* Please do not infer that I am calling her a betch simply because she is a powerful CEO femaspecimen. She was simply a betch, and powerful. Unrelated. Or if related, it is because the patriarchy has forced her to be so. I mean, duhz, this is a feminist blogz, which incidentally shall some day be turned into a book if I can make enough money to buy the title I Blame Judd Apatow from Liz.*
Gloria's piece was so absolutely true and well-written I creamed my brain. I've already gone on record supporting Obama, primarily because I think we need a parvenu in the White House, but Steinem's column is making me reconsider. What it comes down to ultimately is not a huge difference in ideological issues--Steinem points out Clinton's and Obama's voting records are almost identical (except for the war, Hillary voted for it which was an LOLbad move, and though Barack wasn't in the Senate at the time he says he would have voted against it, which is obviously easier to say in retrospect than to do in reality.) Rather as of 11:23am, January 8th (the time of my second Steinem read-thru) I have positioned it as a choice between using my vote to symbolically battle misogyny or symbolically battle the insider political system. It's like if my wildest dreams came true and I could send one of the following two people to live with rabid wolves in Uzbekistan for four years--- which representation do I choose to abolish?! Misaligned Misogyny or Insidious Insiderism?
Which evil deserves rabies via wolf?
Steinem correctly draws attention to the fact that Barack is allowed to use his outsider status to his advantage-- he gets props for referencing the civil rights movement, or the lessons he learned from his Kenyan father, but Clinton is damned if she do', damned if she don't when it comes to drawing attention to her sex. If she says something critical about her opponents then she's a heartless man-eating betch, if she breaks down, lawd forbid, and slightly tears up, then she's a weak female unfit for leadership. Whatever she does, she is ridiculed and hated-- NOT as some say because of her personality, but always because of how she is using or not using her femininity. Seriously, do a Nexis search of "Hillary Clinton" and "Election"-- over the past year the media has churned out thousands of articles on her so-called "unelectabilty" that are solely based on her gender performance and are impossibly contradictory. Of course, there are articles on Obama's electabilty, and the "Is He Black Enough?" question, but those pieces are almost always long, thought essays, examining race in America, while Hillary's are usually short little snippets in mainstream news outlets quoting Tommy, a hunter in North Dakota saying something like, "I don't think anything that bleeds once a month should be running this country." They're not thought-provoking, or analytical of gender issues in our society, rather they're sad excuses for blatantly misogynist fear-mongering.
I think it comes down to the fact that it's okay, even PC, to be misogynist in this country. I'm not saying that misogynism is more rampant than racism, just that it's more widely acceptable. Chris Matthews can pinch Hillary's cheek, demeaning her like she's a little girl, but if he dared to demean Obama in a similar manner using the connotations and history of his skin color-- let's say, call him "boy" during an interview-- Matthews would be massacred. Hillary's frown lines or Botox rumors can make headline news, but if Obama came back tanned from a beach vacation and the media wrote about his darkened skin color, there would be an uproar. I mean it just wouldn't happen. Tommy from North Dakota is probably racist too, but the media won't publish him saying absurd things about black people. But women? No prob! Hillsogyny is practically a mainstream cultural joke, printed on tee-shirts:
Can you imagine a shirt with an image of Obama and a racial insult? Um no.
What especially resonated with me was Steinem's sad note that younger women especially seem to deny the presence of the "sexual caste system." We're more educated than ever before, but can't see the patriarchy even if Judd Apatow date rapes our eyes with it. Case in point (thanks to Marmsies): Moe on Jezebel, who is both smart, and mostly wrong about everything.
Unrelated (kind of)-- I need your help for an article! Email me if you can be involved!
I'm looking for some help for a story I'm working on about abortion and telling/or not telling future suitors. In my personal experience I've found that though my abortion was about as existentially angsty as knee surgery ( i.e. not at all), that most men I've told have reacted like I just confessed I fought on the front lines in 'Nam and have 18 bullets lodged in my body ( like I deserve a purple heart for bravery). I'm curious to do a larger piece on this situation-- focusing on men's reactions to abortion or the ways women talk about or don't talk about past abortions in new relationships. This is where you* come in-- I'm looking for a few good women and men who have been in this situation before and who are willing to go on the record talking about it. (Of course names can be changed if necessary).
* If "you" are one of those gross men from that barf-inducing L.A. Times men-owning-abortion article, "you" are excluded.