Tuesday, January 8, 2008

I'd Like To Answer Your Question With A Question: Are you serious?

This Article, by one Gloria Steinem, angers me because it seems to be based on the notion that because I'm a woman and I believe in feminism and equality amongst men and women that I must support, vote for, and blindly follow all women candidates..especially for president.

Simply put: I'm going to have to sort of disagree with you on this one.

Gloria (if I may call you that), you seem to question women who support Obama's medioric rise to fame with the allegation that maybe they should see the disadvantage of being a woman. In fact, I haven't heard such a misappropriation of the fundamentals of feminism in awhile. Women bloggers are here--and just like their male counterparts--they have genuine issues with Hillary Clinton.

You state "But what worries me is that he is seen as unifying by his race while she is seen as divisive by her sex." I can see where you're coming from on this one but, again, respectfully disagree. I don't think his unification efforts are based on race--I think they are based on charisma and a new message--something not left over from the wars of the 90s--that's fresh. He's unifying by talking of "we" not "me" and that's something entirely foreign for Hillary et al.

You state "What worries me is that she is accused of “playing the gender card” when citing the old boys’ club, while he is seen as unifying by citing civil rights confrontations." I'm not sure what the gender card is, first of all, because just like the so-called race card, it doesn't work.

You state "What worries me is that reporters ignore Mr. Obama’s dependence on the old — for instance, the frequent campaign comparisons to John F. Kennedy — while not challenging the slander that her progressive policies are part of the Washington status quo." Well, Gloria, what worries me is that people are so blinded by Hillary's gender that they can't see the fact that she's nothing more than the recycled politics of the 90s that, while good at the time, are not going to bring us out of the rut were in today. Her polices aren't that progressive--and her stance is often regressive. Universal healthcare fails? So now the plan is to hand it over to insurance companies. The War in Iraq is awful? The rule of law is lost? Let's vote for the Patriot Act renewal without working towards a solution to some of the problems (something Obama did as a senator).

You state, "What worries me is that some women, perhaps especially younger ones, hope to deny or escape the sexual caste system; thus Iowa women over 50 and 60, who disproportionately supported Senator Clinton, proved once again that women are the one group that grows more radical with age." First of all, I doubt most women young or old are denying the sexism that is pervasive in the world today. (Although in response to the "iron my shirt" comment Hillary was left to address the "remnants" of sexism--as if it weren't alive and well. talk about lack of confrontation indeed.) More importantly though, the fact that Iowa's young women did not cast a vote for Hillary does not mean that they aren't engaged in politics. It means they, like men, must make a choice about who they believe is best for the job based on characteristics other than sex. And heavens forbid everyone do that!

What worries me, Gloria, is that people like you are still dealing in antiquated notions of feminism and perpetuating the stereotype that being a feminist equals unbiased and unquestioned support for women politicians.

The view your perpetuating is this: Let's see if we can find fault with a black man rising to success over a white woman because we can't compare prejudices (though for me, as a white woman, I'd say the Black race has had a bit more to overcome). In trying to get us to (1) recognize the struggle of women candidates and (2) not compare wounds you do just that--you insult the struggle of women candidates as something that has to have a comparison and you compare wounds to the point of divisiveness.

Here's an idea: young women aren't voting for Hillary in Iowa as much as older women because they don't want to. And that's a radical freaking idea in and of itself. More importantly, your failure to see that and your insistence on attributing it to some sexist regime is, in and of itself, divisive. Young women are falling away from feminism because of this. First wave, Second wave, Third wave--it's all water under the bridge if women AND men aren't free to make choices.

Now excuse me while I take my shirts to the dry cleaners because I can't iron worth a damn.

(EDIT: Rox Populi--sorry for early edits of this blog attributing the comments to you)

1 Comment:

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'iron my shirt.'
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it's the newest anti-hillary catch phrase!


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