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Prostitution, Rape and Sexual Assault

In Support of Hillary Rodham Clinton: Good-bye to All That, Part II, by Robin Morgan


by Robin Morgan (and thanks to the Women’s Media Center)

“Goodbye To All That” was my (in)famous 1970 essay breaking free from a politics of accommodation especially affecting women (online version is here.)  During my decades in civil-rights, anti-war, and contemporary women’s movements, I’ve avoided writing another specific “Goodbye . . .”. But not since the suffrage struggle have two communities — the joint conscience-keepers of this country– been so set in competition, as the contest between Hillary Rodham Clinton (HRC) and Barack Obama (BO) unfurls. So.

Goodbye to the double standard . . .

  • Hillary is too ballsy but too womanly, a Snow Maiden who’s emotional, and so much a politician as to be unfit for politics.
  • She’s “ambitious” but he shows “fire in the belly.” (Ever had labor pains? )
  • When a sexist idiot screamed “Iron my shirt!” at HRC, it was considered amusing; if a racist idiot shouted “Shine my shoes!” at BO, it would’ve inspired hours of airtime and pages of newsprint  analyzing our national dishonor.
  • Young political Kennedys –Kathleen, Kerry, and Bobby Jr. — all endorsed Hillary. Sen. Ted, age 76, endorsed Obama. If the situation were reversed, pundits would snort “See? Ted and establishment types back her, but the forward-looking generation backs him.” (Personally, I’m unimpressed with Caroline’s longing for the Return of the Fathers. Unlike the rest of the world, Americans have short memories. Me, I still recall Marilyn Monroe’s suicide, and a dead girl named Mary Jo Kopechne in Chappaquiddick.)

Goodbye to the toxic viciousness  . . .

  • Carl Bernstein’s disgust at Hillary’s “thick ankles.”
  • Nixon-trickster Roger Stone’s new Hillary-hating 527 group, “Citizens United Not Timid” (check the capital letters).
  • John McCain answering “How do we beat the bitch?” with “Excellent question!” Would he have dared reply similarly to “How do we beat the black bastard?” For shame.

Goodbye to the HRC nutcracker with metal spikes between splayed thighs.

If it was a tap-dancing blackface doll, we would be righteously outraged — and they would not be selling it in airports. Shame.

Goodbye to the most intimately violent T-shirts in election history, including one with the murderous slogan “If Only Hillary had married O.J. Instead!”   Shame.

Goodbye to Comedy Central’s “Southpark” featuring a storyline in which terrorists secrete a bomb in HRC’s vagina.

I refuse to wrench my brain down into the gutter far enough to find a race-based comparison. For shame.

Goodbye to the sick, malicious idea that this is funny.

This is not “Clinton hating,” not “Hillary hating.” This is sociopathic woman-hating. If it were about Jews, we would recognize it instantly as anti-Semitic propaganda; if about race, as KKK poison.  Hell, PETA would go ballistic if such vomitous spew were directed at animals. Where is our sense of outrage—as citizens, voters, Americans?

Goodbye to the news-coverage target-practice . . .

The women’s movement and Media Matters wrung an apology from MSNBC’s Chris Matthews for relentless misogynistic comments. But what about NBC’s Tim Russert’s continual sexist asides and his all-white-male panels pontificating on race and gender? Or CNN’s Tony Harris  chuckling at “the chromosome thing” while  interviewing a woman from The White House Project? And that’s not even mentioning Fox News.

Goodbye to pretending the black community is entirely male and all women are white . . .

Surprise! Women exist in all opinions, pigmentations, ethnicities, abilities, sexual preferences, and ages — not only African American and European American but Latina and Native American, Asian American and Pacific Islanders, Arab American and — hey, every group, because a group wouldn’t be alive if we hadn’t given birth to it. A few non-racist countries may exist —  but sexism is everywhere.  No matter how many ways a woman breaks free from other oppressions, she remains a female human being in a world still so patriarchal that it’s the “norm.”

So why should all women not be as justly proud of our womanhood and the centuries, even millennia, of struggle that got us this far, as black Americans, women and men, are justly proud of their struggles?

Goodbye to a campaign where he has to pass as white (which whites—especially wealthy ones–adore), while she has to pass as male (which both men and women demanded of her, and then found unforgivable). If she were black or he were female we wouldn’t be having such problems, and I for one would be in heaven. But at present such a candidate wouldn’t stand a chance—even if she shared Condi Rice’s Bush-defending politics.

I was celebrating the pivotal power at last focused on African American women deciding on which of two candidates to bestow their vote–until a number of Hillary-supporting black feminists told me they’re being called “race traitors.”

So goodbye to conversations about this nation’s deepest scar—slavery—which fail to acknowledge that labor- and sexual-slavery exist today in the US and elsewhere on this planet, and the majority of those enslaved are women.

Women have endured sex/race/ethnic/religious hatred, rape and battery, invasion of spirit and flesh,  forced pregnancy;  being the majority of the poor, the illiterate, the disabled, of refugees, caregivers, the HIV/AIDS afflicted, the powerless. We have survived invisibility, ridicule, religious fundamentalisms, polygamy, teargas, forced feedings, jails, asylums, sati, purdah, female genital mutilation, witch burnings, stonings, and attempted gynocides. We have tried reason, persuasion, reassurances, and being extra-qualified, only to learn it never was about qualifications after all. We know that at this historical moment women experience the world differently from men–though not all the same as one another–and can govern differently, from Elizabeth Tudor to Michele Bachelet and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

We remember when Shirley Chisholm and Patricia Schroeder ran for this high office and barely got past the gate—they showed too much passion, raised too little cash, were joke fodder. Goodbye to all that. (And goodbye to some feminists so famished for a female president they were even willing to abandon women’s rights  in backing Elizabeth Dole.)

Goodbye, goodbye to . . .

  • blaming anything Bill Clinton does on Hillary (even including his womanizing like the Kennedy guys–though unlike them, he got reported on). Let’s get real. If he hadn’t campaigned strongly for her everyone would cluck over what that meant.
  • Enough of Bill and Teddy Kennedy locking their alpha male horns while Hillary pays for it.
  • an era when parts of the populace feel so disaffected by politics that a comparative lack of knowledge, experience, and skill is actually seen as attractive, when celebrity-culture mania now infects our elections so that it’s “cooler” to glow with marquee charisma than to understand the vast global complexities of power on a nuclear, wounded planet.
  • the notion that it’s fun to elect a handsome, cocky president who feels he can learn on the job,
  •  goodbye to George W. Bush and the destruction brought by his inexperience, ignorance, and arrogance.

Goodbye to the accusation that HRC acts “entitled” when she’s worked intensely at everything she’s done—including being a nose-to-the-grindstone, first-rate senator from my state.

Goodbye to her being exploited as a Rorschach test by women who reduce her to a blank screen on which they project their own fears, failures, fantasies.

Goodbye to the phrase “polarizing figure”  to describe someone who embodies the transitions women have made in the last century and are poised to make in this one. It was the women’s movement that quipped, “We are becoming  the men we wanted to marry.” She heard us, and she has.

Goodbye to some women letting history pass by while wringing their hands, because Hillary isn’t as “likeable” as they’ve been warned they must be, or because she didn’t leave him, couldn’t “control” him, kept her family together and raised a smart, sane daughter. (Think of the blame if Chelsea had ever acted in the alcoholic, neurotic manner of the Bush twins!) Goodbye to some women pouting because she didn’t bake cookies or she did, sniping because she learned the rules and then bent or broke them. Grow the hell  up. She is not running for Ms.-perfect-pure-queen-icon of the feminist movement.  She is running to be President of the United States.

Goodbye to the shocking American ignorance of our own and other countries’ history. Margaret Thatcher and Golda Meir rose through party ranks and war, positioning themselves as proto-male leaders. Almost all other female heads of government so far have been related to men of power—granddaughters, daughters, sisters, wives, widows: Gandhi, Bandaranike, Bhutto, Aquino, Chamorro, Wazed, Macapagal-Arroyo, Johnson Sirleaf, Bachelet, Kirchner, and more. Even in our “land of opportunity,” it’s mostly the first pathway “in” permitted to women: Reps. Doris Matsui and Mary Bono and Sala Burton; Sen. Jean Carnahan . . . far too many to list here.

Goodbye to a misrepresented generational divide . . .

Goodbye to the so-called spontaneous “Obama Girl” flaunting her bikini-clad ass online—then confessing Oh yeah it wasn’t her idea after all, some guys got her to do it and dictated the clothes, which she said “made me feel like a dork.”

Goodbye to some young women eager to win male approval by showing they’re not feminists (at least not the kind who actually threaten the status quo), who can’t identify with a woman candidate because she is unafraid of eeueweeeu yucky power, who fear their boyfriends might look at them funny if they say something good about her.

Goodbye to women of any age again feeling unworthy, sulking “what if she’s not electable?” or “maybe it’s post-feminism and whoooosh we’re already free.” Let a statement by the magnificent Harriet Tubman stand as reply. When asked how she managed to save hundreds of enslaved African Americans via the Underground Railroad during the Civil War, she replied bitterly, “I could have saved thousands — if only I’d been able to convince them they were slaves.”

I’d rather say a joyful Hello to all the glorious young women who do identify with Hillary, and all the brave, smart men—of all ethnicities and any age–who get that it’s in their self-interest, too. She’s better qualified. (D’uh.) She’s a high-profile candidate with an enormous grasp of foreign- and domestic-policy nuance, dedication to detail, ability to absorb staggering insult and personal pain while retaining dignity, resolve, even humor, and keep on keeping on. (Also, yes, dammit, let’s hear it for her connections and funding and party-building background, too. Obama was awfully glad about those when she raised dough and campaigned for him to get to the Senate in the first place.)

I’d rather look forward to what a good president he might make in eight years, when his vision and spirit are seasoned by practical know-how — and he’ll be all of 54. Meanwhile, goodbye to turning him into a shining knight when actually he’s an astute, smooth pol with speechwriters who’ve worked with the Kennedys’ own speechwriter-courtier Ted Sorenson. If it’s only about ringing rhetoric, let speechwriters run. But isn’t it about getting the policies we want enacted?

And goodbye to the ageism . . .

How dare anyone unilaterally decide when to turn the page on history, papering over real inequities and suffering constituencies in the promise of a feel-good campaign? How dare anyone claim to unify while dividing, or think that to rouse US youth from torpor it’s useful to triage the single largest demographic in this country’s history: the boomer generation–the majority of which is female?

Older woman are the one group that doesn’t grow more conservative with age—and we are the generation of radicals who said “Well-behaved women seldom make history.” Goodbye to going gently into any goodnight any man prescribes for us. We are the women who changed the reality of the United States. And though we never went away, brace yourselves: we’re back!

We are the women who brought this country equal credit, better pay, affirmative action, the concept of a family-focused workplace; the women who established rape-crisis centers and battery shelters, marital-rape and date-rape laws; the women who defended lesbian custody rights, who fought for prison reform, founded the peace and environmental movements; who insisted that medical research include female anatomy, who inspired men to become more nurturing parents, who created women’s studies and Title IX so we all could cheer the WNBA stars and Mia Hamm. We are the women who reclaimed sexuality from violent pornography, who put child care on the national agenda, who transformed demographics, artistic expression, language itself. We are the women who forged a worldwide movement. We are the proud successors of women who, though it took more than 50 years, won us the vote.

We are the women who now comprise the majority of US voters.

Hillary said she found her own voice in New Hampshire. There’s not a woman alive who, if she’s honest, doesn’t recognize what she means. Then HRC got drowned out by campaign experts, Bill, and media’s obsession with All Things Bill.

So listen to her voice:

“For too long, the history of women has been a history of silence. Even today, there are those who are trying to silence our words.

“It is a violation of human rights when babies are denied food, or drowned, or suffocated, or their spines broken, simply because they are born girls. It is a violation of human rights when woman and girls are sold into the slavery of prostitution. It is a violation of human rights when women are doused with gasoline, set on fire and burned to death because their marriage dowries are deemed too small. It is a violation of human rights when individual women are raped in their own communities and when thousands of women are subjected to rape as a tactic or prize of war. It is a violation of human rights when a leading cause of death worldwide along women ages 14 to 44 is the violence they are subjected to in their own homes. It is a violation of human rights when women are denied the right to plan their own families, and that includes being forced to have abortions or being sterilized against their will.

“Women’s rights are human rights. Among those rights are the right to speak freely–and the right to be heard.”

That was Hillary Rodham Clinton defying the US State Department and the Chinese Government at the 1995 UN World Conference on Women in Beijing (the full, stunning speech is here).

And this voice, age 22, in “Commencement Remarks of Hillary D. Rodham, President of Wellesley College Government Association, Class of 1969” (full speech: )

“We are, all of us, exploring a world none of us understands. . . . searching for a more immediate, ecstatic, and penetrating mode of living. . . . [for the] integrity, the courage to be whole, living in relation to one another in the full poetry of existence. The struggle for an integrated life existing in an atmosphere of communal trust and respect is one with desperately important political and social consequences. . . . Fear is always with us, but we just don’t have time for it.”

She ended with the commitment “to practice, with all the skill of our being: the art of making possible.”

And for decades, she’s been learning how.

So goodbye to Hillary’s second-guessing herself. The real question is deeper than her re-finding her voice. Can we women find ours? Can we do this for ourselves?  “Our President, Ourselves!”

Time is short and the contest tightening. We need to rise in furious energy–as we did when courageous Anita Hill was so vilely treated in the US Senate, as we did when desperate Rosie Jiminez was butchered by an illegal abortion, as we did and do for women globally who are condemned for trying to break through. We need to win, this time. Goodbye to supporting HRC tepidly, with ambivalent caveats and apologetic smiles. Time to  volunteer, make phone calls, send emails, donate money, argue, rally, march, shout, vote.

Me? I support Hillary Rodham because she’s the best qualified of all candidates running in both parties. I support her because her progressive politics are as strong as her proven ability to withstand what will be a massive right-wing assault in the general election. I support her because she’s refreshingly thoughtful, and I’m bloodied from eight years of a jolly “uniter” with ejaculatory politics. I needn’t agree with her on every point. I agree with the 97 percent of her positions that are identical with Obama’s—and the few where hers are both more practical and to the left of his (like health care). I support her because she’s already smashed the first-lady stereotype and made history as a fine senator, and because I believe she will continue to make history not only as the first US woman president, but as a great US president.

As for the “woman thing”?

Me, I’m voting for Hillary not because she’s a woman–but because I am.

Link to Robin Morgan’s website.   Link to Women’s Media Center.


Amazon Women, Rise!  It is thrilling watching the giants of our movement rising up to  speak out against the horrifying misogyny and sexism in this presidential campaign. 

We love you,  Robin Morgan.  We love you, Gloria Steinem.

Rock on!

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232 thoughts on “In Support of Hillary Rodham Clinton: Good-bye to All That, Part II, by Robin Morgan

  1. Heart, is any of this your writing? I’m confused. Is it all Robin Morgan? Usually the block quotes are farther apart.

    Posted by ekittyglendower | February 3, 2008, 8:02 am
  2. This is really well done. I have a few points, not meant to convince anyone, but just how I see it.

    I didn’t think the swipes at Obama were necessary for the points she was making. Please humor me briefly while I explain. Obama has been in the Senate about as long as Edwards was, not that much less time than Hillary Clinton (she had time doing other things before the U.S. Senate, but so did he). He’s young, but no younger than Bill Clinton was when he ran. He has a solid grasp of issues (as a study of his history, his position papers, and the books he’s written demonstrate). And I don’t buy it that Hillary Clinton is well to the left of Obama, since he spoke out clearly against the war from the beginning, back in 2002 when few public figures dared (I recognize that the patriarchy places demands on a woman politician to be pro-war, but HC also voted for that bankruptcy bill, which was and is such a big deal to me, and Obama has co-sponsored several things I’ve been watching in the Senate – and also it suddenly occurs to me to be insulted by Robin Morgan’s suggestion that I’m leaning toward Obama based on celebrity rather than based on my careful following of lawmaking in the Senate; anyway, I think HC and BO are ideology probably quite close). I’m sorry – I don’t mean to sound like I’m trying to convince anyone to change their intended vote (I’m really not, and my own mind isn’t 100% made up yet), but just to point out that her case FOR Hillary stood up SO well without it needing to be a case AGAINST Barack, if that makes any sense.

    I also have to say that there is a genuine case to be made for wanting to “turn the page” and it’s not a matter of ageism, but rather a concern about dynastic families being inherently undemocratic. I’m forty years old and either a Bush or a Clinton has been in the White House since I was in junior high school. That bothers me. I wouldn’t want two brothers sandwiched around another presidential family, or two sisters. And I appreciate that some people see it differently – I just don’t think wanting to “turn the page” should be misinterpreted as ageism.

    I am troubled by some of the things I’ve read since the Clintons left the White House about how the sex scandals were handled. Sally Bedell Smith says in her book that as new scandals came to light, HC’s reaction to each was this exact quote: “We have to destroy her story.” I am trying to figure out how, as a feminist, to think about solidarity with a woman who has actively worked to discredit women who’ve clamed her husband has raped or sexually harassed them. Is support for an enabling woman a feminist act? I’m still unable to figure that out. It drives me crazy! I do know that Andrea Dworkin wrote a piece very critical of Hillary Clinton over that very issue. I don’t think AD would vote for HC, at least that’s how the article sounds to me (she calls HC a “running dog collaborator” and a “cookie cutter woman president” and asks, “What happened to your heart, Hillary?”). So heartbreaking (and dammit, still a man’s fault for making the whole “what to do about my sex scandals” thing an issue that becomes her fault anyway). A final concern I’m still trying to work out is that I spent a week at Camp Casey with Cindy Sheehan in 2005. I want a woman president, but I don’t also don’t want to vote for anyone who voted for that war resolution that led to the death of Casey Sheehan and almost 4000 other Americans and untold tens of thousands of Iraqis. I’m still not clear how voting for a woman who voted for war is a radical feminist act. Maybe it’s feminist, liberal feminist, but it doesn’t seem radical to me. I’m still trying to figure it out – and here I am awake writing about it at 4 a.m. – again.

    I find it upsetting that Robin Morgan says she finally made up her mind which candidate to choose when she heard that black women for HC were being called “race traitors,” upsetting just because she needs to know that white women who are for Obama are being called traitors too (being a white woman who might vote for Obama down here in the racist south is considered positively shocking, sickening!) and are having their allegiance to feminism questioned. Somebody needs to make sure she knows that this is just awful and heartbreaking and hurtful in both directions. I’ll check on her blog and see if I can email her and just politely let her know that.

    I hope this is coherent. I probably should not be trusted with a keyboard at this hour. Just so much to think about.

    P.S. I have on my blog right now a thing on “collaborators.” That had NOTHING to do with Hillary Clinton and was entirely about the two articles mentioned there. I don’t want anyone here to think it was an HC comment because I’m definitely not about insulting HC or anyone who has already decided to vote for her.

    P.S.S. Heart, um, I thought YOU were running for president anyway? HOW are you going to win if you post endorsements for another candidate right here at your own blog, darnit?

    Thanks again for sharing this.

    Posted by ceejay1968 | February 3, 2008, 10:41 am
  3. Older woman are the one group that doesn’t grow more conservative with age—and we are the generation of radicals who said “Well-behaved women seldom make history.” Goodbye to going gently into any goodnight any man prescribes for us. We are the women who changed the reality of the United States. And though we never went away, brace yourselves: we’re back!

    I have the saying in quotes on my desk. For months I have been saying the same, not as detailed and graciously though as you have.

    Love this article and have forwarded it to my friends. Thanks Robin, you have made my day!!

    Posted by Linda | February 3, 2008, 5:35 pm
  4. “I’m forty years old and either a Bush or a Clinton has been in the White House since I was in junior high school.”

    YES! I feel the same way, only my sympathies for Clinton tug on me a bit (Obama will never have to wait his “turn” to be in office, he gets to make his wife into an attachment serving his own ends, etc.). And hell, as a NYer, why shouldn’t we vote for our own senator?

    But beyond all of that, it bugs me that a democracy can’t have a wider variety of voices. And Obama wouldn’t be a bad one.

    Now if only the Kennedy family would learn to shut the fuck up and go away.

    Posted by Rich | February 3, 2008, 6:00 pm
  5. Rant. Ready?

    Maybe it’s because I worked among them, and maybe it’s because I conceived a daughter with an xy-chromosomal hominid (not at that time knowing about parthenogenesis as a possibility, not at that time knowing that life-essential mitochondrial DNA can only pass through the mother’s genetic material, not at that time appreciating the extent to which the prevailing lies of patriarchal cult-ural greed constrain the prevalent “research” base) — but from what I know first-hand about men, when they get alone with their male privilege in the voting booths of America, they will never be voting for Hillary or any other womb-an.

    No matter what they say when they come outside the booth for the sound bite.

    Not even Bill.

    If I voted, I’d vote for any woman who was not a junior man (like Janet Napolitano, just on the pre-super-bowl tube at the coffee shop I frequent on Sunday, in her AZ political way
    to support the boys in charge for the spin-off gravy, stumping for Obama).

    After holding elected office in the “DGP” (Dying Global Patriarchy), I know the futility of women having the vote.

    I did not register to vote the last time I moved. It was an act of protest. I’m well into my elder years, and no longer lend my strength to that which I wish to be free from.

    I vote for myself living my life, connecting to those who also live their lives with a clue about the coming y-chromosomal extinction and the evolution of physical form and expanded consciousness.

    Want to do something that might make a difference to the future?

    Read everything Rachel Carson ever wrote. Thank goodness she never identified as a “feminist” because if she had, her brilliance would never found a publisher and she would not have become the unheralded founder of the modern environmental movement, which is buying us a little time for the coming conscious evolution.

    If this post doesn’t make sense to you, read Rachel Carson, I reiterate, and focus on the parts about spiders.

    Remember Spider-Woman, who weaves new worlds and new forms of life.

    The penis is the problem. It is not essential to life. Neither is the womb, for that matter. We could in a relatively short time evolve into lung-gill creatures who lay eggs in the sea, if men in charge do not pollute it so much with their nuclear wastes that it takes billions of years for the planet to recover.

    This planet has gone through several major extinctions of animal forms over the past billions of years, including times when there was so much sulphuric acid in the atmosphere, life of a hominid type could not have lived.

    Nobody teaches us the big picture in biology class.

    So, the P-is-for-penis Patriarchy is the current global political problem, speeding up normal processes of extinction of physical form. Women will never change the system of Patriarchy beyond superficial token crumbs thrown our way. Quit wasting your time. Grow up, women. Quit giving a damn about men, token women and their politics. They’re only deadly. Life is far bigger than death, and men cannot win. There, I said it. It needed to be said.

    Some of the penis-owners are funny, and their humor perhaps (when it’s not sadistic) may be retained in the coming evolution of consciousness. Chris Rock (funny when his penis doesn’t lead to misogyny) said it best, and I repeat: “There, I said it. It needed to be said.”

    Why lend your strength to that (the DGP) which you wish to be free from?

    Judy Best

    Posted by Judy Best | February 3, 2008, 6:24 pm
  6. The hateful campaign against Hilary Clinton is in three words rampant male misogyny. Good to see Robin Morgan has spoken out too like Gloria Steinem. Nowhere within the mainstream media have I seen objective analysis of Hilary Clinton’s policies instead all I hear and read is a constant stream of predominantly white male journalists attempting to outdo each other in increasing vitriolic and hysterial attacks on Hilary Clinton. This male hysteria would be comical if it were not for the fact these male voices and writers have immense power because the media does influence individuals and perpetuates misogynstic beliefs.

    Are men so terrified that even a mere whisper a woman just might wrench some power from the white supremacists is enough to send these men and their female supporters into what has always been claimed of women ‘mass hysteria.’

    Posted by jennifer drew | February 3, 2008, 6:26 pm
  7. Hi, ceejay,

    I don’t see that Robin Morgan is taking swipes at Obama. The only thing she says in that entire essay that could conceivably be called a swipe — and now that I think about it, I don’t even think it IS a swipe — is her allusion to the criticisms of Hillary Clinton’s connections and fund-raising ability, where she rightly points out that Clinton *used* those connections to raise money to get Barack Obama elected in the first place.

    I see Morgan critiquing American society, American media, American voters, and the blatant, unapologetic sexism and misogyny which have been either outright endorsed, rubberstamped, or ignored by huge numbers of Americans including feminists.

    All Morgan really says about Barack Obama is that he’s not as good a candidate as Hillary Clinton is. I don’t think that’s a swipe at Obama, I think that’s her assessment of the race between them.

    The other point she makes which you may have read as a swipe was her assessment that Barack Obama is an astute polished politician with good speechwriters. Is that a swipe? I don’t think so. I think it’s TRUE. Morgan raises an issue that has continually been in the forefront of my mind: why is everybody all gaga about Obama’s speeches? Doesn’t everybody know they are written by speechwriters? Does the fact that he can read the speeches while sounding like Martin Luther King mean he is going to make a good president? I didn’t realize colleagues of Ted Sorenson were writing his speeches but that speaks volumes to me! Sorenson is out of the Kennedy years, and his cronies know exactly how to write a speech that captures the public heart and imagination the way the Kennedys and Martin did (though Martin, unlike Obama, DID, of course, write his own speeches.)

    As Robin says, if it’s all about the speeches, let the speechwriters run!

    The rest of her critiques are of *media* (remember, Robin’s latest work is with the Women’s Media Network). She criticizes the way Obama is PRESENTED as this charming sort of celebrity figure, this knight in shining armor, and the way so many voters are buying it.

    Although in principle, I agree with you so far as the bankruptcy bill, I have to say that I actually see what Hillary Clinton’s position might have been. The important issue so far as the bankruptcy bill for the majority of Americans was, those who file a wage earner bankruptcy (Chapter 13) are now required, in some circumstances (where the debt is recent), to repay credit card debt. It also established a “means test,” which people must pass in order to file a Chapter 7 (and have all of their debts discharged as opposed to repaying their debts via a wage earner plan). As a practical matter — because in my day job I do bankruptcy work — this hasn’t had nearly the effect on people seeking bankruptcy that consumer groups feared it would have. In Washington, in response to the passage of the bankruptcy bill, our state legislature revamped its own bankruptcy regulations which was great for people in financial trouble. For example, the homestead exemption (the amount of home equity people can keep despite having declared bankruptcy) is now $125,000 instead of $40,000, and the amount of other non-real property items people can keep has been greatly increased as well. I think other states have stepped up to reform their own bankruptcy regulations as well. I’m not suggesting that the bankruptcy bill was good — I opposed it too — only that it wasn’t nearly as bad as consumer groups feared it would be, and it’s entirely possible HC believed it would not be so bad.

    Robin says she doesn’t agree with Hillary Clinton on some issues. What she also says, though, is, the two candidates, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton, are almost politically indistinguishable from one another, at least at this point, and that being so, she intends to support Hillary Clinton. In part she is supporting Clinton because of her record, and in part she is supporting Clinton in the hopes of breaking this final glass ceiling, and particularly in light of the horrifically sexist, misogynist trashing of Clinton which is the evidence of how deeply, deeply, deeply most men *do not want* this glass ceiling to be broken. They do not want a woman figurehead in this country. They do not want a woman commander in chief. They want women some version of barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen.

    I would want to read more about what HC said in response to Monica Lewinsky’s and others’ allegations. One sentence doesn’t come close to the information I would need to make a decision about that. I am so aware of the way one sentence a woman utters or writes, a phrase, a comment, will be highlighted and memorialized forever, out of context, as though to shut her entire life and work and writings and contributions up to that *one statement* she (may have!) made. I don’t think it’s ever right to say, “Well, she said [insert one sentence].” I think we need to know the context, the chronology, we need to understand how much she knew about the situation at the time the statement was made. IF, that is, IF, we want to make a truly fair assessment of her position, acts, or behaviors.

    Having said all that, I cannot tolerate the skeezy, slimy behaviors of Bill Clinton. I don’t want to see his sorry hind end in the White House ever again. But I think Robin Morgan’s points as to Bill Clinton are well-taken nonetheless.

    Yeah, re the dynasties, but you know, the concern about that so far as Hillary Clinton is way overboard in my opinion. In fact, the only members of family dynasties who have made it into the oval office, or had a chance to, until now, were MALE. And yes, I agree, family dynasties are inherently undemocratic. But that doesn’t change the significance of the fact that this time, we are talking about a woman, not a man, someone married in, who could as well marry out and have no connection at all with the dynasty, whereas the other dynasty members have been blood brothers, fathers and their sons.

    It also doesn’t change the fact that this is such a HUGE focus in this election where it has been just ho-hum in the past. You have grown up with Bush and Clinton, I grew up with the Kennedys! First there was John (assassinated), then there was Robert (a candidate for Pres. who probably would have won) assassinated, then there was and is Ted, who would probably have been a candidate for President and might have won, save for the fact that as Robin says, he drove a car off a bridge in Chappaquiddick one night and a young woman who was in the car with him was killed. It took him way too long to report the fact that her body was down there in that cold water. But even still, look at the political career he has managed to have for himself, nevertheless! And of course, courtesy of the Kennedy Dynasty mostly, we have Arnold as Governor in California, because he’s married to Maria Shriver, a Kennedy clan member. I promise you I have seen almost ZERO attention paid to this particular family dynasty, despite horrific skeletons in the closet, to include a nephew of Ted Kennedy having been accused of rape and murder of a 14 year old girl, and I think he was found guilty.

    Yet there is suddenly all of this concern over family dynasties when we are talking about, not a brother, not even a blood family member, but over the wife — the WIFE — of a former president. No wife of any president has come close to the oval office, ever, family dynasty or no. These other dynasties were male, male, male, with again, some hideous skeletons in the closet, and oh, ho hum, the Kennedys are so great, look how Rose raised such a huge family, we love them all, they should stay in Congress forever. Is the sense of things.

    So far as traitors go, I think we need to parse a few things out here. Being called a race traitor because you are black and voting for Hillary is not remotely equivalent or like being called a race traitor because you are a white woman in the South voting for a black man. The latter has to do with straight up white racism, something everybody here hates and deeply opposes. White racists opposing Barack Obama and those who support him is NOT the same thing, or even in the same ballpark, or same universe, as the anger of black voters who support Obama that all black voters are *not* supporting him.

    In an entirely *separate* ballpark is the allegation that someone who does not vote for Hillary Clinton is a traitor to feminism. I frankly have only rarely seen that allegation thrown out there, and when it seems to be, it is more along the lines of what Robin Morgan is saying in this essay, that we have a chance to break this glass ceiling, that history has brought us to this moment., that Morgan’s and Obama’s political positions are nearly identical, so carpe diem! Which is not the same thing as calling someone a traitor to feminism if she disagrees.

    From my perspective, the best political analyses of this race has come from two bloggers I read all the time, who — like most of the bloggers I read all the time — aren’t widely read or quoted in the blogosphere, probably because they have been successful at what I intend to become more and more successful at: focusing on issues, not getting sidetracked in any way or undermined by bent internet wieners, wierd stalkers, people with personality disorders, paranoid persons, conspiracy theorists, wanna bes and haters of all stripes on the blogosphere, including — or maybe especially — all of the above masquerading as progressives, liberals, leftists and feminists. Anyway, the bloggers I am talking about are Freedom Rider (Margaret Kimberly of Black Commentator) and What About Our Daughters. From my perspective, these women’s analyses of the election, of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton has kicked ass consistently. Here is what Freedom Rider has to say about the current state of the election:

    Progressive To Do List

    The last candidate who was willing to go through even a pretense of advocating progressive positions is out of the race. Now that John Edwards is gone, we know that one of the dysfunctional political twins, Clinton or Obama, will be the democratic nominee.

    The only course of action for true progressives is to disengage from this sham. The presidential election must now go on the back burner. Our priorities should be as follows.

    1. Keep Dennis Kucinich in Congress – He is in a tough primary battle for his House seat. That primary will take place on March 4th. He has no ads on the air, but his opponent does. His opponent also has endorsements from the Mayor of Cleveland and the city’s daily newspaper.

    A Kucinich defeat would be disastrous. Make a contribution today.

    2. Put impeachment to the table – Impeachment is the only way to stop Bush from doing further damage in the next 12 months. As Glen Ford said in his introduction to my Black Agenda Report column, “Lame duck presidents still retain the power to destroy the planet, and to set in motion policies that corporate Democratic successors will fail to dismantle.”

    Bush can be put in check with impeachment hearings. The Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee who refuse to support impeachment must face primary challenges. The fear of electoral defeat is their only motivation to do the right thing.

    It is difficult to focus on these actions when the press inundates us with nonsense about Billary/Obama sniping. We should not put our hope in a now useless campaign. Our hope lies in challenging them, in making it clear that business as usual will not be tolerated after one of them is sworn in next January.

    Next Tuesday, February 5th, primaries will be held across the nation. I am a New Yorker but I will not be voting for Senator Clinton. I won’t be voting for Obama either. Dennis Kucinich is on the ballot and he will get my vote.

    You are free to vote for whomever you choose. If other candidates are on the ballot in your state they should get your vote. You have the right to write in a candidate. Use your rights while you still have them.

    Next Tuesday tell Billary and Obama, “A pox on both your houses.”

    Posted by Freedom Rider at 2:23:00 PM

    Here is What About Our Daughters latest commentary:

    Y’all know we aren’t enamored with Senator Barack Obama. Mainly for his comments on Genarlow Wilson and his silence about Dunbar Village after his office said he was going to release a statement. I know he knows about Dunbar Village because I confronted a member of his national finance committee on the radio, I’ve stood outside Obama fund raisers holding a sign and handing out Dunbar Village Flyers, BlkSeagoat hs spoken directly with some of his high ranking staffers, and much much more so It bothers me that he will speak out on behalf of Black criminal defendants (Jena 6 and Genarlow Wilson), but silent about this horrific crime against humanity— not on another continent, but right here in this country.

    That being said, I thought his debate performance was impressive. Jesse Jackson is right (GASP) Politics is about choices. It is about options. We’re down to four ( yeas green party and libertarian party stans I know you are out there too).

    Anyway, I thought his debate performance was good. and look, he pulled out the chair for Hillary.

    Don’t worry Hilary fans. I promise you that I will be cured of any Obama Stan-icitis by this afternoon. How? The quickest way to cure a budding case of Obama Stan-icitis is to encounter a true blue Obama Stan. Second only to Ron Paul supporters, they have to be some of the most insufferable readers ever and have been a burr in this blog’s backside ever since I merely asked the question “Michelle Obama Wants Black Women to Vote For Her Husband: Why the Heck Should We”. Then all hell broke loose on this blog for about a week. These folks have made African Americans enjoying discussing one of the most exciting political campaigns EVER miserable. But Hillary fans have lost their minds too (read “NOW Head Described Treatment Of Clinton A “Gang Bang”), but they haven’t been irritating without end. Watch. And know that even as I say they annoy me to no end, they will post lengthy comments ANYWAY…. Why? Well because they have Obama Stan-icitis. Persuasion or increasing his support beyond THEM is unimportant. Their most important objective is to tar and feather anyone who isn’t also an Obama stan.

    People vote for who you want to. Just make sure you vote.

    So far as enabling someone who would behave as Hillary Clinton is said to have with respect to Monica Lewinsky, et al, (and again, I would need a lot more information than that one sentence), do we enable someone who was directly approached, repeatedly, about the horrific gang rape of the Haitian immigrant and her son at Dunbar Village and who has said nothing about it? Do a search on What About Our Daughters on “Dunbar Village,” note how dedicated these women were to getting Obama’s attention on what was and is a HUGE issue– for women, for women of color, for children, for immigrants, for poor women, for poor single mothers. HE DID NOTHING. HE SAID NOTHING. HE ISSUED NO STATEMENT. Can you imagine him even considering making a statement about the New Jersey 4? Especially considering his position on lesbian/gay marriage and his connections and support of someone who claims Christianity cured him of his gayness? Yet he has absolutely no problem and plenty of time and interest in issuing statements about the Jena 6. We see, in other words, where his priorities lie.

    At the very least Hillary Clinton has made public, international statements about what *so* concerns us as women across the boundaries of race — rape, sex trafficking, domestic violence, sex as genocide in wartime.

    I had a discussion about this with a good friend yesterday, a radical feminist leader whose name you would all recognize. But you haven’t heard from her in sometime, and why is that? Because she can no longer take what comes to those of us who are very outspoken as radical feminists, who put ourselves out there, who take the risks, and who take the hits. She just got to the point she couldn’t take it anymore and especially because the attacks come so often *from feminists* and *from radical feminists* and *from lesbian feminists*. It is SICK. It is APPALLING. Talk about shame, a word we used a lot back in the 60s, 70s: SHAME. What on earth are feminist women *thinking* of to spend *so much time* attempting to disable, or destroy or break another feminist woman. What can *possibly* be in their minds and hearts that they can spend minutes, much less hours, days, weeks months focusing on how they can best discredit, damage or ruin *a feminist woman*. But they do and it makes her, and me, and other women like us, so many of whom have gone silent because of it *heartsick*, sick to our very souls. What the hell, we put ourselves out there, we lay it all on the line, we ask for nothing in return, we don’t charge money for anything, we work two, three jobs, and spend all of our free time doing activist work and what happens? We get targeted. The latest wrinkle seems to be to attempt to get visibility for yourself or your blog *by attacking visible feminists*. That’s definitely one way to get the job done! Put the name of an outspoken, courageous feminist woman in the headlline of an attack and you can bet your sweet bippy you will get lots of hits that you wouldn’t ordinarily get, because what is more fun, for many people, than to watch these very sick, deeply disturbing attacks on feminist women by feminist women.

    Anyway, I told my friend I wanted to post this essay but I was afraid to. And it’s true, I was! And I am almost never afraid to post *anything* I think is as good as Robin Morgan’s essay is, but to support her outspoken position *against misogyny*, against woman-hating, in the election is to invite more and more and more attacks. It’s not good enough that most people are ignoring the woman-hating in this election, if someone calls it out, those big guns get turned on them. But this is the way we get silenced. This is the way we close down. We talked about the way so often feminist women spend most of their time attacking feminist women in some way, and the *huge* cost that is and has always been to our movement, and the personal heartache it has been for each of us, and when our conversation was done, I felt comforted and encouraged, at least enough to go one more round.

    Yes, I am running for President. But I am not an ordinary candidate, as is by now completely obvious! It is not beyond the realm of the possible that some wind could blow and my own candidacy could suddenly capture the public imagination. If it doesn’t happen this election, there will be another in four years and another in eight years and my hat is definitely in the ring, now and for the foreseeable future. But right now, in this moment, I want to stand in solidarity with Robin Morgan against what is happening to Hillary Clinton, because it’s right, because it’s feminist, and because I might be next! I already *have* been next, just on, so far, a much smaller scale. I have already been subjected to sexist, misogynist attacks over, by now, many years, I have sued over them, and won, and I know what that is about. Then, I can support what is support-able, to me, about Hillary Clinton’s politics, even though I am running against her. I’m not about doing things the way patriarchy does, the way the men do it, the way the whole world, pretty much does it. I can post Robin Morgan’s essay and greatly and deeply respect and admire her for writing it even if I don’t, in the end, vote for Hillary Clinton. Even though I am a candidate for President myself and will vote for myself! Even if I disagree with Robin’s and Hillary’s position in various ways, including important ways. There is room for many, many views and perspectives here and that room *must be made* including by the candidates themselves, and not useless, empty gestures, but recognizing when and where it is important to offer support, where it is important to speak the truth, to offer analysis, to ask important questions, to refuse to be swept up in anybody’s bandwagon or to be deluded or deceived by the media, especially or intimidated by hateful attacks. I can post Margaret Kimberly’s analysis without supporting Kucinich as well, in particular his alliances with pornographers,to me a deal breaker,full stop. I don’t know what the future holds for anyone, including myself, but I do know what is happening in this moment, and what is happening in this moment begs analysis, critique, discussion, debate.

    Well, this should probably have been its own post. Maybe I’ll make it one.


    Posted by womensspace | February 3, 2008, 6:48 pm
  8. It’s just wonderful to hear the voices of the seasoned great ones! Robin Morgan has the political credentials and life experience to really put all of this in perspective.

    I don’t think pointing out the differences with Obama detracted from this article at all. Obama and the “race traitor” issue needs to be addressed — black women are being threatened for supporting other women, and I find this reprehensible. I have never heard anyone gender baiting women for NOT supporting Hillary, for example.

    I hope this Morgan article gets through to the fence sitters here. My favorite line was in the end: I support Hillary Clinton not because she is a woman, but because I am.” In voting for Hillary, we are voting for ourselves.

    The thing is, do women have the courage to say YES to themselves? Do we want to honor a liberal feminist? Voting for Hillary Clinton is not about a radical feminist agenda, it’s about a feminist one. Radical feminism is about the grassroots, it’s the movement that brought us to this point.

    Most women out there will never be radical feminists — they don’t want to do the reading and study, very much the way most men don’t read and study as much as they should. Radical feminism merely creates a climate of consciousness that makes it ok for the fence sitting women to come out of the closet so to speak, and support other women running for office.

    When I get new women clients, I sometimes know that it is feminist solidarity that created the atmosphere of WOMEN trusting WOMEN in the first place. It’s what men have done for centuries –THEY SUPPORT OTHER MEN. Men know that they will get paid back for this work, women have to learn how to do this.

    Radical feminists don’t get elected to the presidency of any democracy. They don’t stand a chance of even living in many parts of the world, because men will KILL them. That’s right, men KILL women.

    So let’s not nit pick about Morgan saying bad things about Obama; we need to know these differences. They need to be spelled out quite clearly, because there are going to be a lot of women who still will think a man is better as a leader than a woman JUST because HE is a man. This is a big danger in this election.

    It’s not men I worry about a lot of the time, it’s women who are still afraid of supporting other women that is the issue.
    When women back each other, when radical feminists trust liberal feminists and vice versa, then we’ll have a powerful world.

    As a radical feminist, I don’t expect most women to go this route. As a radical lesbian feminist, I don’t even expect most lesbians to go this route either. There are far more conventional lesbians running around America than conventional straight women many times. The most radical women just open doors to possibility. Decades later, our outrageous ideas — like rape in marriage really is rape, for example, become law!

    That’s what this election is about. It is about women deciding they really do want the ultimate power position, that they want it without apology. It’s the realization that women are not the same in leadership as men. Just read Katherine Graham’s autobiography and you’ll see why the only woman publisher of an American newspaper had the courage to back a Watergate investigation. She was outside the male system, even though she was a very privileged woman. Yet, she was still an outsider AS a Woman. This drove her to be different as a leader, and thus, Nixon was kicked out of office.

    A little digression here, but Hillary is also an outsider to maledom. She is a feminist, and has given feminist speeches.
    We’ll see if she can end the war or not. But I know damn well that we have no guarantee that a man will end it either — Lyndon Johnson being a classic example.

    So let’s think about what Robin Morgan wrote above, and let’s see if we really can get this stuff.

    Posted by Satsuma | February 3, 2008, 7:41 pm
  9. Judy Best says:

    … the coming y-chromosomal extinction

    oh, please, yes yes yes!!

    Posted by Mary Sunshine | February 3, 2008, 7:57 pm
  10. Thanks Heart for reminding women about this strange phenomena of feminists attacking other feminists. There is a line between reporting and attacking.

    Lesbian feminists have been viciously attacked in the movement for years, and still are. The code phrase is: Sterotypical lesbians. Next time you see or hear this phrase, ask the person what they specifically mean by it.

    Straight women don’t like ‘sterotypical lesbians” or even young lesbians of today don’t like them.

    It’s this kind of thing that I find interesting.

    Another interesting thing is that it is far easier for conservative women to band together and get things going, than it is for radical feminist women. Just think fundie groups, home schooling, anti-ERA women…

    I think part of this comes from the very radical nature to begin with. Radical is such a break from the past of women, that the shock of awakening makes women unable to cooperate ever again sometimes. Once they break away from the master, they can’t tolerate any aspect of “going along with anything.”

    But we have 30 years of information, and we need to learn about the dynamics of this as Heart explains.

    Heart and women like her have been targeted — pay attention to this women. This is very hard political work she and other women who run feminist blogs are doing.

    I know we all love and respect our radical feminists blog creators! But I think the great failing of the radical feminists of the past (me included– although I am working on this) is that we didn’t feel we wanted to make life comfortable for our heroines. We didn’t show up for them in their times of need and this really bothers me.

    It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a long time, and haven’t come up with the right words to describe this feeling.

    When I first came across Heart’s blog — I was in a shock of delight! Thank the goddess I found my community on line, because I was getting very frustrated with lesbian nation let loose in la la land (Los Angeles). Something was wrong is paradise as they say. LNLLLLL — NILL

    Wow, look at that smartbrain Heart go (smartbrain is a term of endearment I use with women, and it’s one of the highest compliments I can pay women. Where did this powerwoman Heart come from? Then I read a bit about her life, and an aha moment came to me –she’s been doing this perhaps since 1995. She woke up one day, and decided that feminism was a new liberation path for her. Over 10 years — now this is the point where reality sets in.

    Andrea Dworkin, Robin Morgan, Mary Daly…. they were all viciously attacked BY OTHER WOMEN!

