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Republican Woman: Women Too Stupid for Charts and Data

I’m never surprised to hear a Republican legislator being sexist, but here’s an example of a female Republican legislator, Rep. Renee Ellmers of North Carolina, during a meeting on how the GOP can better reach women, saying bluntly that women are too dumb to understand charts and graphs and stuff.

“It’s how we are able to articulate ourselves – make sure we get the point across that we care,” said Rep. Renee Ellmers of North Carolina…

“Men do tend to talk about things on a much higher level,” Ellmers said. “Many of my male colleagues, when they go to the House floor, you know, they’ve got some pie chart or graph behind them and they’re talking about trillions of dollars and how, you know, the debt is awful and, you know, we all agree with that.”…

“We need our male colleagues to understand that if you can bring it down to a woman’s level and what everything that she is balancing in her life — that’s the way to go,” Ellmers said.

When I first saw all the headlines about this, I figured maybe they were exaggerating. They weren’t. She flat out says that men “talk about things on a higher level” using charts and pie graphs and data and they need to “bring it down to a woman’s level.” Seriously? Could you be more insulting to your own gender?

Comments

  1. John Pieret says

    At a basic level, she is just admitting that she can’t understand the pie charts or graphs. Given the rest of what’s she said, that’s hardly a surprise.

  2. says

    We need our male colleagues to understand that if you can bring it down to a woman’s level and what everything that she is balancing in her life — that’s the way to go [Emphasis mine.]

    I don’t even know what that part means. It’s a total hash of the language.

  3. lofgren says

    Without reading the article, I’m betting that “everything we are balancing” is code. A proper woman is a wife, a mother, and a domestic servant, in that order, and only takes time for a career if she is exceptionally good at her first three jobs. It’s not that women can’t understand charts. It’s just that the women who can are dirty feminists and probably sluts.

  4. petemoulton says

    That republican outreach doesn’t seem to be working too well. There’s hardly a group left, beyond their base of rich old men and assorted morons, that they haven’t managed to piss off since their soul-searching retreat after they got spanked in the 2012 elections.

  5. D. C. Sessions says

    If I ever want to send Dr. Daughter [1] into a foaming feminist fit, this should do it.

    [1] Who has taught statistical research methods at the graduate level and currently prepares those charts and graphs for her State Administration and Legislature — who are unlikely to understand them but, being mostly male, won’t admit it.

  6. Chiroptera says

    If it is true that women can’t take the time to educate themselves on the issues by studying the subject and reading the relevant charts and graphs, then I think it says less about women than it does on our barbaric society’s inequal career opportunities (and household duties) and lack of access to child care and other social services.

  7. john cryan says

    “Could you be more insulting to your own gender?”

    Give her time…I.m sure she can set a new personal best.

  8. Artor says

    “I thought that in general women tend to talk at a higher level or rather, to put it more technically, higher pitch.”

    It’s not just the women, but GOP pols in general that talk in a high pitch. Can’t get much higher than a dogwhistle.

  9. Loqi says

    Her “I’m innumerate, and I’m a woman, so all women must be innumerate” schtick is obviously fallacious and obviously wrong.

    It would be much beter if she had said “I’m innumerate, and I’m a on the far right, so all people on the far right must be innumerate.” It would still be obviously fallacious, but at least she’d be able to take some solace in the fact that the jury is still out on the accuracy.

  10. Loqi says

    I’ll have to tell my team’s data analyst that she should resign, what with all of that being too high of a level for her. Perhaps I can take her place. Sure, my data analysis skills are shit compared to hers and I don’t have any degree or certification in the discipline, but I do have a floppy reproductive organ. Sometimes that’s all it takes. I believe the right refers to it as “meritocracy.”

  11. magistramarla says

    D.C Sessions,
    I was thinking the same thing. My Dr. daughter holds a BS in engineering and a masters in computational neuroscience from Cal Tech. She then added a masters in neurobiology and a PHD pulling it all together from Duke and then a post doc in a neurobiology research lab at NYU.
    She’s now finishing up a fellowship at the NSF, concentrating on furthering neuroscience research, especially encouraging women and minorities to begin careers in STEM fields.
    She’s considering an offer to work on the President’s brain initiative in the coming months.

    I’m betting that she’s already read about this and is also spitting mad.
    (My hubby, who also holds several degrees in science, claims that she inherited her high IQ from me. He realizes that the women in his family are perfectly capable of thinking on high levels.)

