LINDA HIRSHMAN RESPONDS TO MARK SCHMITT. The Internet is full of the eponymous blogs of academics with apparently nothing else to do. So I did not pay much attention, when conservative diva Ann Althouse ("Ms. Althouse Is Divine," ---Terry Teachout) criticized my Washington Post article, "You�ve Come a Long Way, Maybe." "Maybe" reports the extensive political science research that the "opt-out revolution" of workplace fame applies to politics as well. In brief, compared to men, women are less interested in politics, less knowledgeable about politics, and less inclined to go where political information is conveyed. The most-read magazine among the women I interviewed was Real Simple. Although a robust majority espouses liberal positions, they do not vote robustly Democratic. Accordingly, we have endless ink about a gender gap, endless Republicans in power, and a devilish problem for Democrats, particularly Hillary Clinton.
But I was shocked and dismayed when long time policy wonk Mark Schmitt, appearing with La Divina on bloggingheads.tv, announced that he had 16 reasons that I was in error. If you watch the clip or read his post, you will see that his "16" is actually the two usual suspects: First, my article is "anecdotal" because I included interviews with a handful of actual women, and, second, men are ditzy, too. There are easy answers to Schmitt�s two points of darkness, and I will set them out briefly below. But that�s not what matters. What matters is: why do liberals have such a hard time accepting that women are not living up to the full promise of the feminist revolution -- that we�ve come a long way, but only maybe. That a respected analyst like Schmitt could be caught so easily in error trying to rebut the facts reflects a kind of frantic refusal to accept the conclusion. But liberalism cannot solve the problem of "maybe" feminism by denying what�s happening.