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Pre-2008 Posts

The Cultural Roots of the Anti-Hillary Clinton Bias

Hillary’s Bias Problems Have Deep Cultural Roots
By Elizabeth L. Keathley – WeNews commentator

(WOMENSENEWS)–Earlier in the primary contest, when comedian Chris Rock quipped on “Saturday Night Live” that Barack Obama was more disadvantaged than Hillary Clinton because “everyone loves white women . . . except other white women,” he might have been channelling the mid-20th century philosopher Simone de Beauvoir.

Beauvoir famously argued that women had difficulty uniting and supporting each other because their livelihood and status depended on a “good” marriage. Their competition for husbands engendered envy and hindered female bonding.

Although Chris Rock’s joke sparks a laugh of recognition, we should acknowledge that white women are actually the ones showing Hillary the greatest love at the ballot box, voting for her in primary after primary.

That suggests that other women are not the enemy of Hillary nor, for that matter, of all other women. Rather, the enemy is culture and history.

The socio-economic changes of 19th-century Europe and America gave momentum to the international women’s movement. Urbanization stripped unmarried women of their traditional, agrarian occupations, while numerous wars depleted the population of available husbands to support them. Women sought traditionally male occupations and civil rights, but these “first wave” feminists of the late 19th century reaped opprobrium and physical abuse for violating the ideals of domesticity, humility and deference to men.

Two centuries later, the ideal of separate spheres for men and women still holds sway in the public imagination and fuels the petty media criticism of Hillary that gets so much attention.

…Hillary’s double bind plays out for women across this country. I see it in my own experience as a college professor as well as that of my female colleagues. Even though professional competence should matter most, we are excoriated for failures of femininity. Students, for instance, expect us to be more nurturing and indulgent. When we hold them to academic standards–in other words, when we do our jobs–we are often labelled harsh.

Interviewing Hillary after the New Hampshire primary, Katie Couric–a woman who should understand the double bind–pressed Hillary to be more “humble” about her chances to win the Democratic nomination. But similar bravado by male candidates has gone unquestioned. The cultural code is clear: The confidence of the public campaign is masculine; women should stick to the humility of traditional femininity.

Gender, of course, also inflects the perception of age. In spite of decades of criticism of this practice, the visual delectation of female bodies remains the dominant pop-culture lens for viewing women: Age is a liability for women, an asset for men.

This perception of middle-aged women as hopelessly out of date assists the media’s easy dismissal of Clinton after every setback, most notably her loss at the Iowa caucuses.

Pundits rationalized their wrong predictions in several ways, but the idea of Hillary as a has-been was preconditioned by a long tradition of late-night television jokes about her putative lack of sex appeal. For example, last week David Letterman remarked sarcastically that Hillary’s pantsuits make her look “even hotter.”

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53 thoughts on “The Cultural Roots of the Anti-Hillary Clinton Bias

  1. The numbers would suggest Elizabeth Keathley has a point, Hillary isn’t trailing by that much, her support is quite strong, its just the media paints it as some sort of humiliating decimation.

    Which I suspect might be a problem for the Democrat Party. Hillary’s support is mostly core Democrat, Obama’s has significant ‘cross-over’.

    Was re-reading Mary Daly’s Gyn/Ecology, the other day, on the Apollo vs Dionysis mythology playing out. Apollo the stern macho Father-God image, but Dionysis the “gentle-man” the Jesus figure, almost an androgynous image, a perceived relief from the harshness of Apollo. The one who drives women mad, because he is a “boundary-crosser”, who incorporates a thread of pseudo-femininity that women identify with. Mary Daly was relating to the 60s/70s leftish social movements of the times, with the long-haired “gentle-men”, the hawks and the doves, and how women flocked to the peaceniks. Obama the “boundary-crosser’ indeed, with all that cross-over vote in strong red states too. People arguing and confused over whether he really is left or right? *grin*

    With Male-Approval-Desire, (MAD), women need the approval of the Apollo God for survival, it is an honest Madness, and with clear boundaries, but:

    The Dionysus M-A-D woman desires the approval of her god because she loves him as herself. She, and he, after all, are two in one flesh. She and he are of one mind. She has lost her Self in his house of Mirrors

    This fake femininity is the lure of some religions, like christianity with a “gentle” son, the lure of left political movements, the lure of post-modernism and trans-sexual politics, all based on an image, a distorted Mirror, of femininity. It posits “freedom”, “liberation”, “revolution”,
    “hope” and “change” (from the Apollonian image). Mary Daly also talks about the homo-eroticism amongst males of such movements. But femininity is a complete 100% man-made construct, it has nothing to do with being female. It is an invitation to lose the Female Self and replace it with male-defined femininity, which is just the other face of masculinity. Erasure. The Final Solution. Just “disappear” the female, and women will “choose” it willingly.

    One of the earliest versions of the myth is the Egyptian Osiris and Set. From Robert Graves ‘The White Goddess’:

    … he (Man) is divine not in his single person, but only in his twinhood, as brothers or Father/Son. As Osiris, the spirit of the waxing year, he is always jealous of his twin, Set, the spirit of the waning year, and vice-versa. He cannot be both of them at once, without an intellectual effort that destroys his humanity, and this is the fundamental flaw of Apollonian and Jehovistic religions.

    Man is destined to be a demi-God, he is always incomplete, always has one foot or another in the grave; woman is divine because she can keep both her feet anywhere. Man envies her completeness, and tells himself lies about his own completeness, and thereby makes himself miserable. For if he is complete, she cannot be. She cannot even be a demi-goddess – she is mere vessel, and his love for her turns to scorn and hate.

    He goes on to the eternal cycle of man trying to complete himself, by murdering (or erasing) the female, and then battling with his twin, originally twin brothers, but more recently father and son. The gentler of the two, always seen as “feminine”.

    Elizabeth’s article though, gives me hope though, because Hillary does have more support and voters, including men, than the media give her credit for. A lot of people are not sucked in to the myth!!

    Posted by Rain | February 20, 2008, 9:21 pm
  2. Rain — your brilliant essay wins the day for best post in ages here. Thank you for making my day!! I LOVE this writing! Now we’re talking like feminist intellectuals that we all know we are!!! **** $$$$ **** Jackpot goes to Rain 🙂

    As women, we really need to be aware of these long-standing cultural forces that create Daly’s house of mirrors — male contructed femininity as opposed to who women actually are.

    This does play out in the election, but men are not as easily getting away with their game of denegration. Witness women’s advocacy groups making Chris Matthews apologize for his demeaning comments about Hillary. This would never have happened in the Kennedy era!

    Women are supporting Hillary in record numbers, and they are finally taking the giant leap of supporting themselves for once.
    Women will win the day if they do bond and support one another.

    It is the bottom line for change. We need to let go of the house of mirrors idea that femininity is about women. It’s not, it’s male constructed. The most obvious example being MTF transgenders, who have the kookiest ideas of female self that I have ever seen and heard. They are buying into the man-made idea of what a woman is, just as they are men trying to become this fake image to begin with.

    So we need to reach into myth and herstory to see how to break through women’s falsely constructed need to identify with the rule of the fathers, or to fall for the “gentle men” fads of the flower power era, the life of Jesus, or the charisma of an Obama.

    Obama has yet to set out a woman friendly overt message to women. He stays away from a feminist and overtly anti-racist agenda. Women journalists fail to ask him the tough questions about woman friendly economic policies or what he’ll do about the rape of women soldiers by other male soldiers in Iraq, for example.

    Rain says:
    “But femininity is a complete 100% man-made construct, it has nothing to do with being female. It is an invitation to lose the Female Self and replace it with male-defined femininity, which is just the other face of masculinity. Erasure. The Final Solution. Just “disappear” the female, and women will “choose” it willingly.”

    This is the nail hit right on the head. It’s this invisible cloud that women still struggle to detect. Men co-opt and fool women into believing that they will actually present a woman friendly government. Women will falsely identify with a so-called “anti-war” male like Obama, conveniently forgetting that he himself said “bombing” Pakistan might be an option.

    The fact that we have teflon man (Obama) getting such a free ride, and women of noted experience being villified because they have this experience is the double bind of patriarchy.

    Women doing an exceptional job are hated and attacked. Men who are lightweights are still getting a free ride.

    Men believe they achieve greatness through their hard work and intelligence, little realizing that they are given the loaded dice — which comes up winning all the time. They are helped along by the ultimate affirmative action plan known a MALE supremacy.

    Women need to shatter the mirrors and leave the carnival to find the true power of women — not femininity but female in all its authentic intellectual power!

    Posted by Satsuma | February 20, 2008, 10:56 pm
  3. Thank goddess for these posts! I feel like I am a spokesperson for feminism everyday right now. This campaign has brought out the sexism in men, even in so-called “progressive” men.

    In Powell’s bookstore two nights ago, I turned around in my chair and argued w/ a complete stranger, two seats away, who said that HC was so inexperienced, hadn’t passed the Bar, while BO was a law professor. He would not believe me that she was one of the top 100 paid lawyers in the US before the ’92 campaign. He didn’t want to hear that she has 4 more years in Congress than BO, plus eight years in the White House!
    The media dress her up as a wife and first lady. They never talk about how she has prepared for this campaign her WHOLE adult life. She was not only the 1st woman elected to the Senate from New York, she was the 1st First Lady ever elected senator.

    I have a hard time believing that this is 2008. I keep thinking I’m in a bad dream and soon I’ll wake up.
    HC may lose BECAUSE she’s a woman.
    In 2008.
    Boy, are we ever a backwards country.

    Posted by shy virago | February 21, 2008, 7:31 am
  4. Thnks Satsuma *hugs* 🙂
    “Women are supporting Hillary in record numbers, and they are finally taking the giant leap of supporting themselves for once. Women will win the day if they do bond and support one another.

    I’d like to think so, but I sometimes think no woman would ever be “good enough” !

    Thats why there aren’t larger numbers supporting someone like Hillary, and some of those who are, are doing it with deep regret and resentment.

    Women arent allowed to be human with faults, flaws etc. We are all waiting for the super-perfect feminist Goddess-archetype who never did a thing wrong in her life, never compromised with patriarchy personally, professionally or politically. *chuckle*

    All women are damaged, dis-membered and chewed up by patriarchy, we all have to compromise for survival, we all hate our selves, and when we see another woman with the same flaws, scars and mind-bindings we have, we hate her even more. Hillary just isn’t good enough, even for a first baby-step, so I guess we will all just wait around for a few thousand years for the “right girl” to show up 🙂

    Posted by Rain | February 21, 2008, 8:13 am
  5. Rain — you are right on target yet again!!
    “Women arent allowed to be human with faults, flaws etc. We are all waiting for the super-perfect feminist Goddess-archetype who never did a thing wrong in her life, never compromised with patriarchy personally, professionally or politically. *chuckle* ”

    This is the bottom line with me I guess — do women have the discipline to go for power and to fully support the aspirations of over exceptionally gifted women?

    Reading what women have said about Hillary on these blogs has really discouraged me. Obama, the insult! Why would any self-respecting feminist want a man less qualified than Hillary to get the white house. It makes no sense to me.

    What a disappointment! I think this disappointment in the commitment and solidarity of women in general gets me down.

    We should be winning big time, and yet we waffle like pancakes on a grill.

    The voice of the powerless speaks yet again! We are so close to claiming the white house, so close to having a good liberal feminist out there rooting for us… but no-oow (Remember the cartoon character Quinn on “Daria” where she’d say “oh no-ohhh”)– well that’s where I am now with this election.

    I can’t bear to see yet another good woman lose a job because we as women can’t get behind a sister and get our butts out to vote for her! We hemm and haww and third nit pick candidates and Kusinich and Gazinich ourselves to death.

    We have no self-respect women. We are whimps at the ballot box, we are empty in our desire for the advancement of feminist women in government.

    Rain, we are a sorry species I’ll tell you… BUT– and this is a BIG BUT– can women deliver and show up and put cash on the barrel head? Can women do this?

    So will women have self-respect? Will women vote for themselves and not for yet another man who is not going to get women? We still have Texas and Ohio!

    Posted by Satsuma | February 21, 2008, 10:26 pm
  6. “I have a hard time believing that this is 2008. I keep thinking I’m in a bad dream and soon I’ll wake up.
    HC may lose BECAUSE she’s a woman.
    In 2008.
    Boy, are we ever a backwards country.”

    Why is this the case when women have been elected to the top post in other western nations?

    Canada, New Zealand, the U.K. .. all english speaking countries with a judeo-christian background. What is it about America which turns gender into an issue of leadership? Where does this backwardsness come from?

    Posted by Arietty | February 22, 2008, 12:05 am
  7. Arietty,

    I think it comes from the US being such a violent country towards women.
    I haven’t looked at statistics in a while, but my impression is that more men rape and murder women in the US than in Canada, and maybe more than in the UK.

    The US is the only country in the world without goverment funded daycare.
    In France, maternity leave is 2 years by law and the father can take one of those years. In the UK it is 6 months. In the US it is 0.
    In the UK, single mothers are eligible for a very good stipend (they call it ‘dole’, I call it ‘pay’!) until their kid is 16. From what I’ve read, it seems to be enough to live on. Last year they were considering cutting it from age 16 to age 3, which some members of parliment thought was cruel. But if they do that, they will give free daycare and then afterschool care so the mother can work full-time until the kid is 16.

    And what do we get in the US?
    One big nothing: no health care, no vacation, no maternity leave, no pay.
    In the school shootings of recent years, all of the murderers have been boys or men and the majority of victims girls and women. In the last one, in Illinois, 4 of the 5 killed were women.

