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Pre-2008 Posts

Hillary Clinton: Older Woman to Younger Woman, a Little Different Perspective on HRC

Jeyoani (my daughter, who is 31) sent me this Youtube video in which Hillary Clinton offers advice to younger women. In the e-mail accompanying the link, Jeyoani (who, for those new to my blog, is biracial, a context which seems important to what I am quoting here from her e-mail) wrote (among other things):

I thought this was inspiring advice from Hillary to younger women. I really like this type of thing. … I just like the feeling of women. She makes me miss the supportive, caring feeling of women. Obama has the feeling of a man. It’s another feeling, too, because he is black, but, he’s still got that man feeling.

So true– this is a side of Hillary Clinton I hadn’t seen until I watched this video.

Note to those who might be new to my blog: I am running for President myself, and so I do not support either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. (Neither does Jeyoani, she supports me! :::preen:::) It has been my longing to work towards understanding and evaluating the positions, strengths and weaknesses of both of the frontrunning Democratic candidates, not only because I think that’s important to do, but because I see the way this election is dividing women against women.  I keep thinking maybe if we talk about it, take a really good look at what the divisions really consist of, we will be less likely to be caught up in unnecessary antagonisms against one another which might have less to do with the election and more to do with the effect the candidates’ campaigns are having on all of us.  So, I have continued to post articles and youtubes favorable to both Clinton and Obama.  That I am posting these should not be misinterpreted as an endorsement of either candidate.

Also from Jeyoani’s e-mail:

That’s one thing this election has taught me– that I am more radical than I even knew.  I have a  woman and a  black guy running but it still didn’t matter!  It really forced me to question what is truly important.  They both came up so short for me fundamentally– They can’t really help create the kind of world I want or a true democracy with a woman-loving mentality… it’s impossible for them.  They’re game-players.  Their rah rah Americanism is also totally ridiculous and sick too. But I sorta like them both regardless.  Hillary should’ve run before Bill. ;P  Now she may never get in. 

Heart

Discussion

16 thoughts on “Hillary Clinton: Older Woman to Younger Woman, a Little Different Perspective on HRC

  1. I keep having to remember how conservative things have gotten and what now passes for “radical” or lefty. These candidates are center-right, not radical – they believe in the American system and so on, as Jeyoani says. They are not even liberal Democrats, let alone ‘radicals’ … no matter what their race or gender.

    Posted by profacero | March 22, 2008, 10:54 pm
  2. Heart,

    I want to send this video with the entire interview to my sister and mom but can’t find it at youtube (where there are 64,000 videos with “Hillary Clinton” as the search term). Do you know what its exact title is or some other identifying info? I know you must have a lot to do, so no worries, but I would really appreciate it if you could help me. Thanks.

    Posted by twitch | March 28, 2008, 4:25 pm
  3. Hey, twitch, nice to read you. 🙂

    Here’s the link:

    Just for future reference, if you click on the little button up there on the video that says “YouTube” it will take you to the original YouTube video.

    Glad to be of help!

    Posted by womensspace | March 28, 2008, 7:04 pm
  4. Sorry, well, actually not sorry, Heart, but it’s just a cop out to say you’re running for president and will not endorse any of the real candidates like Hillary. Much more than your supposed candidacy, radical feminist Sonia Johnson actually did run decades ago (on the Citizens’ Party ticket) and it’s as if nobody even remembers that, so your theoretical candidacy will be even more a legend in your own mind. Don’t insult our intelligence. You’re not running for president any more than I am.

    “Vote for me, Judy Best, I’m running for President.” Piffle.

    Posted by Judy Best | March 29, 2008, 3:03 am
  5. I was surprised to hear about HC’s poverty background. Her mother out on her own and working, at 13. Sigh. I think women who have achieved from there, are on full bore, all the time. They just have to be in order to survive. No one of them, one, can change that system, they can only go into it, with the best intention to get something done they want done. But change the system? They won’t do that. We will, from the outside.

    I think HC will never make it, not just because she’s a woman, but she’s a woman who’s being blamed for her man.

    To succeed in politics at al, to achieve any office here, now, Jeyolani, they have to be centre right. Even in Canuckustan the ones who call themselves left, or those that some Americans call commies, even them; they’re all centre right.

