As many people have noted, nothing has been better for George W. Bush’s legacy than Donald Trump. That goes for some of Bush’s former administration officials too. Like, I’ll always despise Donald Rumsfeld with the fire of a thousand suns. But I was actually interested to hear what Condoleezza Rice has to say these days. Dr. Rice was never deplorable – she was a loyal Bushie, for sure, but she lived in the real world (as opposed to the Alt-World), she didn’t cry “fake news!” about verifiable facts and she’s not an unhinged racist. Anyway, Dr. Rice appeared on CNN for an interview with David Axelrod over the weekend. They ended up talking about #MeToo and what’s next for women in America.
While former U.S. secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says she’s supportive of the #MeToo movement and believes it to be “a good thing,” she’s worried that it could lead to the infantilization and exclusion of women, CNN reports. Therefore, she warns advocates to be “a little bit careful” about sexual-harassment allegations.
“Let’s not turn women into snowflakes,” she told CNN’s David Axelrod on The Axe Files. “Let’s not infantilize women.”
The #MeToo movement, which has helped illuminate the pervasiveness of sexual harassment and assault, has been both cathartic and exhausting for survivors. Rice realizes this, emphasizing that she doesn’t want to “belittle” women who have spoken up about their own experiences. While she says she’s never been sexually assaulted, she has “certainly had people say inappropriate things.”
“I don’t know a woman alive who hasn’t had somebody say or do something that was inappropriate at best and aggressive at worst,” Rice added. But based on her acknowledgement of the culture of sexual harassment and her wariness of the #MeToo movement, it seems as if she thinks the culture shouldn’t be challenged. She told Axelrod that she’s nervous society could “get to a place that men start to think, ‘Well, maybe it’s just better not to have women around.’”
“I’ve heard a little bit of that,” she said. “And it, it worries me.”
Call me crazy, but I actually think that in context, she raises two nuanced points. The argument of “don’t infantilize women” is interesting, because Rice’s party seeks to do just that, enact legislation as if women can’t be trusted to make their own decisions with their own bodies. Rice isn’t using the “snowflake” argument in regards to reproductive rights (though she should), but the train of thought is correct… women are responsible for their own actions, men are responsible for their own actions. No one is arguing “these poor women, they’re like tiny crying babies” though – after being historically silenced, women need to be heard. As for her concern that all of this #MeToo-ing is going to lead to exclusion… that’s what worries me too, and I’ve already started seeing that creep into the conversation.
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