    Do we ever hear about this connection between violence and misogyngy in the news?

    So if this is how important we are to them, we who birth the children, care for the children, clean and cook and cure and educate – no wonder they don’t want us in power!
    They’ve got a great deal – they get us for free.

    Posted by shy virago | February 22, 2008, 4:20 am
  8. Satsuma, your trivialization of reasons women might have to refuse to back Hillary Clinton has gone beyond irksome. In your eyes, it must be that

    We have no self-respect women. We are whimps at the ballot box, we are empty in our desire for the advancement of feminist women in government.

    Hardly. I have no desire to advance Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama in government, precisely because I have too much self-respect to back another slightly less evil warmonger at this point in history. IOW, Hillary Clinton is a mainstream Democrat. Neither mainstream party represents my interests or values, and never has.

    Posted by Aletha | February 22, 2008, 7:03 am
  9. Arietty: “Canada, New Zealand, the U.K. .. all english speaking countries with a judeo-christian background. What is it about America which turns gender into an issue of leadership? Where does this backwardsness come from?”

    I’m just guessing, but I think its more about the amount of power. I thought back in early January, that Hillary didn’t have a chance because there was no way a woman could win POTUS, and most especially a centre-left one.

    Its too powerful a position. Top posts in other western countries, have far more checks-and-balances in their Constitutions than the USA does, and also, they don’t command the largest economy or military machine on the planet.

    Reminds me of an incident many years ago, when the internet chat room was still “new”, and Star Trek Voyager had been recently released. A guy in a chat-room said to me, and I quote: ” A Girly Captain of the Enterprise? Get Real!”

    So, I thought Hillary would have lost by Super-Tuesday, but she didn’t! She has a lot of support, she isn’t trailing by much, whatever the media says! They just aren’t loud about it.

    To even be in the race for the White House, and from the liberal centre-left faction, and to stay in, standing against such hate, and all the unfortunate “baggage” (eg the husband, the name, the history) against her, is an amazing achievement.

    If she loses, I hope her supporters do opt out in sizeable numbers, in silent protest in November. Given the importance of March 4, a show of support for her at the March 8 International Women’s Day events in the days following, I think would be wonderful to see too.

    Secondly, using the mythical conceptual framework mentioned above of the eternal Apollo and Dionysis cyles, as an analogy of left and right-wing. Why do you think the most successful women have more often been right-wing ones?

    On the surface it sounds illogical, given that the Apollonian vision is of distinct sexist boundaries between male and female spheres. But if you look beneath the surface of the mirror-maze, its a logical honest sexism on right-wing Apollo side, in that they break the rules for “special cases” and overlook their femaleness, and give them “honorary male” status.

    No such distinction or boundaries exists on the gentle, humanist, non-violent, pro-civil rights (for everybody except females) Dionysis version of patriarchy, because the female has been Erased from existence. There are no rules to break. They have already adopted a veneer of androgynous genderless fake-equality, so thats why you often have gays, black men, MTFs etc, winning leadership over more suitable women candidates. And then you see them supporting and arguing to the nth degree, for having MTFs “leading” lesbian groups and IWD marches? You have them also supporting organisations like PETA using BDSM porn and strippers proudly stripping for animal rights? Its not OK to treat animals like meat, they say, but it sure is OK to treat women like meat in that Kooky mindset. Like the Catholic versus Protestant view of Mary, the “modern” protestant sects have Erased her completely as being unneccessary, coz Jesus embodies both masculine and feminine identities, so there is no need for a female identity (no matter how dis-membered, de-constructed and re-constructed).

    As Mary Daly also said, Dionysis is the gentle-rapist “Killing Us Softly with His Song”. Or
    ” I speak not of the rape of my body this time,
    I speak of the rape of my soul”.

    Its also played out symbolically in sexual theory and reproductive technologies. One of my essays entitled ” And Just –*WHOSE*– Biology-is-Destiny Around Here, Anyway?” argues, that from sexuality, sexual identity to sexual reproduction, the female is being erased and reconstructed to fit male biology. If anyone’s interested, I’ll post the URL, but its late in my time-zone, and I need some sleep!

    Cheers – Rain

    Posted by Rain | February 22, 2008, 11:10 am
  10. ((Rain)),

    I awaken to your brilliance, blaze on!


    Posted by Mary Sunshine | February 22, 2008, 1:23 pm
  11. Rain, I’m interested. Please post the URL.

    Posted by Branjor | February 22, 2008, 2:21 pm
  12. You can say all you want about the evils of mainstream parties, but the fact is, we have this election to deal with, and we have these candidates to deal with.

    So this is not trivialization, it is perplexity at how difficult it is for women to even get how it is that women advance in the world. Now if women have a great deal of trouble seeing the qualificiations of a perfectly good democratic candidate in THIS election — not a future world of fantasy, but what is going on TODAY this minute, then we are in very deep trouble indeed.

    It is disturbing to see women in their lack of support for other women in government who have had a perfectly good 30 year track record.

    Ariety you have a very valid question here. The answer is very simple: there are a lot of women out there who don’t want to vote for, work for or just plain old support Hillary Clinton. We also have a very powerful right wing attack machine that has tried to undermine her forever. Remember how they made fun of her for wanting to use her own last name? Think of all the right wing women who go out against the advancement of all women because they are afraid of women’s autonomy.

    Women live in a lot of fear, and they have a very hard time supporting other women. They have a million excuses for this. Radical feminists want some third party fantasy candidate, so they’ll go and do that. Right wing women hate liberal women. And the guys just sit back and enjoy the show.

    Many European countries have different electoral systems to begin with, and so it is easier for women candidates to get ahead because of different structures. I also found European women with a much higher level of education that a lot of American women (not all but it really was striking when I talked to German women, for example). I met more lesbian PhDs in Germany in two weeks than I have in decades of living in the U.S., for example. Their spoken and written English was also far superior in many ways. And they were culturally literate as well — most of the women could sing German arias, play Chopan, and perform cabaret music of the lesbian German renaissance (Weimar Republic). They were not afraid of supporting women, and I have heard many of these women lament the lack of solid radical feminist support for Hillary Clinton.

    They ask me why this is all the time. They think all lesbians are as bright as Mary Daly, for example. I often have to keep my mouth shut, because the truth hurts too much. Their love of American feminism and Clinton is touching to me. I must say, their friendship and encouragement even in the dark days of the right wing take over of the presidency has really kept me going.

    Radical feminism is having a hard time of it, because it refuses to see where the incremental changes really come from, and it looks way too much for change in a mainstream that really doesn’t change all that much at all.

    The radical is about the grassroots, it’s not about the presidency at all. It’s not the nature of how the presidency works, and it is peculiarly disconnected from what people will or won’t do.

    Obama and Hillary are not warmongers, even though both have supported the wars with votes. Obama has voted for the budgets that fund the war, Hillary voted to go to war. Every candidate in both parties, if they were in congress, actually materially supported the war. They all give lip service to “our troops.” They all think military solutions are valid. So none of them is a peace candidate really. This is kind of the illusion people want to tell themselves.

    Sure you can hole up and say whaaawhaaa I hate them all, and that’s ok. There is something creepy in how women have such an objection to Clinton, since she is not at all that bad. Sometimes feminists just get wacky because they themselves have never run for office, so there they are on the sidelines carping.

    I think women have a deep seated fear of success sometimes, and that’s what I see in a lot of comments I hear from women about Clinton to begin with.

    I see a lot of raw courage in Clinton, standing up against the right wing attack machine, going through the daily degredations that all women suffer who want to achieve.

    Women who want to achieve greatness or advance to a high level of any profession often have to go it alone. The higher up women go, the more the radical women attack them. There seems to be so little pride in the accomplishments of women in general.

    I have worked with a woman in her 80s for over a decade now, and in her study she proudly displays a picture of her and Hillary Clinton together at a college fundraising event. She was so proud to be a supporter of Clinton, and this woman has lived through times when women had nothing, when women were pioneers even if they became university professors. In some respects, her love of women and her accomplishements are far less complicated than the “radical” women who came later. She grew up in a shack in poverty, but she had more energy and more go getter energy for women running for office than women half her age.

    I found her a personal inspiration!

    Ariety, that’s the best explanation I can come up with now to your questions. Thanks for asking the universe or blogverse as they case may be.
    “Sometimes I wonder.HC may lose BECAUSE she’s a woman.
    In 2008.
    Boy, are we ever a backwards country.”

    Why is this the case when women have been elected to the top post in other western nations?”

    Posted by Satsuma | February 22, 2008, 8:25 pm
  13. Rain says: Comment # 1
    “No such distinction or boundaries exists on the gentle, humanist, non-violent, pro-civil rights (for everybody except females) Dionysis version of patriarchy, because the female has been Erased from existence.”

    Rain’s Cooment # 2:
    “Secondly, using the mythical conceptual framework mentioned above of the eternal Apollo and Dionysis cyles, as an analogy of left and right-wing. Why do you think the most successful women have more often been right-wing ones? ”

    Thanks again Rain for your incredible insights! You have such a creative approach to the big issues! In comment # 1, I think you hit the nail on the head yet again! 🙂 How does she do it 🙂 It’s why I have felt a suspicion for left wing men, and it might answer the question of why left wing men often are less helpful than right wing men in personal situations. Not always, but I am often open to very surprising connections to all sorts of people.

    I don’t think all the most successful women out there are “right wing” women. Some are like Condi and Phyllis, but I suppose it would be fun to have a contest: who can list the most (left or right wing) successful women out there? Then you’d have to define success. We all measure it differently.

    I think women are a complex mix of both the liberal and the conservative. For example, I’m hard line anti-pornography, but many younger women think I’m a real stick in the mud. Some women find my economic views so awful, that they’d rather post porno pictures than post my comments about women and money. I kid you not, this just happened yesterday! It struck me as very funny, since I never imagined that awful porno images would carry the day over my rather mundane economic discussions of an 80 year old lesbian feminist in Los Angeles, but hey, what’s a woman to do in the 21st century?? 🙂

    Depending how you look at women, you can see liberal or right wing. I think you have to delve farther into what women are actually doing for other women and why. Or why some women want some things and others want other things.

    We all have certain desires that are very complex, and certain social situations where we flourish or flounder.

    Sometimes, I find conservative people just plain old socially nicer. I find leftist groups sometimes vulgar or hard to be in. I simply enjoy a more polite nicer environment overall. What can I say, the minute I landed on British soil, I wanted to make a bee-line for the Fornam and Mason tea room! That’s just me.

    But on the other hand, I’ve applied Mary Daly’s seven deadly sins of the fathers to the business world and got remarkable results. I remember years ago telling Mary about that and she was dumbfounded. I don’t think this ever occured to her.

    Where is true sisterhood to be found? Well guess what THE oldest women’s group or society is in America right now? The answer will surprise you. *** points, cookies and yummy yummies to anyone who can guess correctly here 🙂

    And once again, a big thank you to Rain! I just love your posts! Wish I was as smart as you are!!! 🙂

    Posted by Satsuma | February 22, 2008, 8:59 pm
  14. One thing, that disturbs me a lot in regards to Obama, and the support from many feminist blogs,

    something his wife said, in regards to Hilary, about her not being a good wife or something, and that if she had been a ‘good woman’ she would have kept her husband from straying,

    I don’t remember the exact quote or to whom, but I do remember the Conservatives having a field day with this comment, and yet I’ve not heard anything from feminists on this.

    That comment bothers me, ALOT. Its misogynist and worse than what I hear many conservatives say, but more than that, it reveals to me, Obama’s attitude towards women/feminism, and his wifes,

    and frankly, I think that belief, that its a woman’s fault for a man’s behavior, quite medieval. And I do fear, that we will be seeing a far more misogynist ‘system’ after this election. Liberation today, within many far left/left circles is liberation that is Deadly to women,

    in my strong opinion, its a liberation that is beneficial to the male sex drive, but not to women. Its an illusion, an illusion that appears to be a form of empowerment but that if you peel the layers, is a worse form of sexual bondage and degradation of women. This is why I think, the porn culture is tolerated sadly in liberal-left circles, this LIE that degradation is a form of power,

    its anything But. The women and girls harmed by it, unless in a few radical feminist circles, we hear nothing of, they simply are tossed aside, in society, or their suffering attributed in a Selection of the Species type of mentality amongst the very ones, that profess women’s rights.

    Obama wanted aid to go to Congo, but I haven’t heard of him wanting the End of rapes in the Sudan,

    makes me question, and I think, this will be an election, where women’s rights, will once again, be professed, but in reality, be put on the back-burner, more than we might want to see. In other words,

    I strongly feel, its going to get a hell of a lot worse on women, at least, under a conservative regime, its out there, but what about liberal regimes or left regimes that profess a degenderized society,

    only to find, its truly, a Secret HellHole for women, and even worse,

    that many women, voted to establish such thinking they were voting for their rights only to find, that they wind up with less rights.

    I also strongly suggest, women do some homework, on exactly the status of women, under the Nation of Islam, if Thats what liberty for women is,

    we are in serious trouble. Never forget, there is more than just one form of misogynist Puritanism that demands strict control over women and their sexuality and behavior

    and its not just Christianity. thats just my two cents

    Posted by Tasha | February 22, 2008, 10:33 pm
  15. I think Tasha that you’ve really gotten the very sad big picture.

    Before I get all mad at Michele Obama, however, I think it would be wise to fact check to see if she really said that.
    We have a lot of women who simply think being a wife and mother is superior to all things women could do. She might have said that Hillary Clinton was not a good wife and mother, but let’s make sure this is accurate.

