Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Bitch, bitch, bitch.

I think it's good Obama won. Better than the alternative. But I don't feel bittersweet about the election results, I just feel bitter. To me this election says less "Anyone can grow up to be President," than "Forget-about-it, little girl. Not in your lifetime."

I don't think Obama is the uniter that folks are hoping he'll be. I say this as a disenchanted Hillary Clinton supporter. I never felt that he reached out to me or acknowledged my concerns. I never once saw that he understood women's issues. If anything, his expression was derisive and dismissive if sexism was mentioned. He dissed female reporters as "sweetie", he embraced misogynistic music (99 problems, but a bitch ain't one), he was disrespectful to Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin in a way that he didn't react toward his male opponents Democratic and Republican and his support for "choice" was continually caveated by how women need to consult partners and pastors*, the men in their lives. I simply could not vote for someone who accepted, used, manipulated and promulgated this nasty culture of women-hating.

We saw in this election that racist rhetoric is really unacceptable. Good. But we also saw in this election that sexist rhetoric is not only acceptable but mainstream. From Clinton to Palin, too much was put in terms of gender and too much criticism rested on their sex. I don't like Palin's political views. But as I saw her represent the often schizophrenic Republican views of the role of government, these contradictions were laid at the feet of her being a stupid, ditzy woman rather than the inherent hypocrisy of the GOP position (i.e. subsidies and gov spending bad, unless it's on things I like - roads and wars and stuff). Too much was made of Palin's perceived fuck-a-bility and too much was made of Hillary Clinton's perceived lack of same.

I suppose that some could feel optimistic that at least this rampant sexism has been exposed. But I'm not sure that it has. Obama supporters on the left denied it, accused us often of making it up, or of not understanding the bigger picture. Well, to me, the sexism that's been exposed is the bigger picture. I'm not sure if we will see change that we really believe in so long as it's built on the same old prejudice.

* I'm not saying you shouldn't, but I'm definitely not telling any woman that she should. Being pregnant is something that is really done alone.


Anglofille said...

Well, I agree with you, but sadly, we seem to be in the extreme minority, especially today. It's weird to feel so disconnected from the mainstream, but then I guess that's how wise people often feel. ;)

In your previous post, you said you didn't want to blog against Obama during the election. Why not? The mainstream media took an oath of allegiance to him -- personally, I felt it was important to criticize him during the campaign.

Anonymous said...

In the history of the US, black men have always stood in line in front of all women in our coutry's legal documents as well as practices. This is a fact of life.

We must work to change that, starting with showing more respect and honor for the women in our personal, work and public lives.

The politics of the family is much more complicated than the politics of the nation. Change in the status of women means economic and political change, but also in change our mores, our domestic arrangements, community and religous arrangements. It requires changes in the basic assumption that might means right, and that is a very profound human assumption.

Men who serve in the military are given more honor than women who serve the whole of humanity by pregnancy. Until that is changed women will have second status. We must honor and respect ourselves and those in our families, workplaces and communities. I don't mean blind respect, but we must ourselves show respect for the feminine in humanity and teach our children to revere it.

Evolution is the name of the game. But we do not have to leave evolution to chance. Work can change things also. We must be ever vigilent to highlight injustice and work to change it.

I believe that Obama can be a uniter. He came from modest circumstances and went to elitist schools, but back to work for those of modest means. He is married to an equally accomplished woman and has two daughters. His skin is medium brown.

Change cannot be aided by bitterness. We must build on Obama's strengths and his call for change, making sure than change for women is included.

Men have more to lose with the change of status of women than the status of skin color. We must be assiduous in pointing our injustice wherever it is, in opening our own eyes as well as the eyes of men.

Sexism is deeply ingrained in humans starting with might makes right. Strength can also come from truly caring for each other, but this is much more difficult. Just as it is easier for a child to hit than to share.

We can overcome, but we must respect and honor the women in our lives, if we expect others to do the same. Loyalty, sisters, loyalty.

Vol Mom

A Free Man said...

Anothe thing that's been exposed in this election is that Americans are still willing to discriminate based on sexual orientation.

girl from the south said...

Wow. We're on complete opposite ends of the political spectrum, and I agree with you on this completely.

Until Hillary was dissed by the entire Democratic party and Palin burst on the scene, I refused to call myself a feminist. I still argue that feminists are too wrapped up in abortion, but that's another debate. The level of misogyny in this election was disgusting, especially for 2008. I now consider myself a feminist for life.

I work a nonpartisan nonprofit that advocates for girls. I was shocked that every single woman in my office cheerfully abandoned Hillary and supported Obama since he had a better chance of winning.

As a conservative feminist, it appears that all mainstream feminists hate the Republican party more than they support fellow women. That's a huge problem in the movement.

I can't tell you how many times I wanted to scream when Hillary's pantsuits or Sarah Palin's shopping were discussed. Regardless of their views, both women are smart and articulate and should have been given the opportunity to discuss policy in this nation.

Ultimately, I guess keeping the sexism in the race kept people from noticing that Obama is a socialist and a lightweight when it comes to ALL foreign and domestic issues.

Not that I'm angry or anything, but I hope the country gets what it deserves. McCain wasn't a good choice, but he's better than socialism and higher taxes.