    Posted by Sis | March 30, 2008, 6:38 pm
  6. I can’t think of one thing in my life that came about because of a major American political party. You can have basically center left/center right people vying for this job. You can have all men in these jobs, or you can have women get into office too.

    The very nature of power itself from this perspective is about illusion largely. But there is also symbolism too. It will actually have more of an effect on men if Hillary becomes president than women, who largely don’t support very often other women in power. It’s what keeps the boys in power in the first place.

    It is really the outside where the freedom lies to begin with, and it is key for women to recognize this. Otherwise women will waste their time reforming others, rather than creating a world that messes with their own values and own personal power.

    Women’s life experience itself is a different teacher, so the stories and the outcomes are largely different. That is the main difference. A male life story is not the same at all, and we forget this often I think.

    So if center type person gains the White House, it will certainly have a different feel to it than if the same old right wing idiots and religious ideologs get in. With the right wing comes the fundamentalist crack pots, homophobes and nonsense muttering megachurches at it again. Women go along with this incredible sham, and men believe they are little gods in the first place.

    Thinking that the presidency is going to change things is something perhaps only women naively believe. Men don’t really want to change much of anything ever– they’re just fine with the wife and kids while they get the glory over and over and over again. Way cool😦

    Posted by Satsuma | March 30, 2008, 9:41 pm
  7. Apologies for mis-spelling your name Jeyoani. It’s a beautiful name which I’ve never heard before. I think my brain was trying to make it something I had heard at least part of once.

    Posted by Sis | March 31, 2008, 12:39 am
  8. The system cannot be reformed. The system was created by men for men and is based on men’s values. It exists to benefit men. So even if a woman is able to rise through the ranks, she will be limited by laws, rules and regulations, which exist to keep right on benefiting men.

    I think the presidency is a puppet show and a sham and it doesn’t much matter who is elected — the result will be the same. Politicians are only as good as the corporations that own them.

    We’re given the illusion that we have a choice in candidates. But I think Moe, Larry and Curly are pre-selected and already bought and paid for. They will all do the same thing regardless of who is elected.

    The opposite of patriarchy is democracy. Think about that for awhile.

    Posted by Luckynkl | March 31, 2008, 6:49 am
  9. Why does anyone believe that the presidency is about radical?
    It’s just about the average not the transformative.

    All of politics out there is about average minds, knee jerk issues and boring platitudes. Do I really care about American flags? Oy vey.

    Posted by Satsuma | April 1, 2008, 12:39 am
  10. Lucky, your points are well taken. So, what would happen if democracy flexed its muscles? The system is a house of cards. If all its principles and sacred cows were put under direct political challenge, and enough people became aware of that challenge, that house of cards could not stand. The numbers of people fed up with politics as usual is staggering. It is not just radical women now feeling betrayed. This is what the Obama craze is all about, IMO, people hoping he will bring meaningful change. He, like Clinton, would bring symbolic change, but I agree, neither would change anything of substance. The war on women, the war on terror, and the destruction of the planet will go on as usual, with a few cosmetic changes to appease the masses.

    Posted by Aletha | April 1, 2008, 8:33 am
  11. As I said before so many times here, I don’t see a real objection most Americans have to these institutions to begin with. And when that big objection does come, you can pretty much be sure it will be the same old men in the streets with their guns raping women.

    Women continue to marry men, have children and opt out of so many public things. I still encounter women each week who say things like, “I’m bad at math, I leave all the financial decisions to my husband.” I’m not really sure what this is all about, but it is so common I just have to say oh well, opt out.

    Hillary Clinton as president I think will probably just keep more men in line. They were out of control in positions of power for most of this country’s history, and as I have always said, it will be far easier to elect a man to office (black or white or another race perhaps) than a woman. Women have been trained since birth NOT to support other women, but to defer to men, just as the women I come across every day defer their brains to their husbands. Now this is not all women mind you, but most of the people on this blog would be shocked to hear how common these words really are.

    I know for a fact that women’s groups are far more interesting and uplifting than men’s groups. Women know they need each other, and they are well aware of sexism, but they are also in denial about the full extent of all of this. This denial is very pervasive in America.

