What's the significance of Naomi Wolf hanging out with Al Gore?

I kept hearing about about the Gore campaign having to explain him having these talks with Naomi Wolf. What’s up with that? I heard it was just so that she could help him figure out how he came off to women.

What’s the big deal?

Here were some WAGgish thoughts:

Wolf is a scandalous writer, since she writes about sex. So for the Vice President to talk to her is a national crisis, since it might mean that people in high political posts are comfortable with sex as a concept.

It is heinous that Gore can’t figure out what women think about him on his own.

Gore, being a Democrat, is a sex machine, and must be having an affair with Wolf.

Gore, being a Democrat, is a eunuch, and gosh ain’t it funny that he’s talking with a female of all people to deal with it.

It is bad for Gore to go outside of a narrow political set for advice, since we hate it when politicians rely on narrow political sets for advice, and for them to fail to do so seems insincere / like a fig leaf / something conspiratorial and sinister.

Okay, I don’t really believe anyone (outside mental institutions) really believes this, I just can’t figure out why this made the news. Maybe I’m just reeling from having watched “The O’Brien Factor” too many times (once).

Nothing I write about any person or group should be applied to a larger group.

  • Boris Badenov

Wolf apparently suggested that teenage masturbation should be encouraged in one of her books.



Born O.K. the first time…

If you are born again, do you have two belly buttons?

Let’s face it, Clinton’s support from the feminists saved his ass. I mean, they were so fiercely loyal as to sacrifice decades of progress on their key issues, reversing themselves on the issue of sexual harassment at the cost of their own credibility. Gore could use that kind of support.

The scandal seems to be that he was paying her $15,000 a month for her advice (now down to $5,000 a month). I’m still waiting for any of the articles criticizing this arrangement to mention what he’s paying his male advisors.

Johnny Angel said:

From what?

So now feminists are pro-sexual harassment? Did you find feminists credible before? Or did you hate them before, because they support a politician you don’t like?

Who are “feminists” anyway? I’ve heard vastly more from people like you about how horrible it is that “feminists” don’t think lying is a “high crime and misdemeanour”, without anyone being able to think of any feminists who actually support Clinton. There are probably some out there, but no one can come up with any names, all they can do is cite names of people who think feminists are horrible/ inconsistent/ bad for not switching to the party of Jesse “Be A Lady” Helms.

Feminists are entitled to their own opinions, and believe it or not, they are not required to agree with Kenneth Starr.

Nothing I write about any person or group should be applied to a larger group.

  • Boris Badenov

Who the hell is Naomi Wolf?

Boris B:

You’ve already guessed my politics completely wrong.

If you mean to object that I’m making too quick a hasty generalization, it’s a fair objection in the abstract. I don’t claim that feminists all agree on this point, but that he had sufficient support from the feminist community to protect him.

From the legislation that the feminists themselves have pushed for these past three decades. The laws that Ken Starr used to tear open Clinton’s life were pushed through by feminist lobbyists to make it easier to prosecute rapists and sexual harassers.

After decades of pushing the envelope on the prosecution of sexual harassment, suddenly NOW was willing to let one special case off the hook – Bill Clinton.

And speaking of making sweeping generalizations:

Who said anything about what feminists think about high crimes and misdemeanors? If you have a beef about something, go ahead and rant, but don’t razz me for things I never said.

I can think of a few off the top of my head… Hillary Clinton, Patricia Ireland, Naomi Wolf.

No one here stated or implied anything to the contrary. You are jumping to conclusions, and attributing a whole cluster of opinions to me that have nothing to do with me.

Please, have a smoke and a cup of joe before you start giving people the haircut over things you imagine they’re thinking.

I don’t keep my ear to the ground as far as feminist doings, but I do remember Betty Friedan coming to the Prez’ defense.

I don’t know where you got that idea. I just didn’t know what you meant by “feminists” and I still don’t. A lot of people define “feminist” as “woman supporting Democratic politicians” and I was wondering if you were one of them.

