Ally assails White House “sexism” on treatment of Yellen

National Organization of Women tells Salon "sex discrimination" has been keeping Janet Yellen from Fed appointment

Topics: Feminism, Gender, janet yellen, Larry Summers, Barack Obama, NOW, Fed, Ben Bernanke, Federal Reserve, Sexism, , ,

Ally assails White House "sexism" on treatment of YellenBarack Obama, Janet Yellen (Credit: AP/Susan Walsh/Reuters/Robert Galbraith. Photo collage by Salon)

In a Tuesday interview with Salon, National Organization of Women President Terry O’Neill blasted the White House’s approach to choosing a replacement for Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke. “The signals I’m seeing from the White House is that his advisors – and he tends to agree with them – that they are still looking for someone other than Janet Yellen,” O’Neill told Salon. “And to me that’s just pure sexist.” NOW endorsed Obama for president last July.

“I mean, there’s only two differences between Janet Yellen and all those men,” said O’Neill. “Number one, she’s more qualified than all of them are. And number two, she’s a woman. And so looking for somebody other than Janet Yellen, I don’t know how you classify that as anything but sexist.”

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Speculation about the post has centered on Yellen, the Fed’s current Vice Chair, since former Clinton Treasury Secretary and Obama Economic Advisor Larry Summers removed himself from consideration on September 15. O’Neill criticized Obama both for appearing to have favored Summers for the post, and for what she called “trial balloons being floated by White House staffers to find some man other than Janet Yellen” following Summers’ withdrawal from the process. Summers’ critics had cited his role in deregulation and his reference to “differing variances” between men and women as a cause of women’s underrepresentation in the sciences.

Before Summers “did the right thing” by bowing out, charged O’Neill, “every signal from the White House was that the president was going to bypass the better-qualified woman in favor of a less-qualified man who happened to be his friend. Huge problem.” O’Neill added, “This is exactly how the glass ceiling operates…that’s the essence of sex discrimination.”

O’Neill argued that Yellen was a better pick for the post in part because she would be more likely to consider the consequences of her decisions on “actual people” suffering from high unemployment. When it comes to a “judgment call” like whether to continue the Fed’s purchases of financial instruments, said O’Neill, the question is whether a Chair will be guided by the “understanding that unemployment has real, damaging impacts on real human lives,” or “guided by your relationships with financial institution leaders.”



“The other qualified men who could be up for this,” warned O’Neill, “I am very deeply concerned that those men may have ties to Wall Street that are simply too strong.” In contrast, said O’Neill, Yellen is “not trying to impress those boys.”

Asked about Yellen’s past support, noted in the Huffington Post, for repealing Glass-Steagall regulations and reducing future Social Security benefits through “chained CPI,” O’Neill said “they definitely concern me,” but that she wouldn’t expect Yellen to hold those stances today, “because she is evidence-based and data-based.” “There are a lot of conditions that have changed since the ‘90s,” said O’Neill.

Criticizing the White House’s perceived hesitancy to tap Yellen, “who stands head and shoulders above the others” in contention, the NOW president said, “The planet on which this happens is a planet on which men are so used to being in control that they cannot conceive of putting a woman in this position.” Asked if that criticism applies to the president personally, O’Neill answered, “Look at his behavior so far. It unfortunately does.”

While “there is no question that Barack Obama is a friend to women in the policies that he supports,” O’Neill said that “when even he has trouble picking the best qualified person who happens to be a woman, I think that is a startling reminder that even our friends who are men are so used to being in control that so far putting a woman in that position just doesn’t compute for them.” She said the episode reinforced the need to elect more female politicians, including a female president.

“This hesitancy around Dr. Yellen,” said O’Neill, “is very revealing about how far we have yet to go.”

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 14
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Hannah and Adam, "Pilot"

    One of our first exposures to uncomfortable “Girls” sex comes early, in the pilot episode, when Hannah and Adam “get feisty” (a phrase Hannah hates) on the couch. The pair is about to go at it doggy-style when Adam nearly inserts his penis in “the wrong hole,” and after Hannah corrects him, she awkwardly explains her lack of desire to have anal sex in too many words. “Hey, let’s play the quiet game,” Adam says, thrusting. And so the romance begins.