    I could have waited for the cows to come in dealing with straight people in straight institutions, but I knew that this was largely a waste of time, except for the usual token appearances now and then. So we simply started alternative groups and organizations, got our own law firms and lawyers, our own business organizations, churches etc. That’s where the people were who helped me get started, and to this day, I still feel that energy when you walk into gay or lesbian controlled space. I have rock rib low low expectations of straight women or men really getting what lesbian feminist nation is all about or even the lesbian spiritual vision of the world. This ain’t gonna happen, as they say.

    What I do know is that I can create a world that is better for me, and better for gays and lesbians. That I am sure of and have contributed to. I perceive a Hillary Clinton as a bit more friendly to lesbians than a Barak Obama, because I know how straight men really hate gay men — fear them, are freaked out by them. So I don’t trust Obama to get beyond his very very traditional male conditioning. It just is not going to happen.

    I think we actually waste a lot of time expecting the presidency and the people in it to do the things we think are important.

    You’re not going to hear a major speech on rape and domestic violence, you’ll only hear Obama get real about race when he has some outsiders reveal the inner workings of a black church to a clueless white America, and you’re going to have liberal dopes like Leahy from Vermont telling Hillary to quit.

    I always advocate getting as many women into positions of influence as possible — liberal, radical, mildly conservative yet sensible and open minded… just get the women organized and in these places. You’ll see how women actually affect the reporting process and the issues of campaigns now, compared to the times when no women were even reporting at all.

    Just look at who reported on the civil rights movement and who was actually doing the hard work of that movement. Hint hint, men blabbing on TV, women organizing behind the scenes the actual bus boycott.

    So what do we do? We work on getting women to pay attention. I think this blog is an excellent example of this.

    It is very hard to get the attention of women in daily ordinary life. When I talk to a lot of women in their late 30s for example, they really have no idea how to evaluate candidates. Most say they wish Al Gore had been running because they are strong environmentalists. The sexism today that is very subtle really goes over their heads. When I point it out to them, suddenly a light bulb goes off, but I do have to point it out.

    When I point out the simple idea of women actually backing and supporting other women in a variety of venues, well this statement alone has great power! It still has power, and we still have to put out this message.

    We have a system that is slowly killing off the world, and yet we still are mired in beliefs of the 18th century. Everyone knows this.

    Even the basics of conservation and energy use are still shockers if you mention them in large urban settings.

    So what then do we do? We have to get at the contradictions of existence for women, and we have to find ways to get women out of denial. Women have a stubborn denial, just as men have their ways of being in it. Women need to really get that they’ll be owned unless they can be fully self-supporting, and men need to be seen as more than a money object.

    All the little customs of deference that women participate in have to be illuminated, so that at least women can see themselves in the mirror now and then.

    Radical feminism might do well to get a kind of check list to focus on, and we can look at the list, and focus on what we do best. There are things I am very good at, and I can contribute a lot in this area, and I focus on the strengths. This is exciting.

    Radical feminism is also a lot of fun– we don’t talk about the fun of it that often. We need to take time to celebrate when things are going right, and a lot of things are going right.

    We have to face the fact that a lot of women out there opt out of responsibility, they leave decisions to men, they never ever fully pay their own way, and they get stuck in a kind of artificiality that is really weird to watch day in and day out.

    We need to get real about government systems, and to understand that our worship of “socialist” states isn’t all that cool for the lesbians or gays who are imprisoned in those places.

    I believe women could take charge, but I see too many excuses sometimes, too much complacense…. It surprises me that so many women don’t even read alternative publications at all, seem to have no interest… there is a kind of blandness to women who should know better. We need to spend more time working with women, and being aware of how to unite, and also how to deal with contradictions. We need to be very honest about the points of connection, but not at the expense of other women who are oppressed by the very notions that seem “self-evident” to straight women, but absolutely stupid to lesbians.

    When women fully wake up, something different will happen.

    Even bringing two generations of women together is a challenge, but I believe it can be done.