    When you’re looking at a culture that truly values women, you have one where women have honest to goodness choices that are REAL for women.

    If porn is produced by men, and men are obsessed with “training” women to sexually gratify men all the time, you have a real contradiction here.

    The sexual revolution was not really something women came up with on their own. I’ve always been really horrified by male sexuality period. I’ve never understood how women can get so easily mixed up in porn / drug stuff. That world horrifies me.

    Does Islam protect women from the sexual aggressive and objectification that men so participate in? No, because Islamic men control women. Women could easily live in an Islamic country where men are punished for being outside homes, and where men are stoned to death for any wrong move they make against women — women would control the sexuality of men under an Islamic state. Now, if that happened, I’d say that Islam was in the hands of women not men. (I know feathers aflyin– this is a reversal to make a point) that women aren’t in control of Islam, and therefore it is puritanical men still controlling women. Just as liberal / leftist men still control women by making them “service” male sexual obsession in the name of “sexual” (read male) “liberation.”

    Yes, women are in danger, and yes a republican administration makes this more obvious. But what can we do when women voluntarily call in talk radio shows and actually agree with woman hating talk show hosts? What do you do when conservative women are proud of serving their lord and master? What do you do with women who go into prostitution? Now you can’t say that women don’t make choices, because that would take away free will. It’s not about blame at all, it’s about actions and words.

    If radical feminism means anything to me, it was a doctrine that simply allowed me to see the truth: men are the problem. You can’t reason with them, you can’t get them to change, you can only stay away from them in certain environments.

    Christianity and Islam are male philosophies writ large Tasha. We don’t have sacred texts authored by women, we have only a male tribal ethic that women the world over continue to believe in.

    I hate that male world, and I just can’t imagine what it would take for women to overcome the one thing that keeps the male rule in place — sexual contact with men and the addiction women have to living with men. If all women refused this, and learned how to defend themselves and really meant it, patriarchy would die overnight. But this isn’t going to happen.
    At least not in my lifetime.

    Will Obama talk about women getting raped in Ivory Coast, the huge male rape of South African women, the Sudan, and Monrovia? You’ll never ever hear a male presidential candidate ever bluntly talk about the oppression of women. Obama will not say these words nor will other men running for office.

    I was surprised when people were angry at anti-Mormonism as the reason for Romney’s demise, but really where was the outrage at the woman hating Mormon church in the first place?
    Now that is the issue. A man who supports a male controlled church would never be my choice for president ever, and yet mainstream women can barely get out the words “women are being oppressed!”

    When women can’t see this and won’t hear this, we’re really talking about a huge amount of denial out there.

    Rape, incest, battery, economic slavery, low wages, child forced marriage, prayer to male gods, pornography== all of this is what men have created to control and humiliate women.

    The addiction to male approval is a huge struggle for women. Just ask Heart what it took for her to become a feminist. She had to have the hell bashed out of her, she had to have her business destroyed and she had to have her church turn on her. That’s what it took to create one amazing feminist! And that’s only her story as I am come to understand it. Just one story that I know. Just one woman out there who is doing her damndest to model sisterhood and to share and care!

    But, yet, despite all her hard unpaid work, what do a lot of feminists do?

    Women have to really suffer to break away from maleworld and malereligion and male worship. It’s not as easy as any of us thinks.

    In order for me to be a lifelong feminist, I had to suffer extreme social ostracism– boys attacked me, girls stabbed me in the back, I lost business, I got fired, and still when I am honest on this blog, women will freak out and go nuts on me, even in feminist space.

    If women are even afraid of being called a name every now and then, and run from feminism out of fear of “being labeled” –whew now isn’t that awful, then where is the hope?

    And the truth is there is incredible hope and power and happiness because if you really believe in freedom, and you really know you want it, then you’ll have it.

    If you really are your authentic self in the world, nothing men can do can stop you. But first you might get called names, or other women will speak badly of you, or your boss might fire you. Just ask Fannie Lou Hammer– what did she do to vote?

    Just ask Mary Daly, what did she have to do to liberate her sisters? Just ask Heart, what did she have to do to become the free powerful woman she is today?

    Just what did Ayaan Hirsi Ali do to become free? Read her book “Infidel” if you want to see a real feminist heroine!

    Wow, are these women great or what Tasha! That’s what I know, and it isn’t easy, but we will prevail, and we will live to see a great world.

    When I come to this blog, I know I’ve found the real deal. There may be rangling, there may be disagreement, but you know what, we are all doing the very best we can.

    When we care as women, when we write here, when we share, when we argue and still hang in there, well there is incredible hope!

    Be thankful that Hearts will always arise — think of that great internet name HEART, and think of all the other women out there who really are going for it.

    Yes, we have 5000 years of evil known as male hatred of women’s freedom. We know this, but yet we know we paid the price for freedom and we are willing to give the keys of freedom to any woman anywhere who comes here!

    That’s right women, we are all free! Thanks Tasha for your incredibly moving post! I salute your honesty and your real desire for freedom. Thanks for being there! Thanks for caring!

    Posted by Satsuma | February 22, 2008, 11:46 pm
  16. Thank you all for your very interesting answers. Clinton was never my preferred candidate in this race, mainly because the issue most important to me was to get the US out of it’s neocon mindset. Yes, my support has always been libertarian. But of course THAT is not going to happen any more than a radical feminist third party fantasy candidate is going to happen. We have to work with what we are getting and turning our backs in disgust is too easy a response IMHO.

    Good points about the political structures in other nations being more conducive to a woman getting the top job.

    It disgusts me that Clinton is attacked not for real issues, but for crap that amounts to the projections of folk who see her as part of a long running American soap drama. She is too hard, a “bitch”, she is too emotional if she sheds a tear, she is shitty feminist because she stood by her man, OR if she did that for her own future plans she is condemned for it. Clinton does not have “plans”, she has “machinations”. And so it goes.

    It would be just as interesting if she was a mainstream Republican. No she is not going to be anyone’s fantasy savior candidate but the issues of gender this brings up and the discussions are beneficial to the country as a whole I think (possibly too optimistic there).

    PS Please don’t shoot me because I used the “l” word 🙂

    Posted by Arietty | February 22, 2008, 11:56 pm
  17. btw the bit about being condemned for wanting to use her own name.. yes I do remember that. Didn’t she want to ONLY use her surname when Bill was first in the white house? And that was gradually eroded away..

    Contrast this with Cherie Booth, wife of Tony Blair. Never ever ever was she referred to as anything but Cherie Booth and it was never an issue. The UK is no feminist paradise and I doubt there is a greater percentage of women keeping their own name there than in the US. Perhaps other countries are just more culturally laid back about folks making choices that they don’t necessarily make themselves?

    Posted by Arietty | February 23, 2008, 12:02 am
  18. I can’t recall the exact quote but I do recall, because the Media had a field day over it too, last year I believe, over her comment about Clinton’s straying, and about Hilary not being a good enough wife or something like that,

    my point is, as a political woman, it bothers me that sort of backwards Medieval rhetoric is used to bash women candidates, and like one says here, Hilary was bashed for not leaving Clinton, then bashed, when running, for him straying,

    well, the man strayed, because he’s a male jackass, like majority of men are [and yes I do like Clinton but hey, I call it like I see it], and not because Hilary was this or that,

    I think people resent her, because she IS a strong woman, lets not forget, how people treated Janet Reno either. Or many of the other strong political women, you mentioned Ayaan Hirsi Ali, yes I not only know about her, I absolutely adore this woman,

    and guess what, she is Hated among socialist and left circles, is labeled a traitor to not only her race, but her religion [or former religion] because she Says it like it is, and lets not forget, how she was booted out, by the Dutch. When Europe is under the rule of Islam, they won’t be able to say,

    they weren’t warned. And by ten years, they Will be under the rule, including U.K., she, and several like her [women who’ve been killed for speaking the Truth about Totalitarianism], have been warning,

    the ironic thing, is the hate, that some [emphasis on some] feminist circles have towards these women,

    there are varying schools of feminism, just like anything else, one reason I do read Women’s Space on occasion, its the ONE place, that doesn’t accept or tolerate, abuses to women, in the name of cultural relativism, and you bet, I admire Heart, for the Guts, to take that stand.

    But true, I am very cynical, you see I worked for years, in political work, in socialism/communism and even in left democratic circles, and I’ve seen enough anti-Semitism to make me want to puke,

    enough misogyny, that to me it matters not if its a church or a political candidate, its pretty much the same ole b.s.,

    and enough fascism, to last me a life time, and worse, the fascism, dressed in the Promise of liberty and deliverance from Conservatism,

    red or brown, its the same, as far as I’m concerned. I totally relate, to why Russian women and women from far East, vote conservative and are not keen on Western Feminism [the kind influenced by Marxism], well,

    I’ve seen why, degender, often means, mens values count, women’s woes, well, they don’t exist, we just ignore them, etc., everything is equal,

    Bull. everything is NOT equal, and when a woman candidate is running for president, is it her plan on health care that is attacked? NO, its her marriage or her being a mother or her crying,

    the comments on her crying, gee I mean, I thought we went past that you have to put on a penis to be accepted in politics but obviously not,


    maybe we wouldn’t have Rwanda, Congo, Ivory Coast, Aids in Africa, girl children being raped in Australia then courts saying, oh its not rape, its just their culture crap,

    or girls being sold into marriages at the age of 3!

    And DARE speak out on this, and its the well women support Hilary because its a White thang,

    you know, I bet if you ask the raped women in Congo right now, if that was important, they would say,

    just get the Rapes to stop.

    They hate Hilary, for one reason, she’s a woman,

    and a damn good politician, most MEN would have buckled under the pressure she was under, when all that was going down with the former President, she did not, not only did she not buckle,

    she ran for office. Thats the kind of leader this nation needs, we’ve Seen how she is strong, but she shed some tears, she wants health care, she wants children taken care of, and maybe, she supports a strong America military wise, well, good,

    she’s pragmatic, solid, maybe not the dream pacifist or token woman for the far left [sorry, transferring a bit of rage here lol], but she’s a solid politician and no, I don’t concur with her on every issue, etc., BUT,

    just the mention, of her husband straying, as somehow being something She didn’t do, as a woman, from a wife of politician running against her, makes me, yes, Cringe.

    Its the lowest of the low, in This day and age, we expect it from men, but not a woman, professing feminism and rights for Women, etc. You know, I don’t always agree with everything on women’s space, I’m not as tolerant of cultural relativism, thats for sure, and not afraid to say so,

    but I do admire and respect, one main thing about this place, and that is, the Anger, over women, not sticking up, for women. You know, what does it take really, mass rape camps in America, for women to wake up. You talk about Freedom,

    honestly, I think women [generally speaking] have it good in this country, the west in general, and we take Freedom for granted, even in the worst of circumstances [and I speak from experience on this], we are far more free, than women in many parts of the world, and I don’t think, we truly grasp it, if we did, we wouldn’t Have women, young women [and yes they are stupid], supporting porn industry and prostitution, these are young women who have no idea, of what that world is, and no, a few cute women Tokens for the industry, doesn’t count.

    We don’t KNOW what it is, to walk forty miles hiding in jungles seeing people around us axed to death, children raped, just because they are a certain ethnic group,

    or what it is, to have our kids taken from us, and beaten into Submission to a religion, and raped not only by militias but by the very forces who are supposed to be peace officials,

    nor do we know, what it is, to be rounded up, and hauled off to prison and gang raped and shocked, like in Iran, because we dare want to wear lipstick.

    This isn’t even the tip of the iceberg so to speak, and are weak examples, instead, we have interest groups here, wanting to destroy Israel, hell, they’ve not Been there, or other parts of world,

    but its the ‘chic’ thing right now, animal rights extremists who see nothing wrong with debasing women but boy oh boy, lets try to get laws passed to outlaw having pets,

    I mean its insane, and thank Goodness, this site, Does exist, I do understand, the anger of so many women on here, and it does, lessen the cynicism in me, to see young women, working and being vocal, in this day and age, against the selling out of women’s rights, Human rights,

    women’s Human Rights. There are many feminist blogs as of now, that are bashing Hilary, and it makes me livid,

    how Arrogant, seriously, not on her policies, no, on her marriage or how she dresses or how she does this or that. Never mind that she’s a Senator, and a damn good one. Never mind that Yes, she would have been very good, on foreign policy, probably Wouldn’t have been so tolerant and willing to lie in bed politically with thug nations [despots] just because of trade deals/arms deals, or because its the politically correct ‘liberal left’ thing to do,

    I got an email today, from the liberal forum, used to at one time read that forum, the email said, about how they are backing Obama, now that the pathetic Hilary is out of the way,

    and they Profess women’s rights?????

    Damn liars, period.

    And yes, I stand firm, believe me, I truly think, we will see, a far more harmful reversal on women’s rights, but it will be under the guise of so called ‘progressions’ but will instead, be a gender neutral hell, and by the time women realize it, it will be too late,

    its like Germany, all these women’s rights for employment, but now, its, you can’t turn down prostitution, because, Hey, guess what, thats considered Employment.