  12. A. Noyd says

    If conservative men understood the charts any better than conservative women, they would notice how most of said charts are graphical flim-flam that only serve as reassurance for everyone who leaped to reactionary conclusions ages ago minus the help of reason or evidence.

  13. busterggi says

    Perhaps Rep. Ellmers could draw us a diagram about how to communicate to women. Oh, wait…

  14. abb3w says

    @4, lofgren

    Without reading the article, I’m betting that “everything we are balancing” is code

    and/or more phatic signalling.

  15. says

    I don’t see why you’re all so mad. She’s simply stating a fact. Look, I’d draw you a Venn diagram, but only half of you would understand it.

  16. sinned34 says

    She’s considering an offer to work on the President’s brain initiative in the coming months.

    I KNEW IT! MORE PROOF THAT OBAMA IS A KENYAN MOOSLIM WITH HITLER’S BRAIN! THEY’RE GONNA USE AGENDA 21 TO PUT HITLER’S OBAMA’S BRAIN INTO THE NEXT COMMIE ATHEIST DEMON-POSSESSED DEMONCRAT!

  17. Mobius says

    Well, maybe she can’t figure out all those charts and graphs and is extrapolating from a single data point.

  18. says

    I went and found Ellmers in context and she was explicitly clear that she was talking about communicating about issues on a personal level vs. a large statistical lever. She was *not* talking about intellectual level or being able to understand charts and graphs.

  19. gerryl says

    I think she has problems “articulating” herself. When I saw the video the other day, I figured she was trying to say something about messaging: Don’t jump right into numbers. Use human interest stories to get people interested. People respond to ideas that they can connect with.

    This sounds like the whole “soccer mom” idea revisited.

  20. dingojack says

    ““Many of my male colleagues, when they go to the House floor, you know, they’ve got some pie chart or graph behind them and they’re talking about trillions of dollars and how, you know, the debt is awful and, you know, we all agree with that.”…” [Emphasis mine].

    Sounds to me like she’s saying Republicans don’t understand how economics works [let alone graphs and charts and stuff...]

    Dingo

  21. says

    @20:

    Link or citation needed.

    Given the panel she was sitting on was talking about ways to use weasel words when talking about abortion and given that the panel included Ms. Black of TN, thinking the worst of them is fairly easy and eminently logical.

  22. says

    Democommie, google is your friend. I am painting my house today and don’t have the time to dig it up again. OR if you’d rather just assume you know what she meant without reading her actual words, knock yourself out.

  23. says

    Robin Pilger:

    I also work, but when I make a sensational claim, I provide some sort of citation or link. I left my comment eight hours or so before you replied. If you have a link, furnish it. If you don’t YOU go find one.

    I read what she said. I didn’t read the entire fucking transcript,.

    She’s sitting on a panel with a bunch of WINO’s* who are apologists for the bullshit that the Republican party routinely pulls in Congress and at the state and local levels of gummint.

    This:

    ““The point of Friday’s panel was to have an open conversation regarding how we communicate our values and principles to women across this country. Unfortunately, certain leftist writers have decided to take this important opportunity and engage in ‘gotcha’ journalism.”

    is from here: http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/ellmers-urges-men-bring-policy-down-womans-level

    Leftist Journalist? Right. Well, that’s a badge I’d wear proudly if it came from piece-of-shit like Ellmers.

    There, see how EZ-PZ-Lemon Squeezy that was? One Google minute.

    Gosh, was I rude? Fuck it.

    * Women in name only.

  24. says

    “‘gotcha’ journalism.”

    I’m guessing that Ms. Ellmer Dudd has a poster of St. Sarah, Plainly Simple on her bedroom wall.

  25. Suido says

    Context.

    The whole text does indicate, in very garbled language, that Ellmer is proposing a strategy for appealing to women. A strategy that assumes women respond better to anecdotes than stats, and men are the opposite. Her use of language about stats being the higher level of thinking is just the cherry on the sexist cake.

    Robin, why are you defending this shit?

  26. says

    I am not so much defending this shit as attacking the attack. The GOP has enough wrong with it to attack accurately that this kind of sloppy characterization is pointless. As Suido points out, Ellmer’s point was “Men: hard facts. Women: touchy-feely”, which is bad enough. (I also think there is an element of the conservative attitude “If it doesn’t affect me, it’s not my problem.”) It is *not* a case of the Barbiesque “Math is hard!”.

    I got started down this path because Ellmer had used the out-of-context defense and I my experience, that is usually just hand-waving. It took some drilling down to find the complete comments, since most articles were third-hand news citing secondary sources. When I found the comments, I found that Ellmer actually had a leg to stand on.