    Usually the best things I’ve seen were done out of necessity. We needed each other, and we stuck together. I’ve seen groups where race and social class did not prevent solidarity. Since I’ve witnessed this, I know it is possible. The best groups were the small ones — 15-30 women. When the groups get really big, we lose something as women.

    We are still at the stage where women have been really badly abused, and have no groups to talk to. Women are still trapped in awful memories. Some Lesbians have never experienced all lesbian space or all lesbian communities, and so they are still stuck in hetero-reality. They have no place to be so that they are free of the oppression that is epidemic among a lot of straight women. Now don’t all of you squawk about this, because you know it’s true. The truth is the truth.

    This election barely scratches the surface of things, and yet it has pulled the secrets out of the closets on the campaign trail.
    Men are a little bit more on the run, white people are a little bit less “entitled”– but don’t expect real change in an institution that already exists. When you have something over 200 years old, it is what it is. It was never a democratic institution, but it was a bit better than what we had before — divine right of kings.

    It takes real imagination to go to new places.

    Posted by Satsuma | April 1, 2008, 5:31 pm
  12. Heart, in this season of conflict-driven, in-your-face, blogging rites among the sisterhood, I’d have thought you’d “get” my cynical parody of the present presidential politics. I assumed your “running for president” was you pulling everybody’s leg, and mocking the system. I thought you’d post my comment, with a “You’re kidding, right, JB? You know I’m not really running for president, how silly!”

    Guess not.

    You chose not to post my earlier reply on this thread, and instead to email me a “how could you” note. Are you kidding this time? Surely you “get” the ending remarks of my earlier attempt at posting parody. If not, let me be a little clearer. I intended to make the point that when it comes to the men running the show of patriarchal politics, all women look alike.

    ” ‘Vote for me, Judy Best, for President.’ Piffle.”

    Call me a prophet if you want, but the presidential election hooha isn’t worth any woman’s time. John McCain’s been being groomed for the presidency by the big boys of global greed ever since he was one of the “Keating 5” senators back when Charlie Keating was bilking billions of dollars from the S&Ls of America. It’s enough to make me not give a damn about this or any presidential election. I trust infinite Spirit instead of this political hell on earth.

    Any woman running, as is Hillary, with major funding from across the entire nation is made a mockery by media. As if even Hillary with her prodigious experience and ability can get fair coverage in the mass online and paper press where the prevailing hatred is woman-hating, both by women (internalized misogyny) and by men.

    Hillary as nutcracker, Hillary as domestic slave (“Iron my shirts!”), Hillary as good to be first lady but never chief executive. All the hate-born related “isms” of race and class take a back seat to the insanely normal fear of a politically savvy, brilliantly intelligent, funding-connected, governmentally accomplished woman being a real contender for president.

    If women in general cannot understand the political signposts of misogyny, and a woman like you knee-jerks into “how could you” defensiveness about her theorized presidential campaign that nobody in the national media is even covering, then what hope have we of online “sisterhood” being anything but occasion for stroking the egos of a few who seem to need the limelight?

    Judy B (“JB”)

    Posted by Judy Best | April 2, 2008, 5:05 pm
  13. This was my e-mail to JB, which I’ll post since you referred to it, JB.

    JB– I’m trying to understand what would cause you to comment in such an… adversarial or unkind way to my blog re my presidential candidacy, which is very real. I’ve written reams and reams in the past about Sonia Johnson’s candidacy– she was and still is an inspiration to me.

    I so appreciated your posts in the past– they were nourishing and woman-centered. If you’re up for giving me some of the back story of your comment today, I’d be happy to listen. It was so entirely discouraging, I can’t tell you. And then to do a small search and realize it was you, JB, whose posts I’ve so enjoyed in the past! What happened? I’ve worked so very hard on my platform, got a wiki, worked on networking, etc., as has Aletha at Freesoil. What would cause you to be so unkind to a sister?

    Cheryl (Heart)

    I am completely disgusted in so many ways with the presidential campaign and honestly, I’ve wanted to be done with it. I also was fairly flummoxed by JB’s comments here and didn’t really know what to make of them. But I got some additional feedback and decided to approve them after all. They are part of this ongoing discussion, after all.

    Posted by womensspace | April 2, 2008, 5:10 pm
  14. I didn’t think Heart’s campaign was a joke, it always seemed serious to me. This was rather confusing.

