Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pat Toomey: No Ladies' Man

Pat Toomey is the Republican candidate for Senate. Reading through his book, The Road to Prosperity, I noticed something. Women are practically non-existent. Even though his co-author, Nachama Soloveichik, is female, he seldom references women in the book. Most people these days will make an attempt to balance out pronouns, so that not every hypothetical example is a "he" or "him" and to ensure that a good percentage are "she" or "her." Toomey and Soloveichik seldom reference women at all. All but one worker is male (the only exception is a hypothetical fashion designer). He does reference congressmen or -women in one place. Otherwise all workers are "he" or "his" or "him." Women are referenced as a mother who buys inexpensive Chinese-made clothes for her children, and as single mothers with little education. Even the American taxpayer is referenced as "he." Does this mean if Toomey is elected the IRS will stop taking money out of my check?

I made a list of references in the book to gendered examples. References to historical people (FDR, Herbert Hoover, etc) are not included, though most of those were male. Ditto for experts quoted or referenced in the text (also mostly male). If one hypothetical situation is mentioned more than once only the first reference is listed -- Toomey makes several references to a coffee shop owner, only the first is included below.

Not many people are going to notice this, and perhaps not many will care, but to me it says a lot about how Toomey sees the world -- it is mostly male and women exist only a mothers, fashion designers and congressional representatives. Each example is preceded by the page number on which it appears. This isn't cherry picking. I may have missed one or two but, to the best of my ability, this is complete.

1, coffee shop owner …. he
7, example of farmer, Andy Drysdale
9, homebuilder …. he
10, single person …. himself
13, producer must recover all of his costs
14, the investor, he
17, examples of “ridiculous” projects Cowgirl Hall of Fame
19, shoemaker … his
20, a small homebuilder …. he
42, the trucker … he
52, a worker … he
54, a worker … his tax rate
55, individual families … a working-class father … he
55, entrepreneur … he
58, carpenter … his
64, “Consider a young man from a middle-class family who embarks on a business career” as example of how people move form one income level to another
69, if one man is given …
70, “first, we need to elect congressmen and –women
74, thing that enrich our lives …. piano lessons for a daughter
80, no rational person would ever fund with his own money ...
90, “What bureaucrat feels the need to spend money on the Cowgirl Hall of Fame”
91, the American taxpayer … he
100, An American mom chooses to buy Chinese-made clothes for her children …
100, a Chinese farmer … his
101, one man trims trees, another is a heart surgeon
118, Chinese farmer … his
119, a worker … his
122, Ida Mae Fuller – first American to get social security (paid in $44, received $22K)
127, cites case of Ephram Nestor, Bulgarian immigrant deported
128, your surviving spouse … she
129, a hypothetical 25 year old male
131, among occupations mentioned … fashion designer … she
134, a worker … he
137, cites Kathleen Casey-Kirscling – first baby boom to file for social security benefits
150, random college student … he
172, broken homes, kids “are raised by a parent who has little education herself”
177, home buyer … he
214, productive activities … men and women producing goods and services


Anonymous said...

Really nice research here & very interesting analysis. You bring original insight in a campaign that has been full of cliche accusations. Good work!

AboveAvgJane said...