What Women Want

Let me first say that when I was 13 and Walter Mondale, even in the face of doom, chose then-Representative Geraldine Ferraro, I was tickled as hell, along with all my Democratic female relatives, which is to say everyone on both sides of the family except one extremely sickening cousin. He probably wasn’t going to win, and we didn’t know jack about this woman — but she was bright, and kicked George Bush I’s skinny butt in the VP debate, and I held fond memories of her for all these years. Until this spring, when she pulled off her “Mission Impossible” mask to reveal a white hood, but that’s another story.

Let me also say: what y’all may not know about me is that I was a Hillary Clinton supporter long, long before I’d ever heard of Barack Obama and John Edwards. I would have taken a bullet for her. I got beat up at a rally for the 1992 Clinton/Gore ticket, and felt my black eye and bloody nose were as much on Hillary’s behalf as Bill and Al’s. I hate that she comported herself so awfully by the end of her campaign. Unlike Ferraro, I feel her legacy deserves better. Just because I found candidates I believed in more fully doesn’t mean I don’t have, well, feelings for Hillary, the way you sometimes hold a soft spot for years for that guy you dated a long time ago. You don’t want to be with him now, but you wish him well.

So I’m insulted.

On behalf of all women who supported Hillary Rodham Clinton; on behalf of all women who have ever worked and earned less than a man doing the same job; on behalf of all women who identify as feminists, not just co-opt the term and twist it into some unnatural mockery of what it’s supposed to mean.

Does John McCain think women are interchangeable?

“Look! Look, you former Hillary voters, over here! See, we have a woman too! That’s what you wanted, right? Isn’t that what you women wanted? See, here’s a woman, why don’t you get excited over her now?”

If Hillary Clinton had been the Democratic nominee, he’d probably be trotting out Alan Keyes to try to woo the Obama supporters.

I don’t like anything about this woman except her glasses. I really don’t. I haven’t seen anything admirable or likable about her, which should surprise no one: I tend to think uncharitably of Pat Buchanan supporters in all walks of life. But that’s not the point.

The point is, who thinks like this?

It’s bad enough that in 2008 women can’t make the same wages men do. It’s headache-inducing to think the world, and my own country, are full of people who have no trouble thinking I’m less of a citizen, less of a worker, less of a vote, less of an opinion. We’re 51% of the population and less than 20% of the representatives we elect. And worst of all, we’re taught not to mind. Some of our families passed this down to us the way it was handed to them. Some of our families told us it was wrong but our teachers and friends and employers and government didn’t, so it was hard to keep that message in mind. I cannot think of anything harder to do, right now, than raise a daughter. It would break my heart for her to find out her society didn’t love her as much as I did.

And that someone representing half the population of her country thinks she would be interchangeable.

You idiot, what the Clinton supporters — the real ones, not the ones with little reins leading back to Karl Rove’s web — wanted wasn’t a woman. It was that woman. They believed in what one particular amazing woman was trying to do, even when she lost sight, near the end, of how the ends don’t always justify the means. They held on stubbornly even when they knew she was wrong, even when their friends wanted to wring their necks and stamp our feet and shake sense into them. And most of them came around.

Sarah Palin can stand on that platform by John McCain and invoke Hillary Clinton’s name all day long, but that’s all she’s doing: name-dropping. She couldn’t stand more diametrically opposed to what Hillary Clinton stands for and believes in if she was Mothra or Lex Luthor. And it’s even more insulting to have a woman ask us to vote for her ticket because she has a body part in common with us.

Hell, all this and I’m an Obama supporter.

I hope thousands of other people are as angry over this as I am.


16 Responses to “What Women Want”

  1. WORD.

    Including you, I know of three fencesitters who jumped off the fence in the last two days. All onto the Obama side, so insulted were they by the Palin choice.

    It was an insult to women, Clintonistas, and… well, everyone with more than three brain cells.

  2. But I guess you weren’t so much a fencesitter. You’re a Dem.

  3. I’m Democratic the same way I’m Irish: I’m this way for life. 🙂

  4. It’s insulting to women, Democrats, Republicans, Alaskans, black people, Tina Fey, moose, Hoobastank, and Christmas.

    But mostly women.

  5. I was listening to (gag) Rush Limbaugh when the announcement was made. (I was in the car, and Mr. Rizzuto says we have to know our enemies. Gag.)

    Anyway, the junkie just about shit himself at the thought of this bimbo as McCain’s running mate. He kept saying that “it couldn’t get any better than this”. He actually thinks that they’re totally taking the wind out of Obama’s sails with this hobag. I hate her already.

    On the plus side, I didn’t realize McCain was quite so desperate.

  6. Amen, sister.

    It’s like watching a train wreck. Fascinating in its’ absolute wrongness.

  7. I second that WORD.

    Wanda, Rush?! I have to listen to him every so often when I ride with certain officers. Let’s just say I’d rather just from the moving patrol car at 60 MPH than listen to that blowhard.

    Can someone please explain to me in what world is this all supposed to make sense?

  8. Rush Limbaugh is the talk radio equivalent of Blink-182 for me, which is to say, there is nothing I won’t do to get away from him when I hear him because I know I’ll have a stroke if I listen for long. I walked out of a friend’s house once because another person there wanted to listen to Rush.

  9. I have never, ever heard Rush Limbaugh. Point of pride for me.

  10. Rush Limbaugh. Just typing his stupid name makes me want to do a self-unction.

    This Palin thing is such a blatant political maneuver and it scares me because obviously McCain is not thinking about what’s best for the country, he’s thinking about what’s the best/lamest thing he can do to get elected.

    You think she would have turned down the slot.

    The Republican convention is the most uninspired, drab shit I’ve ever seen. I love it when they pan to the audience, though. A dynamic bunch, that RNC audience. They look like a society in the dregs of civilization. A dying breed. Totally unreflective of the country.

    So long, GOP !

  11. I haven’t been able to watch any of it. I don’t think I have enough prescriptions.

  12. pandemonic Says:

    I’m back to voting my conscience, which means the Green Party will probably catch mine.

  13. I’m still debating if I will even register in time to vote. I moved so I can’t vote without re-registering in my new state. I don’t know if it is even worth it.

  14. After watching some of this wretched convention, I’d say it’s definitely worth it. I think I felt a blood vessel explode somewhere behind my right eye.

  15. pandemonic Says:

    Watch out. You know you get migraines, Tigereye. 😛

  16. Amen!

    I just read this so I’m a bit late but since you posted this she has irritated me all the more in the course of the debates and her rhetoric pounding on the campaign trail. I have to admit as well that Hillary Clinton and her work and support of children and families is one of my female hero’s. But if Hillary would have done the sort of crap that Palin does the Conservative media would have dragged her through the dirt. Palin does it, supposedly reaching out to Joe Six-pack (another offensive term), and the conservatives embrace her and say she’s connecting to every day Americans. Gee that offends me too. I live in rural America and I know my fair share of Joe 18-Packs and even they aren’t excited about McCain. Palin has energized the Republican party but it hasn’t done what I think they hoped. It’s the Economy Stupid! Not divisiveness and rhetoric.

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