood hiring biases.

    It's plenty hard enough finding competent people without screening out big chunks of the population on irrelevancies.

  • Artemis

    That line of thinking assumes that the people doing the hiring understand that gender is an irrelevance. A lot of them don't. And most of the time, they aren't thinking "let's categorically exclude 51% of the population." Instead, they think something like "well, Sarah met our criteria and John didn't have the graduate degree we were hoping for, but on the other hand there was just something about him that made me think he would be a real go-getter, take-charge kind of guy."

  • BierceAmbrose

    And most of the time, they aren't thinking...

    That's all you really need to say. In the long run that's counterproductive.

    FWIW I've been noodling on a startup of my own (I've worked with several - 6 at current count, I think.) based in large part on *deploying resources that other people can't manage to use effectively.* They exclude large swaths of people based on irrelevant disqualifiers, then design their work practices to exclude even more and discount piles of contribution besides.

    Among other things, *women* have been abandoning SW development and IT in droves. I speculate, based on some weak data, that this is because of a lower tolerance for jackhattery in interpersonal behavior, project & organizational management. Lots of software shops have become essentially frat houses - not the good kind. They're still almost all drama-addicted.

    I don't mind them being stupid and dysfunctional. If I do this, I'm gonna take their business. *Some* of them can maybe come work for me (and the women & folks excluded for reasons other than gender), if they learn how to behave like humans.

    I'm stuck on qualifying the market, so many customers of software development responding to drama and jackhattery. Are there enough good, sane-ish customers, and how to find them?

  • marya

    I doubt that I would be a potential customer (on the grounds that I a) manage a tiny arts organization, b) live in rural NC, and c) don't understand anything you're saying about software) but for the record, I find this line of thinking fascinating and inspiring. I'd totally buy virtual widgets from you.

  • BierceAmbrose

    That's sweet. Thanks. I'll let you know if I have virtual widgets for sale one day.

  • John G.

    but ermahgad, those womern might get their period all over the boardroom.

  • Fabius_Maximus

    No, but they might get pregnant. (At least, that's the main reason for women here to have less chances to be hired, and get less wages than men if they are hired.)

  • BierceAmbrose

    Well, yeah, but isn't stupid hiring ultimately self-destructive?

    Self-discipline, raw brains & empathy / situational awareness are the top three things I look for in hiring, I suppose followed by an empirical focus on results. Terribly hard to find at all, let alone together.

    Being all "Ewwwwww-woman" kind of loses on all four. I have actually seen hiring hotties as a disqualifier in considering candidates - indicates unseriousness & insensitivity.

  • Hawkeye Fierce

    Self-discipline, raw brains & empathy / situational awareness are the top three things I look for in hiring

    Geez, I'd like to interview for you. I think you just summed up my entire skillset quite succinctly. So much better than "Yes, you can leave me alone and I won't even burn down the building AND I won't snot all over myself when rando manager #43 has a doodey didey and yells. Also, work well with all people exhihibiting all manner of dysfunction, psychoses, and plain wrong headedness."

    Yesssss...I do believe I like your description a great deal better.

  • BierceAmbrose

    One filler gig I landed because "You don't look like you'll burn the place down." True fact.

    If I'm ever hiring again it'll probably turn up here in some form. For now I'm avoiding it. The only thing worse than being an employee is having them.

  • Fredo

    I swear that this election feels like a remake of the 2004 election, where a strong contender might have upset the incumbent President but, instead, the other party found a guy who had all the warmth of an ice pack and couldn't stop putting his foot in his mouth.

    I guess what I'm saying is that Romney is this year's John Kerry and they're both Jar Jar Binks.

  • BierceAmbrose

    all the warmth of an ice pack and couldn't stop putting his foot in his mouth.

    That's funny.

  • BierceAmbrose


    I thought I was joking when I compared it to Kong vs. Mecha-Kong in that gloriously bad movie ...

  • JoannaRobinson

    Don't forget ladies, make sure he puts a ring on it, lest you be a breeder of gun-toting gangbangers.

  • BierceAmbrose

    Well, I think the Mitster didn't go far enough. (Because of course I'm jumping on this to tweak people.)

    We, meaning grown-ups, oughta out-number the little mobile petri dishes by *at least* 2:1 wherever they reside. Have you tried to keep up with the tiny Matrix Agents - invulnerable, moving faster than you can see, and getting into shit without regard to physics.

    Godtopus, it takes three people just to keep up with the poo-disposal before they're even mobile.

    The Romney-Bot did a great job of mangling a legitimate point - his thing, it seems. Statistically, *outcomes* for kids of single parents kind of suck, relative to other family organizations. Like most other things, piles of money can swamp a lot of that effect, see any list of single or serial partnering celebs where the kids come out way more screwed up from the parent's profession and neurosis than how many there are, in what order.

    When, oh, when will the Republi-tards (AKA "The Stupid Party") realize that whatever they say on certain topics will be double-plus-ultra-parsed - one might say interpreted "ungenerously" - and act accordingly. If you're a frakking troglodyte, wordsmith that stuff. You could even make the distinction between *your personal opinion* and *policy*, especially appealing to rule of law. Oh, right.

    I do wish the reactionary-statist party weren't so - um - reactionary & statist (& recently returning to parity on cronyism and corruption, Rah?)

    For Godtopus' sake give me a less sucky option, please? Better yet, reduce the gummint to something I can go back to ignoring? In an activist-party duopoly, my voting choices suck.

  • John G.

    What Romney wanted to say was that 2 parents are better than 1, but 6 parents are even better. Polygamy for everyone!!

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