Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Brits to Potential First Ladies: Bake Cookies

From London's Guardian/Observer
The bake-off, which seems like a relic of unliberation, has in fact only been in place since 1992, when Hillary Clinton defended her career as a lawyer by saying: 'I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies.' Who would have thought that, so many years after second-wave feminism, that phrase could be contentious?

But Democrats have had trouble winning votes from married women, and it was seen by some as such a put-down that the person currently bidding to be the first female President of the United States instantly sought to correct the strategy error by coming up with a recipe. Since then, the bake-off has only highlighted the extent to which the position of First Lady is a symbolic one, and how little that symbol is expected to change.

However idolised Jackie Kennedy was, however exceptional she seemed, Andy Warhol's immortalisation of her proves that it was all about surface and surrender. It has been said that an essential rung on a prospective presidential candidate's career ladder is to pass through Stepford and pick up a wife. Or, as Gil Troy, historian of First Couples has put it: 'When in doubt, go retro.'

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