Politics — September 3, 2008 at 5:26 pm

Setting the Women’s Movement Back 25 Years


I have completely HAD it with people crying “SEXISM!” any time a female candidate running for President or Vice President is criticized or attacked. Hillary Clinton’s campaign did it when she got hammered (despite her own hammering ways) and now the McCain campaign is doing it to defend Sarah Palin.

The McCain camp is pushing back hard against the notion that she wasn’t vetted properly. “This vetting controversy is a faux media scandal designed to destroy the first female Republican nominee for Vice President of the United States who has never been a part of the old boys network that has come to dominate the news establishment in this country,” [said] chief strategist Steve Schmidt.

My mother was an ardent feminist and raised me that way as well. She fought her whole life for women to be able to compete in all arenas on an equal footing with men. In the workplace. In society in general. And in politics.

So now that women are entering the highest levels of political competition in this country, it is an insult and a betrayal of everything my mother and her feminist sisters fought for for female politicians to claim some kind of exemption from being hit by their opponents. It would be one thing if they were being hit for things that only women can be hit for. I’m as sensitive as the next feminist to that sort of garbage and I can’t abide it. But that hasn’t been the case so far as I can see, not for the most part.

It’s equally reprehensible for women to vote for another woman simply because she is a woman (“Vagicrats”.) How any woman could call themselves a Democrat and then turn around and hand their vote to a man whose positions are verging on anti-woman (anti-choice, doesn’t support equal pay for equal work, doesn’t support fairness in prescription drug coverage, etc.) is way beyond my ability to understand. Clinton supporters who are now voting for McCain, the so-called “PUMAs”, are among this group. That’s not voting for the best candidate to represent you, that’s voting for genitalia.

As a lifelong male feminist I am insulted by this. In my view, society, including politics, should be color and gender-blind. Men and women are judged equally for their beliefs and their ideas and their leadership talents.

Admitedly, the political arena is not a nice place sometimes. It’s often unfair and it’s frequently ugly and mean and nasty. If you can’t deal with that, don’t go into politics. But don’t you dare claim to be “breaking through the glass ceiling” and then resort to cries of “SEXISM!” when your political position is attacked.

To do so trivializes and degrades all the hard work and sacrifice and efforts of far too many good women who came before you and made this possible. And it’s shameful.

< /rant >

I’m just sayin’…