Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Sexism in America

Close your eyes and picture who--from today's world--should be the first female president of the United States.

The big stories of this election season, it seems to me, are (1) the fact that media manipulation has reached its peak, discarding candidates (Edwards, Giuliani) like old chewing gum while telling chatty, personal stories in sound bites as though this were the X-Games, and (2) the apparent fact that this country, racist as I believe it to be, would sooner elect an African-American man than a woman.

HRC is not my first choice. She may not even be my second choice. But I am for sure attuned to those things that make her some people's last choice--and I promise you, most of them are sexist. Look at some of the nicknames she's called just by bloggers in the Ithaca Journal alone--Mrs. Bill, Shrillary. . . . Think about what we focus on--her inability to orate (it seems all good orators are male, just like all good chefs); her fake laugh; her tears; her hair; her spouse.

You might say: "That's not me; I just don't like her stance on the war and her pandering to the right wing." You know what? I just don't believe you.

Try the exercise I started this post with. I'll bet you can't come up with anyone. And in the year 2008, that's just sad.


HP said...

I think your point may have some merit. When I think of the "ideal" canidate, it is not Hillary. I guess another question is........Are all the male canidates the emobodiment of all we value in a human? Certainly not!

What Obama symbols to me is hope. He is positive in his messages and uplifting. After 8 years of a not so great president.....I think people want there spirits lifted. I'm not sure what part the race card plays, but.......I'm sure it plays a part.

I think Edwards is really the Champion of the middle class. When you hear he speeches he is really the only one who "gets it".

I think Hillary would probably make a fine president. I like what she says.........and would support her if she was the nominee.

I find it interesting that so many of the "old school" democrats are giving Obama support. Is it that is is more "PC" to support the first black president or the first female president?

Anonymous said...

Oh, wait a minute now. I quote and refute you:
"Think about what we focus on":
1. Her inability to orate (has this never been said about GW Bush?)
2. Her fake laugh (okay, I can't think of a male politician offhand who's been criticized for this, but Gore certainly got it for his stiffness)
3. Her tears (wasn't it Mondale who lost the nomination for crying?)
4.Her hair (didn't Edwards get a little flack for his $400 haircut?)
5. Her spouse (didn't Reagan get lambasted for Nancy's outrageous behavior? Not to mention Bill Clinton for his hard-to-control wife?)

I'm sure the country is saturated with sexism, and those who suffer from the affliction certainly won't vote for Hillary. But sometimes a dislike is just a dislike. And frankly, I just didn't like her stance on the war and her pandering to the right.

KAZ said...

Yeah, D, but can you come up with another woman?

HP said...

Just my two cents on a few things.

1. Hillary supported the war initially under false information.

2. When has she pandered to the right?

3. Why is it "wrong" for someone to put some thought into a successful conclusiion to the Iraq conflict?

KAZ said...

D--(3) Not Mondale, but Muskie. Phil suggest that I'm victimizing HRC to make myself feel better about voting for her. I don't know that I will vote for her, but I stick to my guns about sexism in America. Until HRC or Obama actually wins, I won't be convinced this isn't a sexist and racist nation.
HR--(1) So did a lot of people who later admitted being wrong (Edwards, for one).
(2) One person's pandering is another's crossing the aisle. But certainly a lot of people, the media strongest among them, feel that she'll say or do anything to be elected. My feeling is that it's what happens after Election Day that matters.
(3) Can there really be a successful conclusion? I wonder what that would look like.

HP said...

All I can say is.......I would like to hear her plan. Regarding a conclusion to the crisis in Iraq.

Anonymous said...

To answer HP on Hillary's pandering, I quote the Washington Post, a 2005 column:

"Consistency is not always to be admired in a politician, but when a supposed liberal is one of only two senators to sponsor a bill to restrict freedom of speech, then we are talking about something basic. If this is a pander, it is in the worst possible taste.

The First Amendment is where you simply do not go. It is sacred. It protects our most cherished rights -- religion, speech, press and assembly -- and while I sometimes turn viscerally angry when I see the flag despoiled, my emotions are akin to what I feel when neo-Nazis march. Repugnant or not, popular or not, it is all political speech. Her sponsorship of the flag measure calls for reconsideration all around -- either by Hillary Clinton and her support of the flag bill or by liberals and their support of her."

As for her vote on the war, she was on the Armed Services Committee. It was her business to find out if there were really WMDs in Iraq. She chose not to. This from Foreign Policy in Focus:

"Though the 2003 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iraq was inaccurate in a number of respects, it did challenge the notion of any operational ties between the Iraqi government and Al-Qaeda and questioned some of the more categorical claims by President Bush about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD). However, Senator Clinton didn’t even bother to read it. She now claims that it wasn’t necessary for her to have actually read the 92-page document herself because she was briefed on the contents of the report. However, since no one on her staff was authorized to read the report, it’s unclear who could have actually briefed her.

During the floor debate over the resolution authorizing the invasion of Iraq, Clinton was the only Democratic senator to have categorically accepted the Bush administration’s claims regarding Iraq’s alleged chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs, Iraq’s alleged long-range missile capabilities, and alleged ties to al-Qaeda. (Some Democratic senators accepted some of those claims, but not all of them.)"

And of course it isn't wrong to put thought into withdrawing from Iraq. What was wrong was to get us into it in the first place.

HP said...

and you think Barak Obama will react any differently that she will? He is your only other option.

Anonymous said...

React differently to what? He's already made it clear that he never supported the war. I'm sure he'd make his own mistakes, but he seems more likely to me to learn from Hillary's errors than she is to learn from her own. Who knows? At any rate, I'm very pleased (so far) that he's my other option. But either he or Hillary would be better than any of the Republicans.