A Mom in the Senate? Oh My!

You wouldn’t expect to find anti-working mom bias in a column written by the first woman to become the editorial page editor of the New York Times.

That is, until you read Gail Collins’ snarky and demeaning Op-Ed column titled “The New Hillary” on Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.


Describing Gillibrand’s press introduction as Hillary Clinton’s replacement in the senate, Collins writes that Gillibrand “thanked everybody on the planet and introduced her 8-month-old son who was, she explained happily, ‘a good eater and a good sleeper.’ Little Henry, we have since learned, was born shortly after Gillibrand spent 13 hours in the House of Representatives, voting on the farm bill and sitting through an endless hearing of the Armed Services Committee, where she successfully offered an amendment before moving on to the delivery room.”

From the condescending tone, it is clear that Collins thinks that Gillibrand should not have brought her 8 month-old son with her or spoken about him at an event intended to introduce New Yorkers to their new United States Senator.

How can we take this woman seriously, Collins implies with a rhetorical hand waving dismissal, if she brings her baby to her first appearance as a senator and – worse yet — talks like a mom?

Clearly this is an important issue to Collins, since she dedicates 64 of her column’s 800 total words to the unseemly (to her) spectacle of Little Henry appearing in public with his mother.

Doesn’t Gillibrand know, Collins implies, that being a senator is an important job?  Doesn’t Gillibrand realize that babies (and their mothers) don’t belong at important public events?

Every working woman in America knows how hard it is to combine work and family.

And every professional woman in American knows that it is still nearly impossible to climb the ladder of success with a baby in your hands.

Except, apparently, Gail Collins.


One response to “A Mom in the Senate? Oh My!

  1. Gail Collins isn’t the only New York Times columnist to go after Gillibrand. In Sunday’s paper, Maureen Dowd writes that “Tracy Flick is her nickname among colleagues in the New York delegation, many of whom were M.I.A. at her Albany announcement.”

    I can’t recall when the N.Y. Times so ruthlessly trashed a Democratic politician —

    Oh wait — it was Hilliary Clinton.

    In fact, perhaps a “Tracy Flick” is the most appropriate replacement for Senator Clinton, since Wikipedia points out that “Tracy Flick has been compared to several real-world political figures… Perhaps the most common comparison has been to Hillary Clinton, U.S. senator from New York and candidate for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.”

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