Adele M. Stan

Adele M. Stan is a columnist for The American Prospect. She is research director of People for the American Way, and a winner of the Hillman Prize for Opinion & Analysis Journalism. Opinions expressed here are her own.

Recent Articles


SINCERELY DISAPPOINTED. When the venerable, D.C.-based public radio talk show host Diane Rehm takes on an issue, I like to pay attention. Rehm asks pointed questions in a non-threatening way, evoking some of the most thoughtful conversations one is likely to hear on radio. But today, in taking on the issue of Don Imus 's extraordinarily mysogynist remarks, Rehm featured only men as commentators. I find it maddening to hear all these men talking about how African-American women have been so degraded. Are there no African-American women willing or able to discuss this issue? Of course there are! So why do even the best talk show hosts continually turn to only men for commentary on the degradation of women? --Adele M. Stan


MSNBC DUMPS IMUS; EXPERT PANELS STILL BOYS' CLUB . . Don't get me wrong; I do see real progress in MSNBC's dumping of its "Imus in the Morning" simulcast, even if it does give us the sad spectacle of a senior member of radio royalty suddenly dethroned for doing pretty much what he has always done. Indeed, given all of the slurs with which Don Imus has gotten away over the years, it's not that difficult to understand how he can really believe that he's not a racist even though he says horribly racist things. After all, he has just been giving the people what they want. But the Imus show seems to have been a guilty pleasure for his listeners -- sorta like porn, one imagines. Fun until someone knows just what you're getting off on. (Not that I would have any idea.) This time, it was the double-whammy of Imus's sexism combined with his racism that did him in, along with the particular distribution of racial characteristics among the people in this story: powerful white man with lots of...


BOYS CLUB JUDGES IMUS. GIRLS NOT ALLOWED? Okay, so I admit this is hardly scientific, but it seems to me that the news media are turning overwhelmingly to male commentators for assessment of the sexist, racist comments Don Imus made about the admirable women of the Rutgers basketball team. Last night, watching MSNBC's "Hardball," I had to watch for a late segment -- on a show devoted almost entirely to Imus thing (or so it seemed) -- before guest host David Gregory put a woman on camera. Thankfully, the woman chosen was American University anthropologist Sabiyha Prince , although she was never given enough time to make her points. In response to a question from me, Dr. Prince replied by e-mail: "David Gregory was very nice but after each commercial, he went directly to Jonathan Alter of Newsweek , who interrupted me once, misrepresented a comment I made, and talked so long at the end that I didn't have a chance to make a final point. These so-called 'race moments,' as [they were]...


IMUS MUST GO. Lest calls for the ouster of Don Imus from his daily radio show/cable TV simulcast become the sole purview of the men of the civil rights movement, I hereby step on my feminist soap box to say that the guy's gotta go. While it's generally agreed all 'round that, with their racist and sexist connotation, Imus's remarks about the Rutgers women's basketball team were beyond all limits of acceptability, little attention has been given to the sexual nature of the comments. When sexist men see women assert themselves, whether in opinion journalism -- as noted here by Sister Garance -- or, apparently, athletics, the tendency of men so threatened by assertive women is to sexualize their disparagement of such women. It's really a verbal sexual assault. Throw race into the mix, and you've got something even more despicable going on. When a white man sexualizes his verbal assault on a black woman, he's summoning the very worst of our nation's history -- the most egregious and...


HEAD TRIP. One hopes this official White House photo would finish off for good the idiotic Pelosi-in-terrorist-garb narrative advanced, as noted here by Brother Sam yesterday, by the hateful Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council (and further commented on here by Brother Bossman Tomasky ). At a recent religious-right conference I had the privilege of covering last month for Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Perkins went on a long riff deriding Islam, especially the Arabic saying that translates as "God is great." Bemoaning the fact that the Muslim call to prayer is now heard in American cities, Perkins noted that the call includes those words. "Allah akbar," he said, his voice dripping with contempt. "That's what Islamic terrorists say before they cut your head off." Of course, this whole riff hangs on the notion of "Allah" as an entity different from the G-d of Abraham, rather than a translation of the name given in Arabic to that same supreme being. From his...