Ask a Woman Who Knows

By Ta-Nehisi Coates

by Shani O. Hilton

Piers Morgan interviews Condoleezza Rice. Here's a snippet—though the whole thing is worth reading:

Dr. Rice, while you remain one of the most eligible women in Washington, how have you avoided being snared in the marital trap?" Morgan asked, unaware that Rice lives on the West Coast.

"Actually, I live in California now," Rice corrected. She said that the "nice Southern girl" in her always expected to get married, but "you don't get married in the abstract, you find someone you want to be married to." 

But the case wasn't closed for Morgan. 

"How close have you come?" he asked. 

"I've come close," she said. "How many times?" Morgan continued, to which Rice laughed and said, "I'm not going there."  

"I think it's a wonderful thing, marriage, who knows maybe sometime," Rice said graciously. Rice - reasonably - might have expected the inquisition to end there. 

"Do you dream of a fairytale wedding?" he asked. Rice smiled and said, "I think I'm well beyond the fairytale marriage stage." 

"You're quite a catch," chimed in Morgan. Rice politely thanked him and assured the host that she was, in fact, a romantic. 

"How would I woo you?" Morgan asked Rice. "Convince me you'll spend Sunday afternoons watching football," said Rice, a devoted fan of the sport. 

Bonus points for Rice's use of humor to deflect an awkward question. Too bad it was followed by another awkward question.

See web-only content:
http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2011/01/ask-a-woman-who-knows/70178/

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton gets grilled on Good Morning America about the current state of her adult daughter's womb:

Clinton, whose personal life has long been a part of her public life, was also asked if she's hoping for grandchildren now that daughter Chelsea is married.

"Well, you know, I will only get in trouble however I respond to that," she said. "But let me just say, I love babies, so you know, maybe I'll have more in my life some day."

See web-only content:
http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2011/01/ask-a-woman-who-knows/70178/

Take a moment to consider this. We live in a world where it's okay to badger brilliant and accomplished human beings—who presumably have many, many fascinating things to talk about relating to their lives' works—about marriage and childbirth simply because they have female reproductive organs.

I'm not trying to be flippant about this, because really, it's depressing. And even more depressing is the fact that women have to be gracious while answering, because these questions assume that marriage and babies are ever-present, important issues on every woman's mind. Again, it's little wonder that women are making such small inroads in Congress.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2011/01/ask-a-woman-who-knows/70178/