Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I'm Not Sexist, I Voted for Hillary

Many supporters see Hillary Clinton loosing the democratic nomination as one more injustice to be tallied on that bitch of a glass ceiling that, though now cracked in 18 million places, is still holding women back after all this time. And we finally seemed so close to equality. So close to seeing a strong, capable, outspoken, liberal woman in the spotlight. A talented woman finally getting the respect she deserved. And now, we feminists have no great hope...

Wait, what?!?

Why have all the feminists seemed to have forgotten that other strong, capable, outspoken, liberal woman in the spotlight known as Michelle Obama? She has been in this race as long as Hillary, but once HRC stood aside, all eyes (and what jerky eyes they are) were on Michelle. From being Barack's "Baby Mama" to being labeled time and time again as an "angry black woman," Michelle has been taking it from every side, in much the same way as Hillary. This time, however, it's not only about being a woman, but being (dun dun dun) a woman of color, This allows for a whole new wave of insults, and injustice, the likes of which not even Hillary Clinton has seen.

So, why the silence, ladies?

I'm not the only one who finds the sudden clamming up of America's great feminist voices suspect. Over the weekend Mary C. Curtis had a few thoughts on the matter as well (from The Washington Post):

"What does Gloria Steinem think? She was out front with her support of Clinton, promoting the importance of a female president. She has even endorsed Barack Obama. What's her reaction now that the knives are out for another strong woman?

How about Geraldine Ferraro the former vice presidential nominee whose racially tinged denunciations of Barack Obama sparked a media firestorm?"

She goes onto say how she has long considered herself a feminist and once "cheered" Steinem's words, " I'd like a little of that solidarity back now, not suspicion because someone of my race defeated someone of our sex."

As both a life-long feminist, and Hillary supporter, I have noticed the large gap in our media where the justified howls of sexism against Hillary used to reside. Now feminists far and wide seemed to have stepped down, licking their wounds, discouraged in the trenches. I can only assume, feeling as though they've lost the fight, they are laying low. But why now? The show isn't over . The second act, ripe with the intersectionality of race and gender, is just beginning. Since we first started fighting for suffrage, mainstream feminism has been criticized for ignoring women of color. Criticized for acting as though the problems facing all women were that of the suburban, middle-class, white women. Now, here we are possibly on the verge of the fourth wave, still dealing with the ghosts of our fore mothers. Don't get me wrong, without their triumphs we wouldn't have the rights we do, but because of their missteps we find ourselves still unable to look beyond our own self-interest. Unable to be okay enough with our loss to stand together and make sure to prevent another.

We either care about these issues or we don't. Ignoring Michelle for the next 4 months is not only going to keep that glass ceiling we beat on for the last year and a half whole, it might even mend a few of its cracks.

And while we're at it, let's send a little love Cindy McCain's way.


emrez said...

luce', i can't even tell you how happy i am that you have started blogging! hooray!! rock on, fantastic feminist :)

Anonymous said...

I have also decided to take the plunge...i'm sure my blogs will not be nearly as exciting as yours they will be cynical outlandish and probably rude...this is the person i have become by working with the "fabolous" people i see on a daily basis.

Kristin said...

I laughed harder at that YouTube video than I have at anything in a while.

Also, I love Michelle Obama, and it does seem like prominent white feminists have neglected to back her up through all of these attacks.

Chels! said...

I'm totally with you here. I've been blabbing to Joe about this for weeks! All that was talked about the last 4 months is, " what incredible (or not so incredible) things will the great Bill Clinton do as First Man?" all the while the Harvard and Yale educated, high powered attorney for one of the largest hospitals in America, is completely ignored. Unless of course you pick up the most recent people magazine in which it discusses all the reasons, "Barack Loves Her: She shops at Target! and never misses their daughters' recitals!!" PUKE! Talk about sexism.

emrez said...

it wasn't people magazine that said that, chels, it was USMagazine. and not only does he love her because she shops at Target and never misses the girls' recitals... he loves her because she likes Sex and the City, too!

never mind her intelligence and, you know, advanced degrees and her caring, compassion for other.