    One is dead, one does not write on the internet that I know of, and one comes out with a speech now and then.

    Robin Morgan gave all her money to women’s groups, and is probably going to have a little trouble with money in her old age. Mary Daly probably never got beyond $43,000 per year in income at Boston College, and I hope the financial settlement she got from that evil place will take care of her.

    You get my drift here.

    If we want a movement, then we have to encourage and support the women who step out. It is hard for women to do this — all of us struggle with this.

    But I know the burnout rate in radical feminism, I know what happens because I’ve personally witnessed this thousands of times.

    We don’t realize what we are up against. It’s the monster of history out there, and we owe it to ourselves to start getting it right this time. We can improve on the past, we can continue to energize each other.

    There’s a lot more in me on this subject, but I really want you to pay attention when Heart talks about attacks — feminists attacking other feminists. We are all guilty of this. It’s a constant effort to really get that gratitude and love of other women is powerful.

    The conservative movement thrives — neo cons thrive because those jobs and speeches and perks get bouku bucks! You get a pile of money for being neo con — just ask Wolfo-whathisname.

    We could have our shining city on a hill. We could have a more luxurious world for all these great ones. We have to know that women are often silent. We know how they sit and watch the attacks, and do nothing. We know that you have to stick it out long enough for supporters to emerge.

    I know from personal experience that my ideas are often inflamatory and outrageous. I know that some of my ideas are not for everybody. I preach to the radical lesbian feminists — that’s my soap box, tell it on the mountain passion. That’s my great love, that’s what drives me. I share this passion with all women, but that’s the heart and engine of me.

    What I have learned is you lead with passion, you get attacked and jumped on by feminists, you hang in there, and then the timid souls come out of the closet and support some of your writing. It’s as predicatable as clockwork in a radical feminist context. Once you know this, you move through it.

    Every radical feminist who puts herself and her ideas on the line endures these attacks FROM OTHER FEMINISTS. Even most men don’t attack the way women do. We are just beginning to document how little girls on playgrounds engage in violence towards each other. The hidden violence of women is another understudied subject.

    This is just a bit of insight from an old feminist. I’ve been one since I was probably 10 or 12. I came out of the closet when there were no civil rights for me. I risked a lot to do the things I’ve done. I’ve had to truly believe in myself, when others didn’t give a damn.

    So I know this world. Heart is going on year 12 or so of feminism. Not all women can last this long within feminism. I believe a French revolutionary said, “The revolution devours its own children,” and this is the fatal flaw of radical movements. Keep this in mind.

    Thanks again Heart for being your great self. I know it’s not easy posting pro-Hillary stuff, but I really appreciate it. I support all the radical feminists out there. If we could build the think tanks and get those lovely endowed chairs –wow– let’s not overlook the dream of the material woman! (More on that later)

    Posted by Satsuma | February 3, 2008, 8:29 pm
  11. Robin Morgan so rocks, I wonder why she did not include Daly Daly in her last book.

    Posted by elfeminista | February 3, 2008, 9:00 pm
  12. The y chromosome is shrinking but it is taking a long, long time to do so. I would not put any eggs in *that* basket.

    Posted by Branjor | February 3, 2008, 9:40 pm
  13. When a sexist idiot screamed “Iron my shirt!” at HRC, it was considered amusing; if a racist idiot shouted “Shine my shoes!” at BO, it would’ve inspired hours of airtime and pages of newsprint analyzing our national dishonor.

    Unless Barack Obama were a black female stripper, in which case nobody would remember someone yelled “thank your grandpa for my cotton shirt.”

    I *love* the things Morgan says about the treatment of HRC. And about older women becoming more radical, having been radical. GREAT things there. And the things I’ve been insulated from (the t-shirt! oh my GOD.)…so glad to hear about it from HER first.

    I just also agree with Ceejay about the way feminist support rings a little off when misogyny starts being compared to the way Americans treat racism. I just don’t have a lot of faith in Americans decrying racism, including that directed at Obama so far.

    Posted by funnie | February 3, 2008, 11:37 pm
  14. An ad-hoc group of more than 100 NY feminist leaders late Sunday signed and posted a petition for peace and for Barack Obama.

    Posted by Carly | February 4, 2008, 5:41 am
  15. i too agree with you .We hope that in her regime terrorism will come to and end without double standrds.
    As it is in nowadays when america is targeted then its war on terrorism but when India then we have to watch why this .Nobody is caring towards hundreds of thousands of people who have to live life of refugee in their own country due to evil of this terrorism .
    Thereare no human rights forthose Kashmiri people who are in exile since 18 years .

    Posted by manish zijoo | February 4, 2008, 9:35 am
  16. Goodbye to the most intimately violent T-shirts in election history, including one with the murderous slogan “If Only Hillary had married O.J. Instead!” Shame.


    For serious?

    Damn. That is amazing levels of screwed up. I’m in no way suggesting that the last Aussie election was devoid of sexism (Julia Gillard copped a lot) but… nothing like that.

    The USA scares the bejesus out of me sometimes.

    Posted by hexy | February 4, 2008, 12:08 pm
  17. What was Hillary’s response to Dunbar Village?

    Posted by Sunny | February 4, 2008, 4:37 pm
  18. What was Hillary’s response to Dunbar Village?

    As far as I know, the same as Obama’s.

    Posted by funnie | February 4, 2008, 6:57 pm
  19. Except that we have a very committed group of black woman activists who have blogged extensively about trying to get Obama to comment specifically on the Dunbar Village situation. At one point he told them he would issue a statement. He never did. This is all documented on “What About Our Daughters” (the blog linked up there) and in other links within the posts there. You have black women bloggers and at least one black man blogger working very hard to get Obama to take up the Haitian woman’s cause because it was flying right under the radar and it deserved national attention. It seems to be something Obama would take some interest in.

    If the same effort was made to get Hillary’s attention and to ask her to take up this cause and release a statement, then her response was the same.

    If not, then not.

    And particularly in that Obama promised he would release a statement and one never was forthcoming.

    It is significant in that Obama has certainly made time to make statements about Genarlow Wilson and the Jena Six.

    What we have with Hillary Clinton, that I haven’t seen from Obama, is outspoken indignation over rape and domestic violence. But if Obama has made this kind of statement, has spoken out about rape, rape for genocide, domestic violence, I’d like to read what he said, and I’ll appreciate it very much.


    Heads up. 🙂

    I am not a supporter of Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. I am not stumping for either and do not feel any intensity about the campaigns of either. There I part ways with Robin Morgan. I am a supporter of Heart for President. Or Cynthia MacKinney. I am more aligned with Freedom Rider, i.e., what EVER, this is same old same old no real choices.

    I do not want to be misunderstood there. While in the end, I might vote for Hillary Clinton because, as Robin Morgan says, I am a woman, I am not even really thinking about that right now. What I’m thinking about is all Robin Morgan said about the woman-hating HRC’s campaign has brought to the foreground.

    funnie, I cannot imagine the Barack Obama equivalent of a Hillary Clinton doll with metal spikes between splayed thighs, or a t-shirt with the equivalent of “If only HRC had married OJ,” or of a bomb secreted in the vagina, mass marketed, shown on network television, without massive outrage. I just can’t. But if you have examples of similar incidents/t-shirts/South Park episodes/dolls sold so far as Obama which went unremarked, I’d like to take a look.

    Posted by womensspace | February 4, 2008, 7:16 pm
  20. I think you’re missing my point, maybe. Maybe not – we had a different version of this conversation before.

    Racism and sexism operate differently, and so not only am I not comparing the two, my point is that one ought NOT compare the two. So, saying what people would so OBVIOUSLY no take offense to if it were race-based about Obama is simply, VERY simply, not helpful. IMO.

    Do the race-baiting things Morgan imagines and describes exist? No, they do not.

    Has Obama been attacked, racistly, with little fuss? Yes, he has.

    Do black women get irritated reading statements about how racism would so obviously be an issue? Yes, they do. Look at what Patricia Williams said, about “boying” Obama and making him as overly suave and smooth.

    And then read Morgan’s description, there, about what a smooth operator he is and how he’s inexperienced.

    I don’t think Morgan said anything in bad faith. I really don’t, and I appreciate her words.

    I just think that Morgan wasn’t *careful* about things because her perspective isn’t attuned to the same things Williams’ is…and that in refusing to play a tug-of-war concerning the racism v. sexism game, meaning REFUSING to play it, not trying to win at it, in the interests of allying with black women (who probably ALSO remember a lack of general outrage the South Park episode entirely about Oprah’s crotch?), white feminists better serve women. And if white feminists are seen as being concerned about the interests of women of color, they’re more likely to be approached for help with the issues women of color are concerned about. Like Dunbar Village.

    I think you can talk about misogyny against HRC and not even THINK of mentioning Obama and some supposed lesser degree of racism. There used to be a stage full of white men running against the both of them. What about them. Let’s worry about them. Let’s define misogyny based on the actions of ALL men, not just black men, and compare a white woman to a similarly-situated man. Which Obama is not. And let’s talk about misogyny in a way that doesn’t need to show how it’s worse than racism, because for people facing both that just seems stupid as hell.

    Posted by funnie | February 4, 2008, 7:30 pm
  21. Because here’s what I think – I think women who support HRC are really mad at white men supporting Obama to the degree that they have. I think white women feel betrayed by that. I think that feeling is suspect, but I also think that even to the extent that it’s totally legitimate to question why white men don’t like HRC more (sexism), it’s entirely inappropriate to do so in a way that causes women of color to be the group that are shouldering the tension that white men are causing!

    And even though that’s not a conscious decision made by well-intentioned HRC supporters, I think that’s the end result. Black women are made to feel conflicted because of white men’s alliances.

    Posted by funnie | February 4, 2008, 7:34 pm
  22. Too little, too late. Hillary Clinton’s fate reminds me of the fight for the ERA in the 1970s. She and it are/were so sensible, so rational and well prepared, so self-evidently qualified for election/ratification. We feminists, even the famous ones, have given too little and too late. Again.

    Posted by twitch | February 4, 2008, 7:39 pm

    Meanwhile, Oprah’s vagina, Mingey — which apparently is imbued with sentience — is depressed that the overworked Oprah never pays attention to him anymore — the persona sounding completely male with an East London accent. Gary, her anus (who speaks with a highly camp voice with a faux Mancunian accent, which at times leans towards other British accents including Scottish, Welsh, Liverpudlian and others), conspires with him to get Oprah fired, so she can pay more attention to them.

    Towelie slips into the bank and allows the hostages to enter through the previously locked doors. The hostages being cleared from the area, police snipers open fire on Oprah’s nether region and accidentally hit Gary instead of Mingey. Seeing his only friend slain and his hopes shattered, Mingey turns the gun towards himself and joins the departed Gary. Oprah is rushed to the hospital, with police informing Towelie and the hostages that Oprah will be fine — though the same cannot be said for either her anus or vulva and vagina.

    Posted by funnie | February 4, 2008, 7:45 pm
  24. Here’s something else: I’m around a lot of black women who are Obama supporters and who send around information to other liberalish women to help him win the primary, and I know for certain that my not helping with that translates, to these women specifically, that I’m for Clinton.

    Now, YOU know I’m not, heh, and I sure know I’m not, but I’m not really able to put on a “I’m not siding with HRC either!” tshirt, and those women who DO side with her can’t get a “but not because of race, because I’m a woman! Here’s 30 good reasons why, OK!?” shirt.

    And so I get it, I do, that all of this race v. sex crap puts *white* women in an uncomfortable position, too, especially in the way that we relate to our black sisters, and that we can get angry at the way we’re made to look because of other people’s problems, even when we’ve managed to avoid the racist trap ourselves. I know *I* get mad about it! I hate that not working for Obama says something about me to women of color. I really resent feeling like I’m not being accurately represented, I feel uncomfortable about that.

    Well? Whose fault is that, anyway? not theirs. not mine. And not Clinton or Obama’s.

    I swear, white men and the media are out to get us all. We know it. It’s just so easy to forget when we’re defensive. and why are we defensive? BECAUSE WE’RE BEING ATTACKED!

    Posted by funnie | February 4, 2008, 8:05 pm
  25. Some random thoughts, not comprehensive.

    In general and in principle, I agree it’s not a good thing for white people to compare racism and sexism. Usually, it antagonizes people of color and so, in general, I don’t do it, try to avoid it.

    I think talking about it is not only unavoidable but important in the context of this current race between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. I think we do need to analyze and compare the way racism and sexism are informing the views and perspectives of voters, and I think comparisons are inevitable.

    There really isn’t any other situation in which I think these comparisons are vital or central, at least off the top of my head. But here we have a white woman running against a black man for the nomination. Of *course* we are going to compare how racism influences voters and how sexism influences voters.

    It never even occurred to me that white women might be resentful that white men are supporting Barack Obama. The white women I know and engage with simply assume that white men will indeed support Obama over Hillary Clinton, who is widely despised among white men.

    Let’s define misogyny based on the actions of ALL men, not just black men, and compare a white woman to a similarly-situated man.

    Here’s where you and I have, I believe, the central disagreement that pops up in these discussions. I do not believe white women to be similarly situated to white men. Not any. Ever. Anywhere.

    White women are subordinated to white men, not similarly situated with them, whether we are talking about sex or race or class or who people love or being disabled or whatever the marginalization is, white women remain subordinated to white men.

    That’s where we get to the part of CAM’s article where she describes white women as standing alone in a certain way in our oppression, because no men share it with us.

    I think we can say that Obama is similarly situated with all men, including white men, in a way that Hillary Clinton is similarly situated with no men at all, whether white or whatever their race or ethnicity.

    South Park should be deep sixed, that excerpt is disgusting.

    Posted by womensspace | February 4, 2008, 8:12 pm
  26. I said, “It never even occurred to me that white women might be resentful that white men are supporting Barack Obama. The white women I know and engage with simply assume that white men will indeed support Obama over Hillary Clinton, who is widely despised among white men.”

    Expanding a bit here, I should add “Hillary Clinton, who is widely despised among white men and white women.”

    My extended family is comprised of 100 percent conservative Christian/Religious Right evangelicals. Every last one, whether men or women, would a million times rather see Obama as President (if they have to have a Democrat in the White House) than Hillary Clinton. The same is true as to all of the conservative Christians I know, including all the men. This is the demographic and experience that comes to my mind, in other words, when I am reading your thought that white women resent white men for supporting Obama.

    Posted by womensspace | February 4, 2008, 8:16 pm
  27. Now that I’m thinking about it more, I don’t think I understand what your point is here:

    Let’s define misogyny based on the actions of ALL men, not just black men, and compare a white woman to a similarly-situated man.

    Who was defining misogyny based on the actions of black men? And in what way?

    Posted by womensspace | February 4, 2008, 8:20 pm
  28. yeah, I’m talking specifically about white women who were most likely to vote in the Democratic Primary.

    (ps, in my spam comment, I talk about the pressures working upon those women to feel that resentment)

    re: similarly situated – I mostly agree with you except for the exact framing of Clinton vs. Obama…I think you’re using the “similarly situated” phrase differently than I am, though, which is why it looks like we disagree with whether white men and women can be similarly situated.

    Posted by funnie | February 4, 2008, 8:20 pm
  29. In recent critiques of feminist work for failing to take account of race or class , it is worth noting that the fact that there is such a thing as race and class is assumed, although race and class are generally treated as abstractions to attack gender rather than as concrete realities, if indeed they are treated at all. … In any event, race and class are regarded as unproblematically real and not in need of justification or theoretical construction. Only gender is not real and needs to be justified. Although many women have demanded that discussions of race or class take gender into account, typically these demands do not take the form that, outside explicit recognition of gender, race or class do not exist. That there is a diversity to the experience of men and women of color, and of working class women and men regardless of race, is not said to mean that race and class are not meaningful concepts. I have heard no one say that there can be no meaningful discussion of “people of color” without gender specificity. Thus, the phrase “people of color and white women” has come to replace the previous “women and minorities,” which women of color rightly perceived as not including them twice, and embodying a white standard for sex and a male standard for race. But I hear no talk of “all women and men of color,” for instance. It is worth thinking about that when women of color refer to “people who look like me,” it is understood that they mean people of color, not women, in spite of the fact that both race and sex are visual assignments, both possess clarity as well as ambiguity, and both are marks of oppression, hence community.

    In this connection, it has recently come to my attention that the white woman is the issue here, so I decided I better find out what one is. This creature is not poor, not battered, not raped (not really), not molested as a child, not pregnant as a teenager, not prostituted, not coerced into pornography, not a welfare mother, and not economically exploited. She doesn’t work. She is either the white man’s image of her–effete, pampered, privileged, protected, flighty, and self-indulgent–or the Black man’s image of her–all that, plus the “pretty white girl” (meaning ugly as sin but regarded as the ultimate in beauty because she is white). She is Miss Anne of the kitchen, she puts Frederick Douglass to the lash, she cries rape when Emmet Till looks at her sideways, she manipulates white men’s very real power with the lifting of her very well-manicured little finger. She makes an appearance in Baraka’s “rape the white girl,” as Cleaver’s real thing after target practice on Black women (15), as Helmut Newton’s glossy upscale hard-edged, distanced vamp, and as the Central Park Jogger, the classy white madonna who got herself raped and beaten nearly to death. She flings her hair, feels beautiful all the time, complains about the colored help, tips badly, can’t do anything, doesn’t do anything, doesn’t know anything, and alternates fantasizing about fucking Black men with accusing them of raping her. As Ntozake Shange points out, all Western civilization depends on her (1981, p. 48). On top of all this, out of impudence, imitativeness, pique, and a simple lack of anything meaningful to do, she thinks she needs to be liberated. Her feminist incarnation is all of the above, and guilty about every single bit of it, having by dint of repetition refined saying “I’m sorry” to a high form of art. She can’t even make up her own songs.

    There is, of course, much to much of this, this “woman, modified,” this woman discounted by white, meaning she would be oppressed but for her privilege. But this image seldom comes face to face with the rest of her reality: the fact that the majority of the poor are white women and their children (at least half of whom are female); that white women are systematically battered in their homes, murdered by intimates and serial killers alike, molested as children, actually raped (mostly by white men), and that even Black men, on average, make more than they do. If one did not know this, one could be taken in by white men’s image of white women: that the pedestal is real, rather than a cage in which to confine and trivialize them and segregate them from the rest of life, a vehicle for sexualized infantilization, a virginal set-up for rape by men who enjoy violating the pure, and a myth with which to try to control Black women. (See, if you would lie down and be quiet and not move, we would revere you, too.) One would think that the white men’s myth that they protect white women was real, rather than a racist cover to guarantee their exclusive and unimpeded sexual access–meaning they can rape her at will, and do, a posture made good in the marital rape exclusion and the largely useless rape law generally. One would think that the only white women in brothels in the South during the Civil War were in Gone with the Wind. This is not to say that there is no such thing as skin privilege, but rather that it has never insulated white women from the brutality and misogyny of men, mostly but not exclusively white men, or from its effective legalization. In other words, the “white girls” of this theory miss quite a lot of the reality of white women in the practice of male supremacy.

    Beneath the trivialization of the white woman’s subordination implicit in the dismissive sneer “straight white economically privileged women” (a phrase which has become one word, the accuracy of some of its terms being rarely documented even in law journals) lies the notion that there is no such thing as the oppression of women as such. If white women’s oppression is an illusion of privilege and a rip-off and reduction of the civil rights movement, we are being told that there is no such thing as a woman, that our practice produces no theory, and that there is no such thing as discrimination on the basis of sex. What I am saying is, to argue that oppression “as a woman” negates rather than encompasses recognition of the oppression of women on other bases, is to say that there is no such thing as the practice of sex inequality.

    …In my view, the subtext to the critique of oppression “as a woman,” the critique that holds that there is no such thing, is dis-identification with women. One of its consequences is the destruction of the basis for a jurisprudence of sex equality. An argument advanced in many critiques by women of color has been that theories of women must include all women, and when they do, theory will change. On one level, this is necessarily true. On another, it ignores the formative contributions of women of color to feminist theory since its inception. I also sense, though, that many women, not only women of color and not only academics, do not want to be “just women,” not only because something important is left out, but also because that means being in the category with “her,” the useless white woman whose first reaction when the going gets rough is to cry. I sense here that people feel more dignity in being part of a group that includes men than in being part of a group that includes that ultimate reduction of the notion of oppression, that instigator of lynch mobs, that ludicrous whiner, that equality coat-tails rider, the white woman. It seems that if your oppression is also done to a man, you are more likely to be recognized as oppressed, as opposed to inferior. Once a group is seen as putatively human, a process helped by including men in it, an oppressed man falls from a human standard. A woman is just a woman–the ontological victim–so not victimized at all.

    Unlike other women, the white woman who is not poor or working class or lesbian or Jewish or disabled or old or young does not share her oppression with any man. That does not make her condition any more definitive of the meaning of “women” than the condition of any other woman is. But trivializing her oppression, because it is not even potentially racist or class-biased or heterosexist or anti-Semitic, does define the meaning of being “anti-woman” with a special clarity. How the white woman is imagined and constructed and treated becomes a particularly sensitive indicator of the degree to which women, as such, are despised.

    If we build a theory out of women’s practice, comprised of the diversity of all women’s experiences, we do not have the problem that some feminist theory has been rightly criticized for. When we have it is when we make theory out of abstractions and accept the images forced on us by male dominance. I said all that so I could say this: the assumption that all women are the same is part of the bedrock of sexism that the Women’s Movement is predicated on challenging. That some academics find it difficult to theorize without reproducing it simply means that they continue to do to women what theory, predicated on the practice of male dominance, has always done to women. It is their notion of what theory is, and its relation to its world, that needs to change.

    If our theory of what is “based on sex” makes gender out of actual social practices distinctively directed against women as women identify them, the problem that the critique of so-called “essentialism” exists to rectify ceases to exist. And this bridge, the one made from practice to theory, is not built on anyone’s back.

    –Catherine A. MacKinnon, From Practice to Theory, or What is a White Woman Anyway

    Posted by womensspace | February 4, 2008, 8:26 pm
  30. bros before hoes, the colour of that man does not matter, the colour of that woman does not matter, it is bros before hoes.

    Support the Patriarchy, VOTE MALE!

    Posted by ekittyglendower | February 4, 2008, 8:29 pm
  31. Oh– how am I using the similarly situated thing differently? Unsimilarly? :p

    I wonder why some of your comments go to spam but most don’t? :/

    Posted by womensspace | February 4, 2008, 8:30 pm
  32. This is my response to Robin Morgan’s revamped Goodbye essay, which almost had me changing my vote tomorrow. Almost. Robin, can you be the nominee instead, please? Please??

    Yes, I think Hillary wipes the floor with John Kerry and the 2000 / pre-Nobel persona of Al Gore. I am so thrilled at the strong slate of democratic candidates we’ve seen this time around; and even more thrilled that breaking the white man mold may finally be upon us. I am moved by the “Goodbye” post… except the Hillary-can-do-no-wrong part which I think requires a blind eye. To me a stubborn Clinton liability is actually getting in the way of the gender possibility that has so motivated us. Yes, we are motivated. And we ignore the Clinton liability at our peril, especially if or when Hillary Clinton is the nominee.

    Only once two debates ago did HRC hit home the importance of electing a woman president let alone for its own sake, wherein the Luntz curve of enthusiasm hit the roof and stayed there for a full minute, and reverberated in the press and blogs for days. Of course, yes! Hillary woke us up to this obvious we keep just below consciousness: from the U.S., a woman president (finally!) will move the world in ineffably, incalculably positive ways. Democrats anyway seem to be embracing this already, clearly, so that’s not the liability here. So then what’s the problem?

    The Clintons as a team have been the powerhouses of Democratic politics, pretty much from the beginning of the first Clinton presidency (Hm, see, I like the sound of that — first and second Clinton presidencies. But, see, that is also my fear; the electorate is fatigued with dynasty canadacies, first Bush and now Clinton, and people will only become more and more aware of the all-over-again as November rolls around. We see it happening already. I certainly feel the fatigue. HRC conjures strong 90’s sensations. Unlike George, HRC is not running away from the other guy — the Clintons are an institution the way Sr and Jr never would or could be. Been-there-done-that feelings are not to be ignored. Anyway, end parenthesis…). The Clintons backed several of the few, and notably less progressive, democrats who lost in 2006; for starters, Harold Ford whom they then tried to foist into Howard Dean’s victory seat at the DNC. Clinton / Carville politics deny to this day the reality that divide-and-conquer centrism didn’t win the day in 2006, but rather, well, look at it this way: the house progressive caucus is bigger than it has ever been in history. I think this democratic primary reveals the clash of two paradigms — ironically, brought to fore by Edwards, not Obama, but now embodied almost by accident in the Obama insurgency.

    I vividly remember my excitement during the first Clinton-Gore Campaign in 1992. I came of age under the impossibly discouraging Reagan-Bush era. There was so much insurgent promise from outside-the-beltway in Clinton (and yes, “two for the price of one” too) that people obviously feel now in the Obama campaign. The promise started to fizzle after the UHC fiasco, and died with Welfare-to-Work and NAFTA. Other than the presidency, Democrats were losing the day, cycle after cycle. Clinton One had no coattails. The 96 campaign was the absolute opposite of the 92 campaign, wherein the Team Clinton school of Democratic politics was truly solidified. It is that school that was rocked in 06 and is on the block now this election cycle. This election, for me, is about getting beyond the fatigue.

    That is the importance I see in the Obama campaign from the public arena. There is tremendous significance in the energy and passion of the street ART dedicated to Obama. All you have to do is imagine DipDive type — see — of inspired creatively bubbling forth under Kerry, or Gore, or either of the Clintons (post-1992). You can’t. It doesn’t happen. The reason for it, and the social significance should not be underestimated. My fear, of course, is embodied in the “don’t fall for false hopes” put-down of the Clinton campaign: That Obama will be all promise, but when in office just another NAFTA technocrat, at a time when America psychologically is in dire need of a return to the moon.

    HRC’s “the importance of a woman president” moment two debates ago was a taste of a return to the moon for America. Otherwise, the Clinton DLC legacy has been one that I see only fortifying that old depression voters will harbor come November. At the same time, FDR (who went into office with about as much experience as Barack, Teddy, and JFK too), reminded us that it is up to *us* and not the leaders we choose, to make the leadership. So hoping for the best from Barack Obama is not enough. Just remember that the Clinton machine won’t be fodder for any DipDive videos — it’s just not in it or its legacy. Whoever is the nominee, we gotta lotta work. That’s what we have to notice now.

    Posted by B Russell | February 4, 2008, 9:06 pm
  33. I think one reason Obama will get the nomination has to do with his religious faith, or the perception of him as a man of faith, which will win him Republican votes if McCain gets the nomination, which it looks like is going to happen. Even though McCain is pro-life and opposes abortion, he has historically made a point of distancing himself from the Religious Right and evangelicals. Obama isn’t opposed to abortion but if I’m recalling correctly, he did oppose partial birth abortion. Obama is the candidate who could unite Democrats and a large number of Republican evangelicals who would prefer him to McCain, I think. Republicans hate Hillary Clinton, who has no connection to religion in the public consciousness other than holding views opposed to those of the Right. In my old world everybody– every last person– knew it was Hillary Clinton who said “it takes a village to raise a child,” earning her the undying acrinomy of conservative Christians everywhere in that it set her against the traditional family.

    The other thing about McCain is, he’s been divorced and remarried, cheated on his wife and married a much younger woman, etc., which conservative religious Republicans hate like no other.

    Obama is a traditional family kind of guy, married to a supportive wife, his one and only wife, kids, etc. A certain number of Republicans will choose him over McCain, but they would choose McCain over Hillary Clinton any day.

    Posted by womensspace | February 4, 2008, 9:56 pm
  34. But the bottom line is women are the majority in this country.
    If women really want to run this place we can. The thing is, a lot of women I meet can barely communicate this vision.

    When I present this in stark terms sometimes I get awfully shocked looks.

    The other day, I sat next to a woman who turned 90 last year.
    It was a large dinner party. I asked her how it felt to be born before women got the right to vote nationwide, and now be in the position of voting for the first woman president of the U.S.
    Silence, fidgeting, and subject changes… oh I have five children… again the screen saver children line so popular out there. Then a whisper… “well my daughter is voting for her.” Whisper mind you. So I guess this is progress.

    I personally don’t see what is so hard for women to support other women for elected office. I know these fundamentalist groups are very weird about Hillary Clinton, but then they are very weird about everything in my opinion.

    As for the fundamentalist groups getting very mad at McCain for marrying a younger woman, is it the women fundamentalists who feel this–kind of like that scene in the “Handmaid’s Tale” where the men allow a mob of women to kick a rapist to death as a way to give the women an outlet for their anger? Or do the male fundamentalist patriarchs also think this is wrong, or do they “defer” to women on certain things to further lure women into their male supremacy traps in the first place?

    Since I hate the whole idea of women in heterosexual molds and roles to begin with, I guess I’ll never comprehend all of this. It’s just too much for me. Women’s subservience to men is just too upsetting for me to watch out in the world all the time, the docility, the lack of explosive anger, the whispering about voting for a woman…. geez. It drives me absolutely NUTS!!!

    Posted by Satsuma | February 4, 2008, 11:45 pm
  35. Who is making a feminist thing out of it now. All I have read so far has sounded definitely feminist. Next you will be bringing degennerass up for vp or something.
    This is not the issue nor has it ever been with probably 98% of the male voters out here. Hillary is suffering from bills deeds before, during and after his WH adventures.
    We have become the laughing stock of the world because of him. The world did not have to know of the shape of our Presidemts organ or whatever. The U.S. and the world does not need another clinton. We must show the world we care about who sits in the WH and who runs for the most important office in the world. The time is not right for a woman President or Commander in Chief. Our enemies are the woman haters and they will be twice as difficult to deal with for her and us as a nation. You ladies out there better think about your loved ones and what is happening in the world. I don’t want my sons, grandsons or grand daughters going to that GOD foresaken area of the world ever again. Given we don’t have much to choose from but we don’t have to make matters worse. Our political stature in that part of the world fell apart mostly because of albright and condleza bucking heads with some of the strongist, hard headed, woman haters in the world.

    Iron my shirts was uncalled for and uncouth. Probably a bubba type that we all have to contend with at times.

    Please ladies think about who you vote for. Another time, another place, but not here and not now. We have too many of the wrong kind of enemies to contend with.

    Posted by Harried | February 5, 2008, 12:06 am
  36. Robin you are truly amazing and so is What About Our Daughters. I have searched main stream media for the voice of sanity, even the blogs are vitriolic and venomous when it comes to Hillary. I sit here a woman of 65 just so angry because everything I worked for in my life seems to have gone out the door, everything I ever believed about this country, fairness, equality. It’s all gone. All these so called feminist women who are supporting Obama. Where the hell would they be if women like Hillary, Robin, WAOD and me had not laid the path for them to be where they are today. I think these women have set women’s rights back at least 50 years. I don’t hold out much hope that abortion will remain legal, because the Supreme Court will become more right wing than it is now and they will do away with a woman’s right to choose. I don’t think that women will ever get equal pay for equal work because the male establishment will not have it.

    Posted by Ann Walker | February 5, 2008, 12:39 am
  37. You know, all the New York feminists statement was was an iPetition, something anyone can make in a moment and circulate.

    Here’s my hunch. I think nobody would touch the essay I posted that Robin Morgan wrote. I think she probably sent it out there to major outlets and they wouldn’t put it up. I think she sent it to major feminist outlets and they wouldn’t put it up.

    Has anyone seen it in major feminist venues anywhere? I haven’t had time to look.

    Anyway, when she realized nobody was going to print it, she circulated it to bloggers, to her mailing list, to anyone who would get the word out, like we used to do in the old days, just get the word out, grass roots style.

    When we did get the word out, there was a big hustle to get out a petition in nonsupport of Hillary Clinton and in support of Barack Obama (that I just blogged about). I don’t really like that, if that is indeed the way it went down (I’m speculating), but it’s no hill I’d die on.

    What I don’t like is the zeal with which the press picks up on this stuff which is only tangentially germain to the actual campaigns of the candidates. Anything to portray women, especially feminist women, as the caricatures male supremacy insists that we will be.

    Posted by womensspace | February 5, 2008, 1:35 am
  38. Robin,

    Nice job putting all these facts together…I am a male but I am different in that I was raised by a very smart and ahead of her time mother that taught me well…she was one of the early business women taking control of her own life mothers…I too am all for Hillary being elected to the Presidency…I for one think that it will take a very strong woman to undo the things that have been done to my country over the last 8 yrs…Hillary is the only person I can imagine that has EVERYTHING that it will take to correct this nasty spot that the current administration has put us in…we can only hope…it’s high time for a kinder gentler nation…she has incredible self control and has proven that in spades (sorry no pun intended)

    She has MY vate and support!

    Go Hillary!!!!!!!!!!

    I am SURE it IS TimeforachangeNOW…8)

    Posted by TimeforachangeNOW | February 5, 2008, 4:43 am
  39. Sigh. This is why I predicted Hillary Clinton would be a disaster for feminism. She is simply not representing anything new, besides the fact she is not male and on occasion speaks about women’s issues. Male Democrats have done that too, though she is more convincing. She is DLC through and through. She supports nuclear power, genetic engineering, and ethanol. If nothing is done to stop those first two, we can kiss the integrity of DNA and biodiversity goodbye. Ethanol from corn, which is what will be the source for this country for a good while, does absolutely nothing to solve global warming. Some environmentalists say it is worse than gasoline, but it will reduce our dependency on foreign oil!

    Hillary Clinton is a typical politician, again, except that she is not male. Her equivocation on the Iraq war is disgusting to me. In the last debate, in Hollywood, she blatantly lied about the days of bombing of Iraq Bill Clinton carried out in the height of the impeachment fiasco. She said

    We bombed them for days in 1998 because Saddam Hussein threw out inspectors.


    Sorry, Ms. Clinton. It did not happen that way, and she of all people should know that. See What a Difference Four Years Makes–Why U.N. inspectors left Iraq–then and now from FAIR

    Another bad sign was her taking Barack Obama to task for saying he did not think nuclear weapons would be necessary in his planned attack on Pakistan. This is the voice of experience? Yeah, the voice of empire making sure nobody assumes USA is not crazy enough to drop some more nukes!

    I do not think Barack Obama is any better. My beef is not with either of these candidates, rather mainstream politics in general. I see the Democratic Party trying to capitalize on the worst Presidency in history, and they do not deserve to benefit from that. They have done virtually nothing to stop Bush, and since the 2006 election, they have no excuse. Nancy Pelosi is Speaker of the House. Liberal feminists are liberals first. There is not a radical bone in the body of Ms. Pelosi or Ms. Clinton. I want more than a cosmetic change, but that is all I see offered from any of these mainstream candidates. Must I settle for crumbs, yet again? I would rather throw away my vote.

    Robin Morgan wrote a great piece. Too bad it had to be in support of Hillary Clinton. She is the visible one getting all this crap thrown at her, but is it really any worse than what any of us get? Thanks to Hillary Clinton, it is now in the spotlight for all to see. Why did it have to be a woman so hard for anyone with radical principles to support? Because the big corporations love her. They think they can work with her, just like they did with her husband. They are giving Obama plenty of money as well, because they think they can work with him as well. Either way, women and this Earth are screwed.

    Posted by Aletha | February 5, 2008, 8:34 am
  40. if I’m recalling correctly, he did oppose partial birth abortion.

    You aren’t.

    Posted by funnie | February 5, 2008, 2:21 pm
  41. I checked and you’re right, funnie. I stand corrected.

    Posted by womensspace | February 5, 2008, 4:51 pm
  42. Standing O to you, Aletha.

    Right on, Right on, Right on.

    This is why we got out heads together and said, we should run. Women should run.

    Just standing fricking O.

    And this:

    She supports nuclear power, genetic engineering, and ethanol. If nothing is done to stop those first two, we can kiss the integrity of DNA and biodiversity goodbye. Ethanol from corn, which is what will be the source for this country for a good while, does absolutely nothing to solve global warming.

    Yes, yes, and YES.

    Sigh is right.

    Posted by womensspace | February 5, 2008, 4:54 pm
  43. I know Hillary will fight for the women and the poor just as she did by standing by Wal-Mart executives as they fought unions and discriminated against female employees. I know she will fight for our young people, just as she did by standing by President Bush on his decision to send our troops to war. I know she will fight for minorities, just as she stood by her husband as he put a generation of blacks and latinos in prison for non-violent drug offenses.

    How anyone who thinks of themselves as a feminist can stomach looking at her, much less voting for her, is beyond me. Certainly it is embarassing that Pakistan elected a woman president before America did, it’s just too bad our first legitimate female candidate is George W. Bush in a dress.

    Posted by Dr. Edd Schneider | February 5, 2008, 7:03 pm
  44. Saw a truly, truly disturbing bumper sticker while driving to work today. Picture a hen with a blonde wig and the words “What has big thighs, small breasts, and cackles?”

    Robin’s innvocation of “shame” is more than appropriate here. Shame on anyone who reduces a woman to her body parts in an attempt to discredit her mind and her accomplishments.

    Posted by Honeybee | February 5, 2008, 7:03 pm
  45. Hey, Dr. Edd, I don’t disagree with the points you make about Hillary Clinton’s record. I am running for President myself because of the many inexcusable acts, policies, histories of Democratic candidates, including Hillary Clinton.

    But tell ya what. This tells me everything I need to know about you:

    How anyone who thinks of themselves as a feminist can stomach looking at her

    You don’t give one good goddamn about any women, including female Wal-Mart employees or the mostly women of color imprisoned under the aegis of the “war on drugs.”

    You are a sexist, and you are a misogynist and you are Exhibit A of everything that is wrong with the male dominated Left, male dominated Democratic party, the male- dominated Right, male-dominated Liberatarianism, male-dominated Green party. You wouldn’t know what a feminist was if one bit you on the ass, but I hope you won’t hold your breath waiting or hoping for that to happen.

    You are a male heterosupremacist. Get over yourself.

    Nobody here cares what you think about Hillary Clinton’s or any woman’s appearance.

    Those days are LONG gone. Enjoy your nostalgia, pretty soon that’s all you’ll have left.

    Posted by womensspace | February 5, 2008, 7:25 pm
  46. Thanks for writing this. You helped me make my decision as to how I would cast my NY Democratic Primary vote.

    Posted by Dorian | February 5, 2008, 7:27 pm
  47. Bravo. It will be twice as great when Hillary pulls this out.

    Posted by Jeff | February 5, 2008, 7:28 pm
  48. Goodbye to supporting Democratic politicians of calculation and compromise–a demonstrated formula for failure–particularly ones who have gutlessly supported a fool’s war and refuse to admit their error for it.

    Goodbye to a divisive 50 + 1, Rovian-style politics, made possible by the persistent, ideological grudges formed on college campuses 45 years ago.

    Goodbye to the thinly veiled condescension aimed at the stereotypical “articulate black man,” who is credited for being a deliverer of good speeches written by other people even though he is the author of an excellent, moving memoir written when he was 33 years old, after being the first African American man to head the Harvard Law Review.

    Goodbye to the perception that experience is something gained by being married to a powerful person, rather than something earned through a lifetime devoted not to one’s own gain, but to helping other people.

    Goodbye to the disgusting politicization of personal tragedies, and the tired evocation of MJ Kopechne; You ask that HRC not be judged by Bill Clinton’s actions (the execution of a mentally retarded man for political gain, the disgusting treatment of the women he treated like so many sex dolls, etc.) Barack Obama, at least, isn’t *married* to Ted Kennedy.

    And, though one could go on, Goodbye to the double standard that enables HRC to engage in the rough and tumble world of politics, in which she has shown an impressive and studied aptitude (I’ve even seen some of it on the comments here, the willful misrepresentations of Obama’s positions, as if he is anti-choice), while at the same time complaining, screaming foul–and crying–whenever rough and tumble treatment is given back to her.

    There was a woman state legislator from New York who’d worked hard, and waited years to be tapped for the Moynihan seat; Hilary Clinton, not even from NY, swooped in and took the spot. She was best equipped to win, and she’s done a great job, but I don’t remember anyone feeling bad for the lady who she cut in line in front of. And I don’t feel bad for HRC if Obama cuts in front of her: he’s smarter, he’s at least as tough, he’s a million times more inspiring, he doesn’t carry the taint of dynasty and the potentially thorny constitutional and personal problems of having Bill Clinton back in the White House; but what’s most important, is that he definitely has the best chance of restoring the Democratic party to the White House and while forming a new, pragmatic progressive force in the United States. That’s why Hillary’s lead is shrinking and that’s why the Democratic party is moving toward Obama. So I’m sorry he has a Y chromosome; a lot of people out there, who aren’t misogynist, want to vote for Obama for good reasons, and they have nothing to do with the sex of the candidate. As far as I’m concerned, the only drawback if Obama gets elected is that my own sense that political dynasties are anathema to American democracy would eliminate Michelle Obama from future contention.

    Posted by ja | February 5, 2008, 8:51 pm
  49. to the comment by: Harried

    You need to actually go research this hon, Bill Clinton is and was respected all over the world. People in other countries could not and do not understand why the nutcase republicans tried to impeach him over a personal affair.

    On the other hand they don’t understand why the democrats have not initiated impeachment against the current administration. I don’t get it either, if ever a president committed high crimes, it is Bush.

    That said, Hillary Clinton is substantial and will make a truly great president. At the same time Bill Clinton will be helpful in repairing our diplomatic relations abroad, something we need due to Bush policies and actions.

    to womensspace: Every candidate is on record as supporting ethanol, it’s due to the idiotic process of both parties that makes Iowa important to their primaries. No sane person thinks ethanol is an answer to our energy needs. But our presidents and other elected representatives will pander to that constituency until something better is brought forward. Of course it won’t be for a good long time, not until it really effects our food prices….dam shame, the lobby has the power.

    Posted by datdamwuf | February 5, 2008, 9:24 pm
  50. There are assumptions in this writing that offend me. The men who stood up and shouted “iron my shirts” were idiots. They were treated with amusement because morons cannot be shot on site, not because of an anti-woman agenda. I am a woman who works in a predominantly male environment and I’m definitely NOT voting for Clinton. Her gender has nothing to do with it. I feel the Bushes and the Clintons are two sides of the same coin, their ethics are questionable. The dirty pool that both Clintons engaged in to disparage and destroy the women HE sexually discriminated against was disgusting and amoral. Bill Clinton’s behavior was not all that different than Thomas the Supreme Court Justice. I find it patronizing that as a woman I am somehow obligated to vote for a woman. That is the same bad behavior we abhor in men. No, I’m voting for Obama, not because he’s black or male but because, based on solid research as opposed to emotion, he represents a change in the old guard, someone new, someone who has not been in Washington long enough to have lost all regard for the little people. Someone whose wife appears to be a partner that is loved and respected as opposed to a woman who would stay with a philandering pig for political gain. I am not so simple of a woman that I will vote for another woman based on gender alone. I do not appreciate the notion that we somehow owe a woman anything except the same critical analysis we ought to give anyone submitting their name for such a powerful position.

    Posted by Joad | February 5, 2008, 9:57 pm
  51. I just love how people question the ethics of a dynasty when that dynasty’s face is about to be female but when it was male, ethics was the last concern.

    Posted by ekittyglendower | February 5, 2008, 10:49 pm
  52. f.y.i., laura flanders posted an interesting response to robin morgan’s piece on

    it’s also posted on

    the comments threads for both might be worth perusing as well, though i haven’t had time to give them a full reading yet.

    Posted by ladoctorita | February 6, 2008, 12:05 am
  53. I’m afraid that if Hillary wins the Dem nomination, the Obama supporters – many of whom seem to be treating this primary as a football game rather than a first step to electing the President of our country – will refuse to vote for her because they been brainwashed into hating her. I’m most disgusted by the young women who hate her.

    Posted by Hillary Supporter | February 6, 2008, 3:06 am
  54. I’m not going to support a male politician who has TWICE required his wife to give up her highly paid and successful career to support his political career, when she didn’t want to either time. Obama is just like every other male politician: lip service to women’s equality but when the rubber hits the road, what women want doesn’t matter to him.

    Given that his positions on health care and social security and the military are less progressive than Clinton’s there is absolutely no reason to support him.

    What I see are people searching desperately for justifications not to vote for Clinton when, where there are differences between the candidates, Clinton is more progressive. I can’t find any reason for it but flat-out sexism.

    Obama doesn’t get my vote even if he gets the nomination. I’ll sit out the next election of Obama is the Democratic candidate.

    Posted by Emma | February 6, 2008, 6:22 am
  55. Look at the wives of all the other candidates. I think this speaks volumes. You still have all these women standing by their man, and you can bet that probably none of these women will ever have her husband assist HER in HER career.

    Do you want to support the same old heterosexual married couples role playing, or do you want women who represent change? Why would women marry these ambitious men in the first place?

    Posted by Satsuma | February 6, 2008, 8:38 am
  56. Emma,

    I can’t stand Obama and he’s was never in my “top 6” of Dems running whom I considered voting for. But that said, if Obama turns out to be the general election candidate, I ‘ll vote for him.

