Executive View by Marshall Loeb: Rise of the Role Model

Of all the shallow, sexist questions put to Marina von Neumann Whitman, the one about the gerbils infuriates her most. How did the family gerbils like the trip from Pittsburgh to Washington when she served on the President's Council of Economic Advisers in 1972-73? Macho editors, who would never put such a question to a man, still send women's page reporters to interview her, and well-meaning businessmen still give her head-patting lectures to explain balance sheets. Whitman smiles at the condescension and responds with her ultimate putdown: a stunning soliloquy on...

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