Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Before we get started with this blog post, I need to make clear that I am not writing these things JUST because I am a woman. However, I am absolutely sure that we are the stronger sex and had that stupid apple/Adam & Eve and eventually God not dealt us the burden of bearing and raising children, I’m sure woman would run the major systems and infrastructures of most countries. I do believe that woman are underestimated for what we can endure. This is also not a post in support of Hillary, she will not get my vote but I do think some things need to be addressed. With that caveat, let’s get started.
Well, I hope you’ve been enjoying this year’s political circus as much as I have. Regardless of your political leanings, you have to admit the theater’s been wonderful. With the Obama/Clinton debate in Austin, TX this past week, and an Obama rally on Friday night, I finally felt I needed to state how I feel about some of the acts in this years circus.
We have Giuliani, the thrice-married ex-mayor of 9/11 famously stating “I'm pro-choice. I'm pro-gay rights.” and hoping to win the nomination of the Republican party. Ok, read that again. I don't think I need to explain.
Then there’s Mike Huckabee who is completely unabashed about his plans to turn the United States into a pure fundamentalist theocracy. Has no one been paying attention to Afghanistan?
Or how about Ron Paul, an Austin-ite, who is so proud of his ability to take money that he puts a scrolling dollar tally as the largest feature of his website. Somehow, handing control of government over to someone who doesn’t believe in the concept of government seems strange.
So what about the Democrats? Well that race, although close and exciting, is disturbing and depressing to watch – not fun at all. The scenario: we have two obvious firsts in the two major candidates; Hillary Clinton is the first woman to make a sustained run for U.S. President. (Here I should note that the first woman to announce as a candidate for President was Elizabeth Dole in 1999 but she pulled out of the race before any primaries due to insufficient fundraising.) Clinton’s chief opponent is Barack Obama, the senator from Illinois and the first black man to run for President.
I salute both of these developments and I hoped this would usher in a new era of tolerance and acceptance, improving the country’s status and image both at home and abroad. I thought it might change things. After all, there have been 49 female elected heads of state exactly none of which have been in the United States. I was unable to find figures on black heads of state but I suspect the number is considerably larger than 49, and again none have been in the U.S.
Things have changed, but not for the better.
Unfortunately, instead of increased tolerance, I see unmistakable evidence of misogyny as the new racism. I think that media and each of us individually should aggressively challenge the policies, programs and proposals of all candidates for major office, but what I see happening now has nothing to do with policies, programs or proposals. It is pure hate speech. Some examples, certainly not all-inclusive:
* A woman at a McCain campaign rally, referring to Hillary Clinton, asks “How do we beat the bitch?” McCain laughs, terms it an “excellent” question and later refuses to apologize. Does anyone doubt that the response would have been different if the question had been “How do we beat the nigger? See what I mean? It’s disgusting and revolting to even see the word in print, but it’s “excellent” to use the equivalent for women when talking about a U.S. Senator.
* A sexist idiot at a New Hampshire caucus meeting repeatedly screamed "Iron my shirt!" at Clinton and held up a sign that said the same. The press considered it amusing. Replace Clinton with Obama and change the phrase to “Shine my shoes!” It’s no longer funny. Is it?
*This is not purely a Clinton/Obama issue, Defense Secretary Robert Gates recently battled tears as he spoke of Douglas Zembiec, a Marine and father of a one-year-old daughter who was killed in Iraq. Gates’ visible emotion was seen as a positive sign, especially as it comes from a senior staff member of an administration whose head showed shocking insensitivity when he recently addressed the issue of health care reform with the statement "I mean, people have access to health care in America. After all, you just go to an emergency room." But what if, instead of Gates the emotion had been shown by Condoleezza Rice? Would she have been belittled as too irrational, too girly to deal with the realities of war? Some more, and more egregious examples of sexist prejudice against women include:
* Referring to Hillary Clinton, Bill Kristol of Fox news says “White women are a problem, you know. We all live with that.” (FOX news is on my shit list.)
* Carl Bernstein is disgusted with Clinton’s “thick ankles” but has nothing to say about the physical attributes of any other candidates. What would the country’s reaction be if he’d railed about Obama’s lips?
* Want to buy a shirt that says "If Only Hillary Had Married OJ!"? Ha-ha. Very funny to make a joke about murdering your wife. Too much for you? How about the Hillary Clinton Nutcracker that features splayed thighs of steel with metal spikes to do its work? The Barack Obama tap-dancing doll in blackface is sadly not available. (All I am saying is what IF things were reversed)
* Roger Stone has established a Hillary Clinton-hating 527 group “Citizens United Not Timid”. The acronym is rather obvious.
* Last, at least for this blog post, is the South Park episode on Comedy Central. Terrorist secrete a nuclear missile in Hillary Clinton’s vagina.
As I did the research for this post, I became more and more disillusioned. I agree that the policies and beliefs of people running for public office are fair game. But look at the list above (and it could have been much longer). What do you see that has any relevance to policies or proposals or statements or opinions or anything that should be a consideration in deciding your vote. This is not funny. It’s not politics. It is, sociopathic woman-hating. And it needs to stop now.
oh and the circus just got extended.....I woke up this morning to Ralph Nader running for President. I read an article this morning in the paper..."2000 was a tragedy, 2004 was unfortunate, and now 2008 is a farce and a bit narcissistic." Welcome to the show Nader!!!