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State of the Debate
George Pyle
George Pyle has been a newspaper writer in Kansas, Utah, Upstate New York, and now Utah again, for more than 30 years - most of it as an editorial writer and columnist. Now on his second tour of duty on The Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board, he has also done a stretch as a talk radio host, published a book on the ongoing flaws of U.S.agricultural policy and, in 1998, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing. His most active bookmarks are Andrew Sullivan, Christopher Hitchens and Tina Brown. And he still thinks the Internet can be used for intelligent conversation and uplifting ideas.

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This weekend's column: Ladies, leave your man at home ...

Ladies, leave your man at home - George Pyle, The Salt Lake Tribune

She finally just had to tell her husband to stay home.

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It was 1980, or so, and I was a young reporter covering the campaigns for seats in the Kansas Legislature.

While both my memory and Google fail me on a name, I recall that the Democratic nominee — in a state Senate district where Democrats had a chance — was a woman. Accomplished, professional, not running for an office already held by her husband or father.

A woman seeking public office, other than perhaps a seat on the local school board, was still a little bit unusual then. But this candidate wasn’t playing on her gender. And her opponent, a perfect gentleman of a dairy farmer, wasn’t making any big deal of it either.

The problem was her husband. The normal rough and tumble of politics, when directed at his wife, was something he couldn’t handle. The suggestions by her opponent and the local Republican chairman that his candidate spouse might be too liberal, not politically experienced enough, taking money from the teachers unions, or whatever it was they threw at her, simply enraged him.

How dare they impugn his wife’s character like that? And he let me know it was largely my fault for not calling out her rivals for the despicable liars that they were.

The candidate, though, took it all in stride. She gave as good as she got, ran a good campaign and lost. She didn’t blame the press. She spent a fair amount of time quietly apologizing for her husband, gallant and chivalrous though he was, for having such a thin skin. [Read the rest ...]

- Hugh Hefner: GOP 'war against sex' - Politico

- The war on conservative women - Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle Editorial

- The Vatican's Latest Target in the War on Women: Nuns - Norman Birnbaum, The Nation

- Bullying the Nuns - Gary Wills, The New York Review of Books

- War on women? - Bill Leonard, Associated Baptist Press



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