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Slate: Get Ready For Ladies Night At The RNC

Ann Romney (Gage Skidmore/flickr)

It’s girls night in Tampa, with Ann Romney, among others, slated to deliver a heart-tugging speech about the family’s struggles, notably hers with breast cancer and MS. (A Romney staffer calls the speech “amazing,” according to one account.)

Here’s Slate’s partial rundown of the GOP women scheduled to take the stage this evening:

It’s ladies’ night at the Republican National Convention, as Jezebel points out—nearly half of tonight’s many, many speakers will be women. We’ll hear from Cathy McMorris Rodgers, [a House Republican from Washington]… and a politician so womanly she has babies while in office. Utah congressional candidate Mia Love has a speech about “The America I Know” and an accompanying video. Ann Romney will speak so Alyssa can ignore her. Hispanic industrial upholstery mogul Sher Valenzuela, who wants to be lieutenant governor in Delaware, will give a speech on the night’s theme of “We Built This,” which is a little awkward because her company has accepted $17 million in government loans and contracts. Governors Nikki Haley and Mary Fallin will speak, and that’s not the whole list.

So how badly is the GOP doing with womenfolk, who happen to comprise a majority of voters? Pretty badly. Again, most voters are women. Registered women who lean toward a candidate favor Obama by 10 points in a recent CBS poll, and a poll of single women favors Obama 72 percent to 26 percent. No wonder Republicans want us all to get married.

Doctor, Woman, Hairdo: Female MDs Walk A Fine Line

De we really care how female doctors dress?

The British doctor Fiona Pathiraja blogs today in the BMJ about whether women in the medical profession can be both feminist and feminine.

Still? Does this debate never end? I find it a little depressing that young doctors are still struggling with this distinction. Maybe it’s a British thing.

But wait, it seems to work on TV. Dr. Eleanor O’Hara, played by Eve Best on the series Nurse Jackie, expertly blends high style and medical skill. True, she dates women, or at least dated one woman on the show, which makes the whole gender stereotype thing a bit more complex, but despite all that, no one ever questions her astute professionalism due to the height of her heels.

In real life, Pathiraja says her male medical colleagues “often comment that my Jackie O-inspired work wardrobe does not necessarily fit with being a feminist. Some have even suggested that I am “more feminine than the average female doctor.” This raises the interesting question – are femininity and feminism mutually exclusive in medicine? Although 57% of new medical students are female, it appears that gender is still an issue in the medical world.”

She notes that significant numbers of women still haven’t made into into certain clubby, male-dominated specialties, like surgery. And she recounts an outrageous story of the editor of the BMJ, Fiona Godlee, who blogged about no longer dying her hair in an effort to be taken more seriously.

Must we all go gray to appear professional? Pathiraja writes:

It has been my experience that women in hospital medicine often adopt a “persona,” in order to succeed and be accepted by their male colleagues. This often involves projecting an image of being uninterested in typical feminine pursuits such as glamorous dressing. It can also be through behavioural change; women act tougher or ruthlessly in order to fit in with the men. Female surgical trainees talk about acting “like one of the boys” by good humouredly sharing sexist banter and joshing in the operating theatre. They feel this is a necessary part of networking towards future success. Interestingly, this type of sexist banter is not tolerated in other sectors, where sexual harassment lawsuits are served regularly.