… Caroline Kennedy is opting in, and as a result, she faces a magnified version of the eyebrows raised whenever women try to return (or, in her far more unusual case, to first enter) the paid work force full time.
Take away the part about her father the president and her uncles the senators, ignore for the moment her Park Avenue address, peel away the talk of the dangers of dynasty and the power of privilege, don’t even touch the question of whether anyone would be picking apart her credentials if it were a male Kennedy who was under consideration — and what is at the core of all this shouting is what, nowadays, counts as experience.
Belkin’s entire column’s here.
For Belkin to tell readers what Caroline Kennedy is doing is “return[ing]” or seeking to enter “the paid work force full time” is like telling readers a guy who used to play on the office baseball team and now wants to be named Opening Day pitcher for the Yankees is “merely seeking to get back in baseball.”
Kennedy’s not asking to be hired as a law school lecturer or an attorney for the NYT Corporation. She wants to be made a
If, as Belkin mentions, we take away “the part about her father the president and her uncles the senators,” Kennedy wouldn't be seriously considered as a possible
We'd have something like the following:
Staff aide: “Governor Paterson, this resume’s from a woman named Caroline Schlossberg. She’s a law school grad but she’s never practiced. Wealthy. Sent her kids to private schools, but she’s raised lots of money for public schools. Written some books. None of any outstanding law, history or political distinction. Says she’s very interested in politics but she’s often failed to vote.”
Gov. Paterson: “What about the next resume?”
Belkin mustn’t know much about NY politics because she plays the gender card this way: “don’t even touch the question of whether anyone would be picking apart her credentials if it were a male Kennedy.”
But of course some would.
That’s why Caroline’s controversial cousin, the environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. who’s fighting the green Cape Wind Project that would be built within sight of property he owns, withdrew his name from consideration for the Senate appointment despite being very politically ambitious.
Robert's possible appointment would surely have drawn more fire than Caroline's.
There's something else to keep in mind in terms of criticism of Caroline. I don't think her backers had any idea how poorly she'd perform once she announced she was interested in being appointed.
Her obvious lack of knowledge of issues and her failure to speak out on matters of current public importance are what've drawn so much criticism.
It's not been - you know - because of her gender.
Hat tip to cks who has an excellent response to Belkin on the thread of Write off Caroline's chances? I vote "No"