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Marnie and Elijah, "It's About Time"

    In an act of “betrayal” that messes up each of their relationships with Hannah, Marnie and Elijah open Season 2 with some more couch sex, which is almost unbearable to watch. Elijah, who is trying to explore the “hetero side” of his bisexuality, can’t maintain his erection, and the entire affair ends in very uncomfortable silence.

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Marnie and Charlie, "Vagina Panic"

    Poor Charlie. While he and Marnie have their fair share of uncomfortable sex over the course of their relationship, one of the saddest moments (aside from Marnie breaking up with him during intercourse) is when Marnie encourages him to penetrate her from behind so she doesn’t have to look at him. “This feels so good,” Charlie says. “We have to go slow.” Poor sucker.

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Shoshanna and camp friend Matt, "Hannah's Diary"

    We’d be remiss not to mention Shoshanna’s effort to lose her virginity to an old camp friend, who tells her how “weird” it is that he “loves to eat pussy” moments before she admits she’s never “done it” before. At least it paves the way for the uncomfortable sex we later get to watch her have with Ray?

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Hannah and Adam, "Hard Being Easy"

    On the heels of trying (unsuccessfully) to determine the status of her early relationship with Adam, Hannah walks by her future boyfriend’s bedroom to find him masturbating alone, in one of the strangest scenes of the first season. As Adam jerks off and refuses to let Hannah participate beyond telling him how much she likes watching, we see some serious (and odd) character development ... which ends with Hannah taking a hundred-dollar bill from Adam’s wallet, for cab fare and pizza (as well as her services).

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Marnie and Booth Jonathan, "Bad Friend"

    Oh, Booth Jonathan -- the little man who “knows how to do things.” After he turns Marnie on enough to make her masturbate in the bathroom at the gallery where she works, Booth finally seals the deal in a mortifying and nearly painful to watch sex scene that tells us pretty much everything we need to know about how much Marnie is willing to fake it.

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Tad and Loreen, "The Return"

    The only sex scene in the series not to feature one of the main characters, Hannah’s parents’ showertime anniversary celebration is easily one of the most cringe-worthy moments of the show’s first season. Even Hannah’s mother, Loreen, observes how embarrassing the situation is, which ends with her husband, Tad, slipping out of the shower and falling naked and unconscious on the bathroom floor.

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Hannah and the pharmacist, "The Return"

    Tad and Loreen aren’t the only ones to get some during Hannah’s first season trip home to Michigan. The show’s protagonist finds herself in bed with a former high school classmate, who doesn’t exactly enjoy it when Hannah puts one of her fingers near his anus. “I’m tight like a baby, right?” Hannah asks at one point. Time to press pause.

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Hannah and Adam, "Role-Play"

    While it’s not quite a full-on, all-out sex scene, Hannah and Adam’s attempt at role play in Season 3 is certainly an intimate encounter to behold (or not). Hannah dons a blond wig and gets a little too into her role, giving a melodramatic performance that ends with a passerby punching Adam in the face. So there’s that.

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Shoshanna and Ray, "Together"

    As Shoshanna and Ray near the end of their relationship, we can see their sexual chemistry getting worse and worse. It’s no more evident than when Ray is penetrating a clothed and visibly horrified Shoshanna from behind, who ends the encounter by asking if her partner will just “get out of me.”

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Hannah and Frank, "Video Games"

    Hannah, Jessa’s 19-year-old stepbrother, a graveyard and too much chatting. Need we say more about how uncomfortable this sex is to watch?

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Marnie and Desi, "Iowa"

    Who gets her butt motorboated? Is this a real thing? Aside from the questionable logistics and reality of Marnie and Desi’s analingus scene, there’s also the awkward moment when Marnie confuses her partner’s declaration of love for licking her butthole with love for her. Oh, Marnie.

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Hannah and Adam, "Vagina Panic"

    There is too much in this scene to dissect: fantasies of an 11-year-old girl with a Cabbage Patch lunchbox, excessive references to that little girl as a “slut” and Adam ripping off a condom to ejaculate on Hannah’s chest. No wonder it ends with Hannah saying she almost came.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

Loading Comments...