    I see all the time, people claiming how great it is for women in parts of Europe, how backwards the US is, on some of that its very true, but the Real picture,

    life spans for women, in Denmark for example, due to Triple Burden, going down,

    domestic violence rates are some of the highest, in left Europe, in former communist countries, its not only high, but programs to help, even laws, are NON-EXISTENT, Belarus good example,

    rape rates are high, but they are not prosecuted because to do so, would elevate racial-immigration-culture tensions, not only rapes in immigrant communities but rapes of native women [Sweden, Norway, etc]

    more countries are Compromising Women’s Human Rights, to have peace, with Tyrannical ideologies and terrorists overseas, etc., or too afraid to step on toes, what the heck, women are Dispensible [sic], take the Honor killings in Canada, recent one,

    sure, there is daycare and insurance, but are you aware, of the fact that many women are still in POVERTY [women don’t enter prostitution, thinking as little girls, hey thats what I want to do when I grow up, they do it out of economic Necessity], AND WHY trafficking and prostitution are at very high numbers in Europe, including part time prostitution work, after working still, gender traditional jobs, part time

    women are Still, the number one caretakers, not only for children, but their parents/in-laws

    and the Depression rates of women, are high, in Sweden, this is also a fact, and what do they do [sociological studies] they Slam women, blaming Them, for their children’s problems,

    be very cautious of the Superwoman syndrome, be very cautious of.

    None of this I’m saying, is saying that we have it all in the US, we surely hell don’t, prostitution and poverty and violence are very high here,

    but, this whole thing, about well putting the left in, and this magic wand to rid of women’s oppression, is complete KAKA.

    only thing that will happen, is women will be working more, expected to work more, and to do so, with a smile on their face.

    Sorry for venting, but I haven’t forgotten,what it was like, to be Working, but ass Poor, living on streets homeless, under a Democratic administration, so I don’t buy, into all the hype. And I’ve seen the hypocrisy and misogyny in the far left [its even worse, but not just women’s rights, hell, they tolerate and condone pedophilia too, for that, I will war against them till my dying breath and expose them at Every turn],

    I wasn’t a big supporter of Hilary’s health care plan, thought it had some kinks, didn’t support some of her fiscal policies, but, as a woman, and as a politician,

    she had my vote, and still does. And if I had my say, I would say to Michelle, what you mean Hilary didn’t do enough, if Anything,

    she is just too good, for Bill Clinton. He was lucky, to have her, and he strayed, because he was just a typical male dumbass. Why we NEED,

    a Woman, for President.


    Posted by Tasha | February 23, 2008, 5:29 am
  19. Arietty: You’re right about Blairs wife, our Australian PM’s wife also retains her own name, and is a successful businesswoman in her own right, his Deputy PM is a woman, known for 30 years as far left-winger, half his senior Cabinet are women, and one of those Cabinet women, is an ‘out’ lesbian of mixed Asian race. One of our most respected senior High Court Judges outed as gay years ago.

    While we have our lunatic fringe fundie idiots, like any other country – generally they do not get any traction in the mainstream, let alone dominate politics (although they did start to over the last 12 years, but thats another story).
    To most Aussies, its *shrug* Ho-Hum, whats the Big Deal?

    To those who wanted a link to my old essay:

    Sorry, but the html formatting may be off, its rather old now.

    Another one buried on that site that I stumbled over :),
    which some might find interesting, is a “Performance Piece” of prose/poetry/story-telling etc — on Women-and-Food theme, that I wrote ages ago for a stage thingymi.

    Its very Australian-based, but is meant to be added to, changed, adapted, participated in etc by audiences – an invitation for women to tell their own personal stories, about food, and “make the connections”:

    Try to hear the drum-beat, when performed there was drumming 🙂

    Posted by Rain | February 23, 2008, 5:48 am
  20. I think a lot of Hillary Clinton’s more feminist instincts have been eroded by bad advisers. They insisted that she do that humiliating cookie baking thing to show that she wasn’t some evil feminist man-hater or somesuch back in 1992. That was also behind the pressure to go from being Hillary Rodham to Hillary Rodham Clinton to Hillary Clinton. I also think that’s why she voted for the Iraq War and is generally fairly hawkish on foreign policy. She pretty much felt she had to, lest she not be allowed to be Presidential.

    I’m supporting Barack Obama, largely since he was against the Iraq War from the start, but I’m pretty angry about the nonsense that Hillary Clinton has had to go through.

    Posted by Metal Prophet | February 23, 2008, 5:53 am
  21. “Our view was that, if you can’t run your own house, you certainly can’t run the White House. So, so we’ve adjusted our schedules to make sure that our girls are first, so while he’s traveling around, I do day trips. That means I get up in the morning, I get the girls ready, I get them off, I go and do trips, I’m home before bedtime.”–michelle obama

    Posted by lovemychildren | February 23, 2008, 6:39 am
  22. Thanks everyone for this incredible information! And the heart felt and passionate points of view. I’m just amazed at the quality of the information here, and still sad that even feminists can’t all agree that the one thing we could do is get behind one great hardworking woman.

    I was thinking that never in my life did I ever imagine all the feminists on the future Internet (my young self circa 1972), would be so passionate in their rejection of the first viable woman candidate in U.S. history. In 1972, I dreamt that someday we’d have a woman like Hillary who would go out there, and women would cheer her on the streets of big major cities!

    I imagined all the balloons and confetti falling from the ceiling of the democratic national convention of the future to celebrate this incredible event! That was the young Satsuma, age 15! One day I would shake the hand of that woman running for president, and I would see women really sticking together and really caring about this.

    Now here we are in 2008 and what is it that I read on the feminist blogs on the Internet that has now become the present? Something has gone terribly wrong out there. It is so hard for women to back another woman and make her a winner! We have all kinds of excuses, we fret over how she is treated in “the media” and yet, well heck we like Hillary, we feel her pain, but we’re not going to vote for her. Oh no, we’re too advanced in our “radical” feminist selves for such a moderate woman. We are ooohh ahhh RADICAL and it is so against our purist credentials to flat out just support a viable woman candidate. Wow, we can’t do this, we are such original radical thinkers, we are so far above demoncratic party politics, we feel her pain and we will sit back and watch another man get elected.

    Here we are with our big chance, here we are the dreamers of 1972, and I can’t tell you how disappointed I am in all this “I can’t vote for Hillary” stuff. I know I shouldn’t take this personally and be above it all, but when I see women not backing other women — FEMINISTS no less, well, I know the game is lost. Pack it up women and go home! Feel sorry for Hillary’s pain, oh you feel for her, oh you’re upset at how big bad mean men attack her in the media.

    But you aren’t going to vote for her, no you’re not, because I guess you feel too “feminist” to do what is basically a feminist act.

    If women really backed other women, and made sure material success was something we all supported in one another, we wouldn’t have the world we have today. It is this huge patriarchal brainwashing machine still in play.

    Every vote for a man in this election, is yet again a failure of feminism itself. The patriarchs have once again gotten us to think that Hillary isn’t good enough for us. Naww we’ll pass on this, we’ll vote for Ron Paul (big feminist), we’ll vote for Obama (super huge supporter of women for the past 30 years–all documented somewhere on planet Mars), we’ll be pure and go for a great “radical” third partry somebody or other.

    But when it comes to the deal, who do you make the check out to? Who do you give your business to? Yeah, I know, the man is just soooo much more qualified—every damn time, and yet you’ll go on about being feminists!

    I hope I can reach a few women who believe that the vote is the voice! It is delivering the goods! It’s about saying YES finally! Finally! Yeah, I know there’s the bunch of you out there who ain’t agoing to do it. No way no how! We feel so safe and secure letting the men have it one more time!

    Yeah, we’ll go third party, green party, red party, pink easter bunny party, anything but the woman right in front of us, a woman not much unlike all of us at our best and brightest selves.

    I think back to my fervent belief in 1972 — probably the year Ms. first came into my life. I had those big dreams, and I looked forward to seeing a woman get the top job. I looked forward to the fight, and the light at the end of the tunnel, but no, not just yet, let’s wait a bit longer. God bless America, women will get what they deserve I guess. We’ll be sad later, so I hope everyone can return to these threads in the year 2044, and then there will be another young girl all on fire in a high school political science class, she’ll dream of women in the presidency. She’ll wonder why we failed her when we had this big chance.

    She’ll read all the fringe nonsense and the political purity and the “oh I’m a feminist, but I just can’t vote for one!” When I looked back at Susan B. Anthony and Belva Lockwood and Victoria Woodhull back then, I knew that someday women would finally get to the mountaintop. In 1972, I just thought feminism simply meant that women supported other progressive women, and that women made sure we got each other jobs, and created companies, and ran schools…

    Call me naive, but I am never far from that young self. Somehow I never forgot that my passion for a feminist world was always something to work for and win.

    It never ever occured to my 15 year old self that we would be in this situation. Sometimes, I think I simply must have turned into a time machine, that I woke up in 2008, and that no matter what everyone said, I still felt “well what happened to women?” How could we be this close, and yet still not get the whole point of being a feminist in the first place.

    For me, it was very simple — it was about jobs women. That’s what feminism was to me. So I hope perhaps that an 18 year old feminist will read these words, and think of me back in 1972, and say “hey I’m going to vote for the very first woman who is going to be our next president, and I’m going to be proud!”

    Posted by Satsuma | February 23, 2008, 8:46 am
  23. Lots of good points here!

    I lived in Europe and Brazil for a total of 14 years.
    Married women keep their names there, especially in Brazil and Spain; kids get a mix of the parent’s names. Many couples are long-term and never marry. Many couples in Europe do not have kids.

    It was quite a shake-up to me,coming back to the US, to see the new ‘trend’ of women taking his name and using their last name as their middle name. And everyone has kids.

    One of the best comments on this post is that in countries that use the parlimentary system, there are more checks and balances, thus they’re more open to a woman president.
    But check it: even Chile elected Michele Bachelet without a fuss, she got a large margin of votes, and Krisitina Fernandez de Kirchner recently won in Argentina WHILE her husband was still president!

    Please note: Obama never voted for or against the war because he only took office in 2005. But he has consistently voted to fund it.

    I’d love to see Senator Rodham (!) ask him some real questions, such as: You say you will restore habeus corpus, how are you going to do it? How will you create peace and
    at the same time cater to the World Bank, Citibank, the IMF, etc?
    What kind of unity are you talking about? Unity for the wealthy? Most people of color and most women are living in poverty in this country. How will you help them?

    What will you do to end rape?

    Posted by shy virago | February 23, 2008, 9:17 am
  24. Great points, everyone!

    I lived in Europe and Brazil for 14 years.
    In both countries, married women keep their names and the kids get a mix of both names. Many couples never marry.
    Many do not have children.
    I came back to the US in 2001 and guess what?
    Women take his name, and everyone has kids.

    Michele Bachelet won Chile’s election by a large margin w/o much controversy. And Kristina Fernandez de Kirchner ran while her husband was still president of Argentina. Now she’s president and he’s first gentleman.

    In Brazil, two women have been mayors of Sao Paulo (Marta Suplicy and Louisa Erundina) , one of the largest cities in the world. We have never had a woman mayor of New York, or LA or Chicago, unless I’m mistaken.

    In Brazil, I often heard men say ‘the men messed everything
    up – get some women in office so they can do things right!’

    I can not imagine the day I would ever hear that here…

    Posted by shy virago | February 23, 2008, 9:47 am
  25. addendum – I meant to say that in Europe many women choose not to have children. In Brazil almost everyone has them.

    Posted by shy virago | February 23, 2008, 9:49 am
  26. Tasha: “…..I wasn’t a big supporter of Hilary’s health care plan, thought it had some kinks, didn’t support some of her fiscal policies, but, as a woman, and as a politician, she had my vote, and still does….”

    the fiscal/health plans stuff is about the best “first baby-step” that is achievable, given the context of the strength of the US-based multinationals.

    Obama’s plan is to let the HMOs continue to have “free-market” reign, while subsidising more people to have the same crap cover, most Americans who are already insured, are pissed about anyway. In short, corporate welfare for HMOs. Doesn’t his wife work for one?

    Guessing again – But Do American HMOs advertise on your media in a big way, like pharmaceutical companies do? If so, it might partly explain why the media is being so nice to the guy, and why they want Clinton to lose.

    None of them have good fiscal policy, but I’m guessing, they have to make some concession in promises politically, no matter how silly they are, on at least the sub-prime mortgage mess. But at least it has an end-date.

    Posted by Rain | February 23, 2008, 10:42 am
  27. Shy Virago — Jane Byrn was mayor of Chicago in the 70s. The Daly machine made a mess of cleaning the streets after a record snow fall, and Jane won! She was great!

    Posted by Satsuma | February 23, 2008, 8:31 pm
  28. “In Brazil, I often heard men say ‘the men messed everything
    up – get some women in office so they can do things right!’”

    They say this in a lot of African countries now.

    One company hired me awhile back, because they said all the men who’d worked for them really screwed up. Sometimes things come your way 🙂

    Posted by Satsuma | February 23, 2008, 8:32 pm
  29. Satsuma: Well guess what THE oldest women’s group or society is in America right now?

    Would that be the DAR?

    @ 22 I can’t tell you how disappointed I am in all this “I can’t vote for Hillary” stuff. I know I shouldn’t take this personally and be above it all…. I know the game is lost…. Feel sorry for Hillary’s pain, oh you feel for her, oh you’re upset at how big bad mean men attack her in the media. But you aren’t going to vote for her,

    I feel *your* pain Satsuma, I just became down in the dumps to read that several more super-delegates have now switched their votes. I too find the ‘excuses’ astounding when it comes from feminists, of any kind. They dont even check their facts about each candidate’s election policy platforms, its a knee-jerk reaction, justified on the flimsiest of excuses.

    Or they have one negative *thing* that justifies their hate of her, they may even have ‘thought about it long and hard’ and did their research at length, with huge effort, with one goal – to find *something* they could feel comfortable hating her for — but they won’t and cannot, do any similar research on him?

