Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Not So Super Wednesday

As noted elsewhere, Super Tuesday resolved exactly what?

So far as I can see, about all the primaries yesterday did was to embolden the purveyors of false populism in our hemisphere (I told you I'd be using that line again), or in other words - encourage the batshit crazy fringe element.

I thought it was somewhat educational that Huckabee won big in the crazy religious states - educational in as much as it cements my conviction that I never, ever, want to live there.

I was heartened to see that my own home state of Alaska was not actually the leading Ron Paul supporter, (though he did get double digit support here) and he didn't win any state - though that is unlikely to deter him.

What I'm finding interesting this morning is the ruckus over Oprah's endorsement of Barack Obama. Obama has a lot of celebrity endorsement, from George Clooney to Scarlet Johansson, but it's Oprah who is causing a stir - because a number of women see her endorsement of a man as a betrayal of her gender. There seems to be a number of feminists who feel that if a woman is running for President, it is somehow your duty to vote for her - if you're a woman. The logic seems to be that neither the female candidate's beliefs, nor yours, matter - you, as a woman, are obligated to vote for a woman, period. I don't get this, at all. Wasn't the whole point of the feminist movement to empower woman, to give them the strength to make their own place in the world on an equal footing with men, be their own person, and to be confident in themselves enough to make up their own damned minds about what they want? This seems a major step backwards in attitude to me, and it seems to say that women shouldn't be concerned with the issues, or ideology, or political complexities- i.e. they shouldn't make their own decisions - but rather focus solely on a single simple item, gender. How is this different from saying to women, "you should vote for Mr. X, because he's just so cute?" What amazes me, is that this message is coming from women, and not men. How bizarre.

I wondered if the Queen of daytime fluff TV was maybe exaggerating just a tad, after all she does have a flair for the dramatic. Not this time. A number of feminist blogs are up in arms over her decision to back Obama, but the most vitriolic messages are appearing on Oprah's own message forum, Oprah.com.

I cannot believe that women all over this country are not up in arms over Oprah's backing of Obama. For the first time in history, we actually have a shot at putting a woman in the white house and Oprah backs the black MAN. She's choosing her race over her gender- hypocracy [sic] at it's finest!! Oprah- you should be ashamed of yourself!!!!!

Personally, I love that last line, 'you should be ashamed...' I think most of you who have been around Stonekettle Station for a while would rightly assume that I'm not much of the Oprah watching type. Can't stand the woman actually, I don't think I've ever watched her show and I don't make a habit of reading her forum - though I did enjoy her performance as Sofia in The Color Purple. But, I'm on her side in this. Ashamed? Why the hell should the woman be ashamed of thinking for herself? Why should she be ashamed of supporting someone of her race instead of her gender, as opposed to gender instead of race - assuming that either race or gender had anything to do with her decision, which I suspect it did not. However, if race matters more to her than gender, or vice versa, or not at all - isn't that her decision to make? And isn't that the whole point of feminism in the first place?

Here's a question for these idiots, if I support Clinton over Obama, am I a traitor to my gender, or is that an arbitrary rule feminists apply only to other women?

Yeah, there's a word for this, it's called hypocrisy.


  1. See, it's because racism is bad, and feminism is good.

    Racey Fems, now that's something I can... uh... uh... support. Yeah, support. (was going to say "get behind" but I really didn't want to go there"

    But your word is best. Hipocracy!

  2. However the hell it's spelled!

  3. A guest blogger over at The Angry Black Woman talked about this from the other side. You can find his essay here

    I don't feel any compulsion to support Hillary because I'm a woman - I feel compelled to support the candidate I think will do the best job.

    But what do I know, being an uppity wimmin and everything.

  4. My friend Joe, who used to be a member of the AK legislature, is black. He's supporting Clinton because he would rather have experience in the Presidency.

    Is he a traitor to his race/ethnicity? (NOO!!! Don't start that or go there. Please. Just don't.)

    Unlike myself, at least Joe has actual legislative experience. But I still prefer Obama.

  5. I feel compelled to support the candidate I think will do the best job

    That, of course, being my whole point.

    If a woman has to vote for a woman, because she's a woman and solely because she's a woman - isn't that just trading one master for another? And I thought we were beyond that, or at least I hoped were.

    I would think that feminists would cheer any woman who stands up for what she believes in, and votes appropriately despite what anybody else thinks she should do, including other woman.

    Personally I love the whole Schwarzenegger/Shriver marriage - he's a republican, she's a democrat and they both vote and endorse who they please - and I see that their 18 year old daughter is in the Obama camp. That's what I'm talking about.

    My wife and I have very similar outlooks (go figure), but I wouldn't dream of telling her how to vote - that's her business. If she chose to support Clinton, because she thinks it's time for a woman president and solely because of that (which she wouldn't because she tends to look at a much broader picture, I'm just saying for instance here) that's her call.

  6. Tania, that though occurred to me when I was writing the original post - but like you said, I decided not to go there in the post, though I have no problem going there in the comments. And I have seen it mentioned elsewhere that any African American who doesn't vote for Obama is a race traitor. To some extent I understand that, but again, aren't you trading one master for another?

