« The Math of Religious Polarization | Main | You're Welcome! »

From The Annals of Persistent Sexism

Odd exchange near the start of a recent Brookings event:

MR. STEINBERG: And so today to look at these questions about how the world is reacting to events here in the United States and what the president will have to deal with in the months and years ahead, we have three of our most distinguished fellows here at Brookings to look at the key--

MS. HILL: Four.

MR. GORDON: Which one of us do you--

MR. STEINBERG: Well, because we have a fellowette.


MR. STEINBERG: We'll begin with Phil Gordon, the head of our Center on the United States and Europe, to talk about the European reaction. Then fellowette, senior fellowette Fiona Hill--

MS. HILL: I like that title.


Okay, it's not the biggest deal in the world, but still....

November 8, 2004 | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference From The Annals of Persistent Sexism:


Sexist, yes. But no more sexist than "Wonkette" though, right?

Posted by: Dan Kervick | Nov 8, 2004 11:03:07 AM

It's funny, Matt. See, 'cause she's not a fellow. Geddit? Sorta like how we call a female chairman, a chairperson. Only it's funny. OK, not thigh-slapping funny, but you don't really expect that in these situations.

Posted by: Chris D | Nov 8, 2004 11:06:25 AM

"Fellows" is old-fashioned anyway. How about "Dudes" and "Babes"?

"Our International Relations babe, Condoleeza Rice, will now speak on..."

Posted by: Zizka | Nov 8, 2004 11:08:31 AM

I just read that last night and did a quadruple-take. My conclusion, reached more because it comforted me than because it was justified by the evidence, was that Steinberg got the number wrong out of pure accident and then covered up with a joke.

But yeah ... weird.

Posted by: Shankar D | Nov 8, 2004 11:21:20 AM

John, I thought the female equivalent of "Dude" was "Chick." I'm not sure what the male side of "Babe" would be though.

Posted by: dstein | Nov 8, 2004 11:35:19 AM

slice of beef or cheese cake would probably be the most equanimous.
For example, "Our International Relations slice of cheese cake , Condoleeza Rice."

Posted by: theCoach | Nov 8, 2004 11:44:34 AM

I don't know, babe may need to be the unisex term of choice. I know I hear my daughter and her friends refer to guys in term of "He is such a Babe". Besides, Cheese cake just makes me hungry, Could good for Sara Lee though.

Posted by: Kevin | Nov 8, 2004 12:11:26 PM

Missed in all the excitement over sexism is how a famed poker expert, Phil Gordon, is pulling double duty as some self-styled foreign policy expert.

Posted by: SoCalJustice | Nov 8, 2004 12:17:12 PM

Coach, if we start down that road, next thing we know we're going to be having press conferences by "Hot piece of ass Interior Secretary Gail Norton," - if she ever actually had a press conference, but you know what I mean.

Posted by: dstein | Nov 8, 2004 12:20:13 PM

I thought the female equivalent of "Dude" was "Chick."

Pick and choose
Sit and lose
All you different crews
Chicks and dudes
Who you think is really kickin' tunes?
Picture you gettin' down in a picture tube
Like you lit the fuse
You think it's fictional
Mystical? Maybe
What appears in you is a clearer view cos you're too crazy...

Posted by: Dan the Automator | Nov 8, 2004 12:28:38 PM

He obviously miscounted. But it was something of an ingenious recovery.

Posted by: raj | Nov 8, 2004 12:55:05 PM

John, I thought the female equivalent of "Dude" was "Chick."

The female equivalent is "Dudette."


Posted by: Toadmonster | Nov 8, 2004 1:12:37 PM

I saw the word "anals" instead of "annals" when I first looked -- in the same sentence with "sexism." You threw me for moment there, Mr. Yglesias.

Posted by: Slothtop | Nov 8, 2004 1:31:09 PM

This is just horrible. Next they will be calling her a "little sister" in their fraternity. I agree that he miscounted, but how lame can you be in a recovery? "Gosh, I need remedial math." "Gee, I clearly need new glasses." No, "You're not a fellow of the Brookings Institute like the rest of us guys - you're just a fellowette!" And for her to say that she liked it! Just horrible.

Posted by: Insecurity Mom | Nov 8, 2004 1:35:09 PM

I don't think that I have ever envisioned the terms "hot piece of ass" and "Gail Norton" existing in the same sentence...
Come to think of it, there is a VERY good reason for that.

Posted by: Glaivester | Nov 8, 2004 1:52:09 PM

It's a joke dude. Joke. No sexismo.

Posted by: Joe | Nov 8, 2004 2:48:21 PM

Women don't get no respect. I think that the problem is that we allow ourselves to be tagged with such frivolous names. No one (outside of a few red states) calls African-American males "boy" any more. The time has come to give women a more serious designation. We have African-Americans, Native Americans, Asian-Americans. May I suggest we now designate women as Vagino-Americans.

Posted by: gk | Nov 8, 2004 2:50:25 PM

May I suggest we now designate women as Vagino-Americans.

This is definitely the funniest thing I've read all day. Thanks for the laugh.

P.S. Sorry about the Gale Norton line, she was the first female cabinet member I thought of (seconds ahead of that sexy momma Elaine Chao).

Posted by: dstein | Nov 8, 2004 2:57:33 PM

Jeez, some of you were a bit harsh on Postrel. Do you have something against Reason Magazine? If so, let us know.

Posted by: raj | Nov 8, 2004 3:18:56 PM

"I saw the word "anals" instead of "annals" when I first looked -- in the same sentence with "sexism." " ...Slothrop

Some selective typos can do wonders for your hitcount.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Nov 8, 2004 3:34:43 PM

I really don't hear the word "chick" from my daughter or her friends. (She is 10, or zeroteen as she would have it.) "Babe" has two meanings: a pretty girl or any girl. "Dude," like "guy," sometimes refers to all people, sometimes just to males. Girls can also be called "dudettes."

Posted by: y81 | Nov 8, 2004 3:37:16 PM

The male version of "babe" is "bub". What else could it be?

Posted by: Wrye | Nov 8, 2004 4:02:27 PM

The female equivalent of "fellow" has always been "gal". Hill is clearly a Gal of the Brookings Instituition.

Posted by: Greg | Nov 8, 2004 4:22:40 PM

Fellow has an interesting etymology (for anyone who cares about this sort of thing). It was originally a compound word meaning "money down" -"fe" is from the same root as the modern word "fee" and "low" is from a word meaning to lay down. A "fellow" was a business partner. So the origin has no gender associated with it - and there's no need for a word like "fellowette."

Posted by: jr | Nov 8, 2004 4:23:26 PM

Or you can just say that fellow is the feminine version, and llow is the male verson. The best part is that it's almost pronouncable in Welsh, if you're really drunk.

Posted by: psetzer | Nov 8, 2004 7:24:45 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.