    Even the strongest of her supporters will concede graciously, like “good girls”, polite girls, well brought up girls.

    While liberal feminism and radical feminism do have differences in theory, analysis and areas of activism, they have historically also been strongly allied in many areas of ‘Woman’s Estate’. It was liberal feminism which fought to make laws around marriage and child custody less cruel on women, some reproductive freedoms, education, and also in work through union activism, and in secular mainstream politics. But so many of us, put them down for that, while at the same time, exercising the “privileges” (no matter how flimsy) they gave us.

    To me, its similar hypocrisy to the women identifying with radical feminism, solely and only, on the basis of the anti-porn/pros platforms. Radical feminism, is soooo much more than that. Well.. it used to be 😦

    They often become confused, disappointed, angry, hurt when they are exposed to the full range of radical feminist theory.

    Just one example to illustrate: Andrea Dworkin’s ” marriage = prostitution, wife = whore” message. The Institutions of marriage and prostitution are two sides of the same patriarchal coin in radical feminist theory.

    They heavily critique patriarchal mechanisms of porn/pros, rape and sexual violence, but will not talk about marriage because their marriage is working just fine, on their individual, private, personal, levels. After all they *chose* it, and will argue forever, that their menfolk are different. That things have *changed*. If a prostituted woman says the same thing about her life and her pimp, it does not compute. The victims of marriage and the victims of pros/porn are much the same, but it still does not compute. They can’t see their own hypocrisy 😦 And many, if not most, will never see that hypocrisy, their patriarchal mind-bindings are still too tight, they are still locked in the Mirrors.

    But, Satsuma, maybe we shouldn’t be so upset about it? It’s majorly disappointing I know, *hugs* – but this too, shall pass. They will figure it out one day, but I guess just not today 😦

    Posted by Rain | February 23, 2008, 11:55 pm
  30. “Our view was that, if you can’t run your own house, you certainly can’t run the White House. So, so we’ve adjusted our schedules to make sure that our girls are first, so while he’s traveling around, I do day trips. That means I get up in the morning, I get the girls ready, I get them off, I go and do trips, I’m home before bedtime.”–michelle obama

    Thank you, for posting this, I wasn’t sure of exact quote but Thats the one,

    so, TRANSLATION, of the quote, what it Really means,


    [gee, for Crying out loud, am I hearing Falwell all over again, can I hear a Praise Jesus!]

    So, so we’ve adjusted our schedules to make sure that our girls are first, so while he’s traveling around, I do day trip–blah blah blah [emphasis on Woman, I do this do that do this]

    Du Ta da Da, here we have SUPERWOMAN! Not only does she support her ‘man’ but by Golly, here’s the REAL CATCHER, the

    ‘we adjusted our schedules’, Really WE?????



    its SHE who does day trips, SHE who does the pick ups of kids, SHE who does this, [sounds like 99% of the American and European/world wide really, Working women, who work, have careers, and Still, are 100% responsible and judged harshly by golly if they don’t meet those Betty Crocker Good Housekeeping Standards for the kids and home–why They pick up kids from day care why They are the ones who find/daycare and why They are the ones to cook, clean, wash, [there are some single fathers who do this as well, its not always women].


    why the hell isn’t HE picking the kids up, Oh, no, Wait, MEN can’t do that, oh my God,

    that would effect their careers and besides, What would the Boys club think? That he was hen=pecked???



    meaning, what she’s Really saying, is SADLY, what too many AMERICANS think,

    Hilary, by golly, get back in your place, support your man and kids/be a mommy, work and of course, thats for the family income, and By golly, don’t even Consider, running for office, or Worse, RUNNING A COUNTRY!

    Thats a MAN’S JOB. Hilary is just stepping over the line, o.k. to have a ‘volunteer’ thing to promote your husband’s presidency or potential, but don’t get to cocky now and think YOU can be a Leader….yee Haw,

    in this Sexist mindset [and hell, its almost more sexist, that what many modern day Churches teach], like I said, Ding Dong, hear the Medieval bells a ringing,

    NOW, Lets reverse this, here’s Obama, his wife, adjusts her schedule, takes ALL THE DOMESTIC RESPONSIBILITY [TYPICAL, DOUBLE BURDEN EH] so that, HE’S NOT INFRINGED UPON, BOO HOO,

    so, if he gets elected, it won’t even cause a Wince,

    when he has this adviser running this and that adviser and that person and this person,

    and Why not? He’s had the privilege like 97% of the MEN in the world, need something done, the WOMAN does it. And, if something goes amiss, why,

    its never, he can’t run the household or the Country.

    its someone else’s fault, [most likely, a woman] that the house isn’t run properly.

    Because God forbid, don’t Dare hire any help, be Sure to always dress fashionably, speak softly, have perky this and perky that, be sexy but not Too sexy or thats used against you, or vice versa, sorry women, either way we are screwed, and if running for political office,

    even more so.

    And boy, don’t let anything not be Utopic American Perfection, Leave it to Beaver Image, esp with your house and kids,

    [this goes for single mothers too, so much for the we are anti-marriage shit, tell that to the thousands of Single starving MOTHERS out there, don’t see a lot of Feminist food lines/food banks, Hell no, where’s all the damn support for Them,

    aren’t they doing EXACTLY what they have been lead to believe was better than marriage, being Free and Independent of Patriarchy [never mind being dependent on the Patriarchial Welfare System, thats just AS economically CONTROLLING AS AN ABUSIVE HUSBAND],

    yea being Single and rejecting marriage is GREAT, if you are twenty and no kids…try that crap logic, when you are 45 with four kids, and he’s poor to boot as well, you aint going to see all these feminists there, paying your bills and all the Dworkin in the world, don’t take away those child’s hunger pains.

    [yea, I get a tad bitter, cuzz I’ve been there, and believe me, while I understand and concur on Parts with the comparison of marriage/prostitution, I’ve done both,

    baby it ain’t the same, not EVEN CLOSE.

    but anyway,

    because I see so much BS in so many sides of this coin]

    BOTTOM LINE, it doesn’t matter if you are single, married, running for President or a Wife of a Candidate,

    being a WOMAN, means,

    you are judged [and unfairly, because NOTHING YOU DO WILL EVER BE RIGHT, PERIOD] by standards that even Women,

    will judge you on.

    If you are married you are a looney patiarchial s&m lover, and a whore

    if you are a prostitute, you are a whore,

    if you are single/mother, you are lazy and a whore

    if you are single with no kids or desire no kids, you are selfish and a whore

    if you choose to have children you are killing life by sapping up air and you are a whore

    if you are poor living in India renting your womb, you are stupid and a whore

    if you are a feminist fighting for women’s rights, you just need a good lay and are a whore

    Get my point,

    Man’s VALUES, under Patriarchy, hell, forget Patriarchy, under MISOGYNY,

    and we, all the whores of the world, when push comes to shove,

    we will kick our sisters down, if it means, we, somehow, are benefited from it.

    the saddest thing, here we are, 2008, and honestly,

    nothings changed, might as well, be living in the 20s, 30s, 40s, or 50s.

    Posted by Tasha | February 26, 2008, 12:16 am
  31. He was too busy with his poker night with the menz. And if one of those menz brought a woman with them (even if that woman was not his wife) that woman had better know how to behave like a lady.

    Wait it’s not over, Obama is not all about the menz, there is the whole code of conduct on how the ladies need to behave, “When a married lobbyist arrived at a Springfield game with a person described as ‘an inebriated woman companion who did not acquit herself in a particularly wholesome fashion,’ Obama made a face indicating that he wasn’t please. Link says that the lobbyist and his date were ‘quickly whisked out of the place.’” Sounds like a scene from the Godfather. Obama does not even speak, he just makes a face and the boys handle the dirt. Nonetheless, that little quotes needs examined. We are told the lobbyist is married, but the sentence does not make it clear if the inebriated woman is his wife. Companions seem like an odd word to mean wife, fiancé, girlfriend or any other nomenclatures acceptable in the heteropatirachal world of coupling. Is she an extramarital affair, a prostitute? What? At first, I even considered a homosexual lover but my mind was straightened when the word woman preceded companion. So what is really being said here? Obama could have care less if the men were cheating on their wives, engaging in prostitution or flaunting extramarital affairs (look at this dish boys!). He did not even demand that they not bring this immoral conduct around him; he only demanded that the woman acquit herself in a wholesome fashion! Ah. Look the part, who cares if you are the part, but look the part. Know your place woman.

    Posted by ekittyglendower | February 26, 2008, 3:37 am
  32. Thanks Rain for the sympathy. I know I shouldn’t try to get so upset about this. Women are going to think of every excuse in the book not to vote for other women. I just have to get used to this new radical feminist world, where everyone seems to want to be an outsider forever.

    I just have to give up on this. I’ll never understand it, but then again, perhaps not as many women out there have been working on women’s campaigns for as long as I have. I think the first one was back in 1975 for a state legistative position, no it was a school board election in 1973 or 1974 I think. So that means that at around the age of 16 I was fully involved in working to get a liberal woman elected to school board. Wow, I’d forgotten this. Her name was Penny Podell. She won, by the way!

    Ms. magazine came out in 1972 I think, and I read volume one number one of this magazine! So I have longed for more and more women to get into politics, government and business since I was a teenager in another era so long ago, that a whole lot of women here probably weren’t even born yet when I was doing this. It was a dream that just rose up in me, and I don’t recall any other girls in my high school doing any of this at the time–just me and the adults.

    Rain says:
    “While liberal feminism and radical feminism do have differences in theory, analysis and areas of activism, they have historically also been strongly allied in many areas of ‘Woman’s Estate’. It was liberal feminism which fought to make laws around marriage and child custody less cruel on women, some reproductive freedoms, education, and also in work through union activism, and in secular mainstream politics. But so many of us, put them down for that, while at the same time, exercising the “privileges” (no matter how flimsy) they gave….”

    Yes Rain, that is the whole point — “Women’s Estate”– I really love the eloquence of the 19th century feminists. We have built feminism on each successive generation of women who worked very hard to get all kinds of things.

    You’ll read about women not even voting here, which to me is a kind of disrespect to our ancestors. I’m very big about honoring the women of the past and the women who blazed the trails of my youth. I truly admire all of them — no matter how liberal or mainstream, they inspired me. A day doesn’t go by that I’m not reading about some 19th century feminist — Margaret Fuller of the Transcendentalists today! Women flocked to hear her lecture of Greek mythology in Concord, NH long ago. She wanted women to have access to Greek history and education. Back in the day when no women went to college! I don’t like to forget my sisters like Fuller who got up and taught the women of that time!

    I believe it was perhaps Voltaire who said “the revolution devours its own children” and all this energy that women are putting into Obama, and then we still read about his poker games. Now we have to get this — liberal men do not represent us. They don’t. Dee Dee Myers made a good case for this in her new book about women running the world.

    Hillary Clinton was behind Dee Dee Myers getting appointed the first woman press secretary in white house history! Not Bill Clinton, he was presured by his very powerful wife. Do you think it was an accident that Bill Clinton appointed two lesbians to his cabinet back in the early 90s? Do you think it was an accident that so many women got positions of power in his administration? Who do you think was behind all this? Michele Obama?

    Perhaps I have such affection for the Clintons because I know that they have struggled hard to have a partnership. Albeit a complex one, but Hillary broke the “wife” and “helpmeet” mold that I so detest in modern American politics.

    We do have massive hypocracy within radical feminist commentary here for reasons I don’t quite understand. Perhaps I am just too simple minded, perhaps I’m the last of the true believers. I don’t know, but I feel very different here from a lot of anti-Hillary radical feminist comments. It is a very weird feeling; a sad, disappointed feeling. I know I won’t get over this very easily. I was thinking about this earlier today, so I really felt comforted by Rains comments. I believe Rain’s commentary represents the radical feminism that I know and love. It’s a relief actually to read this stuff.

    Maybe it comes down to how hard I know it is for women to get good jobs, and I mean good ones. So many women out there are still at the bottom, and they should be much higher up. After all this, we are still struggling. I read posts on this blog that are so illiterate that it shocks me that women in this country (native speakers of English) still haven’t gotten a very good high school education, for example. It’s very very painful to read this stuff sometimes. Now I’m not disrespecting any woman who writes here, it just makes me feel very sad to read of the horrible abuse and then see the lack of basic literacy that so often goes along with the bad plight of women.

    I wanted a world where women would really support the ambitions of their sisters, and I do mean ambition with a capital A. The raw desire for power is a virtue that we think all men can revel in, but somehow, women have to pretend all this humility.

    You can bet that Hillary Clinton prepared for this job for a very long time. I will carry this disappointment in feminism’s lack of ability to really deliver the goods to other women.

    We do have an internalized hatred of successful women. Heaven help women here who are proudly middle class or upper middle class because of their own hard work. The working class women who got PhDs through incredible tenacity, the woman who was a self-made millionaire.

    Women still have success phobia and misplaced loyalties. They still think that Obama is going to be as good a president to women as Hillary is, even though Obama has never really known what sexism truly is ( an evil that affects over half the population ). His wife will cater to him, he’ll be silent about rape, and the tough women’s issues, and he’ll hob nob with known right wing christian homophobes!

    I know I’m rambling here. There is some point that I want to make, but somehow I can never get the words right.

    Now that Nader has come onto the scene, well, I can’t bear reading the posts about women voting for yet another third party candidate out for the ego of it all. We’ll do it again and again women. I don’t know what’s wrong with women, perhaps we just are too shocked to celebrate the victory of our own. We still long for the political purity of the radical something or other.