    Because McCain and other Republicans would continue the war indefinitely and be disastrous for women in nearly every respect. And because all the Republican candidates, even if they distance themselves from W, would make W’s tax cuts, war, and policies permanent. Americans, and the world for that matter, can’t afford another four or eight years of Republican rule.

    So I will hold my nose, vote, and hope for the best. Rarely, you get to vote for somebody you really believe in. The rest of the time you vote to minimize the harm.

    Posted by twitch | February 6, 2008, 8:40 am
  57. where there are differences between the candidates, Clinton is more progressive.

    I disagree. And I think it’s an unfair and divisive oversimplification to say that “Obama is just like every other male politician” and that there is “absolutely no reason to support” him over Clinton (“but flat-out sexism”).

    I’d call it flat untrue, but you couched it with phrases like “what I see” and “I can’t find any reason.” So, it’s your perspective, OK. But it’s pretty narrow. It proscribes a pretty narrow acceptable path for women.

    Posted by funnie | February 6, 2008, 8:43 am
  58. My goodness, so much to which I feel a comment is warranted. Forgive the “stream of consciousness” responses, but it is 3am out here on the left coast, and I suffer mightily with a head cold.

    To Emma:

    How presumptuous to assume that Obama “forced” his wife to do anything. And where is the evidence to support this?

    A quick google search produces this excerpt from an interview with Michelle Obama (

    “Her job as a hospital executive at the University of Chicago is on hold while she’s on the campaign trail, and I ask her if it’s been hard to give up her career. Before I finish the question, she says “no.” What gives her joy is her role of mother.

    What would she do as first lady? She doesn’t aspire to an official adviser position in her husband’s administration. In fact, Michelle Obama says, “I don’t have any burning desire to be involved in policy.” She thinks she could do more, in her role as first lady, by focusing on the impossible juggling act working women, like the two of us, try to pull off every day.

    “And if we’re struggling, just imagine with folks who are getting up, working shift jobs where they don’t have the flexibility to go see their kids’ ballet performances, where they don’t get sick days off, where they don’t have insurance, they don’t have access to quality and affordable childcare,” she says.”

    This sounds like my kind of feminist. Real life stuff, that affects me! It does not, however, sound like a woman who was forced to do anything, at least not by her husband.

    On a different note, Funnie, and others, while I don’t dispute the offensiveness of that particularly tacky South Park episode, you will find an equal number of episodes about men’s genitalia, or their anuses, or any number of other provocative, gross/or scatological humor, against gays, straights, men, and women. The show is popular for its irreverence, its grossness, and it’s subversive humor. There are no sacred cows on the show. Some perspective here, please.

    And finally, on to the main. The swipe against Obama in Robin Morgan’s article, which no one seems to articulate, but which resonated most with me was the off the cuff comment that HRC is “better qualified (D’uh).” Excuse me, this is what, self-evident? Based on what? How utterly dismissive of Obama and his accomplishments. It is in this singular statement that Ms. Morgan loses me.

    As a black woman I struggled mightily with whom I would support. I really like HRC. I understand that all of the animosity toward her, is fueled by raw misogyny.

    But let me be clear, I DID NOT like her vote on Iraq. This was one of the deciding factors for me. Judgment counts for me, and Obama was right on one of the most important issues facing this nation in the decade. He was right then, and on the record. When it wasn’t popular.

    I also refuse to accept her claim that she was basing it on what the “powers that be” were telling her, and that she voted to authorize force, but not for war. I knew the WMD argument was garbage, then, as did the entire world.
    And everyone knew what Bush intended with that authorization. Her inability to take responsibility for her part in this disaster disturbs me.

    Nevertheless, I will cheer her victory, should it occur. But I believe, that judgment, and not race or sex, is why Obama should win. And why BO is more qualified (D’uh).

    Posted by whitney | February 6, 2008, 11:14 am
  59. The only possible choices in how to treat morons who yell “iron my shirt” are either a) amusement or b) shooting on sight? How about some outraged commentary and analysis of misogyny in American “society”?

    Posted by Branjor | February 6, 2008, 1:26 pm
  60. Hi, Whitney. My point wasn’t that South Park is offensive, but rather that black women are put in a tight spot by statements about how misogyny is ignored and racism is taken relatively seriously, so that if the vile stuff against HRC’s womanness were about race, we would all easily see that it was KKK-like propaganda.

    If that’s true, it means that violent imagery against black women – like the (ignored) Oprah episode – is only about sex and not at all about race. Nobody had a fit about its KKK-like similarities, so it must not really be about race, since we would be in the streets if it were, or so the theory goes.

    Statements about how racism would be rejected mean that black women have the choice of saying the things that are done to them that nobody seems to care about are either not real harm, or that they are harm only because of sex and not race.

    I think those are shitty options that directly contradict most black women’s lived experience. So I think white feminists need to stop claiming, with no real compelling evidence that I’ve seen, that racism would obviously be made a fuss over.

    Posted by funnie | February 6, 2008, 2:35 pm
  61. “‘where there are differences between the candidates, Clinton is more progressive.’

    I disagree.”

    She’s more progressive on health care, her plan would cover twice as many folks at less cost than Obama’s and she’s for mandates, the only way to keep the system solvent. RE: the war, she’s not calling for 100,000 new troops like Obama is, otherwise they’re identical. She’s better on choice, given Obama’s record of “present” votes in IL. She’s better on energy, given that Obama voted for Bush’s energy bill which threw incredible incentives to the nuclear power industry and huge profits to the oil industry. Clinton didn’t vote for it. She’s better on the economy with, what The Nation even admits, is a better stimulus package that gets more money to the people who need it. She’s better on home foreclosures, calling for a moratorium on foreclosures and a freeze on interest rates– neither of which Obama supports instead preaching about the “personal responsibility” of people who are being foreclosed upon. Obama has called unions “special interests” and criticized Edwards’ for his union support. Clinton is pro-union. She is clearly more progressive where they differ. So, on what basis do you disagree?

    “And I think it’s an unfair and divisive oversimplification to say that “Obama is just like every other male politician” and that there is “absolutely no reason to support” him over Clinton (”but flat-out sexism”).”

    You’ve mis-stated the rest of what I’ve said, conflating three different points into one.

    On the issue of having a “political wife” he is just like every other male politician– requiring his wife to give up not one but TWO careers to support him. Well, Obama isn’t actually like Howard Dean, who didn’t require his wife to give up her career when he ran for President. (The evidence, BTW, is the Obama’s own words: she didn’t want him to run for the Senate, she didn’t want him to run for President, she didn’t want to give up either of her careers. She did it. She didn’t want to.)

    He is clearly not more progressive than Clinton, he’s clearly less progressive on key issues. So, if you’re a progressive deciding on the issues (like everybody says they are), there isn’t any reason to support him over Clinton.

    Moreover, there are tons and tons of justifications people offer for voting for Obama over Clinton, while saying that they’re voting on the issues. But those justifications ring false, given the candidates actual positions. So, since those justifications are not true, she is more progressive than he is, there must be some other reason to offer all those justifications, i.e. sexism.

    Posted by Emma | February 6, 2008, 3:08 pm
  62. Why should I hold myself to higher standards than Michelle Obama who, when asked if she would support Clinton if Clinton got the nomination, replied that she’d really have to think about it.

    Why should I hold myself to a higher standard than the Obama supporters who have said they won’t vote for Clinton if she’s the nominee. They’ll vote for McCain.

    Who’s being divisive? Who’s not being a “good democrat”? Who’s not thinking about “minimizing harm”?

    Screw that. I don’t actually need any socially liberal policies like choice or welfare or help with my foreclosed home. I’m also never going to be drafted. I’m also never going to lose my job to outsourcing. So, what’s the difference for me, personally, in McCain v. Obama?

    My self interest lies with Clinton. If I can’t vote my self interest, why do I have an obligation to vote for somebody else? The indications I see are that men are overwhelmingly making the choice to vote their gender. And they’ve been vocal about how they’re not going to vote the way I’m “supposed” to vote. So, screw it. I’m going to vote exactly like every guy who can’t pull the lever for Clinton b/c she’s a woman and has no need for the socially liberal policies McCain opposes. Except, I can’t pull the lever for Obama b/c he’s a guy. I don’t see a big freaking difference between them and me.

    Posted by Emma | February 6, 2008, 3:35 pm
  63. I don’t know, funnie. One of my daughters (who is read as black, though I am her mother and she is biracial) has been a fervent Obama supporter, yet is absolutely livid over the treatment of Hillary Clinton, and she is increasingly divided in her loyalties because of what she sees happening to Clinton. She said last night when we were watching the Super Tuesday coverage that what has happened to Hillary
    Clinton on account of her sex would not happen to Obama on account of race because it would not be tolerated. I think she’s right. You keep referring to the Oprah South Park incident, which is horrible, but it isn’t relevant to the discussion we are having here. If you check it out, you’re not going to find blatant racism against Obama (expressed in incidents, acts, statements, t-shirts, bumper stickers) in the same way that there is blatant sexism — totally acceptable to most men and many women — against Hillary Clinton.

    Having said that, I definitely think blatant racism WOULD be tolerated if Obama were a biracial or black woman instead of a biracial or black man. In that case, the racism would be tolerated *because* of sexism, and I think that racism is less tolerated so far as Obama goes *also* because of sexism. All you have to do to verify that is recall how Cynthia McKinney was treated by the press, the media, everyone. HUGE difference between her treatment — and the woman is brilliant and a powerhouse — and Obama.

    What you say about black women’s perceptions is skewed in my opinion because you are not taking into account the way racist acts are informed by sexism.

    Also, I would prefer not to have white women speaking for black women as against other white women in this discussion. As white women, all we know about black women’s perceptions of things is what they tell us. We can analyze things, but only with our own eyes as white women. We can report what black women say, as I have, but even then, it’s just our report, and its usefulness only goes so far. I know the line there is often hard to find, but I think we have to find it anyway.

    Posted by womensspace | February 6, 2008, 4:43 pm
  64. Spam: lots of stuff going into spam this morning. If your comment seems to disappear, don’t worry, I’m checking the spam queue and will find it. I just don’t want anybody to rewrite because they think their comment went away.

    Posted by womensspace | February 6, 2008, 4:48 pm
  65. Heart,

    Re: your post #68.

    Very astute! Thanks.


    Posted by Mary Sunshine | February 6, 2008, 5:21 pm
  66. Heart, you framed your daughter being conflicted with what I’ve said, yet that’s my point. I don’t get that.

    I also don’t get how I’m speaking “for” black women, but maybe you weren’t talking about me.

    I also mentioned the Oprah episode ONE time, until it seemed like my point in doing so might not have been clear. I clarified. You don’t think it’s relevant. I do. I think the way McKinney’s treated is relevant, too, but I think Oprah’s more “like” Clinton and Obama in some ways (because she’s an establishment figure, not a rebel) and the comparison can be a little clearer.

    But really, I’m irritated because of this:

    you are not taking into account the way racist acts are informed by sexism.

    Yes. Yes I did. Yes I am. Specifically and on purpose. But in case there’s any confusion about that: Racist acts against women are informed by sexism! And because the two are related, women who are faced by both should not be told that they’re treated so differently, and therefore are objectively separable! Again: my point.

    Emma – whatever. I simply will not get into a point by point comparison of Clinton and Obama policy positions. I don’t care that much, and it doesn’t seem to work when people don’t want to listen. You don’t want to listen. And that’s OK. I mean that. You don’t need to be convinced that Obama is preferable to Clinton in any way, shape or form. I don’t think you owe *Obama* anything at all.

    What you do need to do, AFAIC, is allow in your rhetoric for the POSSIBILITY that there is another way of looking at the candidates and their record and for women supporting Obama than the way that you do. I don’t see you allowing for that and it makes me mad. Because I think that you DO owe women the benefit of the doubt when they say why they find Obama preferable. The fact that you haven’t heard it yet doesn’t make it not there. The fact that you’re characterizing political issues as “objective” doesn’t mean that POLITICAL ISSUES are objective. One can be a progressive woman who is more afraid of Clinton’s energy policy than Obama’s and not be a raving sexist. It is possible. It happens.

    Don’t vote for Obama. He isn’t owed your support any more than Clinton’s owed mine. Characterize Obama’s positions as negatively as you wish to and support HRC with full and absolute force. Just don’t act that it’s the only way a woman could sensibly and honestly and nonsexistly deal with two candidates with virtually identical platforms. It’s not. And if you think it is, you are objectively wrong.

    I need to stop talking about this. Sorry.

    Posted by funnie | February 6, 2008, 5:22 pm
  67. funnie, I would agree with you, again, if Obama were a woman (and I think this is what Gloria Steinem was getting at,, it’s also what Robin Morgan was getting at when she said all males are not black and all females are not white). In other words, if Obama were a black woman running against Clinton, I think it would be completely and totally wrong to compare the sexist treatment of Clinton as against the racist treatment of Obama (if Obama were a woman), or even to juxtapose the sexist treatment of Clinton as against the racist treatment of a (woman) Obama, because the sexism to which a (female) Obama would be subjected would be completely informed by racism in a way the sexism against Clinton would never be, so to bracket sexist treatment of a white woman off against racist treatment against a black woman would make the black woman’s experience invisible. It would be oppressive and insulting and just wrong. All the racism she experiences is also sexist, and all the sexism she experiences is also racist. The white woman experiences sexism only.

    But Obama is not a woman, he’s a man. And that makes all the difference in the world. His being (somewhat, or comparatively) exempted from racist treatment is important because he is *completely* exempted from sexist treatment because he is a man (omitting, for the moment, a discussion of racism, including against men, as a form of sexism). Whereas Hillary Clinton is completely and totally subjected to open and unapologetic sexist treatment. Obama is subjected, again, to zero sexist treatment. For this reason, the comparison and juxtaposition is in my mind apt. When we talk about the racism Obama is subjected to, it is never going to be informed by sexism, such that we make the one invisible by highlighting the other, as is the case with women of color.

    My saying I’d prefer white women not speak for black women were responsive to your having described your own thoughts as to how various analyses or discussions would affect black women. I just don’t think it works for white women to argue that way with one another. Again, though, I know it’s hard to find the line there because we do have to analyze matters of race and sex the best we can and if I misunderstood or overreacted, I apologize.

    I think your point that Oprah is an establishment figure is a good one, although I think that being a Congresswoman as McKinney was is pretty establishment.

    But I’m going to create a new post with images that hopefully illustrate the point I’m trying to make.

    Posted by womensspace | February 6, 2008, 6:08 pm
  68. If a black woman were running for president (as a major contender), it would be a whole new ball game. In fact, if a black woman was running for president there would many white women who would be faced with their real views on racism and what they thought they knew and how they thought the would have felt, especially if that black woman’s opponent was a white woman. The conflict comes in because of the different sexes. HNR is facing sexism, that is a fact, primary from white men and as a secondary for black men. So much so, that I thought about an angle last night about all the times I’ve read about all the white privilege these women enjoy over women of colour. Yes, they do enjoy white privilege, —-as long as they are servicing white men. When that service is threatened, white men jump ship. For example, the top comment I read at CNN this morning had a young white man talk about how he has always been a Democrat, voted for both Kerry and Gore, but now that it is down to Obama and Clinton, he is thinking about McCain. If that does not scream, white man protecting white man, then I don’t know what. The white woman has white privilege as long as she belongs to a white man. If she tries to be an individual, she loses major degrees in her white privilege. What happened to white men giving props to the white women, all that white privilege the white woman supposedly has? She only has that privilege when she services white men. She removes that service (a separatist, lesbian, fat, asexual, refuse to have his children, voice dissent, stubborn, refuses to stroke his ego, only work at women only places, etc) , then it is good-bye to her. I understand why many black women would support Obama. They see many white women living what looks to be a good life. And it is a good life for the white women who have no problem playing a servicing and submitting role. Black women en masse have not had the opportunity to know what life can be like if only black men could have the opportunities to be the leader, the good father, the good patriarch. Black men guilt black women all the time. When black women abandon black men, black women pay hell. She abandoned him, she did not give him a chance, she is a traitor to her race, not to her sex. And under the patriarchy, when she succeeds and he does not, she become his enemy, not the white male system that kept him from being the great patriarchy of his family. She has to live with being her black brother’s perceived enemy. Race is a man’s game. White women aid racism when they make patriarchy easier for white men. Black women aid sexism when they make patriarchy easier for black men. But the results of the two are not equal, because there is not an equal power structure or an equal number of people playing within that power structure. A given will always be, white and black men together will work on obtaining patriarchy at the expense of all women, even if they look like or think that they are fighting each other. Bros before hoes. The bros are all men of every colour, and the hoes are all women in every colour. That is the patriarchy’s creed. A white male democrat will vote for Obama before Clinton, if not for the Republican candidate.

    Whoever loses this nomination will be at the helm of a very hurt group of people.

    Posted by ekittyglendower | February 6, 2008, 6:28 pm
  69. “Emma – whatever. I simply will not get into a point by point comparison of Clinton and Obama policy positions. I don’t care that much, and it doesn’t seem to work when people don’t want to listen.”

    Well, if you don’t want to talk about it, on what basis do you say that you disagree that Clinton is more progressive than Obama? On 95%-98% of the issues, they’re exactly alike — right down to their votes on funding the war. They voted exactly alike every time. Kennedy voted against war funding and worked actively against. So, it’s not that there’s no alternative vision for Obama to follow or stake out. He just hasn’t. He’s done exactly what Clinton has done. So, despite his rhetoric, he’s not more progressive on the war in his actions since getting into the Senate. And I do think that’s important. On the areas where they differ, she’s staked out positions to the left of his.

    There’s no other way to talk about it. So, I don’t want to listen? Hey, if you’ve got something that says Obama is more progressive, I’ll listen to it.

    But at this point, he’s not more progressive, so the idea that he is is either people being uninformed or not really caring. And if they don’t care, or are deliberately uninformed, I have to ask myself why. There’s all sorts of possibilities. I think it comes down to this: he’s the new guy on the block and any guy will look better than a woman. And it comes down to that, for me, because when I start talking about Obama’s actual record and actual positions people are like you: “well, I don’t really care, I don’t really want to talk about it.” This after justifying their support by saying he’s more progressive than Clinton. So, I see a lot of folks being deliberately uninformed about him and his record.

    So, it’s not me that doesn’t want to listen. Tell me what makes him more progressive than Clinton.

    “What you do need to do, AFAIC, is allow in your rhetoric for the POSSIBILITY that there is another way of looking at the candidates and their record and for women supporting Obama than the way that you do.”

    The people who I see supporting Obama do two things: 1) say they are supporting him because he’s more progressive and then 2) actively run from any information that might show he isn’t as progressive as they seem to think. Oh, and 3, usually that’s coupled with a bunch of really negative, nasty, and gendered comments about Clinton. Sure, it’s POSSIBLE there’s another way of looking at the candidates. I don’t see that possiblity happening, on the whole.

    “One can be a progressive woman who is more afraid of Clinton’s energy policy than Obama’s.”

    Sure. I guess. But then, you must not know much about Obama voting for giveaways to the nuclear power industry and the oil industry by voting for Bush’s energy bill. And you must have found his reference to the “low hanging” fruit of energy conservation really inspiring — which I do find really hard to believe. In a country where people are struggling to pay their heating bills, the guy’s talking about energy saving lightbulbs and turning down the thermostat. That sounds like a real energy policy all right. Like Jimmy Carter, during the oil crisis in the 70s, asking everybody to wear a sweater and turn their thermostat down to 68. What a fabulous energy policy. Hey, I’ve already got my thermostat down to 55. I don’t want to hear about “low hanging fruit”. I want an energy policy. He had his chance in the debates and I never heard a policy.

    But nobody — including you — wants to talk about the actual issues. So, given that, I think I’m entitled to think what I think. Which is that sexism is a large part of what’s propelling Obama to the forefront of this race and that women are, themselves, participating in that sexism.

    Posted by Emma | February 6, 2008, 6:48 pm
  70. I have absolutely no problem with anybody supporting Obama. Including and especially Black women. IF Black women ARE “voting their race” for Obama than I say, good on them. Go for it. (Notice I said IF, I’m making no judgment about why any Black woman or women vote for Obama.) Vote for what seems most important to you. I don’t think you’re anti-feminist to do it, I don’t think you’re a sell out.

    What I AM pissed about is how this fiction of him being more progressive than Clinton is being used to hide misogyny directed at Clinton. And how this fiction of him being more progressive than Clinton is used to justify any brickbat thrown at her. And how this fiction of him being more progressive is being used as a shield to protect him for real, serious inquiry into his positions and his record.

    And when you say, hey, wait a second, he’s not more progressive, people just don’t want to hear it. Even though they SAID they were voting for him because he’s more progressive. Obviously, it doesn’t matter if he’s more progressive or not. They’re voting for him for other reasons.

    In those circumstances, I’m inclined to think that Black folks are voting for him because he’s Black. And that’s how politics works and that’s what they should do and AFAIC that’s perfectly fine.

    And, in those circumstances, I’m inclined to think that white women and men are voting for him out of sexism toward Clinton. And the comments made by, for example, The Nation, Pandagon, Feministe, and Feministing really shore up that belief.

    Posted by Emma | February 6, 2008, 7:00 pm
  71. “What I AM pissed about is how this fiction of him being more progressive than Clinton is being used to hide misogyny directed at Clinton. ”

    I don’t like how he is made out to be the cool guy to have a drink with, in the same way Bush was made out to be. The American Idol. Well, I want more than an idol.

    Posted by ekittyglendower | February 6, 2008, 7:05 pm
  72. And not to erase Latinos and Asians because in California there may be a real example of bucking the patriarchy if the Latino and Asian votes that went to Clinton were from both Latino and Asian men as well women.

    The Latinos and Asians may be the groups who are really looking at the issues and keeping all the other baggage at home.

    Of course some could argue, justifiably so, that anything lighter than black is treated better than black, including “illegals.*”

    *Those deplorable people that many Americans cannot stand because they are taking jobs Americans would have worked if only for those illegals! /sarcasm.

    Posted by ekittyglendower | February 6, 2008, 7:11 pm
  73. Look at me I’m serial posting…………hip hip horay. I want a plate of cookies.

    The Latinos and Asians may be the groups who are really looking at the issues and keeping all the other baggage at home.
    Not to say that all the people who voted for Obama brought baggage with them to the poll. I have to point this out, because you know how there are people just waiting to jump on anything they can in order to make a blog post where they can crucify someone who thinks represents what they have defined as an enemy of theirs. Especially the category police. I will say with them, their head explodes and they cannot think straight the minute anyone dares to go outside of a “given” category that everyone should adhere in fear of the dreaded branding iron.

    I should make some of those stickers…..”I voted, and I left at home, my sexism, my racism, my ageism, my ………..———whole list if isms……”

    Posted by ekittyglendower | February 6, 2008, 7:24 pm
  74. Whitney:

    But let me be clear, I DID NOT like her vote on Iraq. This was one of the deciding factors for me. Judgment counts for me, and Obama was right on one of the most important issues facing this nation in the decade. He was right then, and on the record. When it wasn’t popular.

    I think you should have said, when it was not so popular. Plenty of people saw through Bush at the time, as you observed in your next paragraph. Most of Congress, however, decided to trust Bush, and Democrats still refuse to take any action that would actually force the end of the war on Iraq, preferring empty gestures they know will not get anywhere, since they perceive that to be good political strategy.

    Emma, what many people may not realize about those energy-conserving compact fluorescent lightbulbs is that they contain a not insignificant amount of mercury. There is a better technology, using light-emitting diodes, but they are currently relatively expensive.

    Hillary Clinton is also supporting nuclear power, though not as avidly as Obama, who has taken plenty of money from that industry. I am concerned about her plans for health care, partly because her previous plan had the alternative health movement up in arms, saying it would put them out of business, if not in jail. Bottom line, both these candidates do represent change, but in too many ways for me to overlook, that change is more symbolic and cosmetic than substantial, despite their rhetoric. If they are progressive, I suppose it must be true what Air America says, progressive is the new mainstream.

    Posted by Aletha | February 7, 2008, 7:06 am
  75. Thank you for this article, I really did enjoyed it.
    I to am voting because I am a woman, and have lived in the U.S. 58 of my 59 years. And I am voting for Barack Obama because I am not only a woman, but a human being that wants more then just a gender role model, I want change in my life…Hillary is not the person (who happens to be a woman) for me to make this change.

    Posted by Chris the Abducted Alien | February 7, 2008, 11:59 pm
  76. I know I’m late to this, but I have a point and a question.

    I lean towards Obama (though I’ve contributed to both candidates). Here is my reasoning for Obama, followed by my reasoning for Clinton:

    1. I want my democracy back. That means openness and transparency, which has been an explicit and central component of Obama’s campaign but not Clinton’s. Related to this, I believe that Obama truly trusts democracy, and by extension, me. “We are what we’ve been waiting for” is exactly the idea I have been missing for the last 7 years.

    2. I did not support the war. I do not want the democrats to have to play the “I was for it before I was against it game”, as we did in 2004.

    3. More importantly, I want to get beyond the mindset that got us into this war. I believe in negotiating with our enemies directly. Obama does as well, while Clinton does not. Moreover, Clinton never apologized for her war vote (in what seemed at the time to be preparation for the general election), and I truly believe this war is one of the worst thing’s we have ever done to ourselves and this world. Frankly, I also believe that Clinton is too much of a foreign policy realist to take the huge risk of pulling out of Iraq, given her statements on talking with Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, etc., and therefore I suspect she will not end the war. I know that’s not what she says, but it’s what I think will happen. And I want this war to end.

    4. Anything but the hardest line against torture is unacceptable to me. (I will never vote for Chuck “Mukasey” Schumer again.)

    4. I do not believe the government should fix subprime mortgage prices for 5 years. I think that will increase every other mortgage rate at a time when we’re heading towards recession, desperately trying to get interest rates down, and trying to limit the extent of the housing prices collapse.

    5. I do not want to experience another 4 to 8 years of hyperpartisanship. It’s exhausting and sad. Perhaps Obama can’t deliver, but he will try.

    Reasons for supporting Clinton:

    1. I believe Clinton’s argument about universal health care and mandates. I think she has a better shot to deliver universal health care than Obama.

    2. I believe that Clinton knows what she’s doing, more than Obama, and will be a very effective president. Yes, I believe she will be ready from day 1. Obama’s learning curve will be much steeper (look at Bill Clinton’s, and he was a long serving governor!).

    3. Clinton has been an effective, hard working Senator, representing me, a New Yorker, very well. In fact, I wish she would tout her behind the scenes work with both Democrats and Republicans in Congress more.

    4. Bill Clinton’s comments in South Carolina, and the Clinton campaign’s explicit labeling of Obama as the “black candidate” after South Carolina, made me extremely upset, to the point of considering not voting for Clinton in the general election, were she to be the nominee. However, she then apologized on CNN. The ability to be strong and at the same time understand that you were wrong and need to take responsibility is something that is absolutely necessary and extremely rare (as Bush among many others shows). When she apologized, all my support for Hillary Clinton returned, in certain ways stronger (this counteracted a bit her inability to admit that her war vote was a mistake).

    These points sum to me just barely favoring Obama — and being happy with both.

    So that’s my point. Here’s my question.

    Is it possible to make the calculation I made in determining whom I will support without the calculation resting on a base of sexism? I mean this question seriously, not rhetorically or snarkily, and I would very much like to hear any response that anyone might have.
    Thank you.

    Posted by Dave | February 8, 2008, 3:54 am
  77. In response to Dave’s question about choosing a candidate, but not having sexism get in the way–

    you would have to really know to the minute Clinton’s qualifications for office vs. Obama’s. Not the rhetoric but the actual facts of their political careers.

    The next thing you’d need to know is this: Have both candidates either recently or in year’s past given VERY strong speeches about the human rights of women — anti-rape speeches, anti- trafficking in women speeches, and pro-human rights views as they apply directly to women.

    When the candidates talk about “the war” or “Iraq” they are really talking about male governments in both countries at war. Women were not involved with either of these conflicts.

    Will both candidates fully represent women (more than half of the U.S population)? I don’t think Obama has once given a strong anti-rape speech or a strong anti-patriarchy speech — EVER. I don’t believe any man who runs for office represents the full freedom of women — EVER.

    What did Obama do during the last international women’s year conference in Beijing? When Clinton talks about poverty, she also talks about poor women. She has already been working hard on the health care issues for over 15 years.

    I don’t think Obama has the qualifications of Clinton.

    I’ve been in business for a long time — a production business with number to back up my intelligence and competance — even with this background, men were still promoted over me with no experience! I was ever able to produce 50% more — almost to the penny than men promoted over me.

    Quite frankly, men don’t respect the qualifications of women ever. They will always vote for less qualified male candidates, only now there is the excuse of voting for a black man to “cover” up the sexism.

    I don’t know of any woman who has ever worked or studied in America that hasn’t seen this kind of daily injustice done to women who really are better qualified.

    I really don’t care what men say about Obama, I know that Clinton has greater qualifications across the board, and I hope women support her. Since I have zero faith in men, I do hope women will take the power they have earned and to hell with men.

    Posted by Satsuma | February 8, 2008, 5:36 am
  78. I believe in negotiating with our enemies directly. Obama does as well, while Clinton does not.

    Like most Democrats, Obama is selective about which enemies are eligible for diplomacy. He is as on board with the “real war on terror” as anyone.

    Why is it nobody wants to discuss the Clinton welfare reform plan? It got all of one mention here. Why is it Hillary Clinton is not supposed to be associated with what her husband did in office, when she claims to be proud of his record? Would she have gotten this close to the nomination on her own merits, if she were not the wife of a former President? I doubt it.

    Posted by Aletha | February 8, 2008, 6:27 am
  79. Why must she denigrate young women who favor Obama as unable or unwilling to think for themselves? As cleavage-barers or meek simpletons who’d vote Clinton if they weren’t afraid to show their boyfriends they respect women with power? How inaccurate, dismissive and alienating. Ageism: bad; reverse ageism: promoting the feminist cause?

    Posted by Nic | February 8, 2008, 4:58 pm
  80. In response to Satsuma:

    First, Hillary Clinton was very much involved in the not entirely male Iraq War. As a leading Senator, despite her short time in office, she could have made a strong stand against the war and joined with other Democrats to perhaps change the course of history. She did not, and mostly they did not. Perhaps she felt she couldn’t and still run for president, particularly as a woman. Still, this same kind of political calculation doomed John Kerry every time he ran.

    Second, this can’t be just about experience, since John McCain has about two decades more experience than anyone else running. Nonetheless, I agree, Clinton has more experience than Obama. That is not the only factor in the decision, though — no one is “due” the presidency because of years of work, John Kerry being the best example. I’d vote 100 times for Hillary Clinton over John Kerry if it were possible.

    Third, at the very least your faith in men should rise from zero to the proportion voting for her in the primaries, and in the future perhaps the general election — which is and will be substantially more than zero.

    Posted by Dave | February 8, 2008, 5:04 pm
  81. But still you beg the central issue — Do men care about speaking out against rape and abuse of women worldwide, which is what war really does, whether it is a declared war, or the private war that men wage on women.

    Can you expect McCain who is opposed to a woman’s right to choose as being at all worth anything to women of America?

    And can you expect men ever to care as much about women’s rights as a long time feminist like Hillary Clinton does? That’s the issue! Are women adequately represented by men, and I say NO, I want women running the country now. We’ve had over 200 years of male rule in formal government and in the courts. The entire legal system was invented by men, and I think they don’t have a clue as to how to legally deal with child abusers, rapists and wife beaters and batterers. This issue is quite huge, and I don’t trust men to do much about this other than pass more male centered laws.

    Imagine that your house has been broken into. You go to the police, they catch the thief, and then you have to tesify and answer questions like: “Why did you leave your front door unlocked, you were ASKING to be robbed?” Get the analogy.

    Can men govern women? No they can’t. Heck, men can’t even govern themselves, and radical feminism puts the blame squarely on the shoulders of this system that posits that men are always suited for public office, and women are merely interlopers. It is really up to women to get out the vote, and take charge of their lives.

    Posted by Satsuma | February 8, 2008, 6:06 pm
  82. Would George Bush ever have gotten elected if it hadn’t been for his father? Would Bobby Kennedy have gotten anywhere if it hadn’t been for his brother’s connected? Would John Quincy Adams ever have made it without John Adams? Would Franklin Roosevelt have gotten into the white house if it hadn’t been for Teddy.

    We’re ok with men getting all these little advantages, but when a woman has connections, somehow this is awful. I have no problem with family connections of any kind. In fact, I believe family loyalty is very useful to the men in weakness.

    So this is really a rather silly argument. Legacies and businesses are inherited all the time, only in the past it was a men only proposition. Now that a woman is using connections as well this is somehow worse.

    And I still don’t know why women have to be questioned about the misdeads of their HUSBANDS. Hillary Clinton did not have affairs in office, it was her stupid husband, and this should not be held against her.

    John McCain had affairs as well — we’ll see if he’s really attacked constantly for this as well.

    Posted by Satsuma | February 8, 2008, 6:13 pm
  83. The idea that we should support Clinton because sexism prevails in our country is ridiculous. Just because sexist comments have been made against Clinton is not a reason to vote for her.
    Why do we have to make this a gender issue or sexist issue? Racism, sexism, homophobia, and the like all exist in our country.
    I am a feminist and a woman. Obama has my vote. Obama supports women and ALL people. We shouldn’t think that this is an opportunity to change sexist attitudes by voting in a woman, but an opportunity to change attitudes by voting in a PERSON with the best intentions for EVERYONE.

    Posted by Sarah | February 8, 2008, 6:45 pm
  84. I’m fine with Obama. I don’t think he’d make a bad president. It’s just that I don’t hear him addressing issues that are important to me. I have yet to hear him give an anti-rape speech, and I have never heard him bring up the horrible situation in the military with about 28% of women soldiers in Iraq being subjected to sexual assult-rape by male American soldiers.

    These are issues I really don’t trust men to take seriously, however, when I do hear about Obama speaking up and really dealing with the evil that is male aggression as men, then I’ll be a little more impressed.

    If the situation was reversed and Obama had had all that white house experience, I don’t think this would be an issue.

    It is always tempting to vote for men, we keep thinking that they care about women on a large global scale, I’m just uncomfortable with yet another man running for the top job while his wife and kids smile for the cameras. It’s a social structure I don’t support anymore, and the actions in marriage speak loudly to the potential feminist actions of a future president.

    However, if Obama wins the nomination, I will support him. McCain I don’t think even has heard the word feminism.

    It’s really hard for women to back women, really really hard. You have to overcome all this conditioning, and still there is the temptation, that all things being equal, men are somehow always a “little” bit more qualified.

    Like internalized homophobia, which is rampant in the gay and lesbian community, women have to struggle with a deep internalized sexism. You can deny this exists, but I think if women are really honest with themselves, they’ll often discover that they have a hard time overcoming their addiction to male leaders and male models of leadership. They’ll have a very hard time with non-traditional power relationships within marriages.

    It’s a subtle thing. Since this site is about radical feminism, I always am curious as to what the objection really is to voting for powerful women. Seems odd to me, given Hillary Clinton’s speech at the Beijing UN Women’s Conference, for example. It’s a speech you’ll never hear a man ever give from a major OR minor political party. They can’t even say the words, much less enact the policies.

    If they can’t even make a powerful speech directly dealing with the horrible issues women face in America, and get very very real about it, I don’t get it. Just because a man gets up there and says he is “a uniter and not a divider” really doesn’t mean all that much to me.

    Since I know a lot more about Hillary Clinton’s entire life story, I have more faith in her feminist principles. Until civil rights really does = women’s rights, I have a right to have my suspicions.

    This idea that people vote for the best “person” is simply not true. They don’t vote for the best person, they vote for men. When the word “person” is used, it’s a kind of excuse or a kind of denial of reality. Just ask Sandra Day O’Connor when she got out of law school. If it were really about the best person, we’d have a lot more women in power.

    Just an aside here: The Boston Pops orchestra many years ago, decided to change its policy on auditioning musicians. They put up a screen, and told men and women to try out, so that the conductor would only hear the music, and not base his hiring decisions on gender. Women were told to not walk across the stage in high heels to give themselves away.

    Boston Pops believed that it hired “the best qualified” musicians. After these auditions, the orchestra hired the most women musicians in its entire history. Once gender really was blind, women got ahead. This means if men know other men are trying out, they won’t be objective at all.

    Not that is convoluted, but do you really believe Obama even has the vast network of highly qualified women that Hillary Clinton does? Who do you think Obama plays polker with? Women? Potential appointees to the supreme court? How about the thousands of federal jobs out there? Think a man is going to hire the total number of “qualified” peope regardless of gender?

    It’s not just about the best qualified person, it’s also about their social networks and herstories.

    When a leader of a high level women’s business group was asking for nominations for awards, she had no close lesbian friends to choose. She asked me to nominate qualified lesbian leaders, because she didn’t know them, and couldn’t judge anything about them.

    This is what the real difference is between male and female leaders. The presidency is this huge institution mired in male supremacy, and this male supremacy is largely invisible to men.

    Women can see it, women know what these glass ceilings are all about, and women who have achieved a great deal of success also have strong networks that are largely invisible to the general public.

    These types of things are never brought up during political campaigns. I know for a fact that many people are convinced that they are voting for the best person, and this is not the case. It is very much about race and gender, and those who say it isn’t are simply not very aware of power dynamics.

    I often wonder what is really going on with straight women. They say one thing in public, but then their private actions seem pretty unfeminist to me. They stick up for men all the time, and rarely do they speak up publicly against male supremacy.

    So the presidency is the final symbol of male only power and male only networks. Can you imagine someone of McCain’s generation ever getting this? And yet women by the millions are voting for him? Why, because they have grown too accustomed to second class citizenship, too excluded from the networks of power, too discriminated against for a lifetime.

    I’m always amused at men’s great concern over the “war”? What war? The male war of aggession in Iraq? Or the male war of aggression against their own family members? How about the male war against girl children that the catholic church tried to cover up? How about the male war against women, and the exclusion of women from large urban areas controled by violent men?

    What war is the war? Do men just parcel out areas they consider “war zones” or do they address the real issue of male violence worldwide?

    I think Hillary Clinton understands these things far more than Obama. He’s a very nice man, he loves to speak in “high sounding platitudes” and he has Kennedy speechwriters on the payroll. Sure, it looks good and sounds good, but will he really be a candidate of real women’s issues, and will he really care about the hardships of women worldwide. I really don’t think so. He may say he cares, but then again, the question is, who does he play polker with?

    Posted by Satsuma | February 8, 2008, 7:34 pm
  85. Satsuma, we’re searching for the same thing: representation (I think neither of us want to be governed, but instead represented). I want my strong rejection of the Iraq War to be represented in my elected leaders. I’ve already dealt with one supposedly successful election in which it wasn’t — the 2006 midterm elections, when the Democrats won and afterwards couldn’t stop an ESCALATION of war, let alone end it. I do not want to make the same mistake again.

    Your argument that this country has always been governed by men, frequently to its detriment, is absolutely valid. That is an argument for far more women in positions of power, including the presidency. However, it is not an argument for this particular woman — Hillary Clinton. Do you think Clinton will be more likely to prevent more war and get us out of this one than Obama? I do not. If war is about rape and abuse of women, which is unquestionably one horrible and consistent result (and often tactic) of war, then voting for the candidate who will get us out of this war, and keep us out of others, is the most responsible thing to do.

    Now, here’s an underlying sexism I see in my argument, point by point.

    Let’s say one of the key benefits of having women in power is to fundamentally change a war-centered, patriarchal, abusive foreign policy. Then, let’s say that the only way to gain the presidency as a woman is to be more hawkish, to avoid the constant gendered accusation of being “soft” or any other language that is used (often regarding Democrats in general, in addition to female leaders).

    Therefore, the only woman who will approach the presidency at this stage will be one who does not provide the benefits of female leadership in that specific regard. I think this is the point made in the original article about the “proto-males” Margaret Thatcher and Golda Meir. So only a man can actually win the presidency on a platform of the kind of foreign policy I want.

    That is the result of a fundamentally sexist society. I understand that, and agree with it and the problem it represents. But what am I to do about that in my vote? I want to end the war. I don’t think Clinton will end the war. With respect to the rest of their platforms (see my post above), the differences are not really big enough to make up for that issue.

    I think the question becomes, then, how do we make our way out of the system. Clearly, it’s not just about electing female leaders, as the examples of Thatcher and Meir show.

    Posted by Dave | February 8, 2008, 8:14 pm
  86. Well, until Hillary Clinton repudiates her war vote and demonstrates a commitment to a truly different foreign policy, I too have a right to have my suspicions about her concern over this war.

    Also, I think it’s a rhetorical trick to subvert an anti war stance by coupling it to all of the other violent acts perpetrated almost entirely by men in this world. Yes, I am “concerned”, to put it mildly, about violence, whether it is in Darfur, my home, my community, or my city. However, I know that the president has little to no ability to impact almost all of that violence (particularly around the world, given how our leverage to push for human rights in this world has declined with our war of choice and use of torture).

    I also know that the president has a powerful and direct ability, as Commander in Chief, to impact THIS war, the war in Iraq. A war of choice, that takes another choice to end. You may find my efforts to make that choice happen “amusing”; I don’t. You may also find my efforts shortsighted, if you think that these problems can only be solved in the long term through female leadership. I don’t know about that last point. What I will say is that sacrificing I don’t know how many more Iraqis and Americas in extending this war is an immediate cost to the wrong presidential choice. It is not a cost I want to pay for the distant hope of some kind of fundamental change. Now that is an argument that should resonate for someone who’s not an Obama fan!

    Posted by Dave | February 8, 2008, 8:46 pm
  87. But Dave, the issue is will a man speak out as president or in other speeches worldwide about violence directed at women in their own homes by men? Remember how long it took before Ronald Reagan sat on his butt before he spoke out publicaly about AIDS? His silence really was terrible, and he was silent because he had rabid gay male hating creeps in the white house with him. Gary Bauer being a prime example.

    Do men speak to women’s rights with passion and conviction?
    Well no Dave they don’t, and never will.

    As I said before men will vote for other men, but women the majority in this country really should vote for women who are very well qualified for office. I certainly don’t trust any man to determine if a woman is qualified or not, we’ve had to sue men for billions to get them past their idea that all men are qualified and all women running for office are not.

    The war is something we can’t guarantee Obama will end either. Men lie all the time, why shouldn’t he get suckered the way Johnson or Kennedy did?

    I doubt that push comes to shove Obama will end the war? I know McCain just loves war and guns and boats — naval war college, flying planes, chasing after women in his “youth”, party guy in college, goof off, bratt of male military family… then we have Hillary Clinton — studied hard in college, got herself into law school, didn’t act like a goof ball in her youth… yeah men have to be perfect for me to vote for them now — no cheating on wives, no goof ball youth. No secret viewing of porn on the Internet either….

    The bar is too high. If men can’t do a think about patriarchy, and can’t even understand these arguments to begin with — remember you’ve wandered onto a radical feminist blog, and we don’t have patience for badly educated men on this issue and ideological tradition.

    I don’t believe men really oppose war at all. They say they do, but hey, look at the idiots we have to deal with on buses, in bars, at sporting events (male gatherings that are creepy). War is about what men do to women on the home front, and war is the war of male aggression against all women.

    Is the war of men against women in the U.S. terrible? You bet it is. Will Obama address that? I seriously doubt it. Will McCain do it? No. He still loves war, remember?

    Posted by Satsuma | February 8, 2008, 11:35 pm

    He’s no Hillary Clinton, but have a look anyway. Here’s a small sample:

    Reducing Domestic Violence:
    One in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. Family violence accounted for 11 percent of all violence between 1998 and 2002. Barack Obama introduced legislation to combat domestic violence by providing $25 million a year for partnerships between domestic violence prevention organizations and Fatherhood or Marriage programs to train staff in domestic violence services, provide services to families affected by domestic violence, and to develop best practices in domestic violence prevention.

    Strengthening Domestic Violence Laws:
    Approximately 1,400 women a year – four every day – die in the United States as a result of domestic violence. And 132,000 women report that they have been victims of a rape or attempted rape, and it is estimated that an even greater number have been raped, but do not report it. Senator Obama co-sponsored and helped reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act. Signed into law in January 2006, the bill funds and helps communities, nonprofit organizations, and police combat domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. The legislation establishes a sexual assault services program and provides education grants to prevent domestic violence.

    Fighting Gender Violence Abroad:
    The genocide in Darfur has had particularly devastating consequences for women. Tens of thousands of women have been killed, raped, and displaced since the conflict began in 2003. Barack Obama has been a leading voice in Washington urging the end of genocide in Sudan. He worked with Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) on the Darfur Peace and Accountability Act, a version of which was signed into law. Obama has traveled to the United Nations to meet with Sudanese officials and visited refugee camps on the Chad-Sudan border to raise international awareness of the ongoing humanitarian disaster there. He also worked with Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) to secure $20 million for the African Union peacekeeping mission.

    Posted by Dave | February 9, 2008, 2:10 am
  89. And I still don’t know why women have to be questioned about the misdeads of their HUSBANDS. Hillary Clinton did not have affairs in office, it was her stupid husband, and this should not be held against her.