    I’d like to think that this community is intellectually honest and would prefer a real target to attack rather than a strawman.

    (And yes, I thought calling Ashe Schow a leftist journalist was hilarious!)

  27. says

    “I got started down this path because Ellmer had used the out-of-context defense and I my experience, that is usually just hand-waving. It took some drilling down to find the complete comments, since most articles were third-hand.’

    WHERE are those comments?

    You’ve mentioned them twice, now, and still no link, even though you were told that it’s sort of required of someone who’s making the claim that you’re making.

    There was ONE journalist at the “Panel” according to this:

    “I haven’t seen a video of the comments, and it’s likely one won’t turn up. As Dave Weigel noted, Ashe Schow was the only journalist who scored a ticket for”

    Whatever spin Ellmers put on it, it’s gonna be hard to check it against the transcript–unless there is one.

    If you have such a link, provide it.

    “The GOP has enough wrong with it to attack accurately that this kind of sloppy characterization is pointless.”

    This:

    “This is absolutely ridiculous and the quote in question was taken completely out of context. I am a woman, and find it both offensive and sexist to take my words and redefine them to imply that women need to be addressed at a lower level.

    “The point of Friday’s panel was to have an open conversation regarding how we communicate our values and principles to women across this country. Unfortunately, certain leftist writers have decided to take this important opportunity and engage in ‘gotcha’ journalism. There were so many positive ideas and solutions proposed during this discussion that sought to empower women. But instead of focusing on these positive steps, some writers are cherry-picking words and using predetermined agendas to attack Republicans and increase their readership.

    “It is a shame that such an important moment for addressing solutions and empowering women was used to attack the open exchange of ideas. In answering a question regarding how Republicans can improve their messaging, I took the opportunity to note that everyone comes from different backgrounds and experiences – and our messaging should do the same.

    “If there is a problem, who is perpetuating it? Was it a room full of women laughing, bonding and sharing solutions – or a liberal woman reporter attacking the event and taking it to a dark place that does not exist?”

    Is the statement by Ellmers’ office in the wake of the Examiner’s article.

    I finally found the entirety of Ellmer’s comments (if it doesn’t jibe with yours, FURNISH A LINK)

    So, this:

    “Women, by and large, agree with us on all of the issues. If you go through each issue, they agree. It’s how we are able to articulate ourselves – make sure that we’re getting the point across that we care, before we do anything else. That we relate to them, understand what every woman in this country is dealing with.”

    is quite simply a fucking lie. No wiggling on that one. WOMEN, by and large do not agree with the way the GOP has been doing its damnedest to make them accessories to men instead of people in their own right–especially the sort of women who come to this blog.

    So, okay, she’s just a fucking liar.

    This:

    “That’s what women want to hear. Tell us how you’re going to fix it. The biggest need that women have is more time. We all want more time in our lives. More time in the morning to get ready.”

    is quite simply, too fucking stupid to waste time discussing.

    So, okay, she’s just a fucking liar and a moron.

    This:

    “Because, one of the things that, especially women I think, are looking for right now is good leadership. And women may not necessarily agree with the position that you take, but they appreciate and they respect the fact that you have shared that with them and that they understand now where you stand on the issue.”

    Was actually said much more succinctly by Jean Giraudoux.

    “The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that you’ve got it made.”

    (source: http://www.quotationspage.com/quote/481.html)

    Having read the entirety of her comments I find it to be a mishmash of peptalk and “how to”. But the “how to” part is fucking nonsense.

  28. says

    dc, I think we are looking at the same thing. Please see the link “Context” in Suido’s post just above mine. That is what I was referring to. In it, I find nothing that says ” women are too dumb to understand charts and graphs and stuff.” Other than that, you are not getting much disagreement from me.

  29. says

    @Robin Pilger:

    We don’t disagree about the fact that she said what she said. I think that she and other GOP women are so far divorced from the reality of what’s going on for OTHER women that her comments are, apart from their obvious inaccuracy, simply ridiculous. She’s not trying to make it better for women; she’s trying to make it easier for her and her fellow GOP scumbags to hoodwink the credulous–and let’s face it, GOP women are, beyond any doubt, credulous.

    She is, btw, flat oul lying when she says that women agree with her and the GOP on the issues. It’s abundantly clear from the last few elections that fewer women are voting republican–and it’s got nothing to do with their perception that the dems are swell people.

    So, we’ll have to agree to disagree and I will try to be more agreeable about that, in future.

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