    Again, I just don't get it.

    Like Janiece said I feel compelled to support the candidate I think will do the best job - and move the country in the direction I'd like to see it go.

    I will say that, with our history and people being people, race and gender cannot be put completely aside in this race. On the other hand, I think that it's about time we got somebody different in the White House. Business as usual is getting old for me, and old white guys in power ties just don't see things the way I do. And I think a minority President might go a long way towards fixing some of the lingering problems we have. I'd like to see somebody who can give priority to gender and race issues as a national leader. It's long past time to fix those divides in this country, so we can move on. I'd love nothing better than for our grandkids to wonder what all the hoopla was about when they read their history books, race and gender wise.

  7. Janiece, that was an excellent post over on ABW, wish that I had been half so eloquent. Thanks for the link.

  8. Yeah, there's a word for this, it's called hypocrisy.

    I would also say it's called stupidity. It's like voting for a candidate just because of their religion or lack of one, or just because of their party affiliation (oops, my independent bias showing there), or just because they do or do not come from a certain state.

    Janiece, thanks for the link to the post on The Angry Black Woman. It was great. And Jim, I agree. I hope someday my grandkids can just shake their heads when they read that race or gender was ever a political issue.

  9. Jim, my Smart Man's a republican, and I'm a democrat, and as you note with your own relationship, we vote our conscience. And they don't always match.

    But I know that whoever he chooses to vote for, it's based on his own due diligence. That's good enough for me.

  10. IIRC, one of the reasons men argued that women should not be given the right to vote was because we were incapable of making an informed decision, and would instead base our votes upon trivial matters.

    I can only imagine what people would have said if Oprah had backed John Edwards. Would she then be a traitor to BOTH her race and ethnicity?

    What the hell is wrong with people?

    No wonder she's stayed out of politics. It seems to bring out the worst in everyone.

  11. What Janiece said is what I meant, but I had to run out the door to meet a student.

    I want to vote for the candidate that is the best available option for my country. I see Obama in the role, not Clinton.

    Joe said he gets a little bit of grief over his preference, but we both were chuckling at the fact that I'm the white girl supporting the black guy, and he's the black guy supporting the white girl. Then we went back to our drinks.

    Your comment on trading one master for another is spot on. Part of being free and able to exercise your civil rights is the ability to exercise the franchise as your conscience dictates. I'm not going to vote for a woman because I am one. Egad, that reasoning means I should support and vote for Phyllis Schlafly and Joe should vote for Alan Keyes. *shudder*

  12. I'm the white girl supporting the black guy, and he's the black guy supporting the white girl

    And I suspect that's why you both are friends :)

    I may be colorblind, or gender blind, or whatever the term is, but if somebody else hadn't brought it up first I really wouldn't have noticed the race or sex of the candidates. I mean, I did, but to me it's just another datum - like hair color or height.

    Religion, however, I tend to pay a lot closer attention to, because if you believe that the Earth is only a couple thousand years old and Adam used brontosaur manure to fertilize his roses, well, I don't want you in office - yeah, I'm talking to you, Huck. I tend to think that fundie religious beliefs have a more ranging impact on the rest of us, take Bush's stand on stem cell research or Reagan's stand on abortion - both justified with references to their personal God. I have no problem with a religious president, providing he doesn't make decisions based on his beliefs that effect me. If he can't separate state and religion, I don't want him in office. Period. And I will oppose any President who attempts to include faith based anything into the public schools or make religion publicly funded.

    Race, gender? I don't care.

  13. I'm coming to the conversation late so you guys have said pretty much all I would have said...just, y'know, intelligently.

    I was watching Nightline last night and they were trying to figure out what the poll data meant. At that point, 11,000,000 votes had been counted in the Democratic races and the two candidates were separated by only 17,000 votes total. Amazing!

    One of them started trying to make the case that it showed how deeply divided Democrats are. I see it just the opposite way. I came to the realization that although my preference is to see Obama get the nod, I'll be perfectly happy to vote for Clinton if she's the candidate.

    1980 was the first election I was old enough to vote in. I can't remember an instance until now, where I'd happily accept any of the available options. I really like knowing that when November rolls around, no matter what happens, I won't have to hold my nose to vote for the Democrat.

    I feel really good about things right now.

    Oh, and Jim? Get your ass over to Polybloggimous. We need trained Officers. Things are getting out of hand. :)

  14. Nathan, yeah, what you said.

    And I'm on my way over to Polly Blogimouse's house right now.

  15. Divide and conquer. Just saying, not everything looks the way it is, and many will start the fight who quickly disappear to watch from the sidelines. It's just barely enough of an argument to get traction, and then they let others carry or rally around the flag.

    Also, one of the statistics I saw shoed that 65% or so of democrats would be equally happy voting for either Clinton or Obama in the Fall election. So much for being divided.


Comments on this blog are moderated. Each will be reviewed before being allowed to post. This may take a while. I don't allow personal attacks, trolling, or obnoxious stupidity. If you post anonymously and hide behind an IP blocker, I'm a lot more likely to consider you a troll. Be sure to read the commenting rules before you start typing. Really.