    Satsuma, are you deliberately misunderstanding what I said? Hillary Clinton is proud of the record of Bill Clinton. She is choosing to associate herself with his record. This is about policy, not affairs or the accusations by several women of harassment or rape when he was governor of Arkansas. Regardless of whether any of that was true, Bill Clinton was no great friend of women, politically or personally, far from it. Among the issues I had with his policies: the Democratic Leadership Council was his baby. Triangulation was his game. He pushed through NAFTA, GATT, welfare deform, the salvage rider timber cutting loophole for his friends at Weyerhauser, nuclear power technology sales to China. He did not fight for the Kyoto Protocol; some environmentalists say he and Al Gore deliberately sabotaged it. He gave free rein to genetically engineered crops and bovine growth hormone. He bombed the former Yugoslavia with depleted uranium. He did nothing about the genocide in Rwanda. The sanctions on Iraq killed half a million children. This is the record Hillary Clinton is so proud to run on. This should not be held against her? Why not? It should not, if the only alternative to be considered is voting for Obama, since he is at best marginally better on these issues, and might well be worse. This is the game Democrats always play, counting on the media to convince women they have to vote for the lesser evil. Not this time.

    Posted by Aletha | February 9, 2008, 5:15 am
  90. Judy, Rachael Carson didn’t have to say she was a feminist to have her work visciously attacked. She was a woman, and that was plenty enough. Critics called her “hysterical” and “crazy,” among other things.

    Heart, This really is a swipe at Obama:
    an era when parts of the populace feel so disaffected by politics that a comparative lack of knowledge, experience, and skill is actually seen as attractive, when celebrity-culture mania now infects our elections so that it’s “cooler” to glow with marquee charisma than to understand the vast global complexities of power on a nuclear, wounded planet.
    the notion that it’s fun to elect a handsome, cocky president who feels he can learn on the job,

    She is saying he has a comparative lack of knowledge (I disagree; I haven’t seen any part of the debates or his policy statements that indicate less knowledge). She says he has a comparative lack of experience (the vast majority of presidents we’ve had arrived in D.C. having never lived in the White House before, including Bill Clinton, particularly when he beat an older and more experienced George H.W. Bush); Obama matches, I believe, other presidents we’ve had in terms of experience and knowledge, including Bill Clinton). She says he has a comparative lack of skill, and with this I could not disagree more. He has already outlasted men like Biden and Dodd, making up for in skill and knowledge his lag in experience compared to theirs (my opinion is that his years of experience are closer to Hillary’s, based on his years and successes in Illinois). I’m sorry, but I don’t see ANY way of interpreting comments about “celebrity culture” being valued over “knowledge, experience, and skill” can be seen as anything but overtly insulting Obama. She is clearly saying this is a matter of celebrity! And I am insulted by that. I don’t demand that anyone see the candidates as I do, but I do want my choices respected as informed ones – and an article that throws the words “celebrity,” “cool,” and “charisma” out there is plainly insulting a capable candidate and those who have made painstakingly informed decisions to vote for him (and I have finally decided).

    Note too that she says “handsome” (assuming some of us are swayed by his looks rather than his policy statements?). She calls him “cocky” – I’m sory, but when have you ever heard “cocky” as anything other than an insult? The dictionary definition of cocky is “arrogant, pertly self-assured, conceited.” It is not a compliment! And it’s not about “media” or perception. I mean, she called the othe candiate “arrogant, pertly self-assured, conceited!” And, again, she claims he thinks he can learn on the job. Hey, every president has learned on the job. Every single one. There is no other job that is anything like that of the president, so people bring the skills they have and they do their best. Argue that Hillary has been closer to it already because of Bill, fine, but recognize that “have already been there” has never before been something we’ve found – or needed – in our candidates.

    So, I think she could have done a fabulous advocacy piece much like this without calling Obama cocky, a mere celebrity candidate, or less knowledgable and skilled than Hillary Clinton. And the idea that people who might vote for him are swayed by celebrity is an insult to those people.

    Finally, as for Robin Morgan’s comment about experience dealing with nuclear powers, I want a president who will talk to people with whom we have adversarial relationships. HC has clearly said she will not do this. BO has clearly said he will. It’s very important to me to vote for someone who will meet with Iran, will meet with North Korea, won’t hold out a meeting with the president as a cookie for doing what we just demand they do first. I’m sorry, but to me, HC’s foreign policy is more of the boys’ foreign policy so far. As a radical feminist who is also a well-known author (I won’t name this person here without permission though) said at the “Stop Porn Culture” conference last week, “I worked hard at trying to get Bill Clinton’s administration to lift sanctions against Iraq all through the 90s. Those sanctions killed more Iraqis than George Bush’s war has. I have no doubt that, if elected, Hillary Clinton will end up being a war criminal just like her husband and just like George Bush.”

    I drove to an Obama speech yesterday (I would have gone to Hillary’s too, if she’d come here, “here” being the site of 1500 lives lost due to government neglect of a federally built levee system and a place where remaining liveable property is too expensive for a teacher like my mother, so she remains a NOLAfugee in another state). As I mentioned on another thread of yours, I’ve been rereading
    Audrey Lorde and Alice Walker. During the long drive into the city for the Obama rally, I finally felt a calm wash over me with the following thought: my feminism is not going to be about helping to elect a white woman who will bomb brown people. Period. It just can’t be. I’ve decided Obama is a better choice for stopping the wars and, despite what Morgan thinks, so have millions of others, for reasons that have nothing to do with celebrity or handsomeness or coolness. Revisiting some of that Womanist literature has helped me remember their challenge that my feminism can’t always be about moving white women UP the ladder of power, but should be about reaching down to make common cause with those below me. Who is my sister? The women of Congress, including Hillary, who had power and voted to authorize this war or Cindy Sheehan and the Iraqi women who have been displaced, killed? That’s my thinking now. And I don’t mind that others don’t see it that way, but I AM seeing and hearing and feeling a hell of a lot of pressure that a good feminist must vote for Hillary.

    As for my comment about being called a traitor, I specifically meant that I’m being called a traitor to women and to feminism (my comments weren’t clear). This has happened to me quite a bit, with women I know personally and all across the blogs and political bulletin board sites, and it has me incredibly depressed.

    On Huffington Post, for example, one woman said women voting for Obama are ignorant of the contributions of feminists who came before and are ingrates. I pointed out that I actually have a degree in Women’s Studies (and from a radical women’s studies department, not one of those modern, sex-positive departments). So then she said, “Well, so you read about it in a book, big deal.” So I detailed my years of feminist activism and asked why she could not allow that a real life radical feminist looked at all the information out there and came to a different decision than she did.

    I think I see a trend in which many of the (what I consider) more “experienced” radical feminists WILL respect a choice to vote for Obama, even if they disagree, while women I know for a fact have had little or no real affiliation with feminism over the years – no theoretical grounding and no activism whatsoever – are suddenly telling ME I have to vote for HC or else, like they’ve just shown up and want to tell me this is the shortcut or something. And I want to say, you know, I’m glad the treatment of HC finally has you outraged, I’m glad you’re outraged (welcome aboard), and I’ll be glad for you if Hillary wins, but you don’t get to tell me I’m LESS of a feminist here because, hey, where were you when I was working in women’s shelters, marching for peace, camping at Camp Casey, producing “The Vagina Monologues,” publishing “The Feminist Papers,” you know, blah, blah, blah.

    Here’s an example of that. Last week, I emailed my sister a series of links from the “Stop Porn Culture” conference, some photos from mainstream advertising. She wrote back and said, “I looked at a few but I can’t look at more than that because it’s too upsetting.” Okay; I get told all the time, “How can you look at these terrible things constantly when it ‘s so upsetting,” and I know not everyone can look. Then, this week, she sent me a few examples of misogyny directed against Hillary Clinton and told me I HAD to vote for HC because “this is just infuriating.” And I thought how funny, since I do this work constantly, she can’t stand to look, but now she knows I need to vote for HC and she’s sending me links (which were all things I had seen already). Like I said, I’m happy she’s onboard. If HC gets the nomination, I will be sad to lose Obama, but I am gonna tingle with joy from my head to my toes for all the women I know who wanted her to win so much! I just don’t want to be called a traitor to feminism, which is unfair, since I also work on issues of race and peace, which is making this all very cloudy.

    As for the Kennedys, I’ve heard lots of criticism of their dynasty. I know two people who say they will never vote for a Democrat as long as there are any Kennedys in public life (weird, I know). And one of the early reasons I was first against W. was because his daddy had just been a president – but then, I did my research of his record in TX and found out there were lots of other reasons to be passionately opposed to him besides just nepotism!

    I had heard the Bankruptcy Bill results were so bad. I know of a group of judges who came out and complained to the media about what they were having to deal with in their bankruptcy courts as a result of that bill. It was extremely unusual for judges to issue statements about how bad a new government policy is. And, also, even if the results ended up NOT being as bad as feared, everyone knew that bill was written by the credit card industry. Some of us were screaming bloody murder. Some elected officials heard us. Some did not. I’ve never forgotten which Democrats did not, which I vowed at the time. Also, the bill put credit card payments on a par with child support payments following bankruptcy. Disgusting!

    As for contributing to Kucinich, no way in hell. He co-hosted a fundraiser with Larry Flynt a few months ago. No way, no way, no way. He is YET ANOTHER lefty man who thinks the objectification and commodification of women is no big deal – another PETA type who thinks “Hustler” is A-okay.

    continued on another post in case this thing crashes…

    Posted by ceejay1968 | February 9, 2008, 8:36 am
  91. Oh, Heart, I was TOTALLY teasing when I asked how you were going to win if you kept posting stuff on behalf of other candidates! I was so hoping you would laugh! Of course you would post things regarding what’s going on with Hillary Clinton. I understand that your work involves advocacy for women – period.

    Also, I see another post further down that claims women aren’t being told they are traitors if they support Obama. And this is a claim Robin Morgan made too. This HAS happened to me over and over again, I swear, just for saying I was considering it.

    As for Obama and Dunbar Village and the Jena 6, I think we should recognize that he faces the same marginalization regarding race that HC does regarding women’s issues.

    My favorite ever episode of West Wing was when Jimmy Smits was running for president. A young black man was shot by police in L.A. and Smits, the first ever “person of color with a real change to become president,” desperately wanted to avoid public comment. HIs staff insisted that he had to get involved or else face outright mutiny within the Democratic party, perhaps fatally low turnout on election day. He still refused, so finally his staff set up a meeting with the family without first getting Smitt’s permission, knowing he wouldn’t dare cancel. Smitts didn’t cancel, but he was furious, saying, “Don’t you get it? Once I comment on these things, I become THE Latino candidate, and once that happens, I won’t be anything BUT THE Latino candidate, and then I lose.”

    We know that issues outside of what interests white males serve to marginalize candidates who aren’t white males. I haven’t heard Hillary comment about what I consider “women’s issues” as much as I’d like, but the thing is, I don’t expect it. It’s definitely not her fault. As soon as she did that, it would be a great excuse for the white doodz to tune her out and get rid of her altogether (has Hillary commented on Dunbar Village? she’s a woman!). Likewise, I’ve wrestled long and hard (truly, to the point of having headaches and severe anxiety) about how to make peace – or not – with her war authorization vote, knowing that if a woman doesn’t vote for war, she becomes so marginalized that she won’t have ANY chance of being president.

    Damn patriarchy and all of its double binds.

    Well, it’s the same with Obama. I think we should recognize that when he comments on the Jena 6 or Dunbar Villege, whites will use that as a way to marginalize him into, to borrow from The West Wing, “THE black candidate.” And then he disappears.

    These are all traps because of a racist, sexist culture. The only way for women and racial minorities to “go mainstream” and get elected is to, for the most part, be one of the white guys. We have to hope that getting some people who aren’t white guys elected leads, eventually, to a critical mass where there is freedom to discuss a broader range of issues without risk of marginalization followed by disappearance from the public stage. In the meantime, we get Hillary who votes for wars and Barack who prefers not to comment on the Jena Six. And we have to figure out how understanding we want to be and can be in each case.

    I don’t agree that Obama’s failure to comment is a matter of “enabling.” I used that word in my post to refer to Hillary Clinton’s active participation, documented by different sources over the years, in campaigns to publicly discredit women who say Bill Clinton raped or harassed them. “Enabling,” as I meant it when I used it, is a term used borrowed from co-dependency circles to refer to actively helping someone continue to engage in bad behavior; it refers to helping to SAVE them from the fallout of their actions. It doesn’t apply to staying married to that person (as long as you’re not SAVING them from their screw ups) and it doesn’t apply to failing to get involved. “Enabling” is active, not passive. I don’t see any way to interpret a politician’s failure to mention a particular crime as “enabling” criminals.

    Thanks, Heart, for the response and the great posts.

    Posted by ceejay1968 | February 9, 2008, 9:11 am
  92. A white male democrat will vote for Obama before Clinton, if not for the Republican candidate.

    Again, I have to respectfully ask, are any of you down south? This argument is NOT true here, I promise you! Racism trumps sexism here. It trumps everything here.

    Posted by ceejay1968 | February 9, 2008, 9:19 am
  93. All these so called feminist women who are supporting Obama. Where the hell would they be if women like Hillary, Robin, WAOD and me had not laid the path for them to be where they are today

    And here is an example of what several here have said ISN’T happening (not their fault, maybe they just hadn’t seen an example yet) – feminists for Obama being told we’re not feminists. I hope we can all agree that it IS true that feminists for Obama are being called traitors.

    So, I ask again, since I’m just a “so-called feminist,” who is my sister? Hillary Clinton or Cindy Sheehan? And after many months of agony, I have found my answer: my feminism is not going to be about helping to elect a white woman who will bomb brown people.

    Disagree with me, sure…and if Hillary wins, I’ll be dancing with joy for all the women who supported her, including my – biological – mother and sisters. But, for god’s sake, please stop telling me I am not a real feminist or I am ungrateful to other feminists if I don’t support your candidate, who had power and voted for a war that has harmed women with less power. Okay? Please?

    Posted by ceejay1968 | February 9, 2008, 9:36 am
  94. “Well, until Hillary Clinton repudiates her war vote and demonstrates a commitment to a truly different foreign policy, I too have a right to have my suspicions about her concern over this war.”

    Obama has said he’ll support unilateral incursions in where-the-fuck-ever the US needs to incur.

    He’s allowed to be macho. He’s allowed to say he’ll [allow incursions which result in the] rape and murder [of] whoever needs to be raped and murdered. He’s allowed to say that and still be the candidate of change, hope, and peace.

    Clinton isn’t. She can’t say any of those things or be any of those things.

    Either way, the US seems like it’s going to be doing some major incurring.

    And either way, white men will be able to say that it’s not them but a black man or a white woman who is responsible for that incursion. Sounds like a good deal.

    Note from Heart — I edited the third paragraph (bracketed portions] because I do not want the story to be that I approved comments saying Obama planned to rape and murder people. Argh.

    Posted by Rich | February 9, 2008, 11:22 am
  95. Hey, ceejay, re Morgan’s talk about celebrity culture, I think she was talking about what the media is doing with Obama’s candidacy, that the media is turning him into a celebrity and that people are buying it, because U.S. culture IS so much about celebrities right now. I took that as a swipe not at Obama, but at the media and at Americans who are not thinking critically but who want the kind of celebrity president the media is making Obama out to be.

    Re the suggestion that white male Democrats in the South will vote for Obama over a woman, and your thinking that this would not happen because of racism in the South, Obama did take Alabama and Georgia on Super Tuesday, which is pretty significant.

    Posted by womensspace | February 9, 2008, 1:06 pm
  96. Why run for president if you don’t plan on raping and killing people?

    Our president isn’t a leader who gives inspiring speeches, s/he’s our chief executor of our executive branch. Isn’t that an interesting word! Pronounce it any way you like, you know?

    If you’re running for president, unless you’re on a ticket that endorses pacifism, you’re running to be commander and chief of our armed forces. And if they’re not raping and murdering over there, they’ll probably be doing it, to some extent, over here.

    I’m not saying that just to grandstand as the voice of the “unpragmatic” or whatever.

    Only to say that to claim, as Dave did (and the many, many he stands in for did), that Clinton is a “hawk” and Obama is flowers and daisies is preposterous. It’s nice that he has a better voting record in that respect. Kudos. I’m not being sarcastic in saying that. But that “better” just means he believes that one, particular, war was a bad idea, it doesn’t mean that he doesn’t believe that there can be no such thing as a just war, that war is always raping and murdering, even whether or not it’s done unilaterally.

    And as before, it’s sexist not to acknowledge that it’s safe for one candidate to go there, “there” being unilaterally, (because, after all, the American public wants to ellect someone who will rape and murder on our behalf while whitewashing the details for us), while another candidate can’t, as she’s somehow the hawk entangled in the mess of others.

    Maybe Obama didn’t have to vote yes on the war to get and keep his job and Clinton *did*: maybe that’s male privilege, too, not just differing opinions. It’s not like we know what Clinton had in her mind throughout that whole period. Or what was given in exchange for her “consent.”

    Posted by Rich | February 9, 2008, 1:56 pm
  97. Obama also took South Carolina. He has beeen doing very well in the south.

    Posted by Branjor | February 9, 2008, 2:40 pm
  98. In GA, 50% of Democratic Primary voters were black, and Obama got 90% of the black vote. So while white men go for Obama more than white women do, they’re not necessarily responsible for Obama’s success in the South like they are other places.

    Posted by funnie | February 9, 2008, 2:51 pm
  99. So, what then. Are the white guys in the South voting Republican? Are white male Democrats sitting out the primaries (or the election just in general)? What are the theories.

    Posted by womensspace | February 9, 2008, 3:00 pm
  100. White guys in the south have been largely voting Republican for some time: this has given rise to terms like “Red State” and “the NASCAR vote.”

    Posted by funnie | February 9, 2008, 3:06 pm
  101. Uh, remember those red state, blue state maps? Of course most of the white guys are republicans and democratic white guys are a minority among white guys.

    Posted by Rich | February 9, 2008, 3:09 pm
  102. < moderation makes me look dumb and redundant, nothing to see here folks.

    Posted by Rich | February 9, 2008, 3:10 pm
  103. Right, funnie, but I’ve been responding to ceejay’s response to another poster, i.e.:

    A white male democrat will vote for Obama before Clinton, if not for the Republican candidate.

    Again, I have to respectfully ask, are any of you down south? This argument is NOT true here, I promise you! Racism trumps sexism here. It trumps everything here.

    I am interested in what she (or anyone) thinks happened so far as the white male democrats in Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina.

    Posted by womensspace | February 9, 2008, 3:11 pm
  104. What CJ said would happen, happened.

    Merle Black, an expert on Southern politics at Emory University in Atlanta, notes that most white males in Georgia vote Republican, and that white males constituted only 16 percent of Tuesday’s Democratic electorate there.

    “That’s very, very small,” Black said.

    By comparison, white women were 27 percent of Georgia’s Democratic voters; black men, 19 percent; black women, 33 percent.

    Black further noted that Hillary Clinton is not an especially appealing candidate for many white men in the South. Yet next door to Georgia in Alabama, which Obama also won on the basis of overwhelming black support, Clinton defeated Obama among white males, 73 percent to 23 percent.

    Posted by funnie | February 9, 2008, 3:14 pm
  105. the spam filter doesn’t like the excerpt in that link that answers your question. but it also answers only part of your question.

    HRC does better with poor white guys than rich ones; more of the former group are in the South.

    HRC is seen as more hawkish: white guys in the South are more disposed to hawkish candidates than white guys in the North.

    Posted by funnie | February 9, 2008, 3:19 pm
  106. One reason I like BOTH Obama and Clinton is that they’re considered “northerners” of a sort, just because the prevailing election wisdom for MY ENTIRE LIFE is that an electable Democrat HAS to come from the south in order to carry any white male votes down there and at least win his home state.

    So maybe even the whole sex/race thing is moot as you need both male/white and southern to deliver adequate votes from that demographic.

    I think the more interesting question is why democrats haven’t made a stink about the super-delegate situation yet. It’s like they’re* waiting to see if their horse loses before they say anything about it. Which is asking for trouble on a variety of levels, especially after their leaders failed to attack the electoral college system itself.

    *I belong to a smaller party that was important for local elections but has hence imploded into obscurity. If I were a democrat, I’d probably have voted for Edwards, or, after he dropped out, Clinton being my senator would have given her the edge over Obama, whom I’m evenly split on.

    Posted by Rich | February 9, 2008, 4:27 pm
  107. A very good thesis to ponder. If Senator Obama becomes president will the typical “activists”, who love to say that Senator Clinton does not promise to help illegal border crossers from being raped will be willing to ask the same question of Obama. Actually will it be worded the same as in Clinton does not for all the Mexican women crossing the border who are raped as in implying that Clinton is personally raping them. Will anti-racists and so-called progressive be willing to attach rape with Obama, knowing the historical context associated with accusing a black man of rape? Or will Obama get a free pass because he is just one man, the president, and thus it is the duty of the border patrol, congress, other agencies, etc, all agencies other than Obama, because Obama will be exempted from being accused of rape. It is easily to accuse Bush of rape and murder this very moment because he is the commander in chief. If OBama takes possession of the white house, how long will he be allowed to transition from not-a rapist and murderer to a rapist and murderer, if ever. Until all the troops are out of Iraq. So if they are not out the first day he takes office if he takes office will he be a rapist and murderer on that day? Or within a week? A month? A year? How many women will be raped in Iraq before it becomes Obama’s fault? When is the rape accountability cut-off? Or will it be excused unlike it is excused now because to be held accountable just depends on who is the individual and who identifies with that individual as being someone who should not be held accountable even if they hold the same office as the last person who was held accountable. When excuses are being made suddenly the woman who is raped no longer matters.

    I honestly don’t think the category police can ever comprehend the limitations that categories places on social dynamics.

    “Thus the result of us or them, take no prisoners, scorch the earth and damn anyone other than who I have set upon a pedestal if it does not go my way.”

    Posted by ekittyglendower | February 9, 2008, 8:13 pm
  108. Clinton isn’t. She can’t say any of those things or be any of those things.

    THANK YOU RICH. I can’t believe a man actually noticed this, no offense. It seems to me a lot of feminist women are punishing Clinton for the things she can’t say because it would kill her campaign. It’s kind of like how politicians pay lip service to Christianity, but you can look at their record, their past, their current thinking, and how much lip service they pay to discern what is merely marketing and who they really are–atheists. Clinton is walking a much thinner wire than Obama, and she’s had better balance all the way. The fire she’s been under is almost a blessing in disguise to people who are divided between Obama and Clinton, because I’ve never seen a president more reliably balance on such a narrow political tightrope and keep walking. She’s by far and away the most presidential of the front-running candidates.

    Obama has said sexist things to Hillary and is actively benefiting from the misogyny directed at her, which is why I will never vote for him.

    Posted by K.A. | February 9, 2008, 8:16 pm
  109. Voi vittu HRC ja naisen housut! There is a reason that HRC will never be in the same company as Meir or Thatcher or Halonen (why was Tarja Halonen omitted? Perhaps too convenient?). There is a reason why people here refer to HRC as a political prostitute. There is a reason why the other female heads of state mentioned in that list are not in the same group as Meir or Thatcher or Halonen. There are myriad reasons why HRC should not be the first female head of state of the most amazing state to grace the planet earth. There is a reason why women like my mother with terminal degrees are switching from lifelong republican positions to vote for Obama. There is a reason why these women would vote for Rice over HRC.

    What is more emancipatory for the US?

    An African American male who is elected without having to play the race card or a female candidate who has to play the gender card among uneducated or clearly biased women? In 2008 it is time to see Obama as president. At some point, there will be a female POTUS, but the first female POTUS should be in the light of Halonen, Thatcher and Meir, not Bhutto.

    HRC is an embarrassment.

    Posted by K. Vaulke | February 9, 2008, 8:28 pm
  110. I don’t trust any lifelong republican’s position on ANYTHING to do with race or women, sorry Vaulke. It’s just one of those things that sane people do. I know who the “biased” ones are when it comes to women, and it’s not democratic women. My mother pointed out that black people would flock to the polls for Obama, but women wouldn’t do the same for Clinton, and she turned out to be correct. As for gender card, Obama has used it against Hillary. He’s used it more than anyone–more than Clinton. Some progressive!

    Posted by K.A. | February 9, 2008, 8:55 pm
  111. K.A. –

    Can you please show me where Obama has used the gender card against Clinton?

    As for your distrust of Republican’s – that’s exactly the kind of message that goes against so much of what Obama’s message is. You know nothing of Vaulke’s mother, her views, or how strongly she holds to them. Yes, you immediately discredit her changing to Obama simply because she is a Republican? Now, I’m making an assumption of my own – but I have a feeling that if Vaulke’s mother were to vote for Clinton that you would be singing a different tune.

    Posted by R. Canton | February 9, 2008, 9:17 pm
  112. Can you please show me where Obama has used the gender card against Clinton?

    Obama knows language code. He knows his language. Therefore when he talks about Clinton, a politician, instead of saying the knives come out, he says the claws come out. That is gender code subtle enough to go under the radar but known enough to provoke the misogynists. His campaign does it all the time.

    Claws, as in a making her a cat, while he is a dog, alpha dog, top dog, manly dog, dealing with a pussy-cat.

    Posted by ekittyglendower | February 9, 2008, 9:29 pm
  113. Sure my response is over-simplified. Then again, anyone who gave a shit about women’s rights or the humanity of brown people or gays more than they cared about tax breaks would not be a lifelong republican, plain and simple. Honest.

    Here’s one post about Obama’s hypocrisy:

    Here’s another:
    (Scroll down to number 2, the last paragraph of which includes more of the sexist jabs Obama has taken)

    Posted by K.A. | February 9, 2008, 9:47 pm
  114. To Satsuma, and others concerned about war’s impact, in general and on women:

    Posted by Dave | February 9, 2008, 10:14 pm
  115. I am not particularly convinced that either Obama OR Clinton will be able to end the war. What I see is a larger issue — is a very qualified woman worth it in the white house?

    Somehow, I just don’t have much confidense in men who are liberal to represent me in full. I actually feel that Obama’s speeches seem rather simplistic platitudes. I honestly don’t see him as a great thinker, and I just feel Clinton has a more mature and nuanced view of the world.

    We can pick at the Clinton legacy all we want, but we do have to recognize the powerhouse that was the 90s. I also am glad the Clintons were the first team to really openly support gay and lesbian rights, and to SAY so publicaly. So soon we forget how no previous candidates could even choke out the word “lesbian” — so they broke the silence and claimed the white house. The resulted in a very big turn in the general public’s attitudes towards gays and lesbians — actually mostly gay men, since the general public knows very little if nothing about lesbians or our culture.

    Who will get us out of that war? We really don’t know. We simply can’t really trust a politician running for office to keep a promise like this. FDR didn’t do it, Kennedy and Eisenhower got us into Vietnam, Johnson couldn’t get us out, and ironically the man who did get us out wasn’t even elected in the first place. Gerald Ford, the unelected president did it!

    So there you have it. My bottom line is very simple: I wanted as many strong liberal/feminist women elected and appointed to everything. I see huge breakthroughs in the total number of women now entering colleges across the land. In 20 years, women will surpass men at all levels of academic achievement.

    As a result of Title IV, young women will surpass men in Olympic events, and we will become stronger and more self-assured. Fatherhood itself is disappearing, because women can now have children on their own, and most fathers who divorce seem to have little interest in children anyway. So the households of America will lose their patriarchal character.

    Gradually, as women gain more access, and have less sexist to fight against at the entry levels, this lessened sexism will also filter up to the higher levels of companies. When there is truly a level playing field, men will not stand a chance. They have only been successful when they have unfair advantages and when they control access.

    So this is the direction this country is heading, and it’s a very good one demographically. I believe this process will speed up faster with Generation Y.

    When women are using a different approach to daily life, I believe the level of male violence will then decrease as well. A male dominant society is inherently irresponsible because it tolerates rape, violence and pornography. Life will be better than we’ve ever known it. Clinton is merely the system of this new age. She represents the transition of women.

    Posted by Satsuma | February 10, 2008, 7:39 am
  116. Up thread about a mile:

    Me: if I’m recalling correctly, [Obama] did oppose partial birth abortion.

    funnie: You aren’t.

    This was what I was recalling (from the CNN candidate issues chart) which I found troublesome so far as Obama’s stand on abortion:

    “[Obama] opposes any constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v Wade. Disagreed with Supreme Court ruling to uphold the “Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act.” Did not cast a vote on Prohibiting Funds for Groups that Perform Abortions amendment in 2007.”

    Posted by womensspace | February 10, 2008, 5:20 pm
  117. I’m confused. Are you saying the 2nd sentence is troublesome? Or only the 3rd?

    Posted by funnie | February 10, 2008, 5:53 pm
  118. To clarify:

    The first and second sentences are firm prochoice stances that don’t trouble me.

    I have no background for what the third sentence, the nonvote, is about.

    I will say that the Clinton campaign has mischaracterized Obama’s prochoice voting record in IL, so that characterization (which has been said all over the airwaves/newspapers) may be a bit of what you’re thinking about.

    However, I don’t think that’s a signal of him being weak on choice. I think it’s a strategic and political problem that women’s groups in IL have:

    NOW wanting a “no” vote vs. Planned Parenthood (plus the past NOW prez) wanting a “present” vote.

    For background:

    Posted by funnie | February 10, 2008, 6:05 pm
  119. To clarify further: I agree with the tactics of IL NOW more than those of IL PP.

    ILPP behaves as though abortion rights are so valuable they can’t be entrusted to democracy. While I understand that sentiment (laws regulating my body shouldn’t be subject to the whims of the majority), I think transparent political representation is preferable in all cases to shrewd political strategy.

    Look at the delay of the clinic opening in Aurora (IL) – PP used a shell company for the permitting and zoning process in order to get around antichoice local officials. Some people think that’s a good strategic move to get a much-needed clinic built before anybody can protest or vandalize it. I think it’s an unfortunate deception that in the end makes people resentful over having their community’s rules sidestepped.

    So, I agree with NOW that people should have to say yes or no every time, and that political “cover” for vulnerable reps is dumb. If they can’t be elected because of their voting record, maybe they shouldn’t remain in office (even if I agree with them, even if they’re an ally).

    But (unlike the Aurora zoning board, at least) the IL senate is *structured* to provide that political cover. To give senators a “no” vote that is not a “no” vote, and everyone uses it equally strategically. So while I’d like those “no” votes on record, I think it’s dishonest for Clinton to claim that Obama’s weak-willed on choice based on a strategy invented by Planned Parenthood for the sake of covering senators who *didn’t* have the clout Obama did.

    In other news: if the women’s movement could just get it togehter and solidify their agenda, we’d ALL have easier decisions to make! :p

    Posted by funnie | February 10, 2008, 6:28 pm
  120. Satsuma, does a person who votes to support the continued used of clusterbombs, which are second only to land mines in their damage to non-combatants, represent the perspectives you’ve presented in this thread on war?

    Taking a page from Robin Morgan, I think you shouldn’t use Hillary Clinton as a Rorschach test, a blank slate that you fill with the perspectives you’ve outlined here. I think your strange choice not to mention the Defense of Marriage Act is another example.

    Posted by Dave | February 10, 2008, 6:55 pm
  121. For the record, the information I posted wasn’t from the Clinton campaign, it was from a CNN report on the candidates’ stands on the issues. Of Clinton on abortion, it said:

    Will sign into law the Freedom of Choice Act, which would codify Roe v. Wade into federal law. Would overturn the “global gag rule,” which prohibits Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) from talking about abortion in the event of an unplanned pregnancy. Voted against the Prohibit Partial Birth Abortion bill in 2003. Did not cast a vote on Prohibiting Funds for Groups that Perform Abortions amendment in 2007. Disagreed with Supreme Court ruling to uphold the “Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act.”

    Clinton’s position as to the prohibiting funds for groups that perform abortions amendment and as to the Supreme Court to uphold the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act is identical to Obama’s.

    Posted by womensspace | February 10, 2008, 7:30 pm
  122. I like what Obama says here about abortion (though you have to put up with an irritating, but short, ad first):

    Posted by womensspace | February 10, 2008, 7:36 pm
  123. and as to the Supreme Court to uphold the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act

    Hey – sorry if I’m being annoyingly repetitive, but something about your wording here makes me still think you might be reading this differently…?

    Just to clarify the chronology, in case there’s a misunderstanding:

    Congress passed a ban on Partial Birth Abortion (that Clinton voted against and Obama wasn’t in the Senate for)

    Prochoice groups (OK, really plaintiffs) took the ban to the Supreme Court, because they thought the ban was unconstitutional.

    The conservative Supreme Court said “no, it’s totally okay for Congress to get rid of these Partial Birth Abortions[sic]”

    Obama and Clinton said: hey, you’re WRONG, Supreme Court! this abortion-ban is unconstitutional and infringes upon women’s rights!

    The way that CNN blurb is (poorly) written, I can see how it might be read as though Clinton and Obama disagreed with the Supreme Court IN ORDER TO uphold the abortion ban.

    Instead, they disagreed with the Supreme Court’s DECISION TO uphold the abortion ban, so Clinton and Obama are both pro-choice as to (so-called) partial birth abortions.

    Posted by funnie | February 10, 2008, 7:52 pm
  124. I was totally shocked at the level of sexism and misogyny from the young male Obama supporters as reflected on Facebook. I am a 36 year old male and old enough to remember the Clinton years without the Rush/Media filter.

    I guess I would be less surprised at a right-winger throwing out all this “evil-bitch” stuff with euphemisms, but I was totally shocked to see it from so many supposed left-wing Obama fans and I think unfortunately Obama himself has at least fanned the flame of all these disguised sexist attacks.

    They appear totally unaware of their motivations, but some of the Obama women supporters appear to hear it. I don’t watch MSNBC and thought they were just going after her for trying to reform the Health system that threatens their Insurance Company/Drug-Lord masters same as Michael Moore. I heard a good explanation of that on Bill Maher where a guy said the Republicans with money are more worried about Hillary as they know she knows how to actually work the system for real change and don’t believe Obama has the same experience or capabilities.

    I am really not sure if these young men just picked up the propaganda spewed out for the last 15-years or so or if it is a reflection of their own internal anger at women or possibly just feminism in general, but Hillary does appear to be the vessel of irrational hate more than Obama the center of hope.

    I personally have zero issues with Hillary and although I supported Edwards more because of his more progressive policies…I now support Hillary as the more capable candidate. She has walked a tightrope and empowers women and doesn’t attack men, so I don’t understand the anger. I think it is great that her and Bill are so good and equal a team and only hope I am lucky to find my partner and equal as well. Hope all the good liberal women aren’t dating conservatives;)

    Posted by James | February 11, 2008, 5:57 am
  125. Another really aggravating form of sexism: people really don’t pay enough attention to the mommy bloggers:

    There’s some interesting analysis here.


    Posted by womensspace | February 12, 2008, 8:55 pm
  126. Illinois NOW is none too happy with Obama votes on abortion bills in the State Senate. This is from the sidebar at (which was linked by Silicon Valley Moms Blog)

    Obama Was Present, But He Was Not There On Issues That Mattered to Illinois Women

    During Senator Obama’s 2004 senate campaign, the Illinois NOW PAC did not recommend the endorsement of Obama for U.S. Senate because he refused to stand up for a woman’s right to choose and repeatedly voted ‘present’ on important legislation.

    As a State Senator, Barack Obama voted ‘present’ on seven abortion bills, including a ban on ‘partial birth abortion,’ two parental notification laws and three ‘born alive’ bills. In each case, the right vote was clear, but Senator Obama chose political cover over standing and fighting for his convictions.

    “When we needed someone to take a stand, Senator Obama took a pass,” said (President of Illinois NOW Bonnie) Grabenhofer. “He wasn’t there for us then and we don’t expect him to be now.”

    What is it with these male Democrats? John Kerry made a point of being open to anti-abortion justices, then had to clarify his position to placate angry women. Al Gore and Dennis Kucinich were both consistently anti-abortion before getting involved in presidential politics. Obama also seems to want to have it both ways. Is this what he means by healing the partisan divide?

    Posted by Aletha | February 13, 2008, 5:57 am
  127. James, welcome to the world of women in the work world!
    “I was totally shocked at the level of sexism and misogyny from the young male Obama supporters as reflected on Facebook. ”

    You will see people vote for Obama because he is a man. You’ll see Clinton, with incredible experience worldwide get completely trashed by these facebook woman hating idiots. They can’t get away with this in most civilized work places, so they resort to the Internet to attack capable women.

    Who is most qualified? Men almost always believe they are smarter, better and more qualified than all women, no matter what women have accomplished. Since I’m on to this game of men, I just don’t work with them as clients anymore. My mission is to make the world better for women, and I don’t believe men will ever believe they are not superior beings.

    It’s just who they are. So now you have seen this stuff for yourself, and ask yourself– this hatred is out there all the time. Women are treated like objects all the time in popular media, and yet it is women who remain unaware of the war men are waging against women. The sad part is women really will vote for Obama. They’ll have a million excuses for why they are doing this, but deep down, it simply comes down to the patriarchal conditioning of women. They have to actually live with oppressors of women in their own homes.

    Women are not free in the world, and they are not free in their own homes. Men have this idea of nation states (male ruled lands based on different male cultural norms).

    I say it is time for women to find a country of their own, and to make this world free of all sexism. I think we’d have to create this society free of men for perhaps another 200 years, and all women who want to achieve and have real freedom would be welcome to immigrate to this women’s country. That’s something I plan to do before I die. I’ll find this place.

    Posted by Satsuma | February 13, 2008, 6:50 am
  128. Satsuma,

    If you ever find that place please let me know.


    Posted by Mary Sunshine | February 13, 2008, 5:13 pm
  129. Mary Sunshine,

    This is really something all the women of the world should seriously consider. I don’t know why it rarely comes up in feminist discussions. We focus too much time on fighting against, rather than creating anew.

    Posted by Satsuma | February 13, 2008, 10:10 pm
  130. Satsuma,

    I know. I wonder why women would rather fight with each other, “top” each other, than create a female stronghold for ourselves.

    The female-only always gets subordinated to fights and male interests.

    I’m afraid I’ve lived too long to see this in my lifetime.

    Posted by Mary Sunshine | February 13, 2008, 10:49 pm
  131. Satsuma and Mary Sunshine: I’m with you.

    Posted by Branjor | February 14, 2008, 3:28 am
  132. Sex Ed for the real world could not be complete without recognizing that the nation is likely to wind up with two candidates whose paternal syndrome prompted them to each write their respective books – Faith of my Father vs Dreams of My Father.

    If this sounds a bit eery, it should.

    As the first time a woman is fielded as candidate, the fact that two men who wrote about their fathers shows that women have a long way to go to live up to those paternal standards.

    The irony could not be more complete, nor insulting to women, even young ones. The sell out of women to Obama is unforgiveable as justified in derring to men to imagine that they have women’s best interests at heart by condoning the kinds of violence women suffer today.

    From the momentum to legalize prostitution to allowing trafficking, nothing could be more telling than to have two candidates who embrace their fathers, not their mothers, as the guiding light in their lives.

    If ever there was an election which put women in their place, this is surely it, and with the willing, not unwitting help of other women. So much for feminism.

    Under these circumstances, women should return home and raise babies and allow themselves to be taken care of by men who claim to be able to do so, and hold them to it.

    Posted by Pat | February 15, 2008, 3:35 pm
  133. All the more reason why, for the last two years, I have deliberately kept both my money AND my votes out of the hands of men!
    I actually have less debt, since my dealings with women-only local businesses have netted me fewer “unearned or undisclosed fees”.

    Posted by Dane Elder | February 15, 2008, 7:12 pm
  134. Just a thought for those who think that image savvy and “charm” a good president makes.

    As a non US citizen who grew up in an ex-dictatorship/3rd world country I am always surprised to see how otherwise intelligent people in the US can blithely justify pinning so much of their future in the hopes that an geopolitically unseasoned, telepromptered candidate with little in-depth, on-the-spot grasp of statistics and policy details would “save the day”. Somehow.

    Haven’t they had enough of that with Bush Jr?

    The first time I heard Bush Jr speak on television nearly a decade ago as president, I nearly cried- being so underwhelmed by his presence and having a spine-tingling prescient fear that this president was heading for disaster. Subsequent years prove me awfully right.

    I’ve read a lot of articles from media around the world which endorses Obama saying in essence that “He’ll be a breath
    of fresh air”.

    What people in the US DON’T see/read/hear are the furtive comments ordinary (and not so ordinary) people around the world say on their dining room tables about how much easier it is to “deal” with a US president so secure in his belief on the goodness of human nature that he’s perceived as a naive savant- not really to be taken seriously in either their long-term policy planning or serious economic negotiations.


    Hello? A recession is imminent, your soldiers are dying in what could only be called a quagmire and you’re all pining your expectations on a “hope” of a candidate?

    The pragmatist and realist in me shudders.

    America as a nation and its people deserves better than to endure a president’s teething period during this stormy, uncertain period. If the US is in better shape economically, internationally and militarily, I might say Obama is a better “change” candidate than Hillary- BUT, honestly that is NOT the case.

    For all Hillary’s faults (and sexism aside, she has many- but
    errare humanum est- you’re nominating a president, not a saint), she has more negotiating skills and respect internationally than Obama (thanks Bill! you had to be good for SOMETHING!). She gained a lot of respect from her dignified self-control when set upon by numerous scandals. Most women in her shoes would have broken down when faced with a philandering husband and a global public humiliation. Her tough skin, comprehensive grasp of facts, resiliency AND ruthlessness in defending her loved ones would make any foreign negotiator quail.

    It’s very easy to say that you WANT change (and expect it from your golden boy candidate). It’s another to have to PAY for your choice out of your wallet as the rest of the world expects America to stop the global plunge into recession AND stabilize its foreign policy AND do it with its people’s money to boot. Would YOU be willing to suffer higher gas/food/etc prices as your president takes the time to learn to “get the hang” of his office?

    I wouldn’t. And NO foreign powers give your candidate a break either. It’s baptism by geopolitical fire. And you NEED a candidate ready at the get go. You can’t afford not to.

    Face it people, America is at war and facing a recession. You need someone tough enough to be its military leader and smart enough to work on its faltering economy. First things first- the economy and international credibility. Everything else can wait. Otherwise your poorest and middle class WILL suffer a flashback to the worst of late 70s/early 80s.

    I happen to believe America is critical to global economic and political stability and do NOT want that to happen. If you want to vote for your “hope” of a better political system, that’s fine with me- but dear God, don’t drag the rest of the world down with you!

    A lot of people here are reluctant to compare Hillary to Maggie Thatcher and her “proto-male” leadership. But Mags was one tough lady- tough enough to steer Britain through the worst economic struggle it had in centuries and pave the way for today’s resurrected Britain. Can you see John Major or Tony Blair having to deal with the Unions Maggie faced? And what about Angela Merkel? They were both tough as nails, and I’d put Hillary in the same level.

    And for those saying that you’ll be electing Obama because of his wife and children- heck, if you won’t elect Hillary because of Bill, why should you elect Obama because of Michelle? That’s hypocrisy at its worst. In the end there will only be one Boss in the White House- and you should elect a veteran of the system to at least bring this battered country to its feet before changing it.

    Would u rather have a seasoned, not charismatic but capable surgeon operate on you, or would u have have a brilliant, charismatic med student work on you?

    Think about it.

    Fix the US, Hillary! Then, by all means, have Obama have his day too!

    Posted by kirillian | February 16, 2008, 8:31 pm
  135. Kirillian,

    As someone who is not a US citizen, perhaps you don’t understand the vitriol that Hillary inspires in our far right wing religious fanatics in the US of A. Much of what Bill Clinton did NOT accomplish in his 8 years of presidency was because he spent so much time fighting these people.

    It is my opinion that Barack Obama can overcome these haters to make this nation a better place and more respected in the world again. I think he can inspire and restore our dignity, our respectability, our feeling of being the “good guys” again.

    George W. Bush has made us all feel dirty, dingy, hated and hateful. We need someone fresh and we need to go beyond the old hatreds. Hillary will unite the hateful right-wing nuts as no one else can. Certainly not John McCain. The progressive people in this country who unite behind Barack Obama will not be disappointed. I hope. But Obama has given me hope again, so I hope with a light heart and a clear head.

    I am a 52-year-old white woman and at any other time would have loved to support a woman for president. But this time around I am supporting a black man. Our time will come, but first we have to move this country forward.

    Posted by Hypatia | February 16, 2008, 9:06 pm
  136. Hope does not feed your stomach when you’re hungry, pay your bills nor shelter you when you’re homeless. That’s just the truth of it for a lot of your poorest people (and if you can access the Internet from home, you’re NOT one of them)

    If Obama does win the Democratic nomination, as a geopolitical observer I pray that you (and the rest of the country) are willing to pay the price for it.

    And not wail about it 4 years later, like a lot of Democrats does with Kerry (Gore doesn’t count since he was cheated).

    Sadly, the rest of the world don’t really give a damn about fixing the American political system- they all just want someone they can “deal” better with, preferably to their own national/economic advantage and America’s detriment. They’ll put a nicer public face about it, but hey I’m quite through playing Cassandra here. I guess pragmatism just doesn’t cut it in America anymore anyway.

