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Barack Obama and the Female Vote

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

I could not agree more with Charlotte Allen ["Women vs. Women; We Scream, We Swoon. How Dumb Can We Get?" Outlook, March 2]. Swooning fans of Sen. Barack Obama who have no basis for their supporting their candidate are annoying.

But we all know that such flaws are not limited to the fair sex. Instead of analyzing why this nation's first major female contender for president is losing votes among women, Ms. Allen chose to hyper-stereotype women. I hope she realizes that in doing so, she put herself in the same category as the women she seems to detest so much.

OLGA KAPLAN

New York

Linda Hirshman ["For Hillary's Campaign, It's Been a Class Struggle," Outlook, March 2] explains that women, including me, who support Sen. Barack Obama are "fickle," "elites" who don't care about low-income women, have possibly been seduced by the wealthy and attractive Barack and Michelle, know (like all women) less about politics than the men of our social class, and being, like all women, more averse to political conflict than men, may just have been browbeaten by those mean, mean "Obamabots." It couldn't possibly be that we have read up on the issues, watched the debates, evaluated the campaigns and made complicated judgments that happen to come out differently from Ms. Hirschman's.

Fortunately, Charlotte Allen boils it all down for the fickle, Obama-crushing, Manolo-coveting, ignorant, conflict-averse, push-aroundable female voter: "Women Aren't Very Bright." Thanks for clearing that up!

I'm looking forward to further installments, like "Female Suffrage: A Big Mistake" and "Why Education is Wasted on Women." Followed by yet another round of, "Why Don't Women Read The Washington Post?"

KATHA POLLITT

New York

Linda Hirshman and Charlotte Allen both conclude, through different arguments, that if you are a Democratic woman who is not voting for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in the presidential primary, you are either elitist or dumb.

Women fought hard for the right to vote for the candidate of their choice. We are intelligent voters who analyze the candidates' platforms and their ability to hold office honorably. We do not base our choice simply on gender or some "swoon" factor.

AMY ZOLL

Rockville

Have you lost your minds? I can only assume no one at The Post has a daughter.

ROB KILLION

Philadelphia

Perhaps most offensive is how Charlotte Allen cherry-picked a study that showed men slightly outperform women in IQ tests. Even if this study were typical of the literature of the subject, so what? Whites tend to outperform blacks on IQ tests, but we acknowledge that other forces are at work that affect such results. We don't allow such data to be used to support racism. Yet women are fair game for Ms. Allen.

RAABIA WAZIR

McLean

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