Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Are you kidding me?

The National Organization of Women's NY chapter issued a very interesting press release yesterday responding to Ted Kennedy's support for Obama:

Women have just experienced the ultimate betrayal. Senator Kennedy’s endorsement of Hillary Clinton’s opponent in the Democratic presidential primary campaign has really hit women hard. Women have forgiven Kennedy, stuck up for him, stood by him, hushed the fact that he was late in his support of Title IX, the ERA, the Family Leave and Medical Act to name a few. Women have buried their anger that his support for the compromises in No Child Left Behind and the Medicare bogus drug benefit brought us the passage of these flawed bills. We have thanked him for his ardent support of many civil rights bills, BUT women are always waiting in the wings.

And now the greatest betrayal! We are repaid with his abandonment! He’s picked the new guy over us. He’s joined the list of progressive white men who can’t or won’t handle the prospect of a woman president who is Hillary Clinton (they will of course say they support a woman president, just not “this” one). “They” are Howard Dean and Jim Dean (Yup! That’s Howard’s brother) who run DFA (that’s the group and list from the Dean campaign that we women helped start and grow). They are Alternet, Progressive Democrats of America, democrats.com, Kucinich lovers and all the other groups that take women's money, say they’ll do feminist and women’s rights issues one of these days, and conveniently forget to mention women and children when they talk about poverty or human needs or America’s future or whatever.

This latest move by Kennedy, is so telling about the status of and respect for women’s rights, women’s voices, women’s equality, women’s authority and our ability – indeed, our obligation - to promote and earn and deserve and elect, unabashedly, a President that is the first woman after centuries of men who “know what’s best for us."

I just think this is sad. It's like a bad parody of angry feminists from Fox News. I understand why they would be miffed, especially after everyone was assuming that Kennedy might just as easily have decided to support Hillary, but saying that anyone who opposes Hillary opposes "us?" Give me a break. And I love the way NOW-NY declares that their feelings and those of all women are synonymous. It's "really hit women hard?" Really. Where's that poll, exactly? I spoke with my parents last night and my mother commented that it made her think about changing her vote. She didn't say anything about "betrayal."

News flash: the election of a President invariably involves picking someone that presumes they know best. That's where the checks and balances come in (in theory). Yet I would hope that very few men would try to make the same argument that electing or supporting Hillary would constitute a betrayal of men's views, or a subjugation of men's voices. Some people just DON'T LIKE HILLARY. Sorry to break it to you. This is like when everyone was doing celebratory Cossack dances because Joe Leiberman was named as Gore's VP- hooray, a Jew, a Jew! Never mind that most people had never heard of him and that a large majority of American Jews' policies were nowhere close to his. Similarly, folks like my paranoid grandmother (sorry, Bubbe) were convinced that Gore lost the election because of antisemitism. Not really. Even if that was a factor, I think (or would at least hope) that any votes Lieberman cost Gore had to do with his policies.

It's positively boneheaded to say that a person's support or lack thereof for the only female candidate in the race automatically determines their support or respect for women's views, opinions, right, etc. Hillary is no more the Pope of women than Obama is the Pope of black males. And frankly, not only is framing them that way not very helpful or productive, I don't think it's very healthy for the political process, either. That would mean that everyone who didn't vote for Richardson is anti-Hispanic, or that everyone who didn't vote for Kucinich is anti-idealistic Wood Nymph.

Get a grip, ladies. Please. Before the Republicans hear about this.

Hat-tip: Americablog.

Edit: Shiska Girlfriend pointed me towards this. Thank God, there are still sane people with ovaries:

In case you didn’t get that, women have been betrayed by voting on the issues instead of according to what’s in their pants. It’s like the Lifetime Movie version of a shitty-to-begin-with press release.
Not only am I not a die-hard Clinton supporter, but I work for Alternet, which is apparently on the release-writer’s Organizations to Kill list. I suppose I must have been psychologically gang-banged into whoring for the patriarchy — it’s the only possible explanation.

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