    Happy dreaming and see y’all in 4 years! It’s not paranoia if it’s true!

    Posted by kirillian | February 16, 2008, 9:56 pm
  137. Kirrillian,

    I guess I don’t understand your strong opposition to Obama. He is NOT GWB. He has experience, intelligence and more than just hope and good speeches.

    What do you know of Hillary or the experience of dealing with right wing fundy fanatics?

    It is nice that you “geopolitical observers” are interested in our country. I am NOT one of the wealthy people in this country even if I do have a 5 year old computer in my home. I can’t help but sort of resent your insinuations. Computers don’t cost that much and we have the slowest speed available because we can’t afford the higher speeds. My husband and I are on a fixed income and drive a 16 year old Honda (it gets good gas mileage). So stop assuming things you know nothing about.

    The most pragmatic thing this country can do is support someone who will not only beat the Republican war-mongering candidate but who will also accomplish some things domestically and internationally. I hope you’ll start paying a little more attention before just spouting your opinions. You can’t even vote here.

    Posted by Hypatia | February 16, 2008, 10:13 pm
  138. Wake up women. It doesn’t matter what color you are. The point isn’t that Obama is black. The point is that we are allowing this sexism to rule our world. It is disgraceful and we shouldn’t tolerate it. Robin’s article was an attempt to create a level playing field and to remind us of the abuse we contend with every day of our lives. We are 50% of the world and yet we allow men to dominate it.

    Shame on us. Shame on us for getting sidetracked into a race discussion.

    Posted by Jacklyn Arzio | February 17, 2008, 5:29 am
  139. Every woman who votes for Hillary Clinton is actually voting for herself. Hillary represents achievement and accomplishment and hard work, and we should respect and see this in ourselves. The low self-esteem and fear of power that rules so many women’s lives holds all of us back collectively.

    Women need to say YES YES YES to themselves. There will always be people out there who will try to con women in supporting every damn issue under the sun except themselves.

    I’m so tired of this. White men, black men or boys — I don’t really care anymore about the welfare of that part of the human race that has dominated the planet and taken up all the elected positions and controls all the corporations.

    I’ve really had it. This is the moment in time when women say WE VALUE BRILLIANT women. We value the idea that women should run countries, and should take the power that we’ve given over to stupid and incompetant men for ages —

    It is time for women to say YES women are number 1. Men see themselves as number 1 and I see women as number 1.

    We shouldn’t be giving our votes to an Obama or a McCaine, because we don’t have the guts to lead. If we want to be cowards and support the boys yet again, then we can go ahead and do this.

    I’m not and never will vote again against any highly competant woman running. If I have no choice of a woman, then I will support liberal men — but they will be liberal– they will never ever give a speech against the rape of women in a public forum, they will never care about ending pornography, and they will never risk their lives for the economic independence of women.

    There will always be some man out there that women must support, and this is just plain stupid.

    Women rise up and vote for yourself, or you can support the men who have no idea what it is like to be on the receiving end of pornography, rape culture and sexism.

    We have got to get this one concept and then the world 50% of it will be heard. We will vote for ourselves, speak for ourselves and control our internet web pages. We no longer look to men for anything at all; they should be left to themselves while women decide what they want to do for each other.

    No more support of the oppressors, the con men, the men who take women for granted. No more support for the patriarchal men with their smiling wives at their sides. No more women, NO MORE!

    Posted by Satsuma | February 17, 2008, 11:42 pm
  140. Hey guys – as a non-American observer, like Kirillian, but in an OECD country, I have to agree with *some* if not all, of what Kiriliian is trying to point out.

    You are not electing a saint, you are electing a POTUS.
    Our media is full of Obama Girl showing how much women love him, like groupies for Mick Jagger, and how Obama is somehow Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Ghandi and Superman all rolled into one, fighting for truth, justice and the American Way. But where’s his policy positions? Sheesh, talk about hard to find underneath all that Hollywood glitz complete with strippers, and saintly references!

    So I did my homework, and Obama is somewhat to the right of Clinton, she may not be perfect but she is further left. He is Republican-Lite.

    I am also a health economist, have been for 20 years, and quite frankly Obama’s health plan sucks. It supports HMO and corporate control of health care. Republican-Lite Indeed.

    And its “the economy stupid!”, sad but true. The US is sinking, unfortunately it may take everybody else with it, and quite frankly, Obama wouldn’t know an economy if it bit him on the butt. But then he will “delegate” all that stuff, or so he says – and who will he delegate it to? The multinationals? The3 ones who control US media (and most everybody else’s? – Why do you think they love him so much? Complete with Obama Girls?)

    I saw him in a 3-way debate in January with Clinton and Edwards. Edwards made mince-meat of him, Obama couldn’t think on his feet (needs a scripted speech), was easily rattled and kept taking the bait. And his blooper on credit card interest rates, mumbling that unlimited uncapped ones were OK etc — had me in stitches!

    Wont bother with the rest, like Iraq etc.
    131 James
    … Hillary does appear to be the vessel of irrational hate more than Obama the center of hope.

    Dead spot on James. So many, many media networks, sites etc are not so much pro-Obama, as anti-Clinton. Its not so much they want Obama to win, as they really, really want Clinton to lose. And lose badly, in a national, perhaps global, public bloody humiliation. Its become a national, and international, blood-sport.

    If that sort of “irrational hate” is what Obama’s rhetorical, mythical symbolic hope and change is all about, then you can count me out. (Not that I count anyway! LOL)

    Even if all the rabid frothing-at-the-mouth hating anti-Clintonites are only say, around 2-5% of Obama’s support in the primaries, do you think they will still vote Obama (or even Democrat) in November?

    Once they have become smug and satisfied at helping to smash the Evil Bitch in the primaries, will all those Independents and ‘soft’ Republicans not switch back? Once they have ‘burned the bitch’? And even a small percentage can really make a difference in swing-states, with that Electoral College system. And based on primaries? especially in the Opens and Caucuses, where Obama’s wins have been greatest, as many are allowed to ‘cross the aisle’ in those, and doesn’t necessarily mean that support will still be there come November.

    Then there’s Mary Daly’s analysis of the eternal patriarchal mythical cycle – ( talking of “symbols” LOL), the Son, or young male Hero has to slay the symbolic Evil Mother first, in a bloody ritual, before making a final stand against the Father in honorable battle. The eternal cycle, of Osiris and Set, Romulus and Remus, Castor and Pollux, Beowulf, Adonis and Dionysius etc etc. Either Father or Son, come November – Republican or Republican-Lite.
    May the world RIP for the next 4 years, but I doubt it.

    Posted by Rain | February 18, 2008, 9:16 pm
  141. It’s not an irrational hate of Hillary Clinton — it’s about male hatred of all women who want to be president and stand a good chance of winning.

    Hillary hatred is about woman hatred. It’s the same old stuff.
    The question is: can women take seriously a woman candidate, and overcome their own internalized patriarchal conditioning to really support a very intelligent and capable woman!

    That dear readers is the question of the ages.

    What would Jane Austin do? WWJAD

    Posted by Satsuma | February 18, 2008, 11:41 pm
  142. ? if it’s a question — guess that makes me doomed to hell in Jane Austen land. 🙂

    P.S. In times of trouble, Jane is always there for us!!

    Posted by Satsuma | February 18, 2008, 11:42 pm
  143. well, I may be naive, but I found this gem very “inspiring” (perhaps Jane would have liked it too?):

    Sure is far more positive than that freaking Obama Girl driving me nuts! and I live half-a-planet away!!

    “..Hillary hatred is about woman hatred. It’s the same old stuff…

    Yep, same old, same old. For the classic symbolic dis-memberment of Matricide to happen on March 4, so close to International Women’s Day, in the most powerful ‘Land of the Fathers’ on Earth is doubly symbolic methinx.

    And you may not even get your young Legend Hero. Hillary still has a lot of core Democrat support. If she loses, she wont lose by much. Thats an enormous number of Democrat Americans who have been made to feel the backlash of the Hate, made to feel like fools and idiots, being laughed at, and put-down on every media network.

    Many may still vote Democrat come November, despite their disappointment, but some proportion will drop out from voting at all. At the least, they will drop out of the hard work of volunteer campaign slogging the sidewalks and shopping malls, which is so critical in winning swing-states in those final weeks. Only takes a few percent to sit it out.

    Add these demoralised, disappointed Democrats to the Republicans and other Hillary-haters who did a double-whammy Two-For-The-Price-Of-One Deal by voting Obama in Dem primaries (to get rid of *her*), then switching to McCain in November.

    Divide-and-Conquer works so well. The Republicans must be peeing themselves with laughter. The best part, is even if their tactic fails, they still win with Obama Republican-Lite!

    Posted by Rain | February 19, 2008, 3:30 am
  144. Rain, I think you misunderstand and misrepresent Obama’s and Clinton’s platform positions. Certainly it’s impossible for one, but not both, to be Republican-Lite.

    To use the pullback lens required to get enough perspective on the political spectrum to cast one of them in that fashion, both occupy indistinguishable positions. Even from close up, who is “left” and who is “right” varies issue by issue.

    Your opinion of what plans the Republicans have for America and what will make them pee themselves with laughter come across as disinterested gloating to me. But then, I can’t recall a time I informed another country’s voters about their own conservatives’ glee. I mostly figure they’ve worked that one out for themselves, through direct experience.

    Posted by funnie | February 19, 2008, 7:09 am
  145. The Case for Barack Obama (or more specifically why Hillary is the weakest candidate)

    I think it important to disclose a few things: I want a Democrat to win the White House in 2008, that my preferred candidate is no longer in the race, that I also gave money to two candidates, neither of whom was named Clinton and that I don’t care much for either of the Clintons.

    Let’s start with the last declaration. I don’t have a real issue with Hillary or Bill. I just think they are on the conservative side of the Democratic spectrum and I’m not comfortable with everything he did as President including his gifts to the banking industry, his so-called welfare reform, NAFTA and of course not keeping his zipper zipped. In a way I hold him partially responsible for the past eight years. Fair? Perhaps not. Still I think so and I really don’t care.

    I also think it fair to say if her last name was not Clinton, she would be a non factor. Think about it: a center right women (I’m laughing at all of you who think she is a liberal–do you bother to read what she says???) who supported the disaster in Iraq running for President at this point in time. I don’t think she would be viable at all. As much as some women may understandably look to her, the fact is she would not be there without Bill. She is trading on the Clinton name and if that is the way women want to secure the White House, so be it. But I find that a pyrrhic victory at best.

    Still I voted for him twice as the proverbial lessor of two evils. And I was sympathetic to them both during the Lewinsky contretemps because for me it was more of a personal matter between the two of them than a public or professional one. Unlike neo-conservatives I think lying about oral sex is a lot less problematic than, let’s say, lying for war as did Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Powell and the other trolls.

    However Bill’s behavior over the last few weeks and months have caused me to really reevaluate my opinions but more on this in a minute.

    After eight disastrous years under the frat-boy-in-chief and his minions, there’s a lot to be done for the US to reclaim any moral and political authority in the world. The best political party to do that is the Democrats who have a slightly more sophisticated view of the world and our place in it.

    Personally I think John Edwards is the best candidate that the Democrats could muster. He was the first (with the possible exception of Dennis Kucinich) candidate to speak truth to power. He was THE first to come out with a health care proposal and he spoke forcefully and passionately for the poor when virtually no once else–except Kucinich again–did.

    But Edwards is unfortunately out of the race, leaving only two candidates.

    The Clinton and Obama campaigns have each been making arguments about which candidate would be better in the general election campaign against John McCain. She argues her experience matters, that she is ready to get to work on day one and that she is the solutions candidate. Obama counters that she is yesterday’s news, that the country wants real change and that another President named Clinton does not offer anything new.

    Since I so desperately want a Democrat to win, choosing Obama over Clinton was a no brainer. Obama really is the better candidate against any Republican but especially against a hypocrite like John McCain.

    The Iraq Resolution:

    For me, the case for Barack and against Hillary starts and stops with two significants votes she made in the US Senate.

    On the resolution to go to war with Iraq and on Kyl Lieberman, the junior senator from New York just flat got it wrong. Barck Obama, who was not in the Senate at the time, was on record vociferously opposing the war.

    In 2003, we all know that Hillary Clinton along with most other members of the House and Senate, green lighted the resolution allowing Bush to go to war with Iraq. Many thoughtful Senators have backtracked from that vote, arguing that they were disceived by a disingenuous Bush Administration and its minions who cherry picked intelligence to suit their purposes.

    Hillary Clinton is not among them. Her vote on Iraq was wrong. But she still stubbornly insists that she was right and that she would vote that way again, all the while slagging the Bush Administration for its handling of the Iraq war, not for the very idea of it in the first place. So she erred, then compounded that mistake by erring again. in effect she is wrong twice and in my view that immediately eliminates her from any serious consideration. Being stupid or stubborn (or both) should immediately disqualify anyone for the Presidency. If we have learned nothing from the moron Bush, we should have learned that.

    I’m not certain why Hillary persists in arguing the indefensible. I can only think that she and her advisors made the cold, calculated decision to support the military action so she would appear not to be weak in her upcoming Presidential bid. Rather than act out of real principle, she embraced the dark side and supported the neo con hawks. Five years later she has refused to admit a mistake though others like John Edwards and John Kerry have both retreated from their positions. Her refusal to acknowledge this blunder or back down from that untenable position suggests to me that her fear of appearing weak transcends her interest in doing what is right. So in my view, Clinton has the blood of almost 4000 American dead, tens of thousands of US wounded and perhaps a million Iraqis dead or wounded on her hands while she shows us what a tough leader she could be. How fucking pathetic.

    It is one thing to get it wrong. It is another to keep insisting that you got it right in the face of mounting evidence to the contrary. Her position is inexplicable, untenable and unforgivable.

    The Kyl-Lieberman amendment:

    She compounded that mistake when Senators Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., and Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., filed an amendment to the 2008 Defense Reauthorization bill proclaims “that it should be the policy of the United States to combat, contain, and roll back the violent activities and destabilizing influence inside Iraq of the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

    The Senate, therefore, should “support the prudent and calibrated use of all instruments of United States national power in Iraq, including diplomatic, economic, intelligence, and military instruments, in support of the policy described … with respect to the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

    It is non-binding, but it is a “sense of the Senate” amendment basically saying the Senate views Iran as a danger to our war in Iraq, and that it is permissible for the president to use everything at his fingertips to oppose Iran, including military options, which means bombing and war.

    Sound familiar? It is the Iraq war resolution all over again. And she voted for it. Why? I have no idea.

    So for me there’s no need for any further consideration. When confronted with perhaps the two most important votes of her Senate career, Hillary Clinton got them both wrong. So much for experience and so much for solutions.

    Iraq as a campaign issue:

    The truth is the Clinton machine does not want to talk much about Iraq and when it does, she usually lambasts President Bush for getting it wrong.

    Bush is without a doubt the worst president this country has ever seen and a moron to boot. So are the neo-cons who stand behind him, nudging him towards the abyss. But Hillary Clinton is the enabler. So she and her campaign advisors are trying to nuance her message, hoping to find one that will resonate. On iraq, they will not find one. Polls show nearly 70 per cent of Americans are unhappy with the Iraq War. It and the economy stand to be the two great issues of the 2008 campaign, unless of course you have bought into the whole immigration misdirect which I think is an attempt by the Bushies and neo cons to focus attention away from the national disaster that we know as Iraq.

    Perhaps the biggest tragedy of a Clinton candidacy is that Iraq will be virtually off the table. The politics of McCain and Clinton are a lot closer on Iraq than McCain and Obama. With Clinton, McCain will be able to triangulate and obfuscate on Iraq, arguing that she too voted for the resolution and that the only blunders were with the way the war was run which has now been corrected. With Obama, McCain has no chance of flying such a ridiculous argument.

    The Experience Argument:

    For most of the campaign, the Clinton campaign has touted her experience–ready to lead from day one–while directly or indirectly questioning Obama’s resume.

    The problem for Hillary is that she glosses over her own resume. Absent from it is her corporate legal work for Wal-mart which is telling while her eight years spent in the White House as first lady are featured.

    Personally I’m not sure the White House years are a strong selling point because it reminds voters of the marital problems between the two Clintons which lead to Bill’s infidelities and impeachment and also the debacle of her handling of the healthcare initiative. And if being first lady qualifies as job experience then perhaps Laura Bush should be running for President, not John McCain.

    To be fair Hillary has four more years of Senate experience than Obama but since the Senate is rarely a path to the White House, the significance of those years is hard to quantify.

    Furthermore, if experience is indeed the key, how can one explain how Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Powell et al. got it so wrong. They all have years of government service in the Reagan and first Bush presidencies. Yet for all of that experience, they completely bungled American foreign policy, specifically Iraq, Afghanistan and the Middle East. There’s no point in debating the neo con strategy here. It is an utter and complete failure. Experience or the lack there of had no impact on the arrogance and hubris of the neo cons who naively thought they would bring western principles of democracy to the Middle East. Bush had his axis of evil; we have our own axis of assholes who promoted a war they did not understand in a place they have never visited.

    So, to answer Hillary, being ready to lead on day one means nothing if you get it all wrong.

    One more point on experience: the Clintons are political animals. We have heard much about the vaunted Clinton machine, which has been through two Presidential and two Senate campaigns, delivering votes and states to Hillary. They seemed to have had a strategy that included a coronation on February 4. Oops! Something happened on the way to February 4. The Clintons were out maneuvered, out planned, out worked and simply outclassed. And now they are scrambling to survive and nothing is out of bounds.

    This very experienced political team led by some seriously connected political operatives has paled in comparison to Obama’s campaign. The much less experienced Obama has run a magnificent campaign, out organizing Hillary Clinton on the state level and more recently out fundraising her especially among smaller donors. That is no small feat and speaks volumes for the brain trust behind the Obama campaign and its message which is clearly resonating with voters, particularly young ones. Oh yes, the message…

    The Message:

    Clinton argues she is the stronger candidate, offering inevitability, then experience and now solutions.

    Obama offers change. And hope.

    After all the pundits and columnists weighed in and the voters actually started caucusing or actually voting, Obama had it right. The voters are looking for a change. They are tired of the scorched earth partisan politics of the recent past. They want more things done and less bickering. Obama and John Edwards were the only ones offering that message. Edwards is gone but Obama remains. And his comment decrying the bickering of red states versus blue states resonated with audiences who are looking for some sense of hope, some sense of bipartisan collaboration to end some of the very real problems we now face.

    I’m still not certain what her argument is here. Experience? Expertise? An ability to govern? Obama is a relative unknown which concerns some people. After eight years of Bush that is indeed understandable.

    But what we don’t know may be an asset. There is less of a record to go after which means the Republicans will have to go after his ideas. Call me crazy but I think the Republicans are responsible for the current political climate. They can not win a battle of ideas because theirs are wrong and obviously not working. But with Hillary, they will simply make her the issue. And it could work.

    What we do know is that the Democrats and Republicans roughly split 80 per cent of the voting public with the remaining 20 percent of independents and others who generally decide the national elections.

    We know Hillary Clinton is pretty much despised by about 40 per cent or more of the voters. We also know she is not popular with many independents. And lastly we know that her candidacy will energize the rabid right wing, the neo cons and the evangelicals to come out and vote against her, despite what the wing nut talk show loonies have to say about it.

    We know the lunatic fringe dominating the airwaves is upset that they are wielding no power or little influence in this election cycle, hence the anger. While they are threatening to boycott the election or “work for Hillary”, the truth is it will be a cold day in hell before they pass up on the opportunity to bring down a Clinton.

    This scenario, along with Clinton fatigue, spells big problems for Hillary in a general election. Obama on the other hand does not energize the evangelical or lunatic base. In fact I suspect his style of speaking with its heavy religious intonations offers them some comfort. More importantly he draws voters from the liberal to moderate wing of the Republican party. And he attracts independents who are voting for him in record numbers.

    Collateral Damage:

    Another potential problem of a Clinton candidacy is the coat tail effect. In short, she won’t have one. If she is fortunate to prevail in the general election, she will not bring fellow Democratic candidates in the House and Senate with her, thus throwing into question Democratic control of both houses of Congress.

    Any Democratic President is going to need control of both houses to push through his or her agenda. With Hillary that will simply not happen. With Obama it could.

    In a Clinton candidacy, my guess is Republicans will control one or both houses, thus thwarting virtually anything she wants to do. We only have to remember back to 1994 when the Republicans took control of both houses and then started the national six year nightmare starring Monica Lewinsky, Kenneth Starr and others. Bill Clinton when he waxes poetic about the good times of the 1990s and how Obama wasn’t part of it must have forgotten.

    Hillary could spend her entire four year term revisiting or refighting old wars from the 1990s. It could be complete chaos.

    Then there’s Bill:

    Bill Clinton left office a very popular president, despite the right wing witch hunt. An since he left office he has conducted himself reasonably well, promoting solutions to health related issues in Africa among others.

    But in the last few months we have started to see a different side of Bill. It started in December with some disquieting details from Bill Shaheen, a campaign staffer who is married to the former New Hampshire governor, suggesting there was more to Obama’s admitted drug experimentation as a teenager. The Clinton campaign quickly denied responsibility and then fired him but only after the story had carried for three or four news cycles. Shortly thereafter came some discreet rumblings about Obama’s experience from some of the Clinton surrogates. Then came the nefarious drug charges resurfaced via BET Chairman Robert Johnson which was soon followed by the none-to-discreet race baiting in South Carolina which was followed by some extremely patronizing remarks comparing Obama to Jesse Jackson’s 1988 campaign.

    These events were not accidents. They were planned and executed by the Clintons and their surrogates. They are playing hardball and if you don’t so, I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn.

    Bill obviously wants to win and if he needs to rely on Rovian electoral methods including throwing over some loyal staffers, then so be it.

    The only good news about all of this sordid stealth campaigning is that it has brought the issue of Bill Clintons presence to the fore. Clearly he will not be a co-president. No longer are we hearing, “With Hill, you get Bill”. He has had his eight years and, as recent behavior shows, it is time for him to move on to another chapter in his life. With a little luck he will return to Chappaqua, never to be seen again in a political race.

    Finally, feminists voting for Hillary because 1. Hillary is a woman or 2. the voters are women is just fucking absurd. I have never voted for anyone because of gender, skin color or sexual orientation. I care about what is going on between their ears. So why the fuck would you vote in such a knee jerk fashion?

    If you actually believe that you should vote by gender, then you are just as pathetic and stupid as the evangelical assholes who vote as they are told by their religious leaders.

    Can’t think that helps the women’s movement much.



    Posted by Michael Deane | February 19, 2008, 8:43 am
  146. The bottom line is very simple: we have absolutely no guarantee that either Clinton or Obama will end the wars.
    Think FDR and LBJ.

    Using women interns for sex in the oval office is really bad. Men think they are entitled to this sort of thing, and this mentality also makes them think they are entitled to support rape in war too.

    The country was divided 50-50 in the last two presidential elections, and conveniently, men think that this will be a factor in Clinton’s campaign. Just because 50% of the people are divided doesn’t mean that Clinton can’t win.

    It will come down to a few simple things: women must get out to vote in numbers never seen before in U.S. history. This is an election where women have a chance to claim the presidency, and control the thousands of federal appointees and judgeships nationwide.

    Whether Clinton voted for or against the Iraq war, people would hold it against her. Don’t forget all those votes to FUND the war that Obama willingly participated in. If he wanted out, he shouldn’t have supported the wars in that way. This war argument is a little specious I think.

    Oddly enough, it’s not the economy or the war that drives me on this one, it’s the thought that once again the most qualified person is the woman, and when she triumphs over deeply engrained patriarchy, that really will be a huge change. This is something no male candidate and no man ever really understands about this campaign.

    The central question is: do men represent women? I say they don’t. We will not have a true democracy until women really can on a policy level steer the destiny of this country. I think men can make all the excuses they want to for not supporting Clinton, and that’s ok. I expect this of men, but I don’t have to believe one word they say, ever!

    Posted by Satsuma | February 19, 2008, 8:08 pm
  147. I agree with one thing, it was a shame that better Democrat candidates dropped out of the race early, but I don’t buy the war argument Michael, nor the more successful campaigning being evidence of greater intelligence or skill or ability to be a great President. Groupies have massed around superstars before, some call Obama the black Bill Clinton because of his magnetic attraction for young women. Any candidate for office has a ‘machine’. You don’t get in the race in the first place without one. Again Obama’s machine is “same old Washington politics”, not “different” politics, other than a different name and different heavies backing him oiling his machine, instead of hers. He’s just been better at it this year, doesn’t mean he’s “different”. In 4 years you’ll be protesting the Obama machine.

    As for the war, it is not a major issue with voters, just a very vocal one. Even in the highest turn-out elections, around a third of eligible voters don’t bother. I’m guessing they belong to the “Prefer to Watch the Game” Party, but didn’t bother registering because the game was on.

    All exit polling this year, has shown Iraq dropping further and further behind the economy and health care. In election polling all over the world in recent years amongst European allies, who felt forced, under threat, to follow Bush in the ‘Coalition of the Killing’, the war was supposedly a Big Issue in some elections, and Europe had massive protests, but actually it wasn’t a “decider” in the end at the ballot box. Larger numbers are more concerned with the here-and-now and their own backyards than principles when it comes to the crunch, no matter what they say in Opinion Polls prior to casting their vote.

    As for Obama’s anti-war record? I’m puzzled. A speech or two, no matter how stirring and inspiring, is easy to make but taking action when the opportunity arises, Obama hasn’t done that. Deeds. Not Words.

    Obama opposed the war in 2002, but that started from a speech made in a state govt, not a resolution, not a real action, just a speech, and a lovely one too I will admit. In 2004 he clearly had a very different sentiment. He even took the speech transcript off his website when he started to run for the congress Senate, because it was “out-dated”.

    He had a chance to say something about it at the Democrat convention in 2004, but he didn’t. He actually said he doesn’t know which way he would have voted. Mr. Obama said. ” What would I have done? I don’t know. What I know is that from my vantage point the case was not made.’ (New York Times, 7/26/04)
    It was, as you say, Kucinich who led the anti-war protesting Democrat faction at the 2004 Democrat Convention. Obama sat with Kerry, Edwards and co, and physically distanced himself from the anti-war Democrat Party faction.
    And later in 2004, he is quoted directly as having the same position as Bush on the war: Note he says — MY — position:

    ” On Iraq, on paper, there’s not as much difference, I think, between the Bush administration and a Kerry administration as there would have been a year ago. There’s not much of a difference between my position and George Bush’s position at this stage.” (Chicago Tribune, 07/27/04)
    Obama waited a full 18 months, after gaining his Senate seat before even making a speech on Iraq, and ironically,it was one where he opposed a time table for withdrawal:
    ” I’m also acutely aware that a precipitous withdrawal of our troops, driven by Congressional edict rather than the realities on the ground, will not undo the mistakes made by this Administration. It could compound them.” (Obama Speech, Senate transcripts 6/21/06)
    Until Obama began his Presidential campaign, Obama voted for every single war funding bill, even though while running for the Senate in 2004, he said he would not vote for a single one.( what is so “different” or representative of “real change” from “same old Washington Politics” when polliticians break campaign promises?).
    Once he got in the Senate, he voted the exact same way Sen. Clinton (and most other senior Democrats) did, most of the time:
    QUOTE” In fact, Obama’s Senate voting record on Iraq is nearly identical to Clinton’s. Over the two years Obama has been in the Senate, the only Iraq-related vote on which they differed was the confirmation earlier this year of General George Casey to be Chief of Staff of the Army, which Obama voted for and Clinton voted against.” (ABC News, 5/17/07)
    Same old, same old Washington politics, change your mind when running for Pres and it might win some votes. I give him credit for great timing, highly skilled media handlers, but not great policy.

    Posted by Rain | February 19, 2008, 8:33 pm
  148. Health plans is where Obama is further to the right than both Edwards/Clinton. Obama’s plan has 2 flaws, no universality, and no tightening of regulation of HMOs.

    All it means, is that while more people will be covered (and children), they will be covered under the same old HMO rules as before, including all the pre-existing conditions, co-pays and loopholes etc, which makes even those who are covered so pissed with the system. All his subisidies do, is prop up the HMOs to encourage them to “play nice” – ie corporate welfare, but still unregulated free-market capitalism. How is that “different” from “same old Washington politics”?

    The Clinton/Edwards plan is a first step in the right direction. The USA system and industry is so large it can’t just flip to full public health systems as other countries have, all in one hit. Sorry Kucinich but it wouldn’t work. It would need to be staged over several years to restructure it, and Edwards/Clinton (and other Democrats) have done their homework to start a “change management” process.

    Other countries with mixed public/private heavily regulate the private health sector. Most have strong laws where HMOs or their equivalent of such companies, cannot discriminate on pre-existing conditions, they are required by law to cover you. And to cover the companies from going broke on unexpected huge payouts, (like other insurance sectors), have underwriting nets written into law. In some countries its called “funds pooling” – and for it to work, every last man, woman and child has to covered. That way the healthiest people, who use it least, are cross-subsidising the sickest people, who use it most, and companies cross-subisidise and under-write each other with a state or regional insurance funds pool.

    Now, the huge corporate HMO sector in the USA are really, really, really not keen on this regulation that might cut into their profits and their preference for a truly “free market” that is unregulated, that the Democrats are suggesting. They are up there with multinational pharmaceutical companies, oil companies and all the rest of the multinational sector.

    Indeed, they have pretty well saturated and fleeced the US population to the max, and are looking for overseas markets in order to do their capitalist “expansion”. Other OECD countries are struggling to “hold the line” on maintaining their public health systems because US-based HMOs are buying up other governments.

    Hillary’s 90s plan probably failed, because she tried to take on multinationals, with a hostile Republicanite congress, and failed – but at least they tried? I’d rather someone try and fail, than just roll-over.

    The companies much prefer Obama’s Republican-Lite approach of receiving govt subsidies as a safety-net for the poorest, and then verbally promise in return to “play nice” with their clients. Well, some of them, anyway. Michelle Obama works for one of them, doesn’t she?

    And the HMOs give how much advertising revenue to major media networks? Along with the pharmaceutical giants? How come Fox, CNN, MSNBC and even the low-rating public broadcasters are shining the light on this Great Symbol of Hope and Change?

    I have to give credit where credit is due, the USA does lead the world in media management and manipulation, particularly entertainment. I truly admire the skill of your propaganda machines, like watching an Olympic athlete.
    Ever see Noam Chomsky on the old (early 90s I think) documentary “Manufacturing Consent”?

    Someone else on this thread mentioned Bill Clinton and how that Administration was viewed elsewhere in the world. He was a respected leader, despite numerous faults (but all your Presidents have those faults) he did negotiate and did try to represent the USA as a more moderate partner in global affairs. He received a lot of sympathy with facing a hostile Republican Congress at home. Monica was often seen as just another Obama Girl or groupie, like the ones who flock to the Mick Jaggers, who was far more abused, used and manipulated, chewed up and hurt by the right-wing Republican machine than the Clinton one.

    Also, Hillary was in such a freaking awful position during that mess, she had no options that did not totally decimate her personally or politically. She was going to be damned every which way, whatever she chose to do. Republicans sure out-manoevred her, him and much of the Democrat Party. So the argument that Obama’s out-manoevring her, running a better campaign etc, doesn’t hold much water with me. so do the Republicans, but as one blog-poster said “She’s been taking crap from Republicans, her husband, the people for 20 years, and she’s still standing!”

    And then there’s the strength of the HaTE – which goes way, way beyond sexism, to other countries it is jaw-dropping shocking and appalling that you accept such things as No Big Deal. In some countries, even our little old lady Republican equivalents would be vocally crying foul on your broadcasters in talk-back radio with things like “I would never vote for her, but such filth from your mouth … ” In a way saying, we respect the office they hold, even if we don’t respect the person holding it.

    Hillary is still a senior high-profile Democrat office-holder, win or lose, and to insult her to the depths of such woman-hating degradation, and by majority mass-media, only shows the American people as majority haters, and any campaign which has such a strong thread of HATE in its base (of any kind) doesn’t support or provide strong evidence for Obama’s peace and light message. It is a contaminated one, like his nuclear energy support.

    Posted by Rain | February 19, 2008, 9:56 pm
  149. I am utterly amazed that this Robin Morgan essay is being take seriously. Really, how bad do you WHITE women have it? Last time I checked, affirmative action has benefited WHITE women the most, not those minorities (who are women too!) who have truly been disenfranchised all of these years.

    How many white woman are in the Senate?:


    How many black PEOPLE are in the Senate?:

    1, and that’s Barack Obama

    And how on earth does Barack pass for white? Most people (even black people) have a hard time telling he’s biracial… but I assume that she meant that he “act’s white”, meaning that he doesn’t fit her stereotype that’s been holding us down for years. Do you think he would have made it this far if he sounded like Buckwheat?

    And you wonder why Black women don’t want to be in your feminist movement? Because we’ve been struggling and building our power on our own without beating down men at every turn, but taking men on at their own game.

    Take a look around, we’re making it.

    Posted by Janice Taylor | February 19, 2008, 10:01 pm
  150. Janice Taylor, I don’t think Morgan meant that Obama literally has to pass for white or does pass for white, I think she was talking about what a white racist electorate will and will not accept so far as a black candidate for president. She isn’t stereotyping him, she’s saying white voters are racist and only certain candidates will appeal to them (which you suggest yourself in different words; Morgan agrees with you, iow). And yeah, re the Senate. But there’s Condie, and there was Colin Powell. And there are 41 members of the House who are black, or about 9.4 percent, not that far off considering the percentage of black Americans is 13 percent. There are 216 women in the House (of all races), or 49 percent, and 54 percent of the U.S. population is female, so there’s some symmetry there. Otoh, although women are 54 percent of the U.S. population, only 16 percent of the Senate is female.

    So women of all races have a way to go.

    It sounds like you have your mind made up as to how bad white women have it, so I won’t bother answering that question.

    Posted by womensspace | February 19, 2008, 11:22 pm
  151. Had to laugh over the idea of “acceptable black men” in white racist contexts. Sort of reminds me of how often straight women say they don’t like “stereotypical lesbians.” I hear this all the time to my face no less. I’ve always considered myself a VERY stereotypical lesbian, but the straight women who say this to my face are probably the same white women who think Obama is “acceptable” as a candidate because he doesn’t “act too black” — the Condie Colin types.

    All of this has a certain predictable quality about it, so who knows what people mean when they say “acceptable” or “not stereotypical.”

    All I know, is that it’s not cool to be angry — angry black people, angry lesbians, heaven forbid that we shouldn’t be angry and want to kill the rapists and oppressors 24-hours a day. No we all don’t want to be called “stereotypical” now that’s a REAL insult compared to rape!

    Posted by Satsuma | February 20, 2008, 12:41 am
  152. P.S. All majorities fear the raw brutal anger of minorities.

    The majority always wants a tame and acceptable “minority.”

    Anger is about getting in people’s faces and NOT taking one ounce of insult or oppression. It is about the brutal self-defense that makes your enemies fear the living hell out of you.

    So white people want to co-op black people and reward the “well behaved” blacks. Silence and compliance is what all oppressors want in their oppressed peoples. When the oppressed speak up and break the silence, well all hell breaks loose. Nothing has ever changed in this department.

    But one thing I’ve learned, is that you’ll never get anywhere being nice to the homophobes or the racists or the sexists. I know that when these enemies fear brutal loud in your face retaliation, well they shut up. They learn to fear the minority, they get out of our way. And the minority finally gets self-respect, because we know we are unmasking the hidden adjendas of the oppressors.

    It’s a simple formula.

    Posted by Satsuma | February 20, 2008, 12:53 am
  153. This is an excellent essay.

    Yes, the men are still screwing up the world.

    Thank you for posting this.

    Posted by Mike The Liberal | March 5, 2008, 6:04 pm
  154. Oh please. Most problems with Hillary on the Dem side are not based in misogyny . They are based on Hillary – her bad votes which she can’t admit were mistakes, her refusal to forgo PAC and corporate funding, and her steel-cable-strong ties to the DLC. Electability also factors in with her staunchly high negatives in the general electorate. Though I don’t understand that [beyond the overall anti-Clinton crowd and quite possibly some element of misogyny – and yes there is a lot of it that is based in “Clinton hating”], it is a rather solid fact. I and many others have no problem with women in power – I can envision a great many advantages to that – but Hillary is not the right *person*.

    and FWIW, I’m a 48 yo WM, life-long liberal who never in the least has waxed even slightly more conservative.

    Posted by j | March 5, 2008, 10:05 pm
  155. BRAVO! Why aren’t you in the media? Get some talk show now please. The talk shows are running this campaign.

    Posted by Penny Lane | March 12, 2008, 6:16 pm
  156. I mean get ON some talk show now Robin. Let’s go. Get this on Facebook, get your face on You Tube. Get out and teach the young woman what this is all about.

    Please Robin. We need you!

    Posted by Penny Lane | March 12, 2008, 6:17 pm
  157. I’m trying to figure out the logic of all the arguments, and somehow ended up in the FEBRUARY section of this thread!

    Anyway, I really don’t have much to say on this topic that would be new or fresh or interesting. I really enjoyed Rain’s international perspectives, and also appreciated her expertise in health care economic analysis. I have a hard time following health care arguments I must admit.

    Can me simple minded, but I just decided that it was worth it to have alternative health care AND the regular kind as needed, and to allocate a larger portion of my income for this.
    I’m not holding my breath about the government doing all that much for me, but I do believe we could have more consistency if people weren’t so tied to jobs as the source of the health care benefits.

    Stingy me, I get suspicious of “government” programs because it usually means money for heterosexuals only. I certainly don’t trust straight people with setting up a “plan” for me and my partner. Geez, they seem to want to “plan” to do all kinds of mean things to lesbians and gays anyway — all this “going to hell to burn in a lake of fire stuff”– yeah, we get hate email on our websites!

    It is depressing to read about all this male love (presidential) campaign on a feminist website. As I was withdrawing into my little turtle shell the other day, I kept thinking about how little Obama impresses me at all. Am I the only one who is bored by his so called “inspiring” speeches? Or am I just too much of an ax carrying lesbian feminist, and so any male with a microphone earns my ire?
    Or rather a five star boredom rating 🙂

    Charming men and their snake oil smoothness. Women get fooled every time. Warren G. Harding, remember him? 1920, the first presidential election women voted in, and by droves they voted for the “handsome” Harding, who turned into one of the 20th centurie’s worst presidents — lots of scandals involving, you guessed it, oil.

    Perhaps I just like a candidate with a bit of an edge to them.

    Rain, you made reading all this well worth it! A real Mary Daly creative mind! Ah radical feminists from down under, you gotta love ’em! 🙂

    Posted by Satsuma | March 12, 2008, 7:53 pm
  158. Spam sailing away down the Nile or the river of dreams…

    Posted by Satsuma | March 12, 2008, 7:53 pm
  159. Well, Satsuma, as for me, I am pissed off with everybody! I am pissed off with all mainstream campaigns for different reasons. I have stopped listening to any of them and feel irritated when something new comes on television. I never was much a mainstream person politically, but never less than today!

    Fwiw, I don’t trust men I don’t know. Ever. Any. And by “know” I mean *know*. And even when I trust them, I know the spaces in them which do not necessarily call out my trust. Last weekend I had a fairly spectacular meltdown because one of my daughters, almost 17, wanted to spend the afternoon with a young man, not a boyfriend, just a friend, but I didn’t feel as though she knew him well enough. But deeper than that, even if she knew him well enough, and I did (because he had been to the house, I’d met him, etc., his credentials seemed okay), I STILL wouldn’t trust him because women cannot necessarily trust men they know either. My worries became this gigantic existential rage that really went far beyond my worries for my beloved daughter. (The outing went very well, and the boy is moving out of state on the 28th, so there is that to hold onto!)

    I mean I am sitting by watching something hideous. My friend, a professional woman all her life, stellar reputation, very highly respected, got dumped by her husband of 30 years for someone 20 years younger. This was completely out of the blue, totally unexpected. She just got served with divorce papers and now come to find out, he wants the house they built and have lived in 30 years. She has always made way more money than him, probably twice as much. She is conservative, not a feminist by identification (though I’ve always felt she really IS a feminist at heart) and is just… reeling. This is the kind of thing men do to women, and they do not look back. She has given her entire adult life, so far as her personal time, investment, money, to this man and to her life with him. And this hideous thing is one of the lesser of men’s evils to women!

    This is all to say, no, I don’t trust Obama. As I said in my post at Tami’s, I don’t trust the parts of me that respond to Obama, either. And in a similar way, I don’t necessarily implicitly trust all the parts of me that reject Hillary Clinton.

    That’s all gut level, of course.

    Beyond all that, I’m pissed at both of them! Geraldine Ferraro, are you out of your fracking GOURD! Clintons, why is Ferraro still part of your campaign. All of them drive me around the bend! Lemme out of here!

    Posted by womensspace | March 12, 2008, 8:41 pm
  160. Clintons, why is Ferraro still part of your campaign. All of them drive me around the bend!

    Ferraro resigned. She said she wants to speak for herself and not damage Clinton.

    Posted by ekittyglendower | March 12, 2008, 10:15 pm
  161. My friend, a professional woman all her life, stellar reputation, very highly respected, got dumped by her husband of 30 years for someone 20 years younger. This was completely out of the blue, totally unexpected. She just got served with divorce papers and now come to find out, he wants the house they built and have lived in 30 years. She has always made way more money than him, probably twice as much. She is conservative, not a feminist by identification (though I’ve always felt she really IS a feminist at heart) and is just… reeling.

    Oh Heart, I’m sure it was all her fault. She probably “let herself go” (translation: grew 30 years older over a period of 30 years). If only she’d stayed on top of it…with the help of a plastic surgeon or six, a starvation diet, a ridiculous wardrobe…

    Posted by CoolAunt | March 12, 2008, 11:56 pm
  162. Heart said:
    “This is the kind of thing men do to women, and they do not look back. She has given her entire adult life, so far as her personal time, investment, money, to this man and to her life with him. And this hideous thing is one of the lesser of men’s evils to women!”

    This was a very sad story Heart. I have no understanding of people who do these sorts of things to their families. But it’s common. This is the frustrating thing about conservative women or liberal women…. It’s also a frustrating thing to know what you know about the world, but then have a daughter who might not know the danger of men in general.

    I about freaked out when I found out that gym classes in California are almost all co-gender. I personally loved gender segregated events when I was a kid, and didn’t really associate with boys at all. Girl Scouts was this wonderful haven for girls who didn’t want to be stuck in heteronormative places, we could go canoeing, sing songs, build camp fires, and sometimes, I think that Girl Scouts really was my best example of sisterhood ever.

    But…. just thinking out loud I guess. It’s been pretty weird in the news these days. Didn’t really understand Ferraro’s comment, but somehow it comes out of an underlying anger over the whole election itself I think. I was actually happy to learn that Ferraro and Clinton were working together, since I didn’t know this before. How can we know everything unless we read it here first? 🙂

    Anyway, I had this flash of how cool it would be for Hillary and Ferraro to hold a joint town meeting for women only, to talk about the inside of campaigns and the real challenges facing all women who dare to run for a major national office. But they won’t do it. Mainstream is what it is I guess.

    On a personal note, I still have the letter Ferraro wrote to me long ago. My Dad had met her at a dinner, and she wrote this letter that my Dad later delivered to me. It said something like, “Hurry up and get back to the U.S. because we need all the good women we can get to run for office.” Something to that effect. It meant a lot to me to see this woman really go for it way back in 1984…. Have things changed for women?

    Harding for president anyone?

    Posted by Satsuma | March 13, 2008, 7:02 am
  163. Spam time machine and memory lane coming through the star gates… 🙂

    Posted by Satsuma | March 13, 2008, 7:03 am
  164. P.S. I think I must see politics very differently, since I truly admire all the women running for office or those who ran in the past. I love all women in government I think, unless they are really really bad. Call me biased but I have a loving faith in the power of women to do good in office, to have faces that glow and shine— compared to the deadening droning dull faces and dulled voices favored by “cautious” men.

    Any democratic woman who has gotten that far in a really woman hating and manipulating political system earns my respect. And we’re getting there. The problem is, when anyone tells an uncomfortable truth in politics, all hell breaks loose.

    Posted by Satsuma | March 13, 2008, 7:06 am
  165. Heart says:
    “This is all to say, no, I don’t trust Obama. As I said in my post at Tami’s, I don’t trust the parts of me that respond to Obama, either. And in a similar way, I don’t necessarily implicitly trust all the parts of me that reject Hillary Clinton.”

    I believe you said something to this effect in an earlier comment, and it just kind of stuck with me. It’s interesting to reflect on trust or distrust in an election.

    I could really rate to your comments above about both Clinton and Obama. One thing that I’ve noticed about the reporting on campaigns is how much the past 40-45 years has been used as a kind of brainwashing of the American public.

    My Dad once called the Kennedys a “journalistic cottage industry.” We get the hype always on “charismatic candidates” and leaders, and over time, I grew to distrust this sort of public presentation. People “respond” to charisma very much the way commercials are designed to manipulate the viewer by contrasting the “bad news” with the “good news” of products. So we can have a perfectly honorable man like Al Gore get bulldozed because he wasn’t “charismatic.” The fact that he was so obviously more intelligent and innovative and forward looking meant nothing to the general public.

