My experience in Washington is that virtually every woman who is in charge of anything has a reputation as either crazy or a bitch. It’s really striking how many times people preface their remarks about women leaders to me with, “She’s crazy, but,” as a kind of apologetic move they feel is necessary before they can quote a female figure, and as if they would somehow be tainted by quoting or referring to her without first running her down. It’s a tiresome tic.
But this, sure, has nothing in particular to do DC or political circles in particular rather than the treatment of women in leadership roles in general. If anything, I've found this somewhat less true of Washington than of other places where people are less politically conscious.
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