Ralph Nader, man-splainer?
That’s certainly what many across the Internet seem to believe today. It all began when Ben Casselman, a blogger at the New York Times, excerpted a recent Huffington Post piece by Nader thusly:
The implication of Casselman’s tweet was obvious: Nader, the longtime gadfly and consumer advocate, is an unreconstructed sexist, urging an accomplished economist, who happens to be a female, to defer to her husband. This narrative quickly caught on, many angry tweets were tweeted, and Slate dutifully threw up a post calling Nader a sexist. (Salon must have been asleep at the switch. Look alive, guys!*)
However, if one follows the link to Nader’s (admittedly bizarre) post, one finds that the old battle-axe wasn’t making a sexist comment at all. “Chairwoman Yellen,” Nader wrote, “I think you should sit down with your Nobel Prize winning husband, economist George Akerlof, who is known to be consumer-sensitive.” Which is to say, Nader’s admonition had only to do with Akerlof’s credentials, not his sex. The “sexist” charge is a slander. As a wise man once (almost) said, a dishonest tweet can travel halfway around the world before the truth puts on its shoes.
(*Update: Right on cue.)