    But me, I’m practical. I want results, I want measurable results. I know what it is to work on women’s campaigns for a very long time. It was a commitment I made long ago. Somehow, long ago I made up my mind about a lot of things. I didn’t come to feminism after my husband beat the hell out of me, I didn’t come to it after a boyfriend nearly killed me, I didn’t come to it because my family was rotten and evil! I came to feminism because I thought democracy meant equal representation. Remember no taxation without representation? Remember we hold these truths to be self-evident? It’s the desire for representation at the highest levels of this government that concerns me.

    I believe we may never get this chance again for a very long time, but we sure are going to read about women’s disappointment after Obama or McCain gets elected. We’ll have more taxation without representation 🙂

    P.S. DAR is a good guess Rain, but I think the correct answer is the Women’s Relief Society of the Mormon Church — dating back to the 19th century as the oldest women’s self help organization in America. But… we have two answers now 🙂

    Posted by Satsuma | February 26, 2008, 8:04 am
  33. I like this quote by Erica Jong (from Tennessee Guerilla Women)

    “Let me tell you about the Hillary-Haters who fill my inbox, they can’t spell. They also believe in witchcraft. They believe HRC boils eye of newt with unborn baby’s hair and little Jewish children not yet circumcised. They think she had a child with Vince Foster (even though Chelsea looks much like Bill and even his mother), then murdered him. They think she will leave Iraq, not leave Iraq, give us universal health care, not give us universal health care, sanction the killing of fetuses, not sanction the killing of fetuses, defend Israel, not defend Israel, end the Death Tax, not end the Death tax.

    She’s a Witch!

    Remember Geraldine Ferraro — tarred with the brush of her Italian-American husband, whom they claimed was a mafioso? Remember Bella Abzug, attacked for her hats (which covered too large a brain)? Remember Eleanor Roosevelt, attacked for her teeth? Remember Victoria Woodhull (the first woman to run for president) “hanged” as a whore? Remember Emma Goldman rode out of town on a rail — for being Jewish, liking to dance and supporting the rights of the working classes?

    I give up. If I have to watch another great American woman thrown in the dustbin of history to please the patriarchy, I’ll move to Canada — where they live four years longer than we because they have universal health care. — Patriarchy:1000, Hillary:0 “

    Posted by Miranda | February 26, 2008, 11:36 am
  34. Well, Rain and Satsuma, I love you both, but I disagree with you both and think both of you are seeing less than the full picture.

    The radical feminism I recall — and I’m older than you, Satsuma, and was at the UW in the heydey of it, a very vibrant radical feminist movement, even though I wasn’t part of it at that time — wasn’t at all about voting in elections! Let alone voting for candidates who have supported wars or funding for wars! Hello!

    That is no radical feminism I know or relate to– going to the polls and voting for candidates who have supported war. As you correctly say, Rain, radical feminism is *so* much more than anti-pornography work, or anti-prostitution work. It’s also historically anti-war. It is anti-violence. It rejects the very notion of liberal change — and voting is all about liberal, not radical change.

    I have consistently defended Hillary Clinton here and especially against the misogynist attacks on her which are inexcusable. I’ve defended what I could defend about her.

    But I have never deluded myself that voting for Hillary Clinto has anything to do with radical feminist activism. Radical feminists might vote for her out of radical feminist sensibilities, i.e, as women, our support and loyalties are to women first. But that doesn’t, again, make voting for her somehow radical! She’s establishment. Historically radical feminists rejected the establisment and everybody who was sold out to it by being employed by it or advancing it or promoting it in any way.

    Rain, Andrea Dworkin did indeed say that marriage and prostitution are different sides of the same coin, and I agree with that and have often written about that. But let us not forget that Andrea Dworkin got married! I’m not going to be quiet about that, as some radfems have suggested I should, I’m not going to defend it and I’m not going to criticize it either. She did what she needed to do.

    I think voting for Hillary Clinton might be something a radical feminist feels like she needs to do. That doesn’t make a vote for Clinton a radical feminist act.

    I think getting married might be something a radical feminist feels like she needs to do. That doesn’t make it a radical feminist act.

    I think it’s fine to critique acts and behaviors and I do it all the time, but I think when we start calling our radical feminist sisters hypocrites we have lost perspective.

    And Satsuma, your condemnations of self-identified radical feminists, together with criticizing their spelling and grammar, while spelling “hypocrite” wrong yourself, aggravates me.

    Also, when you talk about the revolution devouring its own children while attacking and rejecting self-identified radical feminists here as “hypocrates” and not real radical feminists, I don’t see how you don’t get it that that is *part* of what Voltaire was talking about!

    Whatever Clinton or Obama might do, they are not going to bring results that are beyond barely-perceptible in measure. They can’t. That’s not the way the system works. Talk about devouring its own! Yeah, the revolution devours its own but how much more do patriarchal institutions and organizations. I don’t hold out any hope for what we are going to see no matter who gets elected, but at least I am absolutely sure that Hillary Clinton is not a sexist or a misogynist, which is very important to me, obviously!

    If you look at my own platform, you will see a platform and positions on the issues, which would change the world. You will. Of course, I am the “fantasy” candidate, well, you know what? If we don’t even get our @$&%$*@$&@$#^!&@!&@$&@6 truly revolutionary platforms and positions on issues out there in the public sphere where people can say, “Whoa! Now this is different!” and can really begin to get into imagining REAL revolution that is meaningful in their own lives, then all we are ever going to have is presidents who do not and cannot make real or lasting change ****for most people****. We’re going to have rich, establishment folks who are completely disconnected from the vast majority of citizens, just as Clinton and Obama both are. This is just what’s real. It is no fantasy. I could wring the hands and vex and call my sister radical feminists who come here every day to read what I have to say names because they support establishment candidates instead of revolutionary radical feminists, too, but then *I* would be devouring my own!

    Satsuma, in this insulting and tiresome way you have at times, “Well, ****I**** did not do all those really wierd things the rest of you abuse survivors did,” you say you came to radical feminism because you wanted equal representation in a democracy.

    Well, that’s not radical feminism as I understand it. Radical feminism never was about “democracies,” or “equal representation” in a power-mad, capitalist, oppressive, exploitive super-power. This I know and recall from by now 35 years ago for me. Radical feminism was — and imo still is — about *consensus*, not democracy, not majority, top-down rule. It is about all citizens holding and *sharing* power. It opposes ALL dominance hierarchies, including hierarchies of class, of race, including government dominance hierarchies. It is about rejecting anything which is exploitive. It is about redistribution of wealth. It was and imo still is about a major rebuild, a completely new system, not a tweak of the one we have, so as to bring women in so women can make wars, yell “go capitalism”, get rich and participate in exploiting the poor, just like the men do! Argh.

    I wanted a world where women would really support the ambitions of their sisters, and I do mean ambition with a capital A. The raw desire for power is a virtue that we think all men can revel in, but somehow, women have to pretend all this humility.

    Well, sure, but having said all that, you don’t support me! Or Aletha! You do not support our “raw desire for power,” mwa haha! 😀 I don’t pretend any humility at all, neither does she. Why should we? Yet, you just ignore us and go on and on about, again, a very establishment candidate who has supported wars, amassed and accumulated riches, and who is out of touch with by far most people in the U.S. and certainly the world.

    You know, I know what your theory is about all of this, you don’t have to tell me and please don’t! I’ve been reading you for a while now, no need to repeat. I know why you are supporting Hillary Clinton. But step back a minute and consider how all of this preening and posturing about “support for women” sounds in my ears!

    Nevertheless, I am not continually harping on the positions you take that I think have nothing to do with being a radical feminist AT all, I just read and think, oh well, that’s Satsuma! I don’t call the women here hypocrites, come on. How did we go here so quickly from being home, the place with the coffee pot on welcoming you to a den of mostly nonradfems and “hypocrates” who can’t spell! I am teasing you, of course, but come on. We’re not going to do each other any good by zeroing in on one another’s flaws, perceived hypocrisies, and poor spelling! 😀

    I mean, those of us who get most criticized are going to be those of us who risk the most, tell our stories, share our lives, and give of ourselves. Anybody can preach a sermon, disclosing zero about her own life, and so what? Who cares? What good does that do? None. It just alienates people. One thing I know is, if there is going to be all of this criticism and pummeling of women who *do* dare to talk about their marriages or having been abused or stripping or having been fundies, or whatever it is, then women will stop talking completely and the feminist blogosphere will be as stultifying, dead, boring, and useless for real change, much less revolution, as your local “Gender Studies” section of Barnes & Noble or as most of the “progressive” blogosphere is.

    Again, I love you both to death, I just think, there’s a lot to criticize in the world and we’re being not so far-sighted when we criticize each other.

    Posted by womensspace | February 26, 2008, 4:29 pm
  35. Great comment, Miranda, yours too, Tasha.

    I keep pondering what might make me attractive enough as a citizen that Norway would let me in!

    Posted by womensspace | February 26, 2008, 4:46 pm
  36. OK, haven’t read the whole thread all over again, but where did Satsuma criticize the spelling and grammar of radical feminists? I just remember Miranda quoting
    Erica Jong who criticized the spelling of Hillary haters, no doubt rightly.

    Posted by Branjor | February 26, 2008, 8:54 pm
  37. Branjor, post 32, 11th paragraph.

    I wanted to say, too, that quite a few women who comment here from time to time are from foreign countries, and English is a second language to them.

    Posted by womensspace | February 26, 2008, 9:23 pm
  38. I read posts on this blog that are so illiterate that it shocks me that women in this country (native speakers of English) still haven’t gotten a very good high school education, for example.

    Not personally taking offense because I did not read the comment until Heart pointed it out, however, I write the way I do because I grew up poor. The people around me did not speak well, did not know how to speak well. My school was one of the poorest and many of our teachers failed a pre-test when the state was considering making all teachers pass a specific test in order to graduate. My mother and father never helped with homework, if homework was assigned or done. It mostly was not assigned because it added an extra burden (and disappointment) for the teachers. When a child did dare to ask for help from my parents we were told “look it up in a dictionary.” “Didn’t the teacher show you at school?” “Why are you asking me, I did not get pass 8th grade (9th for my mother).” We had a mixture of poor British, Southern American, and Ebonics all rolled into one. I went to speech therapy once or twice a month. My instructor was a prissy gay man who convinced the school that we would learn more about speech if the school allowed him to put on Victorian type stage productions, i.e. Hello Dolly. The added stress of getting a costume (long skirt and blouse) pushed me more into silence. If my learning disability had been diagnosed at that time there would have been limited options anyway, because either we could not have afforded the treatment or it was not researched enough at the time, therefore, a “cure” (method to overcome or cope) was not developed yet. I write to work out my problems with verbs and introductory prepositions and sentence structure. But often I just get pissed at the condescension and lack of empathy that I read that I keep my thoughts in the safest place I know, my head. For the longest I always thought it was a failing on my part and did not blame my poor school or environment, but now that my daughter is in a middle class school (where school supplies are provided by the school) and topics are introduced and discussed that I never could have imagined knowing at such a young age, I see the gaping canyon of disparity between the classes.

    Moreover, pounding the drum of poor me all people are not the same and have not had the same privilege gets old real fast. But that is the invisibility of class in America. “Just pull yourself up, try harder like me.”

    Posted by ekittyglendower | February 26, 2008, 11:26 pm
  39. Ekiityglendower – Thank you for the above post. It is so true and moving. It makes me angry that we blame individuals for lack of good public school education, and we don’t even look at how little we fund the schools! To the point that they have to rent out the roof as cell phone towers. And the radiation on top of our kids’ heads?!
    It’s like blaming the homeless for being homeless – have you seen how little we offer to anyone in need of basic services?
    This is a cruel country. I’m mad and I don’t care if I’ve misspelled any words. The more I look at daily life in the US, the more I read about feminism, the more I take the bus around Portland and see so many homeless people – especially women, and the more I see how the newspapers trash HRC everyday – what am I doing here?!
    Heart, I agree with you about the election, I don’t put much faith in voting and a revolution never ever came from supporting the hand that slaps you! I wonder if you ever heard Clara Fraser speak, since it looks like you live in the Seattle area. She had a lot of funny and poignant things to say about liberals, and was a founder of Radical Women.
    I’m learning a lot from blogs in just the short month that I’ve had home access to a computer, and I appreciate all the new info and it’s getting me FIRED UP.
    But my feminism is face to face and in the streets. I need a group to work with, protest with, do actions with, help homeless women with. That is where I think a bigger change will come from – from small community groups all over the country.

    Posted by shy virago | February 27, 2008, 3:53 am
  40. I could not say Satsuma has totally ignored me. After all, she did comment on my blog, and has responded to some of my challenges. It is more like, she ignores what I am trying to say. Fantasy candidate, indeed. I could cite all kinds of reasons why I think Hillary Clinton is a fantasy candidate, but for me, she is more like a nightmare. Certainly she is a woman of many accomplishments, quite skilled at playing the game of political reality. I think the whole Obama phenomenon is due to people being so sick of political reality, they see Obama as presenting a viable alternative. I do not see him that way, but I can see why people want to believe he is something he is not. That is what political reality is all about, IMO, politicians convincing the voters to believe what the political spinmeisters want them to believe, as opposed to taking a hard look at their actions. That is a game designed by males to benefit males, and I do not think Hillary Clinton represents any threat to the game. She would put her touch on it, but she is too beholden to the system to bite the hand that feeds her.

    Posted by Aletha | February 27, 2008, 5:48 am
  41. shy virago: “I don’t put much faith in voting and a revolution never ever came from supporting the hand that slaps you!”