    It is this marketing and packaging that I find so distasteful.
    Women are programmed to “respond” to charismatic men. Very rarely have I ever heard a lesbian speaker use these tactics in public speeches, workshops and groups. The contrast between the “public” world of heterosexual manipulation and the world of lesbian political/social commentary is very very different.

    So Heart is right about questioning what it is we are responding to or thinking, and why. I think it’s why so many of the things women say about Clinton are so lacking in specificity. I did an experiment: I asked women why they supported a particular candidate. The difference between the Obama responses and the Clinton responses were most illuminating.

    Then I asked gay men. Usually the guys who were into glitz and show biz and minstrell shows (drag shows) liked Obama. When I asked them why, they just said, “Oh he’s so positive, he gives people hope.” But when I asked for specifics, they couldn’t really come up with any. They just knew there was something they “didn’t like” about Clinton, but again they could never say exactly what this was. When I pointed out that no man says he is a sexist anymore, but yet almost all men are sexists, this would flummox them.

    This election has been a real challenge for ordinary mainstream women, because it’s one of the few times women have been forced into a public political dialogue. Usually, women are in hiding about their opinions out in the world. They rarely express them openly about substantive things. This lack of comfort with issues like terrorism or war or women’s public policy issues make women very nervous. They want to change the subject, to flee from this. Women on this blog are the rare exception to the daily life I see.

    In a study of women and conversation, it was revealed that the majority of women like to talk about the weather, but that they are really uncomfortable talking about politics.

    So it’s good to really distrust sometimes the things we think we believe. As a child, I have absolutely no memory of the Kennedy assassination. So for over 40 years, I had to listen to people go on and on about Kennedy. I studied a lot of his policies in college, and was never very impressed with the man at all. The more you know about the Kennedy family, the less you like them. You see what happens to the “Kennedy women” and believe me, this little project should make us all shudder.

    I think it is useful to think of what we as women will gain if a particular candidate gets into office. Will women get better jobs? Will women become more “establishment?” Who can end the war? Well we have no idea who is going to do this. Even a lot of republicans who once loved Bush, now hate him. I could have saved them the trouble during the 2000 election, but it was as if they were brainwashed.

    In dealing with conservatives, we often come across cult indoctrination– the cult of religious right wing conservatism.

    I am very clear about what I want in the world, and it probably has little to do with what a lot of women want on this blog. I know what women do and what they often don’t do, and it is this distance from mainstream women, this very long distance that makes me realize that whatever political path I’m on, it has little to do with the issues most women believe sacrosanct.

    Since I believe in the intellectual development of women, I most like women who openly display this. I also like women who speak out and speak up. When women do this and reveal strong opinions, well usually all hell breaks loose. The world is unaccustomed to serious focused drivenness in women. Even most women are uncomfortable with this.

    So every woman out there has to question the “roles” she is forced into, or what she is responding to. Women who are suddenly awakened to a painful duplicitous reality, then come alive later. Look at Dana McGreevy and the lastest man buying a prostitute in public life scandal. When women learn to question their lives, then they will have freedom. But the conditioning and mindbinding process is very strong.

    In a way, I am very lucky to have been a lifelong lesbian feminist, because I just wasn’t a part of the roles or the playacting or the households that men dominate. I wasn’t a part of the social institution of marriage, the couples thing, the children, the day care, the schools… I was a part of nothing. My life was a detached observation on the lives of women, and I felt sorry for women’s lives. And I often feel sorry for women in this election.

    Posted by Satsuma | March 13, 2008, 6:33 pm
  166. Are we not intelligent enough to be served by the media with REAL DEBATES over REAL ISSUES? Does it matter if Hilary cries, does not cry, wears red or black, etc etc? Let’s think about the issues, people! Do we not value our lives enough to truly think before we judge people over really stupid and insignificant points?

    I am heavily disappointed with most of the media, which has clearly embraced a biased approach. By doing this, the media are not allowing us to think for ourselves. They (for example watch the Daily Show!) are so wrapped up in trying to be trendy and different, that you have actually become another version of the O’Reilly Show (the right wing no-thinking/shouting-only zone). Most media are not offering quality, but only offering brainwashing with a few poor jokes or some shallow glance at the facts. We, as the audience with a brain, want and deserve better.

    Are we not all sick and tired that nobody is interested in offering real debate over issues? Why does it have to be about personality bashing and blinded brainwashing for the sake of pretending to do something new/different? We have elected badly for a long time, now, and maybe we should change the criteria over which we get excited over somebody. How about reading their program, listening to them without the glamour, the eloquence, the clever but shallow talks? If you think you are being trendy by embracing what is so typical of US politics (namely preferring sound-bites and what’s the fashion of the hour), you are just another Bill O’Reilly, only on the other side. I am a Democrat but I am literally disgusted at the shallowness of the whole coverage of the Obama/Clinton campaigns. We should want more from the media. We deserve more from them. Let’s stop the verbal vomit. Let’s switch on our brains.

    Do we really believe that a real change is offered by someone with a new face? Are we really that desperate that we are failing to stop, listen and think for ourselves??? We need to look at the issues. We need to think about the issues. If we make another mistake, we will never have a country which improves lives. It’ll be the same with a new face. Is this what we want? I don’t think so. I think we do want our lives to have a better chance. Let’s use our brain and not sensationalism, fashion, celebrities, and soundbites.

    Unfortunately, this will not take place because educating the brain is not an exercise that has been encouraged in the US for as long as I can remember. If it were, the US would have free education as well as free healthcare (healthy mind in a healthy body). But, if we truly want change, we need objective, responsible, intelligent debate. It may (and I would say this is more than just speculation, I tend to think Hilary Clinton does offer a much better program for our lives, if we actually bother to LISTEN to her and read her website!) turn out that Hilary Clinton is by far the best choice for the US. Hard for her to win, when pressure groups and networks like you have already decided that changing the FACE of politics will actually change the politics…. I hope you don’t truly believe this. I hope you have other reasons for being biased rather than pure stupidity. I would almost prefer it. So what if we already know her name from the past? Let’s truly listen to both candidates and what they are saying. Do we really want a President who talks about faith, yet again, like George Bush, or somebody who has the courage to leave faith to the private realm, as it should be, for the benefit of THINKING over believing? Why has the US stopped thinking? The media, especially the media that calls itself ‘different’, ‘objective’, ‘alternative’, don’t offer any facts but only a vomited version of what they want us to think. I want something different from you. I WANT OBJECTIVITY AT ALL COSTS. IT HAPPENS WITH THE BBC, WHY NOT WITH YOU?

    On the Iraqi war. Is this why you can’t be objective with Hilary? I have always been against the Iraq war. But I will not be stupid enough to choose a candidate over one issue. My life, my community’s life, is far more important to limit it over one single issue THAT BELONGS to the past. Hilary will withdraw from Iraq. Listen to her. Don’t jump to conclusions.

    TO change US politics the following needs to change:
    1 – no ridiculous amounts of money spent on ANY political campaign. There should be a cap and it should be low. Chosing a candidate should not be about who’s got most money behind and what kind of sound-bite campaign they can pay for and create, but it should ONLY be about what they will really do for us, about their program in very practical terms. Nobody seems interested in that, mostly because we have not been trained to think but rather trained to accept the view dished out to us. In this case, the view of those behind comedycentral, the Daily Show and the likes (MTV, of all empires! Hardly an endorsement for Intelligence)

    2 – debates over Issues. NOT about personalities or what appear the personalities to be like.

    3 – learning to accept that it’s not the face, the name, what we think they stand for, but rather about listening and using un UNbiased brain. LET’S TRY IT.

    4 – a true schism of politics and religion.. They never belonged together. Let’s be brave and learn to make the distinction. This is enough reason for me to doubt Obama, who talks about faith and quotes the Bible in his website. Are we for real? This should be shunned upon, not embraced!!!! Do we value our lives so little to allow someone (it happens too often and it should change for good) to taint politics with faith? Isn’t it time to say enough is enough? Let’s learn to think MORE and prey less!!!

    4 – I believe ComedyCentral is heavily biased towards Obama. I can see it through everything they say. It’s as obvious as it can be. I find this disgusting. I want objectivity. I want you to serve objective news and let ME think and decide. Not the other way round.

    Posted by Julia | March 14, 2008, 1:23 pm
  167. “a true schism of politics and religion.. They never belonged together. Let’s be brave and learn to make the distinction. This is enough reason for me to doubt Obama, who talks about faith and quotes the Bible in his website.” Julia, you’ve got it right!

    Bible quoting anyone will be suspect. Why not quote William Blake or Shakespeare or Susan B. Anthony? Geez. Obama the faith candidate… just what we need right now, another church man in the white house.

    I’m not an atheist, but I am so sick of christianity in politics that I positively love the relief of the new atheists out there bashing the christian fundamentalists and the islamic fundamentalists too.

    Objective? Are you kidding? Reading Hillary’s website? Knowing who she is and respecting just how smart she is? Nawww, we’ve got to vote for the younger cuter guy, wow, change… as if any man is capable of changing anything really. Male centered is about male supremacy, it’s not a choice, it’s just who men were born to be.

    One issue and one vote obsession with Hillary I think is the tactic of the Obama campaign. But he’s not really anti-war either because he voted to fund the war, which is the same as supporting it. This small point is lost on people, but oh well, let’s do another rah rah for change and hope. Let’s listen to another speech about coming together where women’s issues aren’t specifically mentioned at all. Women are included, just as lesbians are included in the word “woman.” No they aren’t. We should know better by now. Obama in Beijing giving a rousing women’s human rights speech? Ain’t gonna happen women, it just ain’t and ain’t I a woman?

    Posted by Satsuma | March 14, 2008, 7:31 pm
  168. Dear Julia,

    Objectivity is the word! I agree with you on all of your main points. As a history student, I can only say that there really is nothing new under the sun, there are just variations on very ancient themes. Of course, the media favors Obama. Historically, the Woman’s Suffrage Movement grew out of the Abolitionist movvement in the U.S., partly because, after the Civil War, African American men got the vote before women. It was a heartbreak to women like Susan B. Anthony. The main point of all Western discourse can be summed up in 5 words: Power derives from having a penis.
    I think it’s important to recognize that the press is biased against HR Clinton because she has on numerous occasions voiced her general contempt for the press in this this country; that she doesn’t watch tv or read most media. So the press is punishing her for her “indiscretion.” I think the upperechelons of society have known for a long time that you have to humor the press even if you think they’re morons. (I secretly call most tv and media the moronosphere.) Hillary also has said the press is counterproductive and destructive towards the real, authentic wirk she, or anyone tries to do to make our lives better.
    America was settled by Puritans in the north and aristocrats, etc. in the South. Although countries all over the globe have had female leaders, Americans are having hissy fits at the idea! The Puritans were mainly a middle and working class movement and have a very rigid idea of women and “their place.” At least aristocrats could tolerate the occasional Queen Elizabeth I or Dowager Empress. We Americans have only been a country for 300 years. We’re the punk adolescents of the globe in my opinion. We want our cheap gas and we don’t have to listen to those stinking Kyoto
    Standards on global warming. The BBC gives a more mature outlook on the news because England (and Europe) has been dealing with their social problems for 2 and a half millenia now.
    I hope my opinions aren’t offensive to you because they sound Anti-American or whatever, but studying history has helped me make some peace with these issues.

    Posted by Deb-A | March 14, 2008, 9:20 pm
  169. I agree with you, Deb, in that I passionately wish we could have a presidential campaign about ISSUES and not all these distractions. If I hated it before, I am coming to really DESPISE the mainstream media. This campaign has been rife with sexism and racism, and the media bears at least 60 percent of the blame for exacerbating both.

    I have always thought most of the hatred directed at Hillary Clinton, beginning during Bill Clinton’s White House campaign, was purely sexist. Who is this outspoken, smart, strong woman who proudly wears her “maiden” name? Stuck in a red state as I am, I talk to a lot of Republican men who loathe Hillary Clinton, but when questioned about why can never seem to come up with a reaonable answer.

    This carnival has also helped me understand women-first feminists and why Clinton’s candidacy is important to them.

    I’m not going to go into the reasons why I will not vote for Hillary Clinton, because this is a thread that is supportive of her. But, I would like to address some things that I find problematic about some of the Clinton support coming from my sisters:

    – I totally get reviewing both candidates platforms and deciding that you like Clinton’s better, or feeling like she is more capable of delivering the change he talks about, or knowing that he won’t fight for women like she will. I don’t get deciding that Barack Obama is an unqualified candidate, when he has more legislative experience than his opponent. When I hear Clinton supporters dismiss Obama as an empty suit, it cuts close to the racism I have experienced as a black woman in America. This notion that however much you do, however wonderful your resume, someone will always see you as an unquallified “affirmative action” hire getting a free ride at the expense of more qualified white person.

    – Am I the only one who sees both sexism and racism in this election cycle? Chris Matthews essentially says that Hillary Clinton is where she is because Bill cheated on her. That was gross. Matthews is an ass. And every feminist I know was pissed off. Geraldine Ferraro says Barack Obama is only where he is because of his race, and I hear rumblings from a lot of white feminists that “well, that’s true.” It seems not very objective.

    – Indeed, the idea that black men are advantaged seems ahistorical and contrary to the reality of the place they hold in our society. They are certainly capable of being bastards like other men, but I don’t see any evidence that they are partners in running the world. Tossing off the statement that black men had the right to vote before women ignores that black men, while given the vote on paper, were prevented from voting through violence and murder, and that all black women did not get the vote when white women did in 1920. I am in my 30s and my paternal grandfather and grandmother in Mississippi were not able to vote until after the Voting Rights Act was signed in the mid 60s.

    There has to be a way to support Hillary Clinton and/or Barack Obama without the biased rhetoric.

    I am deathly afraid that while the we marginalized people are fighting among ourselves, and the media keeps the fire lit, our progressive causes will self-destruct and we will be left right where we always are–with the same men in power that have always been in power.

    Posted by Tami | March 15, 2008, 5:45 pm
  170. Actually Deb and Julia, it’s a mixed bag on race and gender.
    I do believe that black men are far from the ruling class, and in every personal interaction I’ve had with African American men, I’d put them far ahead of white straight men on being clued in and more attuned to the real world. We’ve had very good work alliances and good friendships! It works!

    In terms of history, we did have a lot of African American men elected to southern legislatures and congress during reconstruction, but this may have been more about northern occupation of the south as opposed to real reform. It all went out the window after reconstruction ended.

    Just because women got the national vote in 1920 didn’t mean they won any elections for a very long time. Jeannette Rankin in the house in the 1940s… that’s about it.

    When I watched the videos of Obama’s pastor talk about Hillary Clinton, I realized he hadn’t a clue about her upbringing either, and he seemed completely unaware of sexism. I didn’t find his commentary on American history inaccurate, but also, I don’t think a true radical African American opinion is really heard by most white people today. So all hell is breaking loose. White people aren’t hearing real African American anger, and we all need to know exactly what people actually feel. Believe me, straight women have been chewed out by me in a radical lesbian context many a time. They feel my anger, and they watch their step around me. I won’t tolerate one slight or one wrong comment EVER!

    I’m glad Tami that you understand the principle of women first no matter what. (with some very small exceptions like Phyllis Schlaffley and the Le Hay woman). Women first eliminates race and social class from the mix. That means every black woman who is running for office gets my support and money, it means every liberal or moderate white woman gets my vote and money. It means that ALL women running for elected office, get my backing.

    And I’ll tell you why– all women that even get as far as a major party nomination are a million times more qualified than any man running. White men are a dime a dozen, and they rarely impress me. I work with these guys all the time, I see them at conferences, and they are a pathetic emotional loss to civilization. I don’t believe men are capable of understanding what women are really about, because most men can’t get beyond their own conditioning.

    This who idea of who’s qualified is a complete red herring most of the time. White women and African Americans are always unqualified in the eyes of the oppressors. I do believe that Hillary Clinton has more international experience than Barak Obama — she’s met all the world leaders, she delivered a rousing feminist speech at the Beijing conference, and she’s tough with the generals. The Clintons already stood up to the military many times, and they got conned by them. Hillary is on to the tactics of right wing attack machines, and she knows how to defeat them. Obama is less tactically literate at this level.

    The reason most men in the media can’t say why they reject Hillary or Barak is simple: they think all women and all blacks are unfit for the presidency. All white men believe they are qualified to run the world, all men believe they are entitled to rule women in the home and abroad. Women are stuck with men AS OPPRESSORS in their own homes all over the world. The oppressor colonizes women sexually and politically! It’s an outrage to me how women can tolerate this, but they do.

    That’s the bottom line of male existence, and most women have been conditioned to always accept second fiddle. Just seeing too much of silent wives at the side of their big husbands these days makes me sick as a radical lesbian feminist. We don’t do this ever. We are equal partners in the home and in the world. I don’t think straight women could ever understand this, because they are too rooted in heterosexual supremacy — a whole other topic.

    Bottom line: who will serve women the best? Who will deliver the goods of women’s advancement? Not men’s advancement but women’s advancement. That’s a radical notion in and of itself, because women are SO conditioned to serve, sacrifice and be the helpmeet… it’s drummed into the souls of women that all men really come first.

    Remember, WOMEN FIRST is an absolute. It means women support other women, and we don’t care what men think. When we take our attention away from the men and focus on ourselves, we are breaking the taboo of patriarchy. Men have always supported other men. They have created all male groups known as governments, armies, priesthoods etc., and they have no intention of letting women rule or decide public policy– that’s never ever folks!

    I agree that the news media is stupid and worthless. The “news” is about entertainment not information. If you really want to learn about Hillary Clinton, then just look at what she’s done, talk to her, or call her friends. She has friends all over the place. She’s had very close associations with black women forever, so talk to the black women who support Hillary and ask them the tough questions!

    That’s the best way to evaluate her qualities as a human being and candidate.

    Sexism and racism are intertwined historically. It’s no accident that white southern women like the Grimke sisters risked their entire reputations on the abolitionist cause, or that Susan B. Anthony’s family and herself were passionate abolitionists. White women were killed in the civil rights era. You stick up for black people as a white person and it will not help your corporate career. I’ve lost clients over this, and I’ve earned the anger of racist managers. Believe me, when you stick up for the outsiders in a racist and sexist society you will be punished. We all know this. Frederick Douglas is my personal hero, because he was a real feminist! He is more feminist than Barak Obama, and he really got it! Go back in history to see these things. Margaret Fuller was a greater feminist than most women living today. She created her life out of nothing — no right to vote, no right to speak in public, and yet she created this passion for learning in women. Her writing is so radical, that even today conservative women freak out.

    I’d like to see Obama give a knock down drag out feminist speech sometime to an all women’s organization. I’d like to see more than platitudes about his mother, and I never get this from him. I just never hear him state his case on women’s rights black and white. It seems odd to me.

    So the thing is, think of the powers that be that try to divide “progressives” It happens all the time, mainly because as progressives, we want to change the social structure. The right wing wants to keep blacks in chains and white women in kitchens. Let’s bomb Baghdad and save unborn babies — makes perfect sense to me.

    Ring wing christian talk radio is now condemning “racism” and saying that a white blue eyed Jesus is wrong, in response to the video of Obama’s pastor. But they never said this before! I never heard these jackass conservative christian men ever comment on the iconography of Jesus. They can say they are anti-racist, but never ever do they utter the word sexism. So racism can still fit into male supremacy. Black men, be real men, keep your women in line — that’s the underlying agenda. Strong black women are destroying the black family… wow they love this one too! We know the game and we should be able to support change for all oppressed people.

    Conservative men have the home court advantage because they can wave the flag, they can get conservative women whipped into shape, and they don’t have to come up with really new ideas about anything. That’s the real challenge.

    Now we could blow them all out of the water with an Obama/Clinton or Clinton/Obama ticket! That’s what I hope will happen, because I want radical WOMEN FIRST people like myself to be happy, and I want African-Americans to have a real hero win too! Then we all win in this election! Wow, what a concept!!!

    Posted by Satsuma | March 15, 2008, 7:28 pm
  171. I can’t tell you how affected I was when reading your essay. It is so on-point. THANK YOU for taking the time to write and post this.

    I hope you will consider coming out in defense of Ferraro as well. I know it’s a huge risk to your character, but someone has to do it.

    Posted by Penny Lane | March 15, 2008, 11:02 pm
  172. Talk about double standard. See how Obama’s campaign has attacked Hillary with absolutely NOT press making him accountable.

    “Hillary Will ‘Say Anything and Change Nothing’ advertisement.

    Obama’s attack on HRC for her Iraq vote.

    Or the members of the Senator’s Obama’s campaign staff circulated a document that, in its title, slightingly refers to Democratic rival Senator Hillary Clinton as the Democrat from Punjab — a seeming slur on Clinton’s ties with India and Indian Americans.

    Or more offensively what Michelle says about Hillary, “If you can’t run your own house, you can’t run the Whitehouse.”

    Even Richardson says Obama is using negative tactics in this debate segment.

    Posted by Penny Lane | March 15, 2008, 11:04 pm
  173. “I hope you will consider coming out in defense of Ferraro as well. I know it’s a huge risk to your character, but someone has to do it.”

    Penny Lane wrote the above.

    How soon we forget the great women of 20 years or so ago who broke other barriers. Men have statues in the park, women tear down, forget and demean the women who really were pioneers.

    I get continuously shocked on this blog and others about how quickly herstorical memory means absolutely nothing. In feminism, I get stuck back on square one constantly. We can at least issue 30, 25, 20, 15, and 10 year pins for service to the cause. But no, some 20-something feminist is going to diss an activist with 30 years in the field. A newcomer will forget that most lesbians age 45 and above were roundly trashed by straight women going on decades now. I don’t know about you, but I have a very very long memory for insults! I may forgive, but I never ever forget!

    Ferraro’s comments about Obama are not bad. I believe she is actually being honest. To balance this comment, you can also say that Bush Jr. never would have made it to the white house without his dad’s war bucks and name. You can also say that about every Kennedy boy out there. JFK had a trust fund that was $10,000,000. His father pulled every string in the book to get that boy elected to the congress. Without Dad’s money and connections, and without his white skin, JKF would never have made it to the white house.

    While males get to the white house because of skin and gender, nothing more. So it is also fair to say when the advantages shift culturally.

    Being a lesbian feminist gets me access to certain worlds and certain people that straight women don’t have access to, for example. There are groups out there who do exclude large numbers of majority populations, and for good reason. Each woman I think wants to be a part of her peer group. We create worlds where only certain issues get focused on, for example.

    Ferraro is being brutally honest, and of course we can’t have this now. Pioneers don’t always say the same things the rest of us meer mortals say. I was delighted to find out that Ferraro was even involved with the Clinton campaign to begin with. Wow, a real connection between generations, a real herstorical link between past and present.

    As women, if we cannot honor our pioneers or ever remember who was who over a 20 year period of time, well, feminism fails again and again and again. In a sense, women don’t have much loyalty or discipline oftentimes. And this will cause other women to say, “hey, if I’m going to be forgotten or trashed for my hard work for the movement, maybe I should just volunteer at the Salvation Army.”

    In the gay and lesbian community, we have gazillions of awards ceremonies for our activists, writers and creative people. Gay men and lesbians united put on the Lambda Literary Awards each year. Lesbians have their categories, gay men have theirs, and together it is quite a fancy show.

    We honor our award winning authors, and in our community, authors are heros and heroines; they create gay and lesbian culture, and our highly literate movement. I don’t see straight feminists ever having awards ceremonies for lesbian activists as lesbians, for example. It won’t ever happen.

    I believe the rise of LGBT is related to this drive to have 50-50 representation of women and men at many of our events. Same gender parity is without question a hallmark of our world.

    So I believe we as women united should truly honor and celebrate all feminist activists and pioneers all the time. Let women take pot shots at Ferraro for telling a very uncomfortable truth, but I know that she paved the way for Hillary. Feminists could throw this opportunity away.

    I see the mainstream and the radical grass roots as complimentary. The presidency is about a culmination of what works long enough due to grass roots activism. Change never starts at the top, because people in power rarely gain the perspective that activists in the trenches have.

    We can bring women together more than we do, but it really will be up to the majority straight feminists to understand this, and to work to create the spaces for lesbian recognition and leadership along with straight women.

    When straight feminists just kept dissing lesbians and making our life hard, we left those groups. Many lesbians my age refuse to work for reproductive rights, for example. We were not paid back for our previous work, so straight women lost good fighters because of the homophobia and lesbophobia.

    Will straight women here defend Ferraro? We’ll see. I will defend every feminist I can. Ferraro, Hillary, you name them!

    But if you keep on trashing straight white feminists for everything they say in a very tough political campaign, then you are aiding and abetting a deeply entrenched male enemy– the white men who really will hang on to power, drop bombs on non-white peoples and steal this country’s resources. Those are the real enemies.

    Geraldine Ferraro was forced to bow out of the Clinton campaign, and Hillary lost an incredible advisor. Do we really have so many hundreds of other women out there with Ferraro’s experience to tap? Can we afford to lose even one great woman because of some damn man? Can we?

    Want to know why it is hard for women to get ahead and get top jobs? Take a hard look! There Penny Lane, this is my very best in service to Geraldine Ferraro. Hope you enjoy it!

    Posted by Satsuma | March 16, 2008, 7:08 pm
  174. Yes yes please come out and defend Ferraro, who says Obama is only where he’s at b/c he’s black, and who also said the same thing 20 years ago about another black guy, “Jesse Jackson wouldn’t be in the race if he wasn’t black.”

    (Gotta say this just to say it–I can’t stand Jesse Jackson b/c he showed himself to be hateful toward Jewish people years ago.)

    Clearly she has issues whenever any black person gets too popular for her liking. She reminds me of men who get annoyed when women get strong— if they ever (ooh wow my hero) defended a woman’s right to choose or some such, they feel they can now say sexist things.

    Women don’t like this done to them by men.

    I only came round to say that this type stuff is what black people tend to expect, and tend to get. Once they start achieving anything really big, (and this applies for women too, and persons of other marginalized classes) they get told they’re not good enough, they only got where they are because of, basically, good hearted or guilt-ridden white people, or good hearted men, because they’re actually charlatans/fakes/hanger ons w/good white or male friends because Lord knows they’d be nothing w/out them.

    It really means nothing to say “that’s like saying Bush wasn’t helped by his dad”.

    No. 1 Bush could care less about that assault as –exactly– he is the son of a Bush.
    A thousand other rich and/or otherwise connected men could have that charge leveled against them and just laugh in your face– what do they care what anyone else’s under-ling self thinks?–they come from power–they have the ticket, their success is still in the pocket or at worst they will get it some other way, at some other point. They know they’re in the most powerful old boys’ network. No ones charge that they are not worth it for whatever reasons, not good enough, only there b/c of Dad, etc., can change the fact that they usually can get what they want, get into power, whatever.

    The point is– yes, Bush was helped by his dad, Bobby by his Kennedy-ness–

    If people say that to them, it doesn’t mean a thing b/c there is not a base understanding that white rich men, no matter how they got there, know how to run stuff, are smart, are capable, *should* be leading. It is *not* comparable. Black people hear this attack “oh poo poo you only got the fill-in-the-blank b/c you’re black” all the time and it *does* cause them obstacles, however. Women hear it too. Obviously this is causing none of you to sympathize w/blacks. Whatever, your loss.

    My two cents: Let Ferraro stand on her own idiotic ground, alone.
    These two (Hillary and Obama) are both as capable of being president if we’re judging against the standards of white men. Sure. Other presidents who did fine or even great have less cred than either of them. Obama and Hillary both have histories of hard work and successes.

    I personally like people w/cred a little to a lot different than Obama or Hillary.

    Anyway, don’t defend or worse, applaud, Ferraro, b/c she doesn’t deserve it. Chances are, too, if most black people think a comment is racist? It’s because it’s racist. They should know. Just like women know if something is sexist.

    Posted by Jeyoani | March 16, 2008, 10:27 pm
  175. One more thing-
    Actually yes Satsuma we actually do have thousands, probably MILLIONS of other great women to tap into and advise us –only maybe they don’t have degrees and money and connection and “power” (as interpreted by *men* ) and all that bs that keeps American politics as misogynistic as it is and always has been.

    So the answer is yes. We can cut her loose, EASY. We just don’t have the SMARTS to ask to be advised by and helped by women who are REALLY awesome and not racist either, to boot.

    Like all kinds of women, –poor women who are sharp as tacks, midwives, musicians, nurses, teachers, artists, writers, mothers, activists, farmers, –if we included these kind of women in our advisors and not just the women politicians, God we could really get somewhere. The answer isn’t to revere Geraldine Ferraro, ugh. She *is* a racist. Obama won’t say it, don’t say it, but I did, do, and will. I’m not trying to win the presidency so I can say it.

    Obama says it’s “absurd.” I guess he’s right, racism IS absurd. This type absurdity is also very powerful, unfortunately.

    I don’t share your vision for politics–women who are extremely similar to men by way of policy that hurts impoverished women, that lets them get killed, raped, homeless–but hey, if it is WOMEN doing it, that’s empowering and cool? For who? Ask women all around the world. It doesn’t matter who is in charge when they are bound to these insidious, immoral self-serving institutions of power which is our American govt.

    Their actions are the same as their male counterparts. Screw our government, it’s hopeless and we as women need to *revolutionize*, and I don’t call Hillary a revolution. (Nor do I call Obama a revolution.) Revolution only ever comes from the people, not the ONE woman/black guy, whatever,who got in good w/power. And God knows women need a revolution, not careful-stepping politicians like all the ones we have.
    I think you can have inspiring leaders, sure. But even the most inspiring leader isn’t as inspiring as a revolution.

    As women we have to create our own paradigms and systems and erode and unearth the ones that have been established by patriarchy. they will never let women or anyone change anything significant in Washington. The whole system is hideous. Look at how they won’t even let radical white men in.

    I prefer this method to the “let’s get a woman in there” method because what I observe through history is that the women act like the men once they get there.

    Posted by Jeyoani | March 16, 2008, 10:42 pm
  176. As I said before, the presidency of the US is not about revolution. It is an elected office, and a big job. I think women can and should run the country from that position, and yes I do revere the women who ran for vice president and got this moving a lot longer than many people on this blog have been alive. That’s my bottom line.

    Now the next generation can think that this won’t work, but I say if there are jobs out there, then women have a perfect right to do them. No cool to defend older women who were on the campaign trail and busted their butts breaking new ground for all the women running for office now. Geraldine Ferraro has experience in a way very few women in America do, she actually ran with a presidential candidate. That to me is golden and should be celebrated. If Obama wants to call her a racist then he should have the guts to do it. I’ve seen this word used by a lot of women who have not run for office and have no intention of ever doing it.

    If women who are half the country can’t get into elected offices then we will be eternally stuck trying to beg, beg and beg men behind the scenes, and I don’t want this. I simple don’t want men representing me in government.

    So I was very glad to hear that Ferraro was volunteering with the Clinton campaign, and I assume she will continue to be a trusted advisor behind the scenes. Why? Because she was the first major party woman candidate to run for vice president, that’s why. Unlike a lot of women here, I respect the women pioneers, I respect the firsts in American history.

    Being the first to do something means a lot to women. How did we get so many women active in government starting in the 80s? Well, Ferraro’s example was a powerful force. I know she inspired me.

    I know the early women who got elected to state attorney general, school board, congress, senate, city council, and even sheriff got there start when other women stepped forward and did the job. A lot of feminists think it is just great to attack the great ones for one or two comments. But those feminists were powerful and they were there when a lot of women on this blog weren’t even born, and weren’t active in mainstream politics.

    Mainstream politics is not radical politics, it is just ordinary government. Just as people who go to medical school or get an MBA are plain old hardworking achievers, and when women get this education, and when they do this work, I admire it. Call it racist, denegrate the pioneers, and support the men, but that’s my hard line position, and someone has got to step up to the plate and defend these women. It’s the custom to cut down these achieving powerful women, but I love them, and they inspire me.

    I’m sorry but these political women are the great ones of a generation, so for the record, I’m saying “Thank you Geraldine Ferraro for having gutts, gumption and the personal power to break through barriers to make my life easier. And that’s as they say all folks! Geez Louise, who would have thought we’d have such nonsense dumped on these great women here?!

    Posted by Satsuma | March 17, 2008, 6:19 am
  177. P.S. I’ve heard women call Mary Daly a racist too! Shame shame shame!

    Posted by Satsuma | March 17, 2008, 6:21 am
  178. Nothing makes me angrier than women attacking the women who broke new ground. Nothing! I will defend these women with every ounce of my mind, heart and soul.

    Maybe its just plain ageism!

    Posted by Satsuma | March 17, 2008, 6:29 am
  179. I prefer this method to the “let’s get a woman in there” method because what I observe through history is that the women act like the men once they get there.

    What do men act like? What do women act like? What do you prefer women act like? Meek perhaps? Passive? Submissive? Subservient? Sugar and spice and everything nice?

    To put it mildly, I’m a might bit uncomfortable with gender roles and gender stereo-typing and the sex assignment of these gender stereo-types and roles. In order for women to be liberated and free, these gender roles must be eliminated. This in theory will also liberate and free men from their gender roles. Because in order for male-dominating behavior to exist, the opposite must also exist. Female subjugation. One cannot exist without the other. Which means that all male-dominating behavior, in whatever size, shape, color or form, must be eliminated. And yes, that includes whether it’s done by a man or a woman.

    Perhaps that’s what you mean and what you’re getting at?

    As for racism, thunder cannot exist without lightning. Sexism is the lightning. Racism is the thunder. No lightning, no thunder. Go to the root. Because as long as the lightning exists, so will the thunder.

    Posted by Luckynkl | March 17, 2008, 5:32 pm
  180. Satsuma,

    I agree that women who broke barriers should be applauded for doing that. Firsts DO means something. However, I do not think that achievement in the area of women’s rights makes one immune from being a racist, any more than achievement in the area of civil rights makes a man immune to being a misogynist. Neither label adequately describes everything about a person. It is very easy to be a smart, high-achieving, pioneering woman AND also a racist.

    If Geraldine Ferraro is not a racist, then her actions tell me that she possesses some powerful prejudices and beliefs about who is worthy of running for elected office.

    It seems as if you are saying that it is so important to get a woman in national office that it doesn’t matter if another oppressed group gets marginalized and maligned in the process. Or, that women must be free to oppress others on their way to equality.

    I don’t agree with that. If women can’t do better than that, then we are no better than the oppressors we rail against.

    Posted by Tami | March 17, 2008, 9:35 pm
  181. “Nothing makes me angrier than women attacking the women who broke new ground. Nothing!”

    Nothing makes me angrier than women sticking up for some women for whatever reason and selling out the ones getting in the way.

    Well not really, some other things make me angrier but you know.

    It’s not so hard to be considerate of all women. Sheesh. What makes Ferraro so much more goddamned in need of support than those who would be offended by what she says (which would include many women)?
    Your anger at my offense is really severely annoying. Sheesh!
    Calling Ferraro on racism is doing her a favor actually. It’s called tough love. You are not doing her any favors right now. I am.

    Posted by Jeyoani | March 17, 2008, 10:18 pm
  182. You don’t address the meat of the matter. You write a short essay educating on the necessities of political-business-as -usual though– as long as women are the ones conducting the business as usual, you’re cool w/it.

    You don’t engage in how your political ideology/backing of the status quo stacks is at all considerate of more than the *already empowered women*. There are billions of poor women left out of your plan for women, period. Billions. I know it’s no fun thinking about the billions of impoverished women subject to American politics, but they exists in far larger numbers than any of the small minority of women who benefit from the politics you are in staunch support of as long as women get to be part of it.

    What’s good for the privileged gander is good for the small population of trying- to-become -as-privileged geese seems to be your ideology. Well cool for those women who can make it, but it isn’t and will never in the current system, be many. The system is set up to have a minority of wealthy and a majority of working and poor class, w/a middle class they’re still trying to figure out what to do with, but at any rate they need a lot of poor to make it all work.

    You leave out mostly women in fact, b/c it’s mostly women who are poor.
    Nor do you address the fact Ferraro has a history of invalidating black men on the basis of their race. You can throw up your Mary Daly straw man to try to invalidate me Satsuma but it’s pathetic, off-point, and dishonest. Shame shame shame? What, on me? Projection much?

    Right because I shouldn’t call bs on bs when I see it.
    Sorry, thing is I’m not stupid.
    Ferraro has a glaring blind spot. That’s what racism is for most people–something one is not consciously aware of but others, often the ones in your blind spot, can see. At least don’t say the exact same thing you said about the other black guy, sheesh.

    You want to get indignant I call Ferraro on racism that really is your problem and I do mean problem. You better believe I’ll call her on it and your tsk-ing won’t deter me, thank God. I was personally appalled (and depressed as crap) to see someone respond favorably to PennyLane. Better believe I will do my own responding then.

    I like and am incredibly inspired by plenty of racists actually, being as a good many of our icons/artists/writers, etc., were racist or prejudiced in some way.)

    However!- I’m not gonna pretend they ain’t what they are when they make a habit out of showing me. I’m not gonna pretend some of the things they’ve said are benign when they are not.

    It is AWESOME when people don’t stick to their bs though!! Ferraro obviously has been sticking to her stock comment to put powerful blacks down since 20 years ago!– Worked out well enough for her then, appears to be working w/some again this time around too. No she just gets to refute it all with one simple line, ” I worked for civil rights!” and “how dare they?”

    Yes we are all forever indebted, Ferraro. Whatevs, as it is she may as well be lunching and bonding w/Pat Buchannon over this joint belief of theirs.
    Self-righteously clueless, the both of them.

    (He reveled in her saying what she did, I saw him talking
    about it, he even got emboldened enough to tell a black commentator (I forget her name) to “shut up!” when she argued w/him. And he’s normally wrong but at least he’s polite! Rachel Maddow, a liberal commentator who often spars w/him on news shows, said she had never heard him do that before. )
    I love Ferraro’s facts in backing up her attacks too. Just a simple and authoritative assertion that a candidates’ (Jackson and now Obama) has not to do w/merit but merely b/c of their color.
    However when she gets a response it’s the ones she is attacking who are playing the race card! Not only crafty in execution, but historically effective too, I’ll give her that.

    Adding your little random “they called Mary Daly racist” too quip? -God talk about throwing a strawwoman into the fray, just like Ferraro throwing her “unworthy black guys” comments into her respective fray.

    Admire who you will, I’m all for that, but don’t have the nerve to be so shocked to the point of tsk-tsk-ing me, that I, a half black woman, can’t hang w/you on this one.

    And don’t say you didn’t tsk. Geez Louise-ing/the Mary Daly straw-woman for effect, et all.

    Posted by Jeyoani | March 17, 2008, 10:29 pm
  183. “Ferraro’s comments about Obama are not bad.” – Satsuma

    Most black people would disagree with you. Black women, black children, black men. If that doesn’t matter to you, there isn’t the slightest reason to take your opinions seriously.

    Indeed, denying the life experiences and perceptions of a whole group of historically oppressed people – those most hurt, angered, or offended by demeaning comments like Ferraro’s – is one of the oldest and most effective tactics used to defend systems of privilege.

    But I’m sure you know all that, and have experienced the very same tactic being used against your own people. If it’s wrong when directed at your group, why isn’t it wrong when you direct it at others?

    Posted by John | March 18, 2008, 12:57 am
  184. Lucky anyone who gets as high as Obama or Hillary has subordinated themselves to the power structures of our “democracy”. That’s what I’m saying. This strucrture we have was set up by men, and they will only allow you to run with them if you have shown you are subordinate to that power structure and their overarching immoral, misogynistic mentality. That’s what I am saying, as far as women getting in positions of power in *this system*–and what do they do? They carry out the same policies and orders a male would.

    No I don’t want women acting mild/meek, like you ask. (What a rhetorical question.)

    I want them acting (*acting*-their *acts*, not their demeanor) w/morality once they get there. They don’t.

    Our govt in the US is a tyrannical power. We go all over, do exactly what we want, how we want, might makes right. We make everyone bow to us.

    All politicians here (male or female) act mild and meek in demeanor when it comes to subjugating their morality to our political patriarchal structure which is steeped in misogyny.
    I’m talking about male and female politicians being subordinate to a much greater overarching power.

    As far as racism and sexism goes, I too believe that sexism is the root oppression. That doesn’t change anything as far as this discussion goes.

    Posted by Jeyoani | March 18, 2008, 6:26 am
  185. This from the speech Obama gave today I think is a good example of what Jeyoani meant by Obama and Clinton having “subordinated themselves to the power structures of our “democracy”.”

    But the remarks that have caused this recent firestorm weren’t simply controversial. They weren’t simply a religious leader’s effort to speak out against perceived injustice. Instead, they expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country – a view that sees white racism as endemic, and that elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America; a view that sees the conflicts in the Middle East as rooted primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel, instead of emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam.

    What is so profoundly distorted about that view? What seems profoundly distorted to me is that Obama feels he must distance himself from such inconvenient truths to save whatever chance he has to win the Presidency.

    Satsuma, you keep saying “the presidency of the US is not about revolution.” Why would you of all people defend political reality, as if that is just the way it is and there is nothing anyone can do about it? Is that not just what the men in power want us to think? Women had better settle for whatever crumbs are available, because that is all we can realistically aspire to?

    Posted by Aletha | March 19, 2008, 6:24 am
  186. All white people are racists
    All white straight men are sexists and homphobes
    All straight black women are homophobes
    All straight black men are sexists and homophobes
    All white feminists and feminist leaders are racists
    All Americans are imperialists

    So that’s the formula.

    Now what exactly do I mean when I say the US presidency is not a revolutionary institution? Well, you simply have to study the history of this institution and you’ll see that when huge changes come about, there is always a large grass roots movement pushing from the ground up to get the change. Change does not come from the top down.

    Most people don’t really know how social change happens, because they are not actively involved in its origins.

    So everyone here kind of forgets this history, but it is useful to know that the communist and socialist parties USA put a lot of pressure on American institutions. But now, if you asked the average high school student just how we got out of the great depression, you’d probably get the answer “the Roosevelt Administration.” It’s true the Roosevelt pushed the new deal through, but it is also useful to know that the socialists and communists were on the outside and gaining steam. Eugene Debs got millions of votes as a third party candidate back then.
    Roosevelt really feared that there might be a male style gun revolution, and also I actually think he was a very caring man.

    If we keep looking to the presidency and the government to do everything, we’ll be disappointed. Neither Obama nor Clinton will cause all that much to change, unless we do our work.

    We can argue all the time about radical feminism, but radical feminism means to me that women actually get where they want to go in life. You can whine all you want about the evil comments of Ferraro, and I think a lot of stuff she says is both brilliant and stupid. Put a tape recorder at all our homes, and we’d all look like fools with a CNN sound bite.

    All straight people are pretty much homophobes in my book. I don’t put a lot of hope in straight feminists and never really have. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t admire and respect pioneering feminist leaders both inside and outside government.

    What’s intriguing to me is to watch how issues go from small grassroots concerns to national issues. I’ve seen this close up with the gay and lesbian agenda becoming presidential debating topics, for instance. I can trace the public rise of lesbian and gay power to the unity of the AIDS epidemic, the founding of gay churches worldwide, the lesbian feminist activists of the late 60s and early 70s, and how all this came together at UN conferences on women.

    Every white radical feminist and plain old liberal feminist I know has been called a racist! It goes with the territory. Just as I get on straight women’s cases for their clueless (usually) or overt (some of the time) lesbophobia. It just is.

    Since I wasn’t in the country during the 1980 or 1984 presidential elections, I didn’t hear all those debates. When I came back to the U.S. I made it a point to meet most of the candidates who lost the election, and I’m still happy that Ferraro got to be a vice presidential candidate. She’s a tough New York fighter, and I love that personality type. She’s proven her feminist credentials thousands of times over. But no, she’ll still get trashed, and that’s ok. Those of us whose primary injury is race will think all white women racists, and those of us whose primary injury is homophobia will tend to give short shrift to straight women.

    We know the drills. It’s why lesbians formed their own groups and organizations, why we have black churches, and why we have gay and lesbian churches. Each group wants its own power position, and its own issues front and center.

    So if you are in one group, you’ll tend to be weary of the other groups. I’m not holding my breath that any national straight black leader is ever going to get radical lesbian feminist issues, nor are white straight people going to get this either.

    We can go on and on about this, but if you look up at my little chart, it will explain everything. No group goes out of its way to do anything for another group unless there is some kind of threat or some kind of co-opting strategy. Straight women love to take up valuable lesbian energy with “reproductive issues” and we need to be working for our own issues. Straight women are welcome to do a little labor on our behalf, but again, I have low low expectations here.

    Black people are well to organize and work for their own interests. We can all agree on some things, but as residents of different universes, we’ll have different ideas.

    When we all are brutally honest about all of this, then everything will be fine.

    We each can tell our own truth. My bottom line is I respect the pioneers, and I love the things tough women have done in feminism. I also revere lesbian herstory, which a lot of the time has nothing to do with any of the other groups. Lesbians of course practically invented modernism, social work, anthropology, and stream on consciousness writing, for example. Don’t hold your breath waiting for straight women to “study” our worldly accomplishments.