Well I guess we don’t agree on that. His support in the feminist community has not protected him in any way I’ve ever noticed.

We don’t agree on this either. The independent counsel law was passed in the wake of the Watergate scandal and I’ve never heard anything about it having strong feminist support. Starr used any and every law he could dig up to trash Clinton. So I don’t have a clear idea what laws you are referring to.

Yes, you were speaking of making sweeping generalizations. I was not.

Plenty of people have said plenty of stuff in earshot of me about what feminists think about high crimes and misdemeanors. If you weren’t one of them, sorry. I misconstrued you.

Spouses don’t count. Patricia Ireland counts. And Naomi Wolf is the subject of the OP; the interviews I saw with her showed her criticizing Clinton’s behavior, which is why I don’t really understand.

You’re right. I was wrong. I’ve heard people make references to unnamed feminists having no credibility a few too many times, and it set me off.

Actually, it was the caffeine that made me do it. I’m trying to cut down.

Nothing I write about any person or group should be applied to a larger group.

  • Boris Badenov

Really, I should quit watching TV political commentary. I was watching Drudge a while ago and he was basically claiming that he could see where Gore’s eyes were tracking in from-behind video footage. Gore is looking at busts of Jefferson, Franklin, LaFayette, etc., and he says “Who are these people” and Drudge claims that means he didn’t recognize Jefferson and Franklin. Couldn’t he have been looking at LaFayette? Should he have been able to recognize LaFayette? Is it easy to recognize people on small unpainted busts several feet in the air?

Clinton seems pretty skilled at it.

Well, shut my mouth. It’s also illegal to put squirrels down your pants for the purposes of gambling.

A law was passed a few years ago that made it possible to investigate a man’s sexual history and interrogate him on the intimate details of his life if he was accused of sexual harassment. The idea is that if you can establish a pattern of behavior, it’s easier to approve a particular instance of it. That’s what Ken Starr was trying to do.

When that happened, NOW backed Clinton. Perhaps you don’t think it helped him any, but NOW definitely backed him. Even if it didn’t effect the outcome for Clinton, it will have serious consequences for NOW next time it has to take the hard line in a sexual harassment case. People will say, “What about Clinton?”

NOW has held the line for years that sexual harassment didn’t have to be a quid pro quo offer, that any imbalance in power between the agressor and the recipient constitutes a form of coercion. When Clinton had sex with an unpaid intern, they reversed their position. Patricia Ireland said, “It’s not harassment. It was mutual.”

NOW has lost credibility because of this. Many feminists were threatening to split from NOW because of it, because they don’t want to be asked, the next time a Clarence Thomas pops up, “You let Clinton off the hook, why not this guy?”

Okay, so it’s a dirty joke. I don’t get it.

Johnny Angel
I hear you, but I am willing to buy NOW’s statement on the subject: http://www.now.org/press/04-98/letter-ed.html

I’m not sure exactly what gender-liberals are supposed to do to maintain credibility on this issue. Condemning sexual harassment obviously is not enough. Maybe we should trot out our “Kerry '92” buttons or something.

Nothing I write about any person or group should be applied to a larger group.

  • Boris Badenov

Great retort, Boris!

Like Felinecare, I’m also curious what Gore pays his senior male consultants. I’d be very surprised if they’re paid less than $15,000 / month.

What is the media so shocked about?

I heard (from my staunchly Republican dad BTW) that Gore hired Wolf to teach him how to be more macho. I don’t know if this is true, although I do find the premise very amusing. Almost as amusing as Gore half-dancing to the Shania Twain song “I Feel Like A Woman” that I saw on the news.

“There are many sweeping generalizations that are always true” -Space Ghost

Since David stopped hounding me unmercifully, I’ve been lax in sending the debates off to their proper home. Here you go, David.

GQ Mod