    I totally agree 100%, but on the other hand, I can’t see the revolution happening by avoiding participation in main(male)stream society either.

    Its a bit like the conflict between socialist/marxist streams of thought. The marxist being more about large-scale or big single-step Revolution saying that incremental, superficial or cosmetic changes, are of no value, and its better to put energy into revolutionary activities that will make the bigger change than wasting time and energy on cosmetic ones.

    The socialist streams have same objective and ultimate goal, just different ways of getting there. The socialist stream feels that working more slowly in Evolution through transitioning from one system to the other, in small baby-steps within existing structures, was still better, than no improvement at all or letting things become even worse — and that the small transitional, incremental “baby-steps” changes were still valuable, in the here-and-now, and couldn’t wait for the Revolution.

    Issues like health, environment, large-scale macroeconomics, workplace conditions, infrastructure, services, roads, public transport, are issues that are important to many people’s daily lives. It may not be radical enough for some, but even tiny relief in some of these areas can be a big improvement on the alternative for many people.

    As much I hate it too, secular main(male)stream politics and governments affects my life. I wish it didn’t, but ignoring it, isn’t going to make it stop impacting on my life.

    It sure isn’t ideal, or even approaching radical feminist in any way, shape or form, but at some times, on some issues, I do support and defend liberal feminism, even if its just to put energy into helping to prevent a much worse alternative scenario.

    eg I work with liberal feminists in Union activism.
    I’m a middle-manager with staff working for me, women with kids, husbands who beat them, or whatever – you get the picture? Others eg singletons, lesbians etc, just to want to make enough to be financially independent, so they dont have to be dependent on men or welfare. In some small way, they all want to carve out some kind of personal *freedom* from patriarchy.

    They *need* that job for whatever reason.
    And they need generic legal rights of protection for themselves, their kids etc in a man’s world that is not female-friendly, and they shouldn’t have to rely on me the person, on the rare occasions, that I happen to have some little power in that freaking patriarchal heirarchy.

    On the power thing though, I don’t believe there’s anything inherently evil, immoral or emotional about power, or perhaps a better word, is leadership. Managing and leading people and decision-making, is a skill like any other and can be learned, taught and shared.

    So I do work sometimes with liberal feminists to work for small changes in workplace and employment laws and practices that affect women workers. So shoot me! Sure it isn’t smashing any heirarchies, or radically feminist “pure”, or making any feminist revolutions, but it does help to make daily life just a little bit easier for many women to live and survive in, until the revolution comes along.

    Women working to break through glass-ceilings in workplaces or careers, are not all fem-bots and traitors and liberal feminist sell-outs, any more than all happily married women living the traditional patriarchal nuclear family lifestyle are.

    As a radical feminist in political philosophy, I’m thoroughly anti-heirarchy, but I have to compromise with it to *Survive*, have to compromise every single minute, of every single day, whether I like it or not.

    Of course that makes me a hypocrite too, I recognise that and acknowledge all the negative painful connotations of that word applied to myself – but, all women are to varying degrees, in one way or another.

    We have no choice, we are forced by patriarchy to compromise with it no matter *what* our available options are. One of my favourites of Andrea Dworkin’s aphorisms is “All Women are forced to Play Let’s Make A Deal”.

    If I have some of the power of that male-defined heirarchy, and I choose to use that power, and those skills, to help other women, in even a very small way of making their daily work-lives easier, to help them gain a little more personal independence, dignity, strength, comfort and self-respect to Survive in that patriarchal world, how does that make me a liberal sell-out?

    My intent was not to offend or attack, but in common *feeling*, recognising the shared pain and grief of being forced into hypocrisy. Recognising it in ALL women, including liberal feminists like Hillary Clinton.

    I agree that anti-war sentiment is strong in all forms of feminist theory, but my understanding of radical feminist analysis, is that it is the ultimate boy’s game. Just competing factions of patriarchy, and women keep wasting energy on it. The same rules play out in multinational trade wars and in many other patriarchal institutions. But its a paradox, women are powerless to stop it, but to get access to the ability to do anything about it, we have to compromise with one or another face of patriarchy. Can’t win, any woman trying will always be damned in that circular logic.

    Secondly, its another sexist assumption burned by patriarchy into our brains, ie that we are naturally Peace-Lovers, Peace-Makers, our XX chromosomes “Fix” us into being non-violent and non-aggressive. Thats the *essentialist* feminist view, or the watering down of feminism to the broader humanist school of thought, and one that I thought radical feminism also argued against.

    But refusing to compromise or not play at all, also leads to what Mary Daly (amongst others) warned radical feminism not to do, that is, become “Fixed”, or “Fixated” as in getting stuck in models of theory and activism as the ‘One True Path’.

    On a political level, becoming “fixed” works against change of any kind, by avoiding it. I don’t believe that it can help to develop consensus, or break any heirarchical social contructions. It just avoids dealing with them at all.

    Daly also supported engagement with patriarchal institutions such as education and government, she called on the strength of the ‘A-Mazing Amazons’ so it could be de-constructed through understanding in detail how it was constructed. Should all the women engineers and systems analysts, throw away their technical knowledge and skills?

    Daly’s radical feminist theory also encourages avoidance of becoming “Fixed” through undertaking internal or self-questioning, self-analysis, self-criticism, which she acknowledged is an extremely painful thing to do, like lancing a boil, to let all the poison out. The poison of patriarchy, internalised unconscious knee-jerk sexism, forever screwing up our own heads. We often avoid this to avoid the pain, so we also try very hard not to hurt either our own, or each others feelings, (and fail too) reacting with hurt, anger and defensiveness when it arises.

    I’m paraphrasing, but something about needing to work through the pain of our own social conditioning under patriarchy, recognise it for what it is, and NAME it – before we can heal it or repair it. I’m truly sorry if my attempt offended you, or was just plain clumsy, or misunderstood.

    Not sure if I’m explaining myself any better, or just making it worse, but I don’t see how supporting *some* of the goals and activities of liberal feminism, including in secular politics, and women’s achievements in it, is inconsistent with radical feminism. While there are disagreements, there are also places where we can ally, build a dialogue, build bridges, work towards consensus, and compare notes.

    We sometimes honour and celebrate the suffragettes, yet the long struggle for women to get that freaking vote, (and in Europe it was a bloody vicious militant struggle women dying) was one that was ultimately futile, if we look at it coldly, with the 20/20 vision of hindsight.

    But, was all that female sacrifice totally futile and meaningless?

    In Europe, the movement was often split bitterly and angrily over class issues. Educated wealthy upper-class women, wanted the vote for women to have the right to be educated beyond the age of 14. Others wanted laws on alcohol establishments opening hours tightened to prevent their men drinking the rent away. Working-class women who slaved in those 19th century factories and sweat-shops, wanted laws changed for their right to pay and conditions. They had been savagely and viciously ex-communicated from male Unions, who saw women workers as cheap scab labour taking their jobs. They died in large numbers for that too.

    Despite all that bitter factionalism amongst various groups of women, the Vote became a symbol for women united in a common female cause, with a common Enemy. The Green-White-Violet is still around at times at some feminist events. Women united is the ultimate threat to patriarchy, on both sides, thats why they keep us divided, so we dont talk to each other, don’t find common ground, dont work and struggle through our disagreements or conflicts.

    Patriarchy conditions our brains that all that female sacrifice, pain, blood, sweat and tears, was all meaningless, petty, trivial, and ultimately stupid and worthless. Especially from men on the liberal left.

    Back to the topic of Hillary, I totally agree with you on all counts of your criticism of her, she is way far from ideal,
    but she’s at least in the broad ball-park.

    When it comes to having some improvements for women and their children, there’s a *possibility* with Hillary, in the US and elsewhere, (even if only small improvements), a *possibility* of opening dialogue, a baby-step.
    There’s no *possibility* with Obama.

    Posted by Rain | February 27, 2008, 12:15 pm
  42. Tasha, your post is excellent.

    When I read ‘Double Duty, Eh?’ I thought it said ‘Double Duty Hell’ – it is, isn’t it?

    When Michelle Obama says ‘the girls come first so I coemm home at night’ she may as well say ‘the girls come first for me.’

    With Barak running and even in the Senate they don’t se much of their Daddy, yet HE gets the spoils in the image dept. – ‘look at what a beautiful family, what a good father he is!’ is what the media will say and what people will think. She did it – not him. As all women do it – not their husbands.

    Outside of the USA retirement is run like social security – there is a retirement age and the govt pays, not the company you worked for. So in Brazil the legal age was 60 but women could retire at 55, because Fernando Henrique Cardozo, then president, said ‘Women have double duty their whole lives.’
    Five years is symbolic, but it’s more than we get here.
    At least Double Duty was officially recognized.

    Posted by shy virago | February 27, 2008, 5:06 pm
  43. Rain – supporting global capitalism controlled by MNCs and drowning out voices of plain people, plainly spoken, does not get you “in the ballpark” where women and girls are concerned. But if it did, allowing one to put Clinton in the ballpark, Obama would also be there. If you look at their policies, they’re either both anti-woman or both pro-woman, depending on what macro/micro scale one is using.

    If you look at my own platform, you will see a platform and positions on the issues, which would change the world. You will. Of course, I am the “fantasy” candidate, well, you know what? If we don’t even get our @$&%$*@$&@$#^!&@!&@$&@6 truly revolutionary platforms and positions on issues out there in the public sphere where people can say, “Whoa! Now this is different!” and can really begin to get into imagining REAL revolution that is meaningful in their own lives, then all we are ever going to have is presidents who do not and cannot make real or lasting change ****for most people****.

    Right fucking on. 🙂

    Posted by funnie | February 27, 2008, 8:45 pm
  44. Satsuma @ 32. “You’ll read about women not even voting here, which to me is a kind of disrespect to our ancestors.”


    In Australia we have some unique quirks, like mandatory voting for all eligible adults. Even the itinerants, the winos, the street-walkers, homeless, prisoners etc have to freaking vote here 🙂 That said, there are numbers who dont for various reasons, just not as many as in places like the USA where its optional.

    With such high turnout compared to other countries, we have no-one else to blame, when we elect, and re-elect, a ‘Shrub’ (ie the ‘Little Bush’).

    When I was about 19, I was backpacking overseas, and missed an election. When I came home there was a nasty letter about not having voted, ie have a good excuse, or pay a $10 fine etc – but I ignored it and forgot about it.

    Next election I roll up, and my name is not on the electoral registers? Hmm.. so, didn’t vote again for years 🙂 Thought I was lucky at getting out of it so easy.

    Then my passport came up for renewal when I was in my late 20s, and I got this nasty letter, went on for 2 long pages — making me feel terribly guilty, and un-Australian, its an Obligation and Duty of Citizenship, blah, blah.
    Bottom line? No Voter Registration – No Passport *sigh*.

    Anyway, the point of this story is,
    the letter came to my mother’s address, so she and I were talking about it at the time.

    She went through me with anger and shame, like an overdose of Epsom Salts, “Don’t you know women died to get that?” and a whole bunch of other stuff about her own mother, aunts and grandmother etc.

    It worked. Sometimes when I vote now, I think “This one’s for you, Mum”.

    In our most recent election, after nearly 12 years of right-wing rule (you only had 8 years under Bush?),

    nut with mandatory voting, in order to outnumber the right-wing – we were forced to mobilise women behind the major Opposition Party, to get that bastard out of power. Generally Aussie women tend to split their vote among minor Parties, like the Greens. We hated it, being forced to compromise, but still it sure is better than the alternative!

    One of the best was defeating the previous Minister for Community Services, Welfare and Aboriginal Affairs, so he lost his own seat. Total shock surprise on the night. He couldn’t believe his eyes! He *cried* LOLOLOLOL

    He masterminded sending the Army in to Aboriginal Native Title Lands, to supposedly “protect the little children from sexual abuse”. Secondly he had masterminded the Aussie version of work-for-welfare schemes for single mothers, and reversing laws on divorce and child custody, much to the detriment of women. They mobilised in his electorate and defeated him with a 14% swing (or cross-over) to the Opposition.

    And the nationwide chuckles when the ex-PM lost his own seat, to a very popular high-profile woman TV journalist. One her best quips was “He offered them tax-cuts, I offered them a child-care centre? Go figure.”

    Sometimes you are forced to vote *against*, just to stop things getting worse, if you have nobody to vote *for*.

    Posted by Rain | February 27, 2008, 9:10 pm
  45. I’m not ignoring anyone here. Aletha, everyone, feathers calm.
    My points are very simple: an election is not about radical feminism at all. Democracy, when it was founded was radical, but that moment doesn’t last forever.

    Mainstream politics is just ordinary. I want women to be fully a part of this government, because I do believe women bring different ideas to the table. Not out of any “essentialism” but simply because most women have lived very different lives than men, and so their ideas and approaches can be different.
    When I was a kid, it was outrageous to say you wanted a woman to be president of the U.S. You got stoned for saying things like this!

    We don’t know whether women are better or not. But we won’t know until women have had a chance to try out all the jobs and see what does or doesn’t work.

    Radical feminism lives outside these mainstream institutions, and that’s what it is. It was very effective in naming and critiquing invisible things in cultures that put women at disadvantages. I think this identification of what was invisible or uncommented on before, really opened the doors to freedom of thought for a lot of women.

    It doesn’t do all that well when it gets involved with elected governments. That’s when you need coalitions, and compromises and you need to try out different things.

    It’s not a big deal. I’m a simple person: I like the idea of women getting things and working to get things. I am very happy with the intelligence and strength of Hillary Clinton. She is not a radical feminist, but radical feminism is not what this election really is about anyway.