    Am I realistic about things, yes, I am a supreme realist. I also am aware that women put their heads in the sand all the time, and absolutely refuse to take personal responsibility for a lot of their actions. Refuse! Just as every group does not take personal responsibility. Maybe I’m more realistic because the straight world is such a distasteful place to be a lot of the time. It’s boring, or it’s unconscious or it is so self-involved that it is completely unaware of its own hegemony over everything. Institutional heterosexuality is really a delight to behold 😦

    As a radical lesbian, I decided that I had my own agenda and my own goals. People were welcome to come along for the ride, but again, I had low expectations of the general public.

    Why people here get angry at my realism is beyond me. Why get angry at one Ferraro comment, because every public figure makes a really horrific comment. Just take a look at what the civil rights establishment did to Bayard Rustin’s reputation. Just look at black straight male academics dance around the utter gayness of the Harlem Renaissance, and take a look at what women’s studies departments do to “teach” Mary Daly. Read Daly’s books, and you’ll see her discuss at length the defaming of her character at the hands of women who called her a racist. And you can take a look at what was revealed later in an biography of Audre Lorde that clarified the mystery. Now Jeyoani, you probably haven’t read Mary Daly extensively, and I am certain you have never heard her lecture, but these accusations are no “straw woman” and they are a very very serious matter. Those accusations against a very brilliant radical lesbian feminist made me very angry, and they are still out there. It’s no small thing that other feminists, usually young, usually clueless continue to perpec=tuate these calumnies. It’s not something to be poo pooed as you so easily do here. So I’m going to say, read Mary Daly, and prove that you’re conversant in this.

    If you haven’t run for president or vice president, and if you haven’t been in the trenches for the beginnings of radical lesbian activism, and if you weren’t voting in the 1980 or 1984 elections (absentee or otherwise) it’s easy to fall for the right wing attack dogs set on destroying the memory of all the great feminists out there.

    You could say that every great 19th century abolitionist and feminist was a racist. You can call all white feminists racists. Heck even the poor long suffering Heart is called a racist all the time by people who have never had a real conversation with her, and on it goes. I have had real conversations with Ferraro and many of the other elected women in congress and the senate. I worked for a senate committee in Washington, D.C., and I’ve been active in democratic party politics for a very long time. We even formed democrats abroad Japan and sent delegates to the 1980 and ’84 convention. I was privileged to meet women at all levels of government in many countries. So I really know many of these people, and I know how good they are.

    I know personally or have worked personally with just about every major gay and lesbian activist of the 20th century, and also with some emerging leaders in this century.

    The stuff I read on here is based on people who have never picked up the telephone to talk to candidates and elected officials a lot of the time. So Jeyoani, pick up the phone and give Ferraro a call. Intoduce yourself, tell her your complaint and see what she has to say. If you are not satisfied with her answers or what she has to say overall, then you can give a more complete portrait of the first woman who ran for vice president. If you still think she is a worthless racist, then that’s ok. We can all say that feminists are this or that, but the bottom line as always is, are women getting somewhere?
    Are women’s dreams taking them far? Do they experience personal liberation?

    For me, the answer is quite simple a lot of the time. Are my lesbian accomplishments and lesbian self completely alive and front and center in the world? Do I get respect and awards the same way straight women do? And when I go into a hospital or doctor’s office, am I treated well just like straight women walking in the front door? Do I get seated at the crummy seat in the restaurant or a good table? Am I paid fairly and is my work judged fairly, or are men always given the head start?

    The more women who get into positions of influence in government, the better my life got. The more women who returned to professional schools and went out and got advanced degrees and rose in corporate positions, the better my life got. The higher women’s income got, the higher my income got. The more a company had policies and procedures stating that sexism, racism and anti-lesbian statements were not ok, the better my world became.

    The more lesbians created their own organizations, the bigger and better my social/political network became.

    There is nothing worse in my opinion, than the young degrading and snipping at the work of the pioneering women. This snotty snippiness is very fashionable these days, and it’s easy to hate the elders and attack the pioneers. Just as Geraldine Ferraro and Mary Daly, and they’ll tell you.

    Posted by Satsuma | March 19, 2008, 10:16 pm
  187. P.S. I’m sure I left out some groups in the “All _______ are_____ categories, so feel free to expand the circle of all men bad all women good 🙂 (A reference to a hysterical New Yorker cartoon)

    Posted by Satsuma | March 19, 2008, 10:18 pm
  188. Satsuma, there is a huge difference between white feminists being called racist just because they are white, and Geraldine Ferraro making such an inflammatory statement practically begging for that assessment. Whites in this white-dominated society are by default racist, so have to go out of their way to educate themselves about racist attitudes and actions they may not realize have infected them. Ms. Ferraro went out of her way to provoke an argument about racism. That was not pioneering work, and she has done it before. Mary Daly may not have deserved to be called racist, but I think Ms. Ferraro earned it, making such a statement in a high profile position in the midst of the desperation kitchen sink strategy of the Clinton campaign, which may well think it is strategically in its interest to force Obama to take the bait. He had a lot to lose, but the remarks of his pastor forced him into damage control.

    In other words, I do not see how Mary Daly is relevant to this firestorm touched off by Geraldine Ferraro. I think that makes bringing up what happened to Mary Daly a straw woman argument. Yes, they have both been called racist, but for completely different reasons.

    As for your realism, there is nothing realistic about the way politics works. Political reality is about keeping women in our place and destroying the capacity of this planet to sustain life. It is true change does not come from the top down, but that does not mean a President could not lead a revolution. What it does mean is, no feminist revolutionary will win the nomination of a mainstream political party. Mainstream politics will do whatever it can to keep its monopoly on politics. That monopoly cannot stand forever, especially since most people are already fed up with it.

    Posted by Aletha | March 20, 2008, 5:10 am
  189. Hi all, have been travelling overseas with my job lately, so haven’t been able to input much. I work for govts and in mainstream political environments, and was on exchange visits with US govt and also UK/France/Germany in recent weeks

    (and am I exhausted? they dont call us downunda for nothing – its a freakingly long flight to get anywhere from this side of the planet!) — but despite that, got exposed to some extremely diverse, and interesting, views on US Presidential primary politics recently.

    174 Satsuma My Dad once called the Kennedys a “journalistic cottage industry.” We get the hype always on “charismatic candidates” and leaders, and over time, I grew to distrust this sort of public presentation.

    Unlike many other countries, the USA President carries two roles, that other countries is two separate institutions, and represented by different people. ie Head of State AND Head of Government .

    In many other countries, the Head of State is mostly a ceremonial symbolic figurehead role – whether its an hereditary office like royal families, or whether appointed and/or popularly elected with set terms of office. They often have little political or government administrative power, but a lot of moral and social power as a national symbol.

    The Head of Government role, is quite different in other countries, to us – thats a job, its knowing how to run the country, its infrastructure, negotiate, get things done, administer government services, from trade, economics, taxation, population health services, housing to foreign policy. Its an organisational management job.

    Just my observation as an outsider, but I have always seen an element of US Presidentials, having this theme of ‘national symbolism’ and mystical auras being applied to its candidates – and some conflict in differing views between the HoS role and the HoG role, being combined into the same person.

    Like the whole “Camelot” theme thing with the Kennedy years, the footage being so regal and royal, with a Hollywood cosmetic gloss, but its up there with watching the British, Swedish or Dutch royal families and other Presidential figures. I dont have a problem with it in theory – I too like my national pomp & pageantry, ceremony, speeches and parades on national holidays or what-have-you, but they dont tend to run the government.

    But in other countries, we see the Head-of-Government role being far more important and very different, relative to the H-o-S one. We don’t put such value on charisma, character, moral fibre, or personality on our Heads-of-Governments.

    We see them as normal men and women who have to do a job, across their governing political Party lines to implement specific policies, with government offices of other men and women with a united policy platform on bread-and-butter daily life issues.

    In my recent travels I’ve heard some comments on the US Presidentials – which to me, highlighted this conflict between H-o-S and H-o-G roles:

    “Are we voting for candidates for American Idol, or for someone who can run the country?”

    “He delivers fantastic speeches, full of words of wisdom, morally uplifting and awe-inspiring, but what will he do about Social Security?”

    “He seems like a really nice guy, someone I’d like to invite home for supper. Thing is, I already have a best friend. I want a President”.

    Also, the conflict between those who want an “issues” based election, rather than a character-based one, seems to reflect this difference in symbolic H-o-S role relative to the administrative H-o-G role.

    My view is that the symbolism and national moral angst of the race cards and gender themes embodied in the candidates, has gone way over to extremes in these 2008 US primaries, over-shadowing what are extremely important ‘bread-and-butter’ issues of governance and administration for Americans — and by extension, given its super-power status on the planet, impacting on the rest of the world.

    One example : I was watching one of the debates between Clinton & Obama, I think it was the Texas one, on a public TV in a London pub with co-workers, including a couple of Americans working there at the time.

    Obama was opining about what NATO allies should be doing in Afghanistan. It was also mentioned that in his current Senate job, he is responsible for the relevant committee on NATO affairs, but that it hadn’t met once in well over a year, because he was “too busy campaigning”.

    That made the entire pub audience in London, jaws-drop at the incompetence. It didn’t go down too well in Germany either, with headlines like ” Another Bush?”

    It came over, very much like Bush’s “You’re either with us, or against us”, when 30+ other countries were forced, threatened and bullied into providing troops for Iraq too – America is NOT the only country with body-bag counts from Bush’s war.

    but it was a bit arrogant of someone who is still just a candidate for nomination, to start dictating what NATO allies, should or should not, be doing with their troops, especially when he is responsible for the relevant US Senate committee, but is “too busy” to do anything anyway?

    One of the Brits I worked with said to the American guys “Before you guys unleash another sugar & fizz Coke phenomenon on the rest of the Free and Not-So-Free World, (or another Bush) would it be too much to ask — if you run some tests to see if its fit for human consumption first?”

    We became curious and from across the pond, did some googling. Took about half-an-hour to find out Obama has done SFA in his career – in the Senate, he was either away from work, holidaying in Hawaii, or at one time, he pressed the wrong button on a Senate vote? LOLOL – lucky it wasn’t something really important like starting World War 3… Duh! jokes started flying around about a well-meaning, lovely, sweet, Gomer Pyle character, becoming the Leader of the Free World. And being absent or voting ‘present’ more often than other US Senators – as one said in London, ” if I don’t show up for work, I don’t get paid”.

    Back to the government management thing though – if I was hiring, and I stacked the resumes of Clinton against Obama’s – and compared their previous work experience, their academic qualifications, their references etc – Clinton wins hands down.

    Just check their wikipedia entries.

    OK, can cede he doesn’t have much experience etc, and maybe its not so important.

    Sooo…look at the company he keeps, look at the people that might make up his Cabinet, and will end up doing all the advising, and implementation of policies –

    Goolsbee? Talk about right-wing neo-conservative economists, straight out of the Milton Friedmann school of laissez-faire rampant capitalism. Talk about multinational control and increasing wide-scale poverty at home and abroad.

    Obama is farther to the right-wing than Clinton, if you dig deep enough into the ‘issues’ and public domain information – but have to look for it, because the MSM isn’t telling anybody – but all dressed in Hollywood glitz and costume as some lefty-liberal/progressive?

    Are those MSM boys in for a big surprise if/when he wins the nomination and/or the white house?

    Too busy admiring each other’s wagging penises to notice the guy is actually a right-winger in drag.

    No wonder he watered-down the Exelon legislation on nuclear leak reporting. No wonder he campaigns on the ‘unity’ theme, of uniting red and blue states etc. No wonder he gets so many more Indie and cross-over voters, especially in red states. No wonder he admires Ronald Reagan. I’m certainly old enough to remember “Reaganomics”.

    If you look hard enough in the public domain information, just as one example, he wants to reconsider privatising social security. I’m sure that goes down well as a vote-winner with seniors.

    Then there’s that whole debacle with Howard Dean and his merry men in the DNC playing around with Michigan and Florida’s primaries.

    If you do the math on awarding Democrat delegates – its easily gamed because its over-weighted to both small states, and red states, even more so, to caucuses.

    Take two big swing-states out of play early in the primary calendar season, and that bumps the delegate weightings even farther towards the little red states. FLA & MI were never meant to count , not early in the season anyway. It was set up that way to give Obama an advantage in early opinion polling, to give him ‘momentum’ going into Ohio and Texas rounds. He was meant to have knocked Clinton out early – and with the backing of the DLC, DNC and Party “boys”, he represents a right-wing factional take-over of the Democratic Party.

    Thats why he talks about sweeping out old washington politics, its sweeping out whatever remains of the center, the moderates and the left in the Democratic Party, long-serving Democrats in Congress are scared of him. Thats what he means by “uniting” and working across the aisle – two Republican style parties is his “new” politics.

    I felt like I’ve been stuck in Orwell’s novel – 1984 , watching this from the sidelines, with all the mirror reversals.

    eg Painting Clinton the life-long proven political centrist, as the right-winger? when the reality is the reverse, eg Obama’s campaign managers are the ones playing the Rovian tactics, like playing the race card against the Clintons with South Carolina, and recycling an old 1992 Republican campaign flyer on healthcare (I suppose it was cheaper than making a new one?)

    and I am soooo bored with his lies about the war, both his attack on Clinton, and his lies about himself.

    But two things have put a little monkey-wrench into the boy’s plan –

    1. millions of Americans are just plain *stubborn* (or stupid, ) in continuing to vote for Clinton in larger numbers, than anyone would have expected, given the constant 24/7 hate-speech, blatant lies and slime poured on her via the MSM – and two, taking out Ohio and Texas in a fantastic political Slam-Dunk!!!

    I dont usually drink alcohol, but when I watched those two states numbers coming in, ohhhhh purrrr the Jack Daniels – you goooo Hillary!! Definitely one for Ann Richards, “backwards and in high-heels” – indeed 🙂

    Posted by Rain | March 20, 2008, 8:15 am
  190. Jeyoani – just wanted to let you know I hear you. Hang in there.

    Anyone who insists upon groups of women and/or black people and/or embracing dominance tactics is really just not worth listening to. It’s not feminist. It’s not educational. It’s not enlightening. It’s not unifying. Most importantly, it’s not *true.*

    Rain: Maybe it’s cool in Australia to refer to Obama as “the boy,” but I SINCERELY doubt it. What I do know for sure is that it’s totally unacceptably racist, and therefore antifeminist, to do it in America or about Americans, and anybody who supposedly knows and cares so darn much about what Americans are like, how we vote and why, ought to clue herself in, stat.

    Posted by funnie | March 20, 2008, 4:57 pm
  191. Just what I was going to say, Rain. Watch out – I am sure you would have referred to any (male) candidate like Obama, of any color, as “the boy”, but before you know it you are going to get called a racist, but Funnie beat me to it.

    Great post. Thanks for the international perspective!

    Posted by Branjor | March 20, 2008, 7:27 pm
  192. Rain, thanks for bringing a little down under good sense to this debate. I too have been pouring over the donor lists, and following which industries are backing Obama. Where is all that money coming from?

    In America, there really is a very wealthy behind the scenes gang– some are liberal and have done some good, others are more opportunistic. Privatizing social security would be a huge mistake. Look at donations from financial service industry people to Obama’s campaign, but more importantly look at the nuclear industry licking its chops. I don’t know why the renewed threat of nuclear power in this country isn’t getting more attention! I about freaked when I first heard that Obama supported nuclear power as an “alternative energy source.” Helen Caldicut, where are you when we need you most? I’d like to see HER debate Obama! Follow the money, because Obama and charisma are full of mine fields.

    I guess I look more to the European model to have a technically good manager type for a president, and we’ll save the Kennedy stuff for the 20-somethings. Young people always fall for those charmers, and I have learned my lesson over the years. But hey, this is a good campaign for the young to learn on.

    I like pomp and ceremony too, but I don’t believe we can afford someone who really is pretty green running the show right about now. We need to be up on financial markets, we need to have someone who really burned the midnight oil on the armed services committee… policy wonks… I love ’em.

    Ah, us stubborn boring Americans who are sticking with Hillary! We should have all been fooled by Obama the charmer. It’s an unfair comparison, but recently I met an Iranian woman studies professor who was a big Khoumeini supporter back in 1978-79. She just didn’t see the threat at all. Obama isn’t anywhere near this at all, but women who are feminists can really get fooled. Aren’t we the bloody idiots, as the British would say.
    Thanks for the bit on NATO and the British reaction — very good international perspective here.

    Feminists in America like to trash the old generations of feminists. Although people seem to be rather confused about my Mary Daly references, these kinds of accusations are damaging. One sound bite on TV, and they believe the TV people. I think Ferraro did say she make a dumb statement, but again racist is in the eye of the beholder in America. I’m suspicious of its over use to attack other accomplished and proven women leaders, but we’ll have to agree to disagree here. Years later, you get the truth anyway in the letters collections, but by then the damage has long been done.

    Let’s really beat up on Ferraro as the very worst racist America has ever produced, right up there with George Wallace 🙂 I don’t know Australian English, but the use of boy isn’t a good thing for black men here, and people will point this out. But again, this is American English usage and I’ve never been to Austalia.

    But NATO? Not much comment on that part of your essay. Two boy comments and no NATO/nuclear comments. Maybe we need to tally attention to details.

    Rain says:
    “No wonder he watered-down the Exelon legislation on nuclear leak reporting. No wonder he campaigns on the ‘unity’ theme, of uniting red and blue states etc. No wonder he gets so many more Indie and cross-over voters, especially in red states. No wonder he admires Ronald Reagan. I’m certainly old enough to remember “Reaganomics”. ”

    You are clever in seeing how Obama is right wing light, and Reagan friendly. There has always been a kind of teflon empty suit quality to the man, that I could never quite put my finger on. We like to believe it’s not Washington politics as usual, but actually it cleverly is. Again, he has a very detached quality as he uses this “high sounding Kennedyesque language,” but the strange distance in his demeaner should alert women to a danger. Not a big D danger, but someone who is not all he really says he is. It’s why people freaked out and overreacted to the minister soundbites. It was an extreme contrast to the self-presentation of Obama the uniter. But again, what are his policies? Why is he so odd about the war he helped to fund? Why does he try to make everyone believe that Hillary is a war candidate?

    This whole blow up over his church membership opened some windows, because Obama’s greatest challenge was not getting white votes, it was actually getting black votes. And this was a part of the strategy. Only white people were not supposed to know. That bothers me. I don’t have any problem with most of the sermons in that church, but I know that even in the most radical lesbian and gay sermons in MCC (the gay church founded in the U.S. and now international), even during the very worst of the AIDS epidemic, no pastor ever said anything like those things.

    Very wealthy very powerful interests in this country believe they can manipulate him easier than Clinton. You have to look at the nice “shells on the outside” a la Bush and Reagan to see a little deeper into the game.

    The sad part for me is to see how quickly feminists just leave other women out in the cold. It’s been a real education seeing what the feminist attitude now is towards very brave women. Again, we seem to have trouble with longevity in America, and with loyalty. It’s very very hard for women to stay loyal and stay the course. It’s very hard to get women to focus on economic issues, and over and over again, a lot of women tend to get fooled by the charmers and the visionary big picture guys. Heck, I still hear women lovingly talk about Ronald Reagan for heaven’s sake! Eeekkk…

    Since I was witness to Reagan and the AIDS epidemic becoming the perfect genocidal storm, you kind of sit back and think, “why are they falling for the charmer yet again?” Is it a hetero woman thing :-)?? 🙂 Bad joke, but hey one can try. Not blessed with Auzzie wit I’m sorry to say. 🙂

    Rain says:
    “Thats why he talks about sweeping out old washington politics, its sweeping out whatever remains of the center, the moderates and the left in the Democratic Party, long-serving Democrats in Congress are scared of him. Thats what he means by “uniting” and working across the aisle – two Republican style parties is his “new” politics.”

    Now this is a paragraph worth exploring in more detail. Anyone have more detailed information along these lines? I get a little suspicious of people who run against Washington after they have served in Washington. That really drives me nuts. I was very relieved when Clinton just stuck to the basics: good old fashioned experience and wonky delight in the details. Haven’t we had enough of high sounding speeches and don’t we just starve as a population for the details?

    Aletha says:
    “As for your realism, there is nothing realistic about the way politics works. Political reality is about keeping women in our place and destroying the capacity of this planet to sustain life. It is true change does not come from the top down, but that does not mean a President could not lead a revolution. What it does mean is, no feminist revolutionary will win the nomination of a mainstream political party. Mainstream politics will do whatever it can to keep its monopoly on politics. That monopoly cannot stand forever, especially since most people are already fed up with it.”

    I actually tend to agree with a lot of this, but I just don’t expect revolution from presidencies. I keep saying women are the majority out there, and to keep saying that women have no power or that reality itself is keeping women in their place is not true. I’m not waiting around or staying in place, and I have no strong protected status at all. But I did realize I had one hell of a lot of personal power, and I would support a lot of women in their dreams of success as well. When revolutions come, usually some strong man comes along, so I’m a bit suspicious of revolutions, because the word is over used, and also I wasn’t all that impressed with the 60s group that chanted it all the time.

    I think we can say that advancement and betterment for women in America is for American women to use or lose. But we’ve got to get women themselves to wake up to a lot of stupid things that they do, and we have to stop making excuses for this supposed “weakling class.”

    The mainstream is what it is and we all define it differently. My definition is that mainstream means straight women marrying men 🙂 Or it is the heterosexual caste system that really rules the world. How can you have a real revolution if women are still doing millions of hours of uncompensated work for the male ruling class — and that means the husband, the general and Bill Gates!

    Women have the power to elect a good solid sister to the white house. They could do it if they wanted this. The irony is I’ve heard more plain old men supporting her than women on this blog, Rain’s sophisticated international commentary aside of course. Now one two three everybody yell at the top of our feminist lungs: Hillary is a RACIST 🙂

    Posted by Satsuma | March 20, 2008, 10:33 pm
  193. *hugs* – I was in DC for several days – when in Rome so to speak, lived there briefly in 99/00 – but I meant Boys, Plural – as in referring to the ‘Boys Club’ or “Boys Games” in the Mary Daly sense of it – just typing too fast!

    Posted by Rain | March 20, 2008, 11:17 pm
  194. Hmm. Satsuma, you made my point about political reality. It is political reality keeping women in our place, not reality itself. Political reality has nothing to do with reality itself.

    About the slam dunk in Ohio and Texas? Obama won more delegates in Texas than Clinton, due to its dual primary system. Who knows how many Republicans listened to urging from Rush Limbaugh to vote for Clinton, to prevent Obama from wrapping it up. It did not work. Obama has already erased the paltry gain in delegates Clinton won from Ohio. I do not know what Rain means by mainstream media here. Some call right-wing talk radio mainstream. Others call the New York Times mainstream. The former deems both Obama and Clinton liberals way out of touch with the mainstream. I think both are Republican lite. The right-wing takeover of the Democratic Party was already accomplished by the Democratic Leadership Council, led by Bill Clinton, with the help of such snakes as Dick Morris.

    The Democratic Party is rotten on environmental issues. They talk a good game, but their actions speak louder than words. I tried to make some noise about that over at the Randi Rhodes forum, only to have one of the many fervent Obama supporters there tell me nuclear power, genetic engineering, and ethanol, all of which most Democratic politicians support, are good things! Hillary Clinton claims to be agnostic about nuclear power, but Bill engineered a huge deal to sell US nuclear technology to China. Thanks a lot. Much of the air pollution here in California these days comes from China. If China has a Chernobyl, California will not escape the fruits of that folly. I also tried to make noise about Obama shooting his mouth off about attacking Pakistan, giving Bush political cover to stir up that pot, but nobody wanted to discuss that. Clinton tried to use that to argue Obama did not understand the fine points of foreign policy, especially when he said he did not think nuclear weapons would be necessary. A President should never take the nuclear option off the table, according to Clinton. This provides political cover for Bush to try tactical nuclear weapons on Iran.

    I do not think Geraldine Ferraro acknowledged she made a dumb statement. She resigned from the campaign because she felt it was being used (unfairly, to her mind) against Clinton. Today she is calling Pastor Wright a racist bigot! If he is a racist bigot for expressing anger at whites, are we not sexist bigots for expressing anger at men?

    Obama was to have knocked Clinton out early? Where did you get that idea, Rain? Clinton was expected to knock everyone out early. She only became concerned about Florida and Michigan when the easy victory she and the media expected did not materialize. Meanwhile, the latest poll shows McCain winning, polling slightly better against Obama than Clinton. Not long ago it was the other way around, on both scores. Someone coined the phrase, when given a choice between Republican and Republican lite, most voters will go for the real thing. What kind of a pathetic excuse for an opposition party is this Democratic Party, likely to lose this election to a man supporting most of the policies of a President as unpopular as Bush!

    Posted by Aletha | March 21, 2008, 6:38 am


    Posted by Carol | March 21, 2008, 10:06 am
  196. Today she is calling Pastor Wright a racist bigot! If he is a racist bigot for expressing anger at whites, are we not sexist bigots for expressing anger at men?


    You know, I haven’t even been able to comment to this or any election thread lately.

    I just feel so completely and absolutely alienated by the election campaign and everything going on around it! I can’t even tell you the depth of my alienation. I’ll just throw a few parts of it out, I guess.

    * I have zero capacity to begin to understand what the problem is with Pastor Wright. I have heard these supposedly heinous comments he made by now many times, because they are aired over and over again. My response is, “What? He’s exactly RIGHT! Right on! Preach it, bro!” !!! Damn right, everything you’re saying!

    * Somehow these statements are some huge crisis because Obama went to this guy’s church before he retired? What on earth? Anybody ever heard of Liberation Theology? Apparently not! Anybody ever listened to some of Martin Luther King’s more intense sermons? I guess not. The United Churches of Christ KICK BUTT. The very existence of this church, learning about it on television, made me happy– by far most of these churches, which are on the absolutely liberal, radical end so far as Christian churches — because they are by far predominantly white. Yet here is a black preacher, a black church, preaching Liberation Theology very passionately and powerfully, in this predominately white denomination, and according to a singular, at least, voice of sanity, Martin Marty, there is a constant parade of other UCC folks, most of them white, through the church, just loving it, drawing hope from it, from these impassioned words of a pastor who is not afraid to say ENOUGH! This country is an ATROCITY! We are WRONG! The racism in this country is inexcusable! What this country is doing to people, INEXCUSABLE. I’m supposed to feel bad that Obama goes to this church?! In my mind, this is a huge plus for Obama! The Churches of Christ have been at the absolute forefront of the fight for legal and civil rights for lesbians, gay men, and transgender persons. They have been fighting to support HIV positive people for, by now, decades. They have been antiwar forever.

    * Yet Obama feels he needs to distance himself? What on earth? Last night I watched — horrified — as Larry King asked Obama why he described his white grandmother as having had “typical white person” concerns as though Obama is not allowed to say that white people typically stereotype black people in racist ways and that he loves her, and many of them, ANY WAY. As is true of by far MOST black people. No. Suddenly this becomes some fracking litmus test for something **** which does not even exist: “black racism” against white people!**** There is no such thing! This exists in the minds of idiotic, racist, menaces to society like Rush Limbaugh ONLY. So Obama is sitting there attempting to respond to that question as though it even makes any sense! Why! Here we go again, Democrats/liberals, jerked around by right-wing, misanthropic, racist, callous, MEAN fanatics who don’t care about anybody or anything but their own bank accounts!

    * Why don’t people get what it means to some of us to hear Obama speak so insightfully, powerfully, and above-all, out of the *voice of experience* when he talks about this alienation between the races? How powerful is it to some of us to hear him say the things he says? I was going to post examples but honestly I’m sort of afraid to, for a number of reasons. I don’t trust Obama in certain ways any more than I trust ANY party politician or party politics in general. I am not a mainstream, party politics person, never have been, never will be. But for the First Time in History, ****so far as racial issues***, I find I TRUST a candidate: Obama. That is HUGE. The alienation I am feeling because this isn’t recognized as as huge as it is, is becoming some sort of horrible epiphany for me that I am really resisting because I just don’t want to have it, and honestly, I am writing this with tears in my eyes. Satsuma, what if the race were between two woman candidates and one was a lesbian who spoke powerfully and eloquently to her own experiences? Even if you didn’t agree with her in ways, wouldn’t this be meaningful to you? Important to you? Wouldn’t this mean an awful lot to you? If she were able to speak to realities, publicly, as a presidential candidate, that you had never heard a presidential candidate speak to before? YOUR realities? Wouldn’t you feel so hopeful that possibly you might be less invisible in certain ways. And wouldn’t it be hard to take if what she said that was so powerful and important to you, got blown off as insignificant by people who were theoretically your allies and on your side?

    I think we can honor woman pioneers, and place what they say that is unfortunate or wrong in the context of what their times and personal histories, situations, whtaever, while at the same time refusing to blow off the kinds of things Ferraro has said which are just inexcusable! Wow. What a thing to say about Pastor Wright, has she taken leave of her senses? Honestly, the depth of this disconnect and lack of understanding or insight is scary to me.

    I don’t even know what more to say. I’ve been wanting to write a post in an attempt to express this alienation and deep grief, honestly, that I am feeling, but I haven’t been able to even begin. Some of that is, I have been so exhausted, and I am physically not doing well for a bunch of reasons, including that I sprained my ankle, and favoring it has caused my other ankle to go sideways (It is full of metal plates and screws from being broken 16 years ago), and I’ve had a hard time getting around the past few days argh. Though I feel a little better today. But some is just that I don’t know that I can bear to go there. I don’t understand it that Second Wave age — my age — white feminists, some, who lived through the heydey of revolution in the 60s, are so wildly enthused about women who have said and done things that are 180 degrees from what our own radical feminism has EVER been about herstorically. I don’t understand. I don’t get it.

    Maybe I’ll try to make a post out of this. I don’t understand.

    Posted by womensspace | March 21, 2008, 11:44 am
  197. Hey satsuma and everyone *waving*
    Time-Zone-Impairment has a weird effect sometimes, losing track in net-conversations.

    Dunno about being “sophisticated international commentary” though, LOL – just stories while I was on-the-road recently, since it just happened to be big news everywhere.

    (BTW I also did do some “work” 🙂 on an OECD Health Directorate project on international health record/database sharing for clinical research, as well as government policy development – lots of statistics.

    Now one two three everybody yell at the top of our feminist lungs: Hillary is a RACIST

    OKayy.. I’ll play along!

    With my travelling record, I learned to try and adapt to the “when in Rome..” behaviours, whenever I can – every culture has its quirks, whats considered offensive in one country, is no big deal in another etc. But habits are ingrained and become instinctive, so mistakes get made.

    I once had a Thai woman boss and she said it took her years to not be constantly irritated by the custom of saying “thank You” in Australia in stores, to cab-drivers, restaurants etc. In Thailand the word for “Thank you” is only used in situations where you are thanking somebody for saving your life, for example. It also has connotations of mutual obligation of owing somebody a great deal in return. Thai storekeepers, retail assistants etc are offended by people, like tourists, for example, saying “thank you” all the time. Also, bringing gifts like a bottle of wine when invited around to somebody’s home for dinner – she laughed and said “It took me a long time to twig about that – in Thailand, it is considered a deep insult to the host to bring something. Here, it is considered an insult if you don’t”

    I absolutely adored Italian politics though. In Italy they have about a dozen different political parties, all get some representation in their government elections. But none get a majority, so they spend about 1-2 months after the election is over, arguing, yelling, slamming fists on tables in public, in restaurants and workplaces and neighbourhoods, coming to some sort of consensus on the right mix of alliances and coalitions of the Parties, in order to get a governing majority to run the country. I think its total anarchy and chaos with all that handwaving, arguing about the left-center socialists versus the center-moderate socialists etc, *chuckle* – like there’s a difference? LOL – But it seems to *work* for them 🙂

    When I travel to the states? Have to remember to budget an extra 10% for tipping, and maybe another 10% for hidden charges, fees and taxes, and grit my teeth, and bite my tongue, in irritation at all the paperwork, red-tape, bureaucracy and ancient financial transactional processes you seem to bury yourselves in 🙂

    Even then out of lifelong habit I sometimes forget the tipping etiquette, and occasionally get glared at or even yelled at. Constantly apologising. Cultural quirk, Americans generally happy to pay very generously as *individuals*, but whine about paying as a *community*. Political candidates can raise gazillions in a matter of hours from people throwing in $10, 20, 50 over the internet etc – but everybody whines about mandates on health insurance.

    And I read recently, about Beijing having monthly “queuing days” – apparently in Beijing nobody queues — its everybody for themselves, they generally fight for a place in the mass of bodies. (like a NYC subway in rush hour) But with so many western visitors expected for the Olympics, the people are being taught how to queue in an orderly fashion *grin*.

    Back to the 2008 US situation though:

    Satsuma: “Since I was witness to Reagan …. you kind of sit back and think, “why are they falling for the charmer yet again?” Is it a hetero woman thing :-)??

    I remember the Reagan years, but wasn’t his campaign slogan about “Its sunrise in America” or ‘New Dawn’ or something along those lines? I remember forever associating a mushroom cloudlike sunrise image, with his talk of ‘limited nuclear war’ being winnable etc 🙂

    But I was just watching Fox news on my cable here, (its time-shifted from US satellite feeds) talking on some viewer feedback. Apparently the Obama Girl video is rated the best political campaign video of the season.

    I expect it might have been the same with the young women of Reagan’s generation, attraction to that meme of – power being an aphrodisiac etc. Similar to young women, or ‘groupies’, flocking around rock stars, (which is how Monica Lewinsky was generally seen here in Oz, ab/used by the Repub machine as a tool for political purposes).

    The generational divide has been there a long time, symbolic rejection of the “mother’ archetype by the “daughter’ perhaps? Adolescent rebellion? Wasn’t it Freud who said the normal adolescent girl had to reject her powerless and penisless mother, and seek the approval of her “father”? If she didn’t, she ended up with penis-envy and masculinised?

    But then I see photos of T-shirts with “Vote for Bro’s – not Ho’s” etc – which would be mind-bogglingly offensive and insulting in other cultures, but Americans accept and shrug off that sort of vicious mysogyny in community life as no big deal. In Australia, it wouldn’t even be feminists complaining, it would be little old Republican-equivalent ladies bashing such men with their umbrellas and walking canes, and complaining on talk-back radio, like “I would never vote for that woman, but such filth …” scolding and belittling the perps etc, but in mainstream American culture its no big deal. Although I did read that some of the cross-over voting for Hillary has been from Republican women? *chuckle*

    Poor Gerry Ferraro, my heart went out to her too – what a horrible pile-on. To me and my family, including my 26-yr old son and elder brothers in their 50s, it looked like a bunch of football jocks (the media pundits) acting as gang-rapists beating up on an old sick lady. Good on her for fighting back and standing her ground – but she shouldn’t have had to.

    Examples of different cultures I guess – giving different perceptions, different interpretations on the ethics etc – of the same event. Same with the fiery allegations, accusations etc of racism being construed and twisted and manipulated, from -what we see – as mostly innocuous innocent comments. Also, politically speaking – why would *ANY* Democratic Party official, (let alone either of the Clintons) ever play the race card, given the Party’s history and record in US civil rights activism?

    As for the Rev Wright? Hmmm, maybe just no need to *go there*, been discussed to death methinx. Although there was a media black-out on it in other countries for several days (nearly a week) after it first broke in the USA, which I thought was interesting.

    But doesn’t the USA (like the rest of the human species) have more than just black-white divisions? What about the Hispanic population, or Asian-Americans? Or blue-collar workers on the assembly lines in the rust-belt? They aren’t buying into the race cards, their issue is more socio-economic class division.

    They aren’t voting against Obama because they are racist – they aren’t voting for him because they see him as part of the yuppie wealthy Harvard fraternity class, who’s never done a hard day’s work in his life, who lives in a mansion and has shady slumlords as close family friends over for supper, who would probably- collectively- look down on the rust-belters as “trailer trash”. So much for “unity”, excluding large sections of American people.

    As for NATO, it was Obama’s comments in the Obama-Clinton debates, just before the Texas or Ohio primaries, that caught a lot of attention in overseas news media. Along with the NAFTA-gate issue with Canada.

    Different perceptions of whats *important* I guess – to NATO countries it is extremely important what a possible future US President is thinking in terms of NATO policy.

    Germany has troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, following orders from Bush, just like many other countries do, and like many other countries – *now* – that Bush is finally on his way out of office, are finally “free” to implement plans for withdrawal (or trying to). Bush’s Coalition of the Willing? Remember that? Well, in around 30 countries its been called the Coalition of the Unwilling – or the ‘Coalition of the Killing’ – not a popular move, and Bush’s refusal to work through the UN over Iraq was globally disliked.

    In Australia, we changed our government last November, and one of the big election campaign issues we had, was Iraq withdrawal. Our PM is visiting Bush later this month, as one of several allied govt leaders doing similar trips over the next few months, to give the message – (with a very polite diplomatic finger I hope) ” So Long! Nice knowing you!” (and maybe check out the Guest Wing of the WH before the new occupants move in)

    and by the way Mr Bush – we are also withdrawing our troops, now that you can’t do much about it, nyah, nyah – and thanks so very much, for finally returning our citizens, from years of torture and imprisonment in Gitmo, for no reason. Our universal health care systems will look after them. and we are also withdrawing our economies from Wall Street, because when you go down, we don’t wanna be sucked down with you.

    In Obama’s comments in the TV debate, he outlined plans for what the NATO allied countries should be doing with their troops, basically dictating that some should stay. The moderator, or maybe Hillary, mentioned that some diplomatic approaches might be a more appropriate response when dealing with US allies.

    and Obama is the US Senator responsible for the relevant US Senate committee on NATO affairs, but it hadn’t been convened in 14 months etc. To which Obama replied “I’ve been too busy campaigning”. If you were the German Chancellor, or the British Prime Minister – how would you take that statement?

    Posted by Rain | March 21, 2008, 2:01 pm
  198. Great post, Heart. I’m sorry you’re both run-down AND injured…one at a time is more than enough!

    Yeah, I LIKE the stuff from Wright that I’ve read and heard – the one exception being the stuff about how Hillary hasn’t been called the N-word. It’s TRUE, but I’d put it in the same category that I (personally) put stuff like the Steinem op-ed into; half the story minimizes the prejudice the other party faces, hurts/invisibles other people (including part of the audience the speaker’s hoping to reach – black women), and is therefore an unnecessarily divisive and unwise comparison. It makes me unhappy. I think it’s wrong. But I don’t think it makes Wright (or Steinem, or Morgan) BAAAAD or sexist or racist. (Not that I’m interested in making sure she’s roundly reviled as BAD, but Ferraro’s comments and behavior are substantively different than any of the above.)

    Anyway. The rest of it? I love. The god-DAMN America stuff? Puh-leez. Provocative! But so inoffensive.

    Have you read Wright’s Audacity of Hope sermon? If not, I think you’d like it; it’s all about the women. 🙂

    I don’t really trust Obama on race – I fear that many of his policies will not improve the lives of poor people of color and because he isn’t explicitly running as a Black Candidate overtly courting a poor, minority constituency, he may not be beholden to that group in office. But: I definitely *relate to* the way that he talks about race when he does talk about it. And I *want* to hope that if he were president, that rhetoric would win out.

    Posted by funnie | March 21, 2008, 2:39 pm
  199. Thanks, funnie. I should read Wright’s sermon. 🙂

    I agree that Obama isn’t running as explicitly a Black Candidate overtly courting a poor minority constituency, but that’s kind of why I trust him? I think he sees things, racially speaking, from many perspectives, from multiracial, person of color perspectives and from the perspective of having white kin, too. When he talks about the resentment poor and working class white people feel because they are called racist, or because their lives are made invisible in various ways, he seems to get that in the way, in my experience, multiracial people often do. They see things from many, many different angles. They get complexities that fly under the radar for people who are white or black-identified, or person-of-color identified. When I listen to Obama, a lot of what he says doesn’t “ring” for me. I think this is what Satsuma I think it was might have been saying in another way, that something seems missing. I think that’s because he can’t really say what he needs and wants to say! I think he may, in some ways, be continually pulling his punches. Well, he could say these things, but this unevolved, barbaric, violent, rapist, colonizing, mean-spirited, cold-hearted nation would not be able to hear it and would not in a million years get it, including reporters. I wish he WOULD say it for the sake of those of us who WOULD get it and then maybe there MIGHT be another revolution and it wouldn’t be happening because we got a new president! It would be happening because someone had the public eye, was getting bucketloads of press attention, and straight up said, without apology, what our Bro. Wright was saying that got him in trouble. Clearly, that had appeal to Obama, *as it should have*! But I see him asked these RIDICULOUS, just stupid questions and trying to formulate some intelligent, non-twistable response and I just DESPAIR. This nation is fucking RACIST from the ground up, it is so deeply, deeply racist it is completely lost, and it’s not the kind of racism anybody is going to be able to “work on” and all of this absolute *crap* I hear even progressives talking about. I don’t know what it will take. Probably Germaine Greer’s moment when women by the millions flood into the streets across the world and take what belongs to them because they’ve lost everything and they don’t have anything more to lose. I don’t think I’ll be alive when that happens. I just feel so despairing for the state of this nation.

    Posted by womensspace | March 21, 2008, 3:43 pm
  200. If spam were a French academic painting what would it look like? King Louis-Spammy the XVI 🙂

    Posted by Satsuma | March 21, 2008, 8:37 pm
  201. Heart’s comments about how journalists get it so screwed up.

    First off, we have a lot of political commenatators who never went to journalism school. They have never been taught how to think and report with complexity. With the decline of journalistic training, has come the degredation of reporting.
    We also have a terrible decline in literacy across the board in America. People don’t read and study the way they should, and if you don’t read and study, you’re not going to understand economics, foreign policy or even radical feminism.

    With the rise of right wing radio has come the shock jock commentary. That’s one reason why it’s so hard to get the basics across.

    One basic I can’t figure out why it’s so hard to get is all the hogwash white journalists getting on the Wright church about using “proud black family” and “black church” and calling this “racist.” White is the default, so it doesn’t have to be mentioned. And there are churches who call themselves “white” — identity church movement — on the hate group FBI watch list, white supremacy churches — the overt ones etc.

    It’s like using the word “art” — when it’s really male art. Woman artist as opposed to “artist” which is assumed to mean man. We should have had everyone educated about this eons ago, and yet, the “reverse racism” thing gets trotted out again and again!

    We need a list of racist 101 basics, and sexist 101 basics– dare I say it a 10 point plan 🙂

    Church automatically = white unless specifically designated.

    Black church existence? Voluntary segregation? Why do we need separate space? Obviously white men need separate space and institutions all the time. Their exhaustion around females and non-whites is so extreme, that’s why we have male football culture, or male only clubs…

    Heart says:
    “he seems to get that in the way, in my experience, multiracial people often do. They see things from many, many different angles. They get complexities that fly under the radar for people who are white or black-identified, or person-of-color identified. When I listen to Obama, a lot of what he says doesn’t “ring” for me. I think this is what Satsuma I think it was might have been saying in another way, that something seems missing. I think that’s because he can’t really say what he needs and wants to say! I think he may, in some ways, be continually pulling his punches. Well, he could say these things, but this unevolved, barbaric, violent, rapist, colonizing, mean-spirited, cold-hearted nation would not be able to hear it and would not in a million years get it, including reporters. I wish he WOULD say it for the sake of those of us who …”

    The thing is, if you truly think these things, why not say them on the campaign trail? In a way, the Wright sermons simply “outed” Obama, it made him a little bit more real and less of a “phoney” type. Just as we have the Beijing speech of Clinton’s to show her on record for feminism and women’s rights.

    I think people are just deliberatly “being dumb” and saying dumb things. White men know that they are racists and sexists, but they like to play dumb all the time. If they were jailed for “playing dumb” or put in the public square in a stock so women could pelt them with rotten tomatos, if there was a punishment for dumb, they wouldn’t act so dumb.

    I guess you just have to have outcast status to get anything now and then. You have to be excluded from the “normal” to know how phoney it all is. So Rev. Wright is simply putting this into words, but I could give an equally shocking sermon on the state of straight America and I could condemn straight structures and normality for the fraud that it is. I guarantee, most straight women freak out all the time when I do this.

    So therefore…. what then shall we do?

    Posted by Satsuma | March 21, 2008, 8:56 pm
  202. The MSM (or sometimes MCM, for “corporate”) is the large news and media networks, the ones seen by a majority of people — MSNBC, FOX, CNN etc.

    Democrat Delegate math:

    Is heavily biased towards to small states, red states and caucus states. It is not proportional, and easily gamed, especially if you game the calendar as well, and carefully select which states, go in which order.

    Taking two big swing states ‘out of play’ early in the primary season, also pushes the biased weighting further.

    MI and FL were always intended to count, but not until much later in the primary season, when it wouldn’t matter any more.

    In terms of electability in the fall – it also matters *which* states, *which* population demographics, and *which* campaign messages or tactics, appealed more to get out the voters. The delegate math in a primary isn’t that important.

    As some Party super-delegates have said publicly ” The primary allocation is so skewed, a hundred or more delegates and 5% difference in total primary votes, is nothing.”

