Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Oh, Dear Me

What's the matter with my people? By that, I mean white women. Apparently, there are still large numbers of white women who seem to believe that the only thing preventing Hillary Clinton from winning the White House is sexism.

I'm sorry, I just don't see it. I could reel off a list of reasons why she lost this race, from her vote on the war in Iraq to the way she ran her campaign, Why Hillary Makes My Wife Scream, to she's a Clinton and yes, sexism. Shaun Mullen does a good rundown at Confronting The Long Primary Season's Twin 'Isms' & Why Barack Obama Won.

Sexism clearly was a contributing factor, but certainly less so than Obama's race was held against him. Clinton can hardly deny that, since she's used that as the veiled reason she's doing better against he is among "hard-working white voters." From Mad to Sad.

Now, let's get this straight. I do believe that there is pervasive sexism in this country, and to some degree, it is more prevalent that racism. See Race Matters and Are You Ready?. But I also do believe that racism "wins" the contest of which is worse -- in fact, there is no contest. Racism is more negative, firmly rooted and dangerous than sexism, hands down. See, e.g., The Contest.

And Obama will have a tough road to hoe, even without Hillary's help. For example, the Washington Post described troubling incidents that Obama campaign workers have confronted in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, Racist Incidents Give Some Obama Campaigners Pause. One example cited dealt with a letter to the editor published in a local paper by the Tunkhannock (PA) Borough Mayor. I read that and recalled the time that that little borough burned crosses in the '70's because one of the visiting football teams from Scranton had 2 black football players. No wonder they don't like Obama's message of change -- it's something they don't believe in.

And there are disgusting examples of sexism, such as the Alex Castellanos' comments last night on CNN, GOP Consultant On CNN: Sometimes It's "Accurate" To Call A Woman A "Bitch" (with video), who said that the term "bitch" is sometimes accurate, and that Clinton is open to the charge because she is "abrasive, aggressive, irritating." The man is definitely suffering from severe BALD* disease, in my book.

On the other hand, I also subscribe to the "Frankly, I don't give a damn if you say my dear" school of feminism. Generally speaking, it's not the words "dear" or "honey" that bother me, it's how I'm treated that's important. So, Obama's sweetie comment was no big deal to me. I watched the video of him saying it (as well as his later recorded apology) and it just wasn't said in a demeaning manner. Obama Apologizes for 'Sweetie' Comment. See also, Definitely Diamonds & Pearls. Anyway, I hardly think that Obama could be much of a sexist type with a wife like Michelle. No way would she put up with that.

Now that the race is winding down, the specter of sexism is being raised with more frequency, by Clinton and others, see Gender Issue Lives On as Clinton’s Hopes Dim.

The real issue is the number of white women who say that they won't vote for Obama if he's the candidate. Obama's problem: white women. I had dinner last week with a close friend and we spent the whole time arguing over the fact that I wasn't supporting Clinton (and the same with my family, who was here visiting this past week-end). My friend is so passionate about Hillary that she's threatening to support McCain if Hillary loses. Some women, of course, are merely carrying a grudge because Clinton isn't the nominee. Others, like Geraldine Ferraro are seeking revenge, Ferraro Walks Back Obama 'No Vote' Comment, But Hits 'Sexist' Jay-Z Reference, for earlier comments about Obama that were criticized as racist. She's On a Roll.

It wasn't that all that long ago that I thought this race was so exciting, because all three of the democratic candidates were excellent choices. Now? All this nonsense about sex and race makes me long for the days of white men. Only kidding!!

* BALD = Big Asshole, Little Dick


Susan said...

Your my kind of post-meno white woman; it's not all about us.

Anonymous said...

What floors me is the Clinton campaign's insistence on seeing sexism where there isn't any.

They go from the sexist but irrelevant (the "how do we beat the b****" comment, made by a Republican. Hello? Republicans weren't voting for her in a Dem primary) to the actually sexist and relevant (they wouldn't refer to a man's laugh as a "cackle") to the truly not sexist at all. That last category would include the men "ganging up" on her in the first debates. Sorry, that's what happens when you're the frontrunner. Contrast that with her later comments about getting out of the kitchen if you can't stand the heat.

On top of that, MI and Fla voters count, but it's okay if superdelegates overrule everyone's vote. The cognitive dissonance in this campaign has reached Bushian levels.

BTW, I'd like to say in advance that the Clinton campaign cannot blame this post on sexism, as I would have been happy with her as our nominee right up until the "kitchen sink" strategy. I thought part of equality was being equally responsible for your successes and your mistakes?

Aurora B.

JudiPhilly said...


Excuse me, but who said anything about post-meno????


I'm baffled by what is driving this self-destructive urge of the Clintons at this point. Ego? The proverbial bubble? Whatever it is seems to be doing more damage than good at this point. It's creating more Hillary Haters and it's fueling deeper divisions among her followers.

This nonsense about the wanting to count the votes in Florida & Michigan, citing the 2000 election, civil rights, etc. is beyond the pale. She really is sounding a lot like Bush.

Remember the rule of law? Those were the rules and they didn't follow them. Their choice, not a denial of rights. As a lawyer, I'm a proponent of following the rules as the best way to stave off chaos and promote a civilized society.

Susan said...

[In Steve Martin's voice] Excuse me! I write for myself (and perhaps one or two of the LLWL); you are still younger than springtime.

JudiPhilly said...

The advantage of an on-line persona -- you can make yourself whatever (or whatever age) you want to be.

Anyway age, like springtime, is lasting longer these days.

Anonymous said...

Hi Judi

It would take someone much more skilled in psychology than I to figure out what is going on in the Clintons' heads at this point. The vibe I'm getting is a sense of entitlement so strong that she just can't make herself believe this upstart has 'stolen' the nomination from her. Unfortunately, she seems to be trying to spread that thought among her supporters too, which makes me extremely anxious about this fall.

Oh, and if we get to pick re an online persona, I'll be my 19yo self, only with boobs, thanks. :)

Aurora B.