It was weeks ago when we first learned about the Allen campaign push polls that asked potential voters how they’d feel if they learned that Democratic challenger Jim Webb referred to a woman or women as “thunder thighs.” And now, finally, we learn what the hell they’re talking about:
Webb referred to female midshipman at Annapolis as “thunder thighs.” (Baltimore Sun, 8/28/92)
ONCE AGAIN (we’re super responsible today, what with all this research), our exclusive investigation into this is after the jump.
We can’t find that specific article on Nexis, though the Sun archives say it was an editorial. The earliest reference seems to come from a Carol Burke syndicated column from earlier that month (also not on Nexis), which doesn’t really source the quote either (“…James Webb, former secretary of the Navy who in a visit to the Naval Academy several years ago referred to female midshipmen as ‘Thunder Things…’”). The Allen campaign says that passage comes from the New Republic, but we can’t find it in their archives (once again, we may just be searching incorrectly, and we’d be happy to correct).
None of this makes much of a difference, of course, except that this quote is so, so much funnier than a Washingtonian article about how women be different from men and hence unfit for combat.
So — the chauvinist beliefs of Jim Webb circa 1979 are not in question. His son likes porn a lot too.
But the funniest bit of this whole
macaca debacle may be the way George Allen now seemingly has to come out in favor of women in combat in order to have any sort of credibility with this attack (that’s the problem with running the smear from your official campaign and not a proxy — ROOKIE MISTAKE, GUYS). But hell, Allen might could very well be a progressive feminist (he’s French, Jewish and Californian, remember). If he is, though, his campaign gurus still don’t quite see that as the best image to send Virginia:
To be clear, the ‘misogyny’ is not in opposing women in combat roles, but in questioning their leadership abilities and accomplishments, claiming they have “problems with their sexuality”, etc.
To be clear, the “funny” is all in that delicate balancing act right there. Until we get video of Webb saying “thunder thighs,” anyway.
Webb In His Own Words: On Women [AllenHQ]