By Mary Kate Cary, Thomas Jefferson Street blog
Here's a fun discussion on Michele Martin's NPR program, Tell Me More, about the fact that there are far fewer female politicians involved in sex scandals than men these days. Cokie Roberts and Michele are right: What female governor has time to book a flight to South America to see her boyfriend? Somebody's got to keep the kids in line and, as Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison recently said, women officeholders are "too busy doing their jobs to cheat." Nancy Pelosi doesn't have time to make a sex tape!
Seriously, I can't think of a woman with middle- or high school-age kids (which are the only people I seem to know these days, because I am one) who has the time to run around on her husband. And if women did have the time to cheat, it wouldn't be in a hotel with a (male) prostitute a la Eliot Spitzer, or on an international junket with a "soulmate." Women know it would be far more useful to hook up with someone who could help you get it all done—a professional van driver, or an unemployed chef who could prepare a few entrees for the kids before he snuck out. Maybe a handyman.
All joking aside, Cokie Roberts and Michele Martin then changed the subject to talk about women in politics, including Sarah Palin. Here's Michele's version of what happened:
We were talking about women in politics at the conclusion of Women's History Month, and Cokie made the point that women in public life are still spoken about in a demeaning way that men rarely are. She was responding to a point I raised, about an exchange on Imus' radio program.
Imus asked Fox News host Chris Wallace, who was looking forward to interviewing former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, if he would conduct the interview with Palin while she sat on his lap. Wallace replied, "One can only hope."
I made the point that Palin is also a Fox contributor and a member of the "Fox family" as it were, but that didn't spare her from being subjected to this sexist palaver, and Cokie made the point that the lure of the boy's club often trumps ideology.
It seems that Imus and Wallace did not appreciate our remarks: Imus accused Cokie of being "hysterical," and Wallace--whose office was next door to mine and down the hall from Cokie's when we all worked at ABC News together--pretended not to remember who she was.
Michele wrote a blog on the fact that some men seem to be threatened when new voices, namely women, speak up and offer a new perspective. That's why it's so important for more women to run for office, to serve on corporate boards, and to become part of the conversation. The more of us there are around the table, the less of this nonsense from guys like Imus. There will be less fooling around, so to speak.