    Winning states like Wyoming? I really love Wyoming – but it is highly unlikely to carry any Democrat candidate in the fall. Such red states have a larger share of delegates per Dem voter, as a reward for their hard work and loyalty. Every election year, that small cadre, are out there loyally supporting a candidate, who hasn’t got a chance, so they get more than ‘fair share’ of tickets to Denver.

    Caucus states are even less representative with a very unfair allocation of delegates, with much lower voter turnouts, because they disenfranchise large demographics who cannot attend at inconvenient times, eg seniors, those who have to work etc. They are also well-known for inadequate organisation and checks, on things like voter eligibility etc.

    Opens are also open to gaming by the Republicans, playing ‘Democrats for a Day’, who may, but are unlikely to, vote for any Democrat in the fall. Some of the open Dem primaries were overloaded with Repubs, voting for Obama, in order to vote against Clinton.

    If you look at the statistics on the voting turnout, Obama does consistently well with the youth vote, wealthy white liberal males in big cities, and the A-A vote, but he has big consistent weaknesses amongst hispanic or latino voters, (which generally outnumber A-A anyway), seniors and the blue collar working class, rural voters, older women, and “core” or long-time Democrat partisans. In the latter group, around 20-30% of core Dems have polled as not palnning to vote for Obama in the fall.

    Secondly, in order to win in swing-states in the fall, an army of “ground-troops” – motivated and enthusiastic for the candidate, loyal Partisans – are critical to get out the vote. If many loyal Dem voters are saying “I’ll hold my nose and vote for him as the Democrat, but I wont campaign for him”, then you may as well give the state to the GOP.

    Ohio is one of the handful of potential Must-Win swing states, and getting out the outer urban and rural vote is critical to its winnability. It was a “slam-dunk” politically for the Democrat Party, because Clinton got out the vote in a primary, when much of the state was ice-stormed and flooded with foul weather. Those people came out on bad roads in abysmal weather, to vote for her. Her personal preferred campaign tactics (also in TX) is to go the people, not make them come to her. In Ohio for example, she showed up unnannounced at the dawn shift-changes on the miles of assembly lines in the freezing weather – man, thats a cold state…brrr.. and did her meet-and-greets. Obama’s preferred strategy is to stick to the bigger cities with rallies at large venues. Many Americans can’t afford the bus-fare, let alone the ticket prices for such rallies.
    Also, city voters will outnumber outer regions in lower turnout primary contests – but in the GE they don’t.

    Anyway, Obama’s early momentum with the advantage was to have that early winning streak carry him through Ohio and Texas and be all-but official as an “upset win”, and be named at the same time as McCain.

    The MSM (or sometimes MCM, for “corporate”) refers to the largest news and media networks, the ones seen by a majority of people nationally — MSNBC, FOX, CNN etc, along with major newspapers.

    But it didn’t go according to plan.
    Howard Dean and the DNC had tried to give an advantage to one candidate in punishing MI and FLA so severely, but he wasn’t able to “close the deal”, so to speak. Now Dem voters in those two states have become increasingly upset by being disenfranchised, and by their own Party playing power games, and becoming increasingly unlikely to support either candidate.

    In a year in which, a lizard dressed up in a Democratic Party logo, should have taken the WH – the election season so far, has gone downhill and McCain is leading…*sigh* . Its an internal political faction fight, or “power struggle” between the ‘Yellow Dog” democrats and the ‘Blue Dog’ democrats, which roughly correspond to the moderate/centrists versus the right-wing factions.

    The ideal thing for Democrats is a joint ticket, since they each appeal to different population groups, but there’s been so much antagonism and hostility between the two candidates and their supporters, that it may be too late to “heal the breach”. Then enter Ralph Nader into the race again, the Rev Wright scandal etc – its not looking good for either Dem Party candidate, alone or jointly.

    I personally didn’t have a problem with Wright, but I would suspect that are some Americans do, even some liberals, and they vote too. Thats democracy, everyone, including the racists, and people who aren’t racist, but feel that various other issues are more important to them and the country, than racism at this point in time etc – and people who you really wouldn’t have much to do with socially, and conservatives etc – they all also vote. Preaching hate against another target group of people, as a response to being a victim of hatred and oppression, is like “two wrongs, don’t make a right”. Hate often breeds more hate, transferring the hate to another target. Its not a very healing or uniting emotion. Some might see it as emotional blackmail, playing on a “white guilt’ trip in order to punish the oppressors, and make them feel bad. Calling them names, or yelling at them, making them feel guilty, angry, defensive, hurt or in tears etc – isn’t always going to help them see your point of view or change their minds. I find it all very, very sad 😦

    Posted by Rain | March 22, 2008, 12:20 am
  203. Obama needs to convince people he disagrees with Pastor Wright. He may get race issues in a way other black candidates have not because of being multiracial, but I would be more inclined to credit Shirley Chisholm or Cynthia McKinney (who wrote in response Confronting America’s Racial Disparities) or even Carol Moseley-Braun, and the way he is attempting to have it both ways really bothers me. This is too much like typical Democratic doubletalk to me, not quelling my skepticism of his sincerity. Obama may recover from this brush with reality, but I think the polls show a disturbing trend. President McCain is starting to loom heavily on the horizon. Some think Clinton will run as an independent. I do not think she would go that far, but it is not impossible to imagine.

    I have no problem writing about my alienation with political reality, but I have been relatively reticent about going into attack mode, not facing the usual situation of white males making hollow promises. That may change soon, especially if Clinton concedes. If Obama can deal with his former Pastor coming uncomfortably close to the truth, Pennsylvania will probably end it, for all practical purposes. If Obama loses by a landslide, Clinton might still have a chance.

    I do not know why some women are so enthusiastic about Hillary Clinton. It might be that she is the first woman to run for President who came close. In a way, she has shown it is possible, but she is so loaded with baggage, and she is part of political reality in a way Cynthia McKinney or Heart are not. Political reality is the world of Hillary Clinton. I have reasons to suspect McKinney and Heart are far more representative of women living in the real world. If the choice boils down to McCain versus a crippled Obama, the race could open wide to a challenger from the outside. I see no cause for despair when polls already show so many open to that possibility. A little derisive publicity from the mainstream will do wonders.

    Posted by Aletha | March 22, 2008, 9:02 am
  204. AWESOME posts, Heart. I’d like to say more to all you said, but let me just commiserate with you briefly and maybe say more later:

    The “problem” with Jeremiah Wright is that he’s an educated, angry (SCARY!), dissident (ANTI-AMERICAN!), black man (RACIST!).

    This is how America treats its dissidents; accusing (in this case) Jeremiah Wright of being a racist bigot on the news, talk shows, and from people like Ferraro, none of them bothering to make the case – whatsoever – for their accusations, and getting away with it! How can a rational, inquisitive person be anything BUT alienated from this sorry excuse for public dialog? The American media, so-called, is nothing short of scandalous.

    Obama’s speech was HISTORIC. After watching it live, I watched the entire media establishment, for just a little while – conservative, liberal, and other – be inspired. Just for that short time, they shut up about their usual bullshit and could do little more than praise that speech and make half-hearted attempts to analyze it. They knew it was powerful, sincere, profound in its understanding, and historic – and they said so. I took heart from that.

    But you’re right, racism is alive, well and as insidious as ever. And as much as politics might require Obama not to call it what it is, it’s powerful, and it hurts him, hurts black people and hurts mixed people. As for tears in your eyes, I’ve had some of my own, for lots of confusing reasons that I won’t go into right now about this whole Obama campaign.

    What I will say is that for most white people, indignation just doesn’t wear well. At least, not when in every cynical word they write, in every unfounded accusation they make, and in every nuance of their outraged voices they prove Jeremiah Wright’s point.

    Posted by John | March 22, 2008, 9:34 am
  205. Somewhat responding to Althea’s comment but not completely, a loose collection of thoughts.

    For one thing, Heart and Cynthia McKinney don’t have a chance in hell. Voting for president of the United States is participating within a system. Heart’s ideology is outside of that system. To be honest other than symbolically I feel it is somewhat counterproductive for a radical feminist to run for POTUS at all. How can one claim/work for an ideology that deconstructs and dismantles a system while not admitting that they want inside of the system? The system is for the middle of the road people, not the radicals. Now it takes radicals within that system to keep if from being one complete blob that moves all in one direction or the other. But that radical cannot be so obvious. If he or she was that obvious they would not be allowed to remain in that system (I know, I would have been killed in the military, I know this, because I was made to feel like I wanted to die). The productive radicals in a system become the tiny feet that dig in to stop a flow or perform discreet acts of dissent that keep the blob from moving too far right or too far left they are never allowed to lead it. Besides I think it is impossible to lead it without becoming it.

    Yes, I will vote for Clinton and yes I think women who do not vote for her are putting her reasons before feminism. Clinton does not have to be the perfect female candidate to get my support. To expect as much falls along the lines of what Funnie was talking about a few months back. How women find excuses not to support other women because she is not perfect. Of course Clinton has done things that not all feminists would agree with. But unless a man has actively fought against misogyny (which no male candidate can claim), he is worse than the woman in the group by default because of his privilege.

    And no one can talk about Obama here because Heart’s family is in this thread, reads this thread, writes in this thread and have voiced support for Obama. A complicated matter, because what mother (or really any family member) who understands love with loyalty would dare “attack” someone who they respect/admire family’s member. And yes it would be seen as an “attack” even if the discussion was logical, civil, and polite and all of that because to another family member anything that goes against what the one family member says is an attack. It is human nature.

    I did not start out supporting Clinton. Actually, I did not start out supporting anyone. I felt she was so qualified for the job, (the middle of the road type politician) that I assumed she would be the nomination. I never, EVER liked Barack Obama. Never. From the first day I saw him speak in 2004 and someone called him a Rock Star my red flag went up. I am a woman with instincts. Instincts that all of society would prefer that I keep hidden deep in my bowels. Instincts that if I used some 400 years ago I would have been burned at the stake as a witch. Misogyny, abuse, belittlement, etc have caused my instincts to become honed. Honed because fear heightens the senses. My instincts have saved me many of days. I hear/read the horrific stories of people who have experienced heinous encounters, encounters far more terrifying, demoralizing than what I have lived through, and I thank my gift of instincts. I thank my gift of instincts so much that I am going to honour those instincts by using them.

    Barack Obama does not have a fucking clue about misogyny, sexism. I honestly think he has an issue with women, particularly white women. Maybe it is a mommy issue. Maybe he hates his mother because she did not make him all white or all black. I’ve personally heard that argument before during different trying times. Instead of people being caught up in his emotional sounding, (yes sounding) speech they should try to read it. Read it so there will be no emotional association that comes along with it. Read it without going into it with a desire to agree, a desire to make him the saviour. Perhaps read it pretending it was written by someone else. He always always manages to abuse women (all women) in his words, or if not abuse void them out. He threw his grandmother under the bus. And the poor woman is still alive. Reading his book you will see it was his grandfather who was abusive to his grandmother and justified that abuse by framing it as if she was a racist. She had a specific encounter with a black man that frightened her. Instead of her husband giving her a ride the next day or so until she got over it, he forced her to continue to ride the bus. And then he made fun of her to Barack. He passed on his misogyny to Barack. Then so many years later Obama presents it in a speech as if his grandmother had a mass fear of black men. Well I refuse to dehumanise his grandmother. She was white, white society was openly and acceptingly demonising black men at the time. She was accosted by a black man and was afraid. Yes she should have been able to swim in water and not be wet because we expect that perfection from other women but she did not.

    Then there is the thing about Obama’s father.

    His father abandoned him and his mother, but not before leaving a woman in Africa pregnant. Not to mention how Obama’s grandfather felt that a white woman had tainted the blood of the Obamas. Then Obama’s father goes back to Africa and gets several more women pregnant while beating the hell out of one of them. But that gets excuse because what? It was part of his custom? He knew it was not acceptable in America but that did not stop him using Barack’s mother. I mean he just left them, just like that, because his career was calling him and he could not afford to drag them along. In Africa, he was known as a drunk and a wife abuser. But the white grandmother who feared a black man in a time that society was pushing the ideology of fearing a black man is roasted as the next anti-Christ. Not to mention the dismissal of all the true anti-racists in America. He sums them all up as the typical white person, meaning the typical white person is racist, or at the very least indifferent to racism. This may be true, however, while he pointed out that truth he erased all the white people who are not the typical. But no big deal. It is okay to dismiss people when you are a rock star.

    Obama has a problem with women. The Clintons are accused of racism (an unforgivable accusation because they are not racists) with twelve times removed examples such as using words such as “fairy tale” and “kids” but Obama gets a free pass when he says things like “periodically feeling down” (directly at Clinton) “likeable enough” (directly at Clinton) and never, EVER addressing the sexism in his own words much less what comes out of his campaign.

    Obama feels like Bush to me. Bush needed daddy’s approval and Obama needs to compensate for his daddy. Women are the last concern in Obama’s world. When he says black community, he means black women, however he means them to follow black men, in other words, black women to support black men while they take the back seat to black men. Misogyny.

    I hope Clinton does run as an independent.

    Posted by ekittyglendower | March 22, 2008, 7:13 pm
  206. Satsuma, in Tami’s thread that started everything you said that white people will never understand racism, EVER. This was in your last comment over there and in the last comment of that thread.

    I disagree with you.

    Any person of any race can develop deep and conscientious thought patterns and empathy. For anyone or any group. They need only the desire to do so. White people (and others) can understand racism in this country, they can. This is from my own experience, what I have lived and seen. All you do is ask how you’d feel, reverse the tables, create your own analogy in your head.

    This takes practice and willingnesss, continual failing, as well as always continual trying. We will all fail to empathize sometimes but the continual desire to do so is what is important. And the humility to say “oops messed up, sorry” sometimes.

    I know from other of your posts that you have faced discrimination via homophobia and misogyny and you know what it is to feel alienated from the mainstream, invisible, erased.

    Therefore I *know*you could be respectful of my and other blacks’ feelings and concerns on this Ferraro issue if you wanted to.

    But you don’t want to. You would rather use your white privilege, in this instance, over me, to mock me, to belittle my concerns, because that suits your aims better.

    This is the same as when heterosexual women don’t have to, so refuse, to see the concerns and offenses of lesbian women, which you’ve written about.

    I can also see that you *do not* actually really like that Ferrraro made the comment she has made, as you have gone from initially saying she told “hard truths” that were brutally honest, and contrariwise saying “they were not that bad” to saying “she said one or two comments” to finally telling me I can “whine” about her “evil comment” all I want .

    You know what, in the sage words of Barbara Kruger, Satsuma, Don’t be a jerk.

    Now you accuse me of “whining”? How many minority groups to include women has this been used against to try and shut them up?

    I’m not disembodied words. There are reasons I feel how I do. It’s been bizarre to me the way you ignore all my concerns, to the point of getting outraged about invented disrespect of older feminists. I think you’re just dong that so you can try to create a storm about my “disrespect ” so you don’t have to address me as a person, not just ideas you don’t want to deal with or address. I’m a mixed woman speaking as someone w/every right to care about this and interpret it as I wish, as it affects *me*and those who look like me. *You* have the luxury of Ferraro’s comments not affecting you, I do not.

    These Ferraro statements are as triggering as they are precisely because of their familiarity to certain ears–and the damage they do is real, it may be sometimes subtle or unseen, but its does break down peoples confidence and trust.

    Words are seeds. They grow and take on all manner of forms for generations to come, and some seeds are poison.
    As well you take it to this new level of privilege and meanness toward me, “har har har let’s all say Hillary’s a racist” in a further attempt to try and make ridiculous my objections and to belittle and mock me.

    (Rain taking your lead.)

    I find all these tactics mean and gross.

    I have tried to give here, re I understand if one wants to admire Ferraro but please don’t back her on *this*, I am in effect coming out asking you this one woman to another. I give you my personal reasons but you won’t respond to any of them directly.

    I do respect older feminists. These are baseless attacks. You have nothing I have said to suggest I don’t respect older women. The only point I concede here is that I did sarcastically thank Ferraro for her civil rights work, which could be called ungrateful, however under the circumstances my frustration should be understandable. I felt she was using her civil rights work as a defense against her comments, which she is and was.

    I have no sacred cows. (Thank God.) To criticize someone who has done great things is not disrespectful.

    Only people with an extreme sense of entitlement and privilege can form their lips to say these things in public, about more, now two, black candidates, and as well over and over again in interviews. And it takes one with an astounding level of entitlement and even more privilege to get angry when called on these things. Talk about living in a vacuum of privilege. Where the heck are Ferraro’s friends and family, –not calling her on this? And i think it’s wrong that she feels no accountability to the black community.

    As a public servant (this is what politicians are) you have accountability to all demographics, or should.

    Even McCain apologized to the Asian community (after being asked several times and refusing several times). Seeing other people is a healing thing, it heals both the seer and the seen.

    There’s a difference between indulging less than charitable sentiments in private and blaring them forth as fact in public, you’re right. No, Ferraro wasn’t surprised to find a mic in the privacy of her own home. There *was* no “woops!” to these statements of hers. That is an additional point. She said this stuff on record for powerful reasons. So this comment of yours about “the things we say in privacy” too, is neither here nor there. What good would it have done if she had said it in private? She’s a seasoned politician.

    You are showing me your own face of privilege Satsuma, for you to mock and to exasperatedly belittle my concerns.

    Posted by jeyoani | March 22, 2008, 10:59 pm
  207. “And no one can talk about Obama here because Heart’s family is in this thread, reads this thread, writes in this thread and have voiced support for Obama.”

    It is really frustrating to continually be seeing statements about what is going on in the threads that are in direct opposition to the reality of the thread.

    I won’t cut and paste b/c there’s no need, please read the posts from PennyLane, Rain, Satsuma, and others, to see much “talk about Obama”.

    The only person in this thread for sure voting for Obama that I have seen is Tami. I’m voting Heart.

    funnie and Aletha have their own views which are their own, and they both have criticized Obama or expressed mistrust of Obama, as has Heart. So when you say “talk about Obama” it seems you mean something specifically and strongly negative.

    I do certainly strongly appreciate Obama in ways, definitely, won’t argue w/you there. I also appreciate Hillary in ways.

    Posted by jeyoani | March 22, 2008, 11:01 pm
  208. Aletha can you clarify what you mean re Obama “attempting to have it both ways?”

    When I heard the “Goddamn America” Wright thing I immediately thought of “Mississippi Goddamn” by Nina Simone! :)* Which is really good for any American especially, to listen to, especially now. It may shed light on this Wright and race issue.

    I think there’s something to be said for criticizing what you love. Simone was from the south (North Carolina).

    Anyways give it a listen, it’s a powerful song. And it gives a glimpse for those who are interested and may not know, on how in black churches plays on words are extremely common –subverting language and changing its context to express oneself in a safe place or to reflect your experience or what have you– is common.

    It’s normal for blacks to say something like Goddamn America but yet, blacks are still strongly patriotic. Dissent isn’t dichotomous w/patriotism. Black soldiers die in disporportionate numbers in wars as well.

    Posted by jeyoani | March 22, 2008, 11:04 pm
  209. If Clinton does that, McCain will laugh his way to the White House.

    I can’t vote for someone who voted for the Iraq war and there are all kinds of women I wouldn’t vote for. Remember when they were saying the Republicans might run Condoleeza Rice? Can’t stand her, of course, and I do not trust people like Dianne Feinstein or Nancy Pelosi any more than I would a man.

    My representative is Barbara Lee (no, I no longer live in her district, but my own representative is evil and so I have decided that I’m a Lee person no matter where I live 😉 ) … so, you see, I do support women and I want Barbara Lee to be President.

    I keep on ending up voting third party because I can’t stomach the person the Democrats finally put up. I didn’t vote for Mondale/Ferraro, either, but it was because of him, not her. Now I’m glad not to have voted for her. I never voted for Bill Clinton, although I did encourage others to vote for him against the Republicans when he was running.

    Therefore, Kitty, I appreciate your point that the President has to be mainstream. But if Hillary’s the Democratic candidate I’m going third party, even though I “shouldn’t” … I can feel that third party tendency coming on. 😉

    People say that to vote that way is to throw a vote away, but I am just not convinced. Don’t we have to break the Rep-Dem stranglehold sometime?

    Posted by profacero | March 22, 2008, 11:09 pm
  210. Well, so much to respond to!

    Kitty, I hear you re my kids posting here, but hey, they are brilliant, a chip off the old block, what can I say?

    😀 😀 😀


    And what they say is, I believe, particularly important and interesting in this election.

    And it sure hasn’t stopped some commenters from attacking them! :/

    Jeyoani is voting for me, not Obama or Clinton. One of my adult sons has argued for McCain! (!!!!) Otoh, that son has a long history of devil’s advocate positions.

    I’m with you, profacero, re voting. I never voted for anybody until 2004, the first time there was a remotely viable third party and third party candidate in the Greens. And, as I’ve said many times, that was in large part because I got a chance to participate in deconstructing the two-party system in the U.S., something I believe is absolutely essential if we are ever going to have a remotely democratic government.

    Jeyoani, I thought of Mississippi Goddamn too! Huh, I think I am going to put the Youtube of that up if its on youtube.

    SO TRUE re black churches! That’s a whole series of posts in itself. The problem is that people would have to be interested in understanding the role of the black church in confronting power and racism, would have to be interested in Liberation Theology, would have to be interested in, like you say, the subversion of language that goes on in the black church. It is a world all its own and those who have never seen it, been involved with it, wouldn’t get it. Of course in order to it, first you would have to have people who actually want to get it, want to know about it, and I sure do not have much confidence in the general public that way!

    But yes, “Goddamn, America,” like, “Goddamn, you country of mine! That I’ve sent my sons and daughters to die for. That I’ve laid down my own life for for generations.”

    Beyond that what galls me to the soles of my shoes is, we’ve got ENDLESS cronies of Bush talking REAL — and I mean REAL — smack like this, i .e., “God is going to judge America because of gays and lesbians! God is going to judge America because of abortion! 9/11 is God’s judgment on America!” Spoken in national and international media by white (mostly) preachers many of the people clamoring for Wright’s head right now hold in high esteem. That’s just a white man’s pious and self-righteous and oh-so-“biblical” “Goddamn America”, you know? Where was the outcry over those comments and Bush’s endorsements of the Religious Right preachers who made them? There was none, of course. Because for most of these folks, it’s okay to invoke the curses and damnations of God where we’re talking about lesbians or gay men or abortion, but when it comes to racism and poverty? Hell no, now somebody quit preachin and started to meddlin.

    UGH, the disgusting, evil, HATEFUL hypocrisy of it is suffocating.

    Posted by womensspace | March 22, 2008, 11:34 pm
  211. “I can’t vote for someone who voted for the Iraq war”

    At this point they seem to be the safest people to vote for, as them voting for “the war” will be eternally held over their heads.

    Wheras Obama, since he didn’t vote for the war in Iraq (kinda), can wax poetic about invading Iran, Afghanistan, Palestine, and whatever axis of evil mainstream America can currently be aligned against.

    As for Jeremiah Wright, I’m not really interested in what he has said or has to say. I understand, or at least I do my best to understand, the cultural importance of Black Jesus to many African Americans but I’m not any more personally interested in that than I am in the Hippy Jesus that well meaning white people subscribe to. I don’t mean to equate the two (especially since I find Unitarian’s to be epically silly and the Black church not at all), other than to say I’d prefer to keep all of that stuff out of my own life, so much as is possible.

    On the other hand, it’s interesting that everyone — and I mean everyone! — seems so interested in what Wright has to say and could care less what female reverends like Irene Monroe ( ) have to say.

    Posted by Rich | March 23, 2008, 12:12 am
  212. “Because for most of these folks, it’s okay to invoke the curses and damnations of God where we’re talking about lesbians or gay men or abortion, but when it comes to racism and poverty? Hell no, now somebody quit preachin and started to meddlin.”

    Yes – it is so galling – but you’re quite right on the distinction beween preaching and “meddling” – that explains it.

    Posted by profacero | March 23, 2008, 12:25 am
  213. Did everyone like and agree with Wright’s description of Natalee Holloway? How she’s a ‘white girl who gave it up when she shouldn’t’? Of course, there is a huge discrepancy between media coverage of victims depending on race and class, but that point could have been made without disparaging a murder victim.

    Pity Obama doesn’t recognize his grandfather as a ‘typical abusive male’ with the same alacrity as recognizing his grandmother as a typical white person. His ire seems to be reserved for women, perhaps something else learned from his pastor.

    Posted by Miranda | March 23, 2008, 1:09 am
  214. I didn’t hear what Wright said about Natalee Holloway, and if he said that, Miranda (and I have no reason not to believe you!), that is unequivocally DESPICABLE. That is HORRIFYING. Natalee Holloway was a young high school girl brutally murdered, she was a victim of male terrorism and that deserves one thing: DENUNCIATION. Shame on Wright for saying anything like this, and shame on anyone who repeats it as though it has any value and shame on anyone who sat there and listened to it and didn’t call it out, challenge it, walk out. That’s HORRIBLE.

    Rich, Unitarianism doesn’t have anything to do, that I know of, with hippie Jesuses. Unitarians are more New Age types, hippie Jesus people were and are evangelicals and pretty traditional in their Christian beliefs. I think Unitarianism is a lot less dangerous and destructive than hippie Jesus people beliefs, which are just as patriarchal as any form of traditional Christianity and therefore sexist and misogynist. I think liberation theology as it has existed in the black church is a lot different than any of the above, even though it’s been sexist too.

    None of what I have had to say about Wright means I think he’s a great guy and I’d be all about going to his church or anything like that. I just think the furor around what he said — that I heard, and I did not hear anything about Natalee Holloway and again, that is HIDEOUS — is ridiculous, absurd, and the height of hypocrisy especially when it comes from Republicans/Religious Right people. I also think it’s completely fine to NOT be fracking patriotic and nationalist as the day is long and all about God and country which is what U.S. Presidential elections are apparently all about, including when it comes to Democrats. We have to know what church Hillary Clinton goes to, we have to have, who was it, one of the sort of lefty evangelicals show up to be spiritual “counsel” to Bill Clinton when he “repented” of his exploitation of Monica Lewinsky, we have to listen to portions of taped sermons from Obama’s church, ENOUGH. This is RIDICULOUS. It’s a legacy of the backlash of the 80s, of Republican administrations, and especially the current Bush administration and it needs to END. But if it’s going to be flying around out there, I’m not going to sit by and pretend that what Wright said is somehow worse than what Dobson has said or Pat Robertson or any of the RR’ers whose pictures have been taken smiling with their man Bush. UGH. I left patriarchal religion behind 14 year ago and I will never go back to it. But this bullshit is all about racism, the stuff about Wright, and in particular the way there is zero interest in actually taking a look, understanding context, understanding history, etc.

    Posted by womensspace | March 23, 2008, 3:18 am
  215. Miranda, I didn’t see any “ire” in Obama re his grandmother. None. I saw compassion and acceptance of her as she was.

    Posted by womensspace | March 23, 2008, 3:23 am
  216. To me, “hippie jesus” is the jesus that people present as “he was a nice guy, it was his followers that messed things up!” That encompasses a lot of different beliefs (certainly unitarianism in whatever it decides is worth stealing from christianity) and a lot of different rhetorical strategies. For example, when John Stoltenberg went on and on about Jesus as a pro-feminist. Were that even remotely true, jesus might have told his dad to go to hell for raping his mom. I understand the appeal of hippie jesus from a rhetorical perspective, from a desire to do outreach, to meet people where they’re at. Hippie jesus just isn’t welcome around me, though. Hell, I know a lot of guys who like to hang around prostitutes (the classic jesus as nice guy scenario) and not fuck them — they get other social benefits, just as Jesus seems to get out of his own associations way back when. Jesus = Sheldon?

    Anyway, I posted just to plug Irene Monroe. There’s not a lot of people like her getting attention and when black female reverends do get on Fox news or whatever, it’s only to debate black male reverends, which of course sets up a nasty dynamic.

    Posted by Rich | March 23, 2008, 3:53 am
  217. Being Heart’s son, please let me respond to a comment above concerning members of her family “voicing support for Obama”. I don’t “support” Obama for president, nor Hillary. I don’t think any rational dissident could.

    Feminists and all sufficiently informed people can easily find the same old patriarchal and misogynistic currents in Obama and his associates that exist in society at large. Sadly, it is just as easy to find those currents in Hillary and her associates.

    They are both Democrats vying for control of this empire, which, regardless of who takes office, will still be an empire; and they committed to its hegemony. What’s to support?

    My “support” for Obama or Wright extends only so far as to oppose the divisive tactics of (mostly) white people in the media and white politicians who blatantly and dishonestly race bait in order to get, for instance, people on a radical feminist board to throw conservative talking points around (“Threw his grandmother under the bus”? “Wright preaches hate”?).

    This is Divide and Rule, plain and simple; and it’s why I really appreciated Obama’s speech on race. On THAT topic, he isn’t status quo. But please understand, Hillary and Obama are both right-wing capitalists as far as I’m concerned, differentiated from John McCain basically in that McCain is an EXTREME right-wing capitalist. No candidate that I would support has the slightest chance of becoming president.

    For any interested, FOXNews DID eventually attempt to make the case for Wright’s “hate speech against whites” by bringing Al Sharpton in to defend Wright’s words. Unsurprisingly, the FOX spokesperson spectacularly failed to substantiate a single point to that effect.

    Posted by John | March 23, 2008, 9:58 am
  218. I’d love to able to provide a link to the clip on Holloway, but it was part of a sermon that they played on Inside Edition…not the best news source, but unless they actually faked the clip, that was what he said.

    A whole lot of people ARE saying that Wright’s a great guy. I don’t have a particular problem with the 9/11 speech either…at least I don’t think it’s any more ridiculous than God punishing NO with Katrina due to gays. However, Wright is also saying things that I do consider horrific from a point of sexism, and I don’t hear anyone talking about that.

    Also, Obama saying he wasn’t there for the 9/11 sermon is the equivalent to “I didn’t inhale”. I seriously doubt Wright made the one sermon and then never mentioned it again and that Obama wasn’t aware of his views.

    Maybe there isn’t direct ire for his grandmother, but I’m not hearing any acceptance-but-love from Obama for his grandfather, who sounds like he at least emotionally abused his wife. From excerpts I read of Obama’s book, in scolding her for racism, the grandfather says “You’re harassed by men almost every day.” I think it’s too bad that the harassment which seems to have been part of his grandmother’s life isn’t acknowledged any more than in passing.

    Posted by Miranda | March 23, 2008, 11:59 am
  219. Ok, here’s the quote that I’ve seen repeated in multiple places.

    ““Black women are being raped daily in Darfur, Sudan, in the Congo and in Sub-Saharan Africa. That doesn’t make news,” “One 18-year-old white girl from Alabama gets drunk on a graduation trip to Aruba, goes off and ‘gives it up’ while in a foreign country, and that stays in the news for months!”, “Maybe I am missing something!” Rev. Jeremiah Wright ”

    Now, as I said, he has a definite point regarding the media coverage of Darfur, etc. However, to blame Holloway for this, to ignore the fact that this woman has with over 99% probability been murdered and to attribute this to her ‘giving it up’ is atrocious. She’s dead, as are the women of Africa, because of men’s decisions and men’s actions.

    Posted by Miranda | March 23, 2008, 12:15 pm
  220. John: My “support” for Obama or Wright extends only so far as to oppose the divisive tactics of (mostly) white people in the media and white politicians who blatantly and dishonestly race bait in order to get, for instance, people on a radical feminist board to throw conservative talking points around (”Threw his grandmother under the bus”? “Wright preaches hate”?).

    This is Divide and Rule, plain and simple; and it’s why I really appreciated Obama’s speech on race. On THAT topic, he isn’t status quo. But please understand, Hillary and Obama are both right-wing capitalists as far as I’m concerned, differentiated from John McCain basically in that McCain is an EXTREME right-wing capitalist. No candidate that I would support has the slightest chance of becoming president.


    See, this is where I despair of discussing this presidential campaign and have to go back regularly to ignoring it.

    I have never ever ever ever been a mainstream person, politically speaking. Not ever. I have never once felt that the government of the United States or its elected officials represented me, cared about my life, had anything to do with me, etc. I have always understood myself to be an outsider to American politics, marginalized, and to be, as John says, a dissident. I’ve always been this. This is why I never voted in any election of any type, ever, until 2004, and then only because there was the slightest breath of a wisp of an opportunity to vote against a political system which has overwhelmingly *harmed* me in the interests of participating in its deconstruction, its revisioning. I didn’t vote for Nader in 2004 because I thought Nader was the greatest. I voted for Nader in 2004 — though voting feels to me like a compromise of my own politics — because the two party system needs to end and the Green Party posed, however remotely, a threat to that system.

    When I talk about issues in this campaign, I am speaking as, again, an outsider. I am speaking as a dissident, as a person set against this particular patriarchal, racist, colonizing, exploitive, destructive political system. I am not speaking as someone who is *supporting* either or any of the candidates because they do not and cannot speak for me. They are Establishment. They are The Man, with a capital T and a capital M even when their initials are HRC. They are mainstream. I am NOT. I want nothing at all to do with the system they are part of, defend, and within which they both wield power. So I pick out, to talk about, what it makes sense to me to talk about, most often the reactions of the media or the mainstream to the campaigns, because this is really what is of most interest to me– what the response to these campaigns tells me about the sensibilities of Americans.

    But whenever I talk about whatever is sticking out to me at the time, I am understood to be supporting that candidate. I am *not*.

    I’ve been asked why I don’t stump more vigorously for my own campaign. There again, it is a matter of my own politics and principles. I think that revolutionary politics must emerge out of a groundswell of grass roots support, not out of persuasion, or campaigning, or advertising, in other words, my politics are, again, *not traditional*. It *would* be, as Kitty correctly says, counterproductive for me to run for president as a radical feminist in the ways candidates traditionally run, because if I did, I would have the problems Kitty correctly describes of being co-opted into, and captive to, the system I was part of. But if I should become president because of a groundswell of grass roots support in which huge numbers of Americans were saying “Enough”, my presidency would be *shaped* by that support, informed by those sensibilities, and could transcend and move beyond the system we now have.

    So, I don’t really stump. I watch which way the wind is blowing, I pay attention to what people are saying and doing, and I comment, I analyze *those* things with an eye to what it might take to get beyond this destructive politics which are a straitjacket preventing any real or meaningful change in this country.

    It frustrates me to talk about how preposterous this vilifying of Wright is and then to have the discussion be about his sexism. YES. In this country, men are almost always sexists. The greatest male leaders we have had in this country have STILL been sexists. This is a foregone conclusion, an a priori, *always*. When I am talking about the racism I see in American response to the campaigns, I want to talk about racism, not sexism right then. That doesn’t mean sexism is not ALWAYS central to me. It *is*. But so is *racism*. I do not have the luxury of focusing only and always on sexism. I have to *also* focus on racism, for a million reasons, including that it affects my life every single day and moment of my life. I can’t separate racism off and say, okay, now I am not going to think about that. I have to think about that. Nor can I separate sexism off and say, I am not going to think about that right now. I *always* have to think about *both*. When I talk about the racism in the campaign it should not be understood to mean that I am making it more important than the sexism in the campaign. BOTH ARE IMPORTANT. BOTH ARE CENTRAL. Beyond that, both are SO important that I cannot support ANY of the mainstream candidates!

    I don’t hold anyone accountable for what their preachers preach, in part because someone being a member of, or going to a church, might mean anything at all, might mean they attend once a year, twice a year. I am going to go today to an Episcopal church I attend every so often. It is open and affirming, pro lesbian/gay/transgender rights, the offices of the local OUT organization were in the church for forever, it has a weekend soup kitchen for the homeless and poor people, open to the entire community, which has been feeding the poor every weekend for 12 years, the local Head Start is in the church, we have lesbian and gay clergy, and so on. I don’t go very often, because my own spirituality is woman-centered, but I go sometimes because in many ways I am culturally a Christian, because this is a kind of home to me, and because I like to stand in solidarity with Christian-identified people who are daily, moment by moment, confronting the Principalities and Powers that rule this horrifically sexist, racist, exploitive, country and world. They are strategically located to do very good and powerful work and I appreciate that, although, again, I do not worship any God or deity that is male and I want nothing to do with sexist, patriarchal religion. I sure hope to shout that should my own campaign take root and grow, someone did not go through every sermon preached at this church I occasionally attend to find something that was bound to be offensive to the mainstream! I promise you, it would be found, and in all likelihood I would have no knowledge of it. And the same as to the woman-centered rituals I have participated in from time to time. Someone could very likely find something bound to offend the mainstream from some ritual at the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival or somewhere else, plaster it across the papers and say, “See?! Look what this Priestess said who has spoken at rituals Heart attended.” I would have to say, first of all, so what. And if it was really good, anti-establishment, anti-sexist, anti-racist, anti-colonizing, anti-establishment stuff, however forthright or outspoken or incendiary, I would hope that those with whom it resonated would speak up and say so, even if they did not 100 percent agree with every last word that the priestess or priest or whomever said.

    When did we get to this place in history where fracking having gone to some church means endorsing everything its leaders ever said? I cannot begin to comprehend looking at things in this way.

    Re Jesus and was he for women and so on. This is what I think. I think Jesus called out the Powers. I think he called out the Principalities. I do not think he was for women, except to the degree that he challenged patriarchal power. I don’t think he really had a message for women, animals, children, the earth. They already knew what he was saying. They didn’t need his message. Jesus came to call out men and male violence, and his assenting to his own crucifixion was the logical outworking of his commitment to rejection of male violence and dominance hierarchies of all kinds. That’s the way patriarchy deals with dissidents. It kills them. Us. I think when people go looking for the way Jesus was for women and children, they are looking in the wrong place. When they go looking for the way Jesus confronted male power and the male impulse to violence and dominance, then his mission on earth becomes more clear. I’m not sure that gets to any point you wanted to make, Rich, but it gives me an opportunity to say something I’ve been thinking about for a while. And I will check out Irene Monroe.

    John: But please understand, Hillary and Obama are both right-wing capitalists as far as I’m concerned, differentiated from John McCain basically in that McCain is an EXTREME right-wing capitalist.

    You know, I think this is exactly right. To me, this is hugely significant, in that the wealth of those who succeed in a capitalist society is built on the backs of the poor who must remain poor *in order* for the successful to be successful, and yes, a few may rise out of poverty, but capitalism requires a steady stream of impoverished and marginalized people to sustain it. It’s been said here that capitalism may not be good, but it’s the best system there is for women. I flat don’t believe that. I think it keeps women serving male heterosupremacy IF they want to succeed. My one successful venture into capitalism, my publication, allowed me to flourish financially for a while ***only so long as*** I would tow a massively patriarchal, male heterosupremacist party line. When I broke ranks, I was put out of business, pure and simple. And it really IS that simple. I sued, and was vindicated, but I was never made whole and I will never be made whole. I’ll never get back the business that was taken from me and I can never recreate it because of the damage that was done. The same is going to be absolutely TRUE so far as any woman who is successful inside of a capitalist system like the one we have in the U.S. She is going to have to tow the party line that male heterosupremacists require that she tow. Same for everybody, of whatever race, whoever they love, disabled or no, old, young, whatever, capitalism doesn’t care, male heterosupremacy doesn’t care, just feed the machine, and if you do, we’ll reward you to some degree, but never to the point that you will actually share power with those who are on top. For that to happen, there has to be *revolution*, a *real* revolution, a revolution which involves *redistribution of wealth* and which implements gifting, which ends exchange, which rejects hierarchies of all kinds. ****We will never see this so long as we have ANY mainstream candidate as President****, including Obama, including Clinton. And you know, one of my earliest posts about the presidential campaigns had to do with my concerns over finances. At least Obama discloses his tax returns. To me that is absolutely the very least a candidate ought to do– let us know where s/he is getting her money and where it is going. Hillary Clinton does not disclose her income tax returns. Why’s that? How do I place my trust in someone who does not disclose their tax returns? I will, I can promise you that, without hesitation. To me this failure of openness on the part of someone who is wealthy, as Hillary Clinton is, in a capitalist economy like the one we have means she is vested in this system in ways that would be an issue if they were revealed.

    Anyway, again, I am and always have been an outsider to the mainstream, including mainstream politics. I expect those who participate in mainstream politics to display sexism if they are male and to display racial insensitivity to racism if they are white. These a prioris should inform everything I say about the campaigns.

    Posted by womensspace | March 23, 2008, 3:08 pm
  221. Kitty, all your objections describing political reality and calling Heart and me impractical dreamers are not news to me. Whatever. I cannot deny being a dreamer, but I think this dream is practical, as opposed to political reality, as symbolized by both these sorry candidates sparring for a chance to lose. That is how I see political reality. I do not think in those terms. I have not, since I can remember. Conventional wisdom is what men want it to be, to perpetuate their power. They control minds through language inspiring fear. Through language, reality can be revisioned by audacious minds, creating new ways for everything. That is what Free Soil is all about, since Mona and I were teens.

    Hillary Clinton is not about rocking the boat. Obama showed some courage in that speech, taking measured risks, saying what he thought he could to reach minds who could be touched by his appeal. What I call doubletalk typical of Democratic politicians was specifically the part I quoted, the way he made a big deal of how wrong Pastor Wright was to say these things. In the future he will refer to this speech to dismiss any association with Wright. Comparing him to a family member is too convenient, shunting him off like a crazy uncle? What gives? I think this is a sign, he will only go so far to create the impression he is on the side of minorities and women. I have to question what he is really saying. Then there is this big deal about no money from lobbyists. This claim is true, technically speaking. If one looks closely, there is money associated with lobbyists, but not in the name of official registered lobbyists. Some friendly lobbyists quit lobbying to become advisers. He still strikes me too much as a mainstream Democrat, promising minor reforms to business as usual, not to rock the boat. He voted for that class action reform bill his rich buddies wanted so bad, stopping those uppity states pursuing class action claims. That bill on radiation leaks was classic say one thing and do another, yet he still had the temerity to mention the bill on the campaign trail. He may have learned from that mistake. I question how anyone can have the nerve to say he is for protecting the environment while promoting nuclear power plants, clean coal, genetically engineered crops, and corn ethanol. He is worse than Clinton on that, who only favors the last two and agnostic on nuclear power, so she says now. I especially found valuable what Uzma Aslam Khan. a woman writer blogging from Pakistan, posted at CounterPunch last weekend, A Letter to Barack Obama: Where’s the Change, Barack? CounterPunch is such the mixed bag, ranging all the way from articles I would not want to read to writers like her, Gail Dines on Spitzer, and Cynthia McKinney, in the past week. Tim Wise also posted Of National Lies and Racial America: Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama and the Unacceptability of Truth. Some important things he had to say which Big Media is likely to overlook.

    I may have a pathological distrust of male politicians, so I give some allowance. I have to give Obama credit for having the nerve to write a speech about race relations, and taking the chance to say what he did. It is historic, but both these candidacies are making history just because the contenders left standing for a major party nomination are not white men. It was monumental in a way, for raising the issues he dared to raise in a way perhaps no white man, or person, could, from his personal experience and direct perspective, but was it a great speech? I think this big deal he made of how profoundly distorted and wrong Wright was ruined it beyond redemption for me, denouncing Wright for all the wrong reasons. I did not like that typical white woman quip either. His quest for distance is how it gets billed, any substantive issues he raised getting hopelessly lost in the glare of whether that attempt to bury his pastor was sufficient to stop the bleeding. Was that media circus inevitable? The media being what it is, perhaps.

    I will not say he planned it that way, but perhaps his handlers expected that. If anyone knows how the media works, they should. I do not know if he is hopelessly sold out, but my red flags also went up a long time ago. Both these candidates offer things not found in our usual crop of white guys. My problem is, they are part of the system, offering different versions of business as usual. Free Soil is about changing all that. There is no necessity to accept or operate under male fundamental principles. Women can choose to create a radical vision, operating under fundamentally different principles and purposes. This vision, being unconstrained by common preconceptions, can be practical, in the sense of being a real, achievable, long term, sustainable way of living peacefully on this planet without destroying it or ourselves. The way things have traditionally operated is called practical, according to political reality, conventional wisdom, and everything most people may know, but it only works for those in power and getting rich, while keeping average people under control, too distracted or placated to rebel. Women can rebel in spite of all that, creating unconventional wisdom, spreading gradually until enough women get mad enough to bother to register Free Soil, when the press will be forced to take notice of a new party qualifying for ballot access. If enough women bother to volunteer to run for office, with a little publicity to start a conflagration there might be no system left to stand in the way of feminist revolution. Heart has no chance? If men, Big Media, and Hillary Clinton have their way. They will all have to take notice, sooner or later.

    Posted by Aletha | March 23, 2008, 3:17 pm
  222. I am closing comments now. It is taking me upwards of several minutes just to load this thread on my currently ailing, slow-as-molasses computer at home, and I am too slammed at work right now to keep up with moderating this thread from work. I apologize to everyone who had comments in moderation; there are just too many, they would all beg responses, this really would be the thread that never ended, and it’s taken me forever just to wait for this thread to load so I could post this one final comment!


    Posted by womensspace | March 24, 2008, 4:15 am


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The Farm at Huge Creek, Michigan Womyn's Music Festival, The Feminist Hullaballoo