Let’s Talk About Sex(ism), New Yorker Style

Ratner-BarackHillary1H.jpgThe internet is so great it can even make New Yorker writers seem accessible. So, some of you may have read Hendrik Hertzberg’s (we have previously noted we are big fans) piece about Hillary in this week’s New Yorker, where among other things he seems to suggest that historically speaking woman actually haven’t had it so bad in comparison to Black people. Not bad at all!


Competitions among grievances do not ennoble, and both Clinton and Obama strove to avoid one; but it does not belittle the oppressions of gender to suggest that in America the oppressions of race have cut deeper. Clinton’s supporters would sometimes note that the Constitution did not extend the vote to women until a half century after it extended it to men of color. But there is no gender equivalent of the nightmare of disenfranchisement, lynching, apartheid, and peonage that followed Reconstruction, to say nothing of “the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil” that preceded it. Nor has any feminist leader shared the fate of Medgar Evers, Martin Luther King, Jr.nineties, born before women could vote.
That’s right, life up until this campaign season has been a walk in the park for the weaker sex! Anyway, after reading that we took a stroll over to Hertzberg’s blog and lo and behold it looks like we weren’t the only ones whose jaws dropped over the narrowness of that piece. Some reader’s responses and Hertzberg’s replies here. One wonders how long until The New Yorker, so willing to embrace the online world in almost all other aspects, caves to a comments section.