Revisionist History: The Lady Vanishes
June 16, 2016 8:43 AM - Subscribe

In the late 19th century, a painting titled The Roll Call, by a virtually unknown artist, took England by storm.
posted by Etrigan (2 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I like Gladwell, despite his tendency to be iconoclastic for its own sake, and that tendency was not on display in this first (of ten, allegedly) podcasts that seek to explore forgotten or misremembered moments in history.

This one uses the example of The Roll Call by Elizabeth Thompson (later Elizabeth Thompson, Lady Butler) to illustrate moral licensing, where one virtuous act is used to justify future less virtuous acts. In this case, displaying Thompson's painting gave cover to the Royal Academy (the gatekeepers for art in 19th Century England) to refuse her and any other women admission to their ranks for another six decades.

Gladwell then pivots to the similar case of Julia Gillard, the first female Prime Minister of Australia, and how even members of her own party said some startlingly misogynist things after her election.
posted by Etrigan at 8:50 AM on June 16, 2016

I'm surprised he didn't list the countries who have elected a female head of state multiple times.

Scanning the list on Wikipedia, it looks like there are a handful of countries with two: Argentina, Ireland, Liberia, Malta, and the Phillipines.

There are also a few countries who have elected the same person twice non-consecutively. Switzerland is governed by a committee(!!), which has had several female members.

Oh, and then there's San Marino. They've had 18.
This is because San Marino elects two heads of state (from opposing parties!) every 6 months. You'd think this would be a spectacularly unsustainable way to run a government, but they've been doing it since 1243.
posted by schmod at 12:44 PM on June 21, 2016

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