    Posted by Satsuma | April 2, 2008, 11:11 pm
  15. Perhaps you do not think Heart running for President is a joke, Satsuma; you just act as though her campaign does not exist, or has no relevance. Some women may be stuck on Hillary Clinton, seeing her as the best women could hope for, but she is anything but revolutionary, thoroughly mainstream, so many women could not be enthusiastic about her. Black women in particular see little reason to support her, pinning their hopes on Obama. Her allies count on women to overlook her votes and policies, which look to me like putting her touch on business as usual. Heart running for President is not about stroking egos or needing the limelight. That accusation is absurd on its face, if the idea that politics should be about principles and ideas is taken into account. That concept is foreign to political reality, so most people presumably cannot imagine it except as a utopian fantasy?

    Why is so hard to understand that feminists of principle cannot in good faith support business as usual, even with a female face? What is the point of lambasting feminists of principle for refusing to settle for the crumbs of symbolic change? What is the point of separating radical feminism from politics, so that politics as usual could only be pressured from the periphery, never challenged directly? That may have done some good in the past, but at this point that is not realism; that is defeatism, defending against the backlash, expending good energy just to try to hold onto the status quo.

    The apparent hopelessness of overthrowing male rule has been so thoroughly drilled into women. Certainly what Heart and I are saying may sound too good to be true. Why is it politics as usual is seen as more realistic? Just because that is how things have been for millennia does not mean things must, or should, continue in that vein, particularly since the consequences of politics as usual are so predictably disastrous. The powers that be do their damnedest to disguise this as inevitable, everything under control, to ensure people are resigned to politics as usual. However, more and more people are sick of it, desperate for change. Obama will win the nomination playing up to this desperate hope for change, without having to specify what he means when he throws around those words. When people realize what kind of change he is talking about, working with Republicans to get things done for a change, the recoil may throw the race wide open.

    Posted by Aletha | April 3, 2008, 7:57 am
  16. When I make a commitment to a candidate, I stick by my word. I’ve supported Hillary Clinton for the presidency after she won her first Senate election, since I knew she would eventually run. In fact, I mailed in campaign contributions even before she announced. I was really excited!

    Now I am sure that you would not want me to go back on a promise to another woman candidate. I didn’t even know Heart or her blog existed back then, so there was no way I would have known about her candidacy either. Aletha, please, I don’t think I discovered this blog until I was doing a search for Shekinah Mountainwater, so it took me quite sometime to figure all of this out.

    Remember, one thing women have got to realize is the we don’t go back on our political commitments to other women. Keeping these promises is something women have a very hard time doing, but it needs to be done.

    Unlike everyone else on this blog it seems, I don’t have much difficulty with the hundreds of women running for and being elected to various offices. I don’t see the presidency as an agency of any revolution at all — like Martin Luther King or even Al Gore, the big things often come outside of the elected milieu.

    I think it is a good thing to have women who are smart and capable in these offices, and actually politics is very different when you see what women have actually done over the years.
    I never got the feeling when I met any women candidates that they were at all like their male counterparts. Even republican women are more open and interesting to me.

    I’m not into the third party stuff really–must date back to me watching the rather cool Eugene McCarthy in 1968 and that lovely democratic convention that put Nixon into office. Or even Bobby Kennedy waiting opportunistically for his shot, thus undermining McCarthy. Early lessons learned I guess.

    The more we hope for a revolution where they are not to be found, the more we will miss out on the real opportunities out there. Had I waited for some third party savior to come along, I would have missed out on all the things I did do completely and utterly outside those structures.

    I’m not resigned to politics as usual, because I believe when women want freedom, they will wake up and have it. Any day at any time women are free. It just takes a lot of time for women to realize this sometimes. Just ask all the ex-fundamentalist women here, or all the former straight women married to abusive men, or the grandmothers who went back to college and got degrees… It is up to us and no one else.

    This is it, we are it. The issue is how long does it take for women to really want this freedom, and what will they have to let go of to get it? This is a question that can only be answered one woman at a time.

    Posted by Satsuma | April 3, 2008, 11:19 pm

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