Archive for feminism

What Women Want

Posted in Rants & Rages with tags , , , , , , , , on August 31, 2008 by tigereye

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, andĀ 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 ticketĀ 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.

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