From an “Overeducated” “authorette”
This post is written by Tracie McMillan, author of “The American Way of Eating.”
This week, Rush Limbaugh decided to add me to his recent attacks on women on his radio show, calling me a “single, white woman, overeducated” before dismissing my work as an award-winning, New York Times bestselling journalist and author. In a lengthy segment, Limbaugh referred to me twice as an “authorette” who is “just out of college,” going on to read the bulk of a rave New York Times review of the book by Dwight Garner. In a later, second segment, Limbaugh returned to my work, calling me “this babe.”
My book chronicles my work going undercover as a farmworker in CA, a produce clerk in a Walmart outside of Detroit, and in the kitchen of a Brooklyn Applebee’s, using that narrative of living and eating off my wages to discuss how Americans eat when price matters, as well as interrogate the broader systems underpinning Americans’ diets. I’ve written a lot about that experience as a woman, and in fact wrote about being sexually assaulted after my final night of work at Applebee’s for the Daily Beast last week.
I think there’s a valuable conversation to be had here — either about me, the “overeducated” woman (I graduated with a BA, so — as I discussed with Forbes — I guess Rush is saying women shouldn’t go to college as well?) or, more importantly, what I learned in my work. The latter is just the kind of thing Rush loves to gloss over: There’s a gaping divide between what American working families need, especially when it comes to food, and what either big business or government provide.
It’s important to call out sexism like this whenever it crops up, and also to focus on what it’s being used to distract us from.
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