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    • Politics Series: Power
      (Previous: Economy) (Introduction and Table of Contents) We have seen that who gets how much of what is a political decision: that the economy and economics is downstream from politics. Power is the ability to make people do what you want, or not do what you don’t want. Ideology determines what the good life is and power determines who lives it. All politica […]
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Obama White House Hostile to Women? Don’t just take their word for it

Investigate it.

Today, Politico has an article about how women’s groups are gulping hard and staying on the sidelines, leaving the women in Obama’s White House high and dry:

But even though these groups often jump to respond to claims of sexism — like with the unflattering Newsweek cover of Michele Bachmann last month, for example — they appear to be staying out of this one.

Sam Bennett, president and CEO of the non-partisan Women’s Campaign Forum, said she had never heard any allegations of tough conditions for women in the White House.

“Never once … have I heard anything negative about the Obama administration in regards to its internal treatment of women or is goals,” she said. “I can’t imagine that it would be lost on the Obama administration that it was women, particularly unmarried African-American women, who elected him.”

Julie Burton, of the Women’s Media Center, also passed on the chance to criticize the Obama administration.

“Anita Dunn says she was misquoted, and in any case, only she can characterize her experience in the White House,” she wrote in an email. “I can say that women outside the White House are concerned about administration policy as it affects their lives.”

And Susan B. Anthony List spokeswoman Ciara Matthews declined to comment, saying the issue was outside the scope of their organization.

Well, alright then.  I guess that’s that.  Those female Obama staffers are just making it all up.

Bullshit.

Everything can be quantified, ladies.  We have the technology.  The White House has data at its fingertips that can be analyzed.  How long does it take to get your email answered, how many meetings were women invited to, who was left off the group meetings lists, who didn’t return phone calls, who went to lunch with whom, who went on golf outings.  All that information can be pulled from the servers.  Statistical packages can determine if there is a correlation to positions on org charts, locations of offices, office and desk size, or some yet unknown component.  If the meetings were recorded, how many times were women presenters interrupted or talked over them?  Who interrupted them? How many times were they called on to give their expert opinion?  Performance evaluations can be analyzed for words that can indicate if a staffer is being graded on acceptable social behaviors or actual accomplishments.  Get some computational linguists on the case to sift through the words.

If the women of MIT can do this kind of investigation, the White House certainly can.  This isn’t rocket science.

The women’s groups who are shrinking away from what the White House female staffers are saying don’t need to be afraid of their own shadows. All they have to do is demand a rigorous and quantifiable investigation.  Either the evidence is there or it isn’t.  (I’m going to bet that it’s there) If there is a problem, then surely, SURELY, the White House will want to rectify the situation as quickly as possible and set an example for other businesses to do the same.  After all, that kind of sexism costs.  It prevents good ideas from being considered and could lead to detrimental effects for the country.  And if you’re not going to listen to the women experts you appoint, what’s the point of hiring them in the first place?  You’re just costing the country money.

You would think that President Feminist himself would want to clear his name and reputation, what with an election coming up and all that “we need womens’ votes” campaign rhetoric.  After all, the Lily Ledbetter shtick is wearing thin.

But if the White House ignores the request or sweeps it under the rug, or more likely, says that it has more pressing matters to attend to, well, then Barack Obama just might not be Fourth of July, Christmas and Hannukah all rolled up in one after all.