Is It Sexist to Call a Woman “Emotional”?

Slate's weekly political roundtable.
April 11 2014 10:51 AM

The “Emily, Would You Please Stop Being So Emotional?” Gabfest

Listen to Slate's show about a possible Jeb Bush candidacy, “emotional” female politicians, and the ethics of taking your children on the high seas.

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On this week’s Slate Political Gabfest, Emily Bazelon, John Dickerson, and David Plotz discuss the possibility of a Jeb Bush presidential candidacy, why it's offensive to call a female politician “emotional,” and whether sailing the high seas with a baby in tow is reckless.

Here are some of the links and references mentioned during this week's show:

  • Jeb Bush seems to be testing the waters for a presidential candidacy in 2016. Henry Kissinger says he'd be “delighted” if Bush ran.
  • Bush's stance on some issues is out of sync with his party's. Last weekend he said many illegal immigrants come to the U.S. out of an “act of love” for their families.
  • A Bush candidacy would probably lead to a battle in the GOP between moderates and conservatives, John writes.
  • Another reason Candidate Bush might be a tough sell to conservatives: He's criticized Grover Norquist's no-tax pledge.
  • Senate Republicans unanimously rejected an equal pay bill Wednesday. The bill would have banned employers from retaliating against employees who ask about or disclose wage information.
  • The White House says full-time working women earn 77 percent of what their male counterparts make. Pew estimates that it's 84 percent.
  • Former CIA director Michael Hayden accused Sen. Dianne Feinstein of evaluating the CIA's interrogation techniques from an overly emotional perspective.
  • As Feinstein demonstrated in a 1993 fight with Sen. Larry Craig over a proposed assault weapons ban, she's no shrinking violet.
  • This week's Audible recommendation is Galveston, by Nic Pizzolatto.
  • The Kaufman family had to be rescued by the Navy from their 36-foot sailboat after their 1-year-old daughter became dangerously ill. They had planned to sail from Mexico City to New Zealand.
  • Some commenters on the family's Facebook page have written that the family's children should be taken away.
  • Adventure sailing can be risky, but the rewards are worth it, writes Diane Selkirk, who is raising her own daughter on a boat.

John chatters about the presidential election of 1908, which began the era of the sound bite and the presidential debate. Taft had a surprisingly reedy voice for a 300-pound man.

Emily chatters about Richard Posner and Frank Easterbrook's disagreement over whether nude dancing is protected by the First Amendment.

David chatters about the last king of Rwanda—7 feet, 2 inches tall, 76 years old, and living in poverty in rural Virginia.

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Topic ideas for next week? You can tweet suggestions, links, and questions to @SlateGabfest. The email address for the Political Gabfest is (Email may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)

Podcast production by Mike Vuolo. Links compiled by Rebecca Cohen.

Emily Bazelon was a Slate senior editor from 2005 to 2014. She is the author of Sticks and Stones.

John Dickerson is Slate's chief political correspondent and author of On Her Trail. Read his series on the presidency and on risk.

David Plotz is Slate's editor at large. He's the author of The Genius Factory and Good Book.



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