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Even though she has less chance of winning the Republican nomination than Herman Cain does of meeting a woman without hitting on her, Michele Bachmann is somehow still chugging along as the little Tea Party candidate that could -- or at least, that really, really wishes it could. And that means she's still on the press circuit saying ca-razy things for us to ponder. The latest is the bit of dating advice she dispensed on Sean Hannity's radio show last week, while promoting her latest book -- she won't allow her daughters to ask out boys.
I'm just trying to figure out how this would work if we fell into some crazy alternative universe and Bachmann wins the primary and the general election. She's the first female President of the United States, there's a recession to dig out of, peace in the Middle East to obtain and China to worry about -- you know, the pressure is on. Will she not proactively meet with foreign heads of state (besides say, Dilma Rousseff, the female president of Brazil) or most of the members of her own cabinet, Congress, and Supreme Court because she's waiting for the boys to call her.
This is exactly why Bachmann's candicacy, like Sarah Palin's before her, does absolutely nothing to help empower women in general -- regardless of whether or not she's the only woman in the race. When you try to break the glass ceiling by reinforcing every stereotype you encounter along the way, you aren't creating change -- you're just seeking special dispensation for yourself, while throwing all other women (your own dateless daughters included) under the campaign bus.
Of course, one hopes that Bachmann does allow women to call members of the opposite sex when it's strictly business (platonic) -- and that the rules she makes for her five biological and 23 foster children aren't really relevant to her potential presidential job performance. Except that the President does have to weigh in on public health policy, which sometimes seems to feel like public morality policy, as illustrated by President Obama's support of Secretary Kathleen Sebelius overruling the Food & Drug Administration's move to make the morning after pill available over the counter to girls under the age of 17, even though all available science says that would help reduce teen pregnancies.
Bachmann may think that keeping girls off the phone will keep them from ending up in a morning-after-pill-necessary situation -- but the bigger message she's sending to young women is that they shouldn't get to speak up for themselves. Which is ironic because she seems to have no trouble with that. Let's hope most young women aren't listening.