Five Best Wednesday Columns

Matthew O'Brien on sexism at the Federal Reserve, Susan Jacoby questions the online tastes of Weiner's other women, Alexander Stille judges a non-judgmental Pope Francis, Simon Jenkins calls for ending Twitter abuse, and Jorge Ramos on anti-Mexican rhetoric.

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Matthew O'Brien in The Atlantic on sexism against Janet Yellen at the Fed: Though she is wholly qualified, Yellen may not be named Ben Bernanke's successor at the Federal Reserve because she lacks the "gravitas" to manage a crisis, a term that O'Brien sees as unabashed sexism. "It's the implicit idea that leadership is shouting down your opponents, and that the markets need an alpha male to tame them," he writes. "And it's [BS] that ignores the most relevant point: Yellen was at the Fed during the crisis. She knows what to do." Jonathan Chait of New York magazine writes "Read [O'Brien] on the sexist campaign against Janet Yellen. It's outrageous." And Andrew Cohen, a contributing editor at The Atlantic, tweets that O'Brien's "coverage of #Fed story has been marvelous."

Susan Jacoby in The New York Times on Anthony Weiner's other women: Jacoby directs her questions not at the embattled mayoral candidate or his wife Huma, but at the "hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of women [who] apparently derive gratification from exchanging sexual talk and pictures with strangers." While Weiner gets all the flack for his online escapades, Jacoby wonders why women on the other end go along with his pervy advances, particularly in light of the modern feminist movement. "A willingness to engage in Internet sex with strangers, however, expresses not sexual empowerment but its opposite — a loneliness and low opinion of oneself," she writes. Jacoby is one of several columnists "cloaking their concern trolling in feminist rhetoric," writes Irin Carmon, a national reporter for MSNBC. "Interesting POV but it's Weiner who is running for public office, not the women," tweets law professor and political author Penny Collenette.

Alexander Stille in The New Yorker on Pope Francis's gay-friendly statement: Pope Francis's welcoming statement on homosexuals — "Who am I to judge?" — upended the perception of a homophobic papacy forever mired in the past. In all, "he is saying that Catholics do not have a monopoly on doing good, and that those who are doing good should be embraced," Stille writes. And while the past several Popes have concentrated on issues of sexual morality, Francis has taken a less judgmental, more inclusive approach to winning over the world's 1.2 billion Catholics. "He may win simply by not engaging in the culture wars." Stille's piece is "A good read on how he is changing papacy," writes Thomson Reuters editor Sherry Phillips. "Francis makes past Popes' theological hair-splitting irrelevant, petty compared to imperative to love others, do good," tweets Rick Rojas, a Los Angeles Times correspondent.

Simon Jenkins in The Guardian on ending Twitter abuse: Jenkins supports the campaign to cut down on Twitter abuse, threats of violence, and misogyny — mainly championed by novelist Caroline Criado-Perez — not just as a women's issue but a human one. "Like all advantageous inventions, the Internet has strengths but also weaknesses, and the latter need regulating," he writes. "Laws on defamation, privacy, harassment and incitement exist for a reason." Still, he doesn't have any exact recommendations. "I may not know how to regulate cyberspace, but I know that such regulation limps far behind the need for it." Criado-Perez herself tweets that Jenkins wrote an "Intelligent & thoughtful piece," but as with anything online, it has its detractors. "I ... 100% disagree with Simon Jenkins who argues for end to anonymity here," writes The Guardian's comment editor Jessica Reed. "It's a bind."

Jorge Ramos in ABC News Univision on the GOP's anti-Mexican rhetoric: Ramos criticizes Iowa Rep. Steve King's bizarre, racist comments about Mexican drug smugglers, and writes that this is partly a function of the Republican Party's rightward drift. "He is hardly his party's only problem, and this is not an isolated incident," Ramos writes. "House Republicans are either unable or unwilling to understand how important the immigration issue is to Hispanics." "Powerful Op-Ed from @JorgeRamosNews on the persistence of anti-Mexican prejudice," tweets Philip Wolgin, Senior Immigration Analyst at the Center for American Progress. But Human Events editor and columnist David Harsanyi thinks Ramos is going too far by conflating King with the Republican Party: "by GOP, he means Rep King."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.