Some people’s opinions and their opinion pieces are simply too good not to be shared. This is certainly the case with Campbell Brown‘s opinion piece from the New York Times yesterday. Brown, a seasoned reporter and former news anchor for CNN and NBC, wrote an honest and open piece directed at President Barack Obama.
She urged President Obama to stop offering a paternalistic and patronizing tone to women in the country. As she brilliantly explained, making references to how women are so much smarter than men is really sending the patronizing message to women that they aren’t enough – but that we’ll give them fake praise anyway.
As she pointed out,
“Some women are smarter than men and some aren’t. But to suggest to women that they deserve dominance instead of equality is at best a cheap applause line.” Her biggest concern was that Obama is being glib about the economy and encouraging young graduates (as he did recently in his message at Barnard’s graduation), to stick it out. As he said to the graduates, “I am convinced you are tougher” and “things will get better — they always do.”
Brown makes the point that there is nothing reassuring about assuming that things always get better at some point. Particularly when looking at the statistics on the ground at the moment. And she pointed out that the economy is really the main item on the minds of the up-and-coming graduates today.
As Brown concluded,
“…The promise of his campaign four years ago has given way to something else — a failure to connect with tens of millions of Americans, many of them women, who feel economic opportunity is gone and are losing hope. In an effort to win them back, Mr. Obama is trying too hard. He’s employing a tone that can come across as grating and even condescending. He really ought to drop it. Most women don’t want to be patted on the head or treated as wards of the state. They simply want to be given a chance to succeed based on their talent and skills.”
Now if only President Obama were listening.