    We have all the federal judgeships to appoint, a few openings on the Supreme Court perhaps, and all kinds of federal positions to appoint people too. I believe Hillary brings different networks and friendships to the table, or to the pool of potential appointees to these varied positions.

    I will support good liberal women with a measurable track record for the presidency. Not all women agree with this, but I also feel as if we are a part of a long tradition dating back to the 19th century, and its feminism highly influences me even to this day. I like the idea of Hillary’s progress in the world, and her drive to be very good. I relate well to upward mobility, and women getting far in the world. It’s something I value, because I myself like to challenge the world and go as far as I want to go. I find the women who want to come along for the ride.

    I get bored and frustrated with low expectations, and I want more out of life. I tend to gravitate to the women who are out there in that business world or bringing women together to support one another. Out of this comes a lot of things. As I get older, I simply am no longer content with the average, or the poorly written or the poverty mentality that becamse such a thing among radical feminists. Who would want to choose poverty? And yet, we worship it for strange reasons. We think it terrible that people want more out of life than subsistance or child care. Radical feminism to me means the freedom to choose what interests me, and to state openly the things I don’t like to do. It is quite radical to say as a lesbian that no, I’m not interested in the heterosexual family or its problems. It’s not my thing, I don’t care. Women here might get angry at this, but I assure you, I don’t expect you to share my passions or interests either.

    Ask me to do childcare or pay the kid’s bills, and I’ll probably say no, I don’t support those situations at all. I want to support things that advance my inner life as a lesbian. I am well aware that not many heterosexual women care about the things of great importance to me — good grammar 🙂 being apparently a controversial choice on this blog. 🙂 My grandma must be laughing over this in her grave :-), but perhaps it is deeply important to me, because I thought school was hard. Learning how to read was a great personal challenge to me, and when I finally (at the age of 10) managed to get this skill, well I was in love with great writing ever since.

    When I read great writing, it makes my day! Again, people like ekitty will no doubt flare up at this “radical” idea, but my truth is not the same as hers. We are just different. We probably would not like each other in person either, and that’s ok.

    But this intellectual freedom is my personal truth, and I write for the women who come along who might delight in these things. What is the greater sin, marrying a man or making your first million? 🙂 How would a radical feminist answer this one? 🙂 It’s funny to me.
    Everyone will have varying standards of excellence, and I have my own personal one. It’s what delights me. We can have a radical feminism for vision and inspiration, and we can create communities to use these ideas and ideals. We’ll also be in a larger world with a lot of competing opinions. So it’s not so much an argument of Hillary vs. Obama or war vs. peace. It’s just my personal satisfaction in seeing what women do as they rise in government; women who weren’t there at the founding of the country.

    We have to have the power to choose the things we love. I love great literature and good writing and grammar. It’s not a comment on whether others like this or not, it’s something I love and work hard at for its own sake. And believe me, grammar and spelling are a challenge as you write online.

    We all have things that invigorate and inspire us. So I am delighted with how far women have come. I’m delighted to be a part of organizations with the best and brightest women in them. I love how women do business and come together to build dreams and companies. I love both the British Bloomsbury group and its American transcendentalist counterpart.

    You all can have your stardards and dreams, but I have mine. If good grammar and writing is considered controversial here, well it can be I suppose. My idea of well educated women goes way back to my grandma, who was a teacher. When I love literature, I also love her. We had plenty of poverty and god awful hardship in our family. Poverty is easy, the world lives in it. But it is not a permanent condition, and it is different for every family out there. You’d look at my family with their farm that barely broke even in the 1930s and most of the 40s, and you’d say “geez, that’s poor.” But oddly enough, the only Jew to ever live in this tiny farming town brought literacy and education to all the kids. Just one person who loves Shakespeare or Dickens can change an entire community. So I love good English and I love good grammar, and people who hate this can hate it. It’s not a personal critique of anyone who doesn’t value this. It’s what I love and believe for myself, and it’s a delight in others who might share this love.

    I have high standards for myself and always will. Radical feminism will not be about getting elected to anything. It will not (apparently here anyway) be about making high incomes.
    It’s not about marriage, even though lots of radical feminists apparently got married to men — Andrea Dworkin, Audre Lorde and dozens of others I can’t keep track of. Maybe we need a magazine of gossip columnists for “radical feminists” 🙂

    There is always hypocracy in any radical movement of any kind; it just goes with the territory. Liberal feminists say all kinds of things that are hypocritical — “we’re inclusive” “we’re non-judgemental” (what a silly word that is). Non-judgemental, not having judgement! Hmmm 🙂

    Radical politics has all kinds of things to say. I’m not from the 60s generation, and was suspicious of the anti-war movement, because to me it looked like violent yucky looking college men clashing with police. I was a witness to several campus upheavals as I walked to my gradeschool back then. One lovely anti-war man even spit a huge gob of yuck on me and joked about it to his friends. Those boys thought it was cool to humiliate a little 6th grader. Believe me, SDS, anti-Vietnam war protests, radical straight men oppressing women… not my world.

    So thanks everyone for your comments. Yes, I know voting for Hillary is not a radical act. Heck, managing someone’s retirement savings plan is not radical either, but the person who will have a lifetime income as a result of my efforts will sure be happy.

    I’m glad the Auzzie government tells people to vote. I guess this shocks the populace, but it was fascinating reading.

    Radical feminism I think is largely literary. It created certain services, it got women motivated, but a lot of it came from the pens of academics who never built a company. There is the practical, the theoretical, and what works for women. I have my idea of what a real radical feminist is: a real one, and that’s the woman I look at in the mirror each day 🙂 I see myself as the best and brightest, and as a lesbian, I am well aware that seeing ourselves in a very good light contradicts all the homophobes out there. Success sometimes is my revenge on those oppressors of lesbians, and being proud is about not accepting the status quo forced on women throughout time.

    I think in my metaphorical sort of way, I believe that when I vote for Hillary, I am actually voting for myself. I am saying YES to me. Now I am in no way like Hillary, but I deeply love her ambition. I love seeing her up there battling it out in the debates. It’s not all about a “rational” political choice. It’s not even about changing the world. The presidency is the last stop on the road to change. The change train station starts far away from Washington, but slowly it chugs along — whooo whoo whistle whistle, until change finds a home.

    And there you have it, a policy statement for all seasons 🙂

    Posted by Satsuma | February 27, 2008, 10:54 pm
  46. If you look at my own platform, you will see a platform and positions on the issues, which would change the world. You will. Of course, I am the “fantasy” candidate, well, you know what? If we don’t even get our @$&%$*@$&@$#^!&@!&@$&@6 truly revolutionary platforms and positions on issues out there in the public sphere where people can say, “Whoa! Now this is different!” and can really begin to get into imagining REAL revolution that is meaningful in their own lives, then all we are ever going to have is presidents who do not and cannot make real or lasting change ****for most people****.

    True. Very true. With you 100% heart and soul. Its a valuable and worthwhile baby-step in the right direction. Getting it out there is a huge positive step in the right direction and I love the effort! As you say, right fucking on. From little things, big things grow. A fantastic step towards the future. But I dont see it, as an Either/Or scenario, its in addition to.

    But the reality is, today, this week, patriarchy has rigged the system and made the rules. By even running for President, you are in effect, agreeing to all those rules and supporting those rules for Presidential elections on the Either/Or basis. You are in effect supporting patriarchy’s right to define the rules of the game, and have agreed to enter into the game as “one of the boys”. Rules that include things like winner-takes-all voting, and weighting the numbers so unfairly, that Independent and minor party candidates can’t possibly win enough to be even viable alternates. And if you can’t win, you can’t change anything. Thats Patriarchy Rules.

    The Either/Or thing is one of the basic rules in the US version of the Boy’s Game. Like Bush’s “You’re either with us or against us” given to the rest of the planet after Sep 11. Only two options (or three if you count abstaining). And The US Presidential voting system is rigged to that.

    Democrats are already screaming about Nader entering again, coz in reality, according to the Boy’s Game Rules, it does remove a small portion of votes and gives them by automatic default, to the other major Party under the Boy’s Game Rules. Whether you like it or not, thats the rules you have agreed to play by.

    The only ways to change the Boys Game Rules is by winning the right to change them,
    (and by agreeing to enter the race by their rules, you are agreeing that you want to access that *power*) –
    or by militant revolution,
    or incremental step-wise evolutionary baby-steps, which are still played within the Rules. Heart’s platform is one such evolutionary baby-step in the right fucking on direction, by communicating a great fucking alternative to larger numbers of people.

    but this is the point where we probably have to agree to disagree, I believe Hillary’s approach is also a positive baby-step, but in a different way. It does not have to be Either/Or, it doesn’t have to be a rule of either with us or against us, thats the Boys’ Game, it can be – in addition to.

    I also disagree that Obama is in the same ball-park on many platforms including foreign policy, but especially not on health-care systems. I have spent nearly 20 years of my professional life as a health system economist and health policy analyst, and I know precisely what the rather large and important differences are between their two health policies. Unfortunately, Hillary has been unable to effectively communicate it in 60-second soundbite sloganeering language, (not helped at all, by Michael Moore’s ignorance, but thats another story *sigh*).

    Posted by Rain | February 27, 2008, 11:20 pm
  47. feathers calm

    I have to leave work now and haven’t had a chance to read the latest comments, but since I’m in a farmstead kind of a mood and saw “feathers calm,” I was reminded how for years I’ve been threatening to write a post about hen culture.

    I raised chickens for eggs for years (just hens, no roosters, they can be mean and they make the hens nervous) and I found them to have the most interesting, intriguing culture. For example, on the perch or wherever they have decided they will sleep every night, they line up in a row in *exactly* the same order each sunset. If anybody gets out of order, all the rest of the chickens squawk and carry on and quickly get the out-of-order chicken in line, as if to say, “The very idea! How dare you try to sit in Gertrude’s spot!” And heaven forfend you attempt to add a new hen from another flock! No way. The new hen will be chased severely away in a burst of flying feathers and scoldings. She will have to meekly find a place to perch that is *near*, but not *with* the flock that was there first.

    Same way when they are out rooting around in the yard. She can stay *near*, but she can’t be *with* or too close, or she will get pecked.

    They all lay eggs in the same place, too. You can create nesting boxes all nice and tidy in a row if you want, but all the chickens will lay their eggs in *one* nesting box, the same one, or in some other place they like better, like the corner of the barn. Here, too, the hens lay their eggs in EXACTLY the same order. No taking cuts! Each hen goes to the box in turn, lays her egg, then moves on so the next hen can lay her egg, and it’s always Gerturde first, Mathilde second, Harriett third, and on down the line.

    If the hens decide they want to sleep outside at night because, as in my case, they liked the top of my cold frame to perch on in a sleeping row, rather than the nicer perch inside the barn, they will assemble in their nice sleeping row all night long, and will not move til sunrise, regardless the weather. If it snows, they will still be sleeping there, covered with snow, and when you look out in the morning you’ll see a lengthy hedge of perching snowchickens with an occasional beak or tailfeather sticking out, absolutely quiet.

    If they are sleeping and you go near them in the night, one or two of them will give you a hen-eye, then will very quietly say, “b-o-o-o-o-o-ckkkk?” And perhaps another hen will respond with her own, “boooooock,” and back and forth for a minute as if to say, “Don’t worry about it, it’s just *her*.”

    Very interesting, hen culture. 🙂

    Posted by womensspace | February 28, 2008, 12:58 am
  48. ***it’s always Gerturde first, Mathilde second, Harriett third, and…..***

    Mergatroid Matilda!

    Posted by Branjor | February 28, 2008, 4:06 am
  49. I love hens and chickens! Fascinating how the hens really know how to line up 🙂

    I see humans often sitting in the same seats week after week at regular events I attend. Feathers fly when a new bird “accidently” sits in one of the regular’s chairs 🙂

    Guess we all roost now and then, and as long as we can crow too I’m in! 🙂

    Posted by Satsuma | February 28, 2008, 7:21 am
  50. heart, you must write more about hens! 🙂 i’ve had this love for chickens for many years, always telling people that i know that one day i will try the experience of raising chickens. my grandmother and her family used to raise chickens on their farm and she would laugh and reminisce when i would talk of one day raising chickens. i just think that chickens are such curious creatures and now that you tell that the hens will always line up the same (boooock), i am intrigued to know more! 🙂

    Posted by avril joy | February 28, 2008, 6:21 pm
  51. There is much rejection of a woman as President because, take note, this is not really a participatory democracy. We are controlled by a small cadre of elite – economists, scientists, defense contractors , oil men, and above all big pharma and AMA doctors who work behind the scenes to get the President and Congress to make their policy and make it look like we are voting for someone who represents us. They do not accept a woman as President. They like to make wars. Women don’t. They like to control foreign elections. Women don’t.

    In England, Margaret Thatcher had the strong support of the Queen. Germany’ s Merkel is more a measure of how Germany is a strong participatory democracy and by contrast, how the US is not.,

    Posted by PFlamB11 | March 1, 2008, 11:05 am
  52. The American people should be aware of how close we are to having a police state. All the components – laws, cameras, riot training, weapons – are in place. Included in that is a federal law that was passed to allow the federal government to control the local police forces.

    All that is waiting to happen is a dire national event which makes it look like we have a national security emergency. How convenient would that be for John McCain if it happened in Sept. 2008 . They want Barack to win so Hillary is not part of the election process.

    Posted by Seer1 | March 1, 2008, 11:40 am

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