Topic of the week: Sex

This topic was inspired by a diary at Daily Kos about sexism in politics and how it's affecting the Clinton campaign. I happen to think the diarist is dead on.

In any case, have at it. The topic of the week is sex.

Comments

Okay, maybe I meant gender.

The symbol of cosmic androgyny . . .

Sex: I am for it!

I vote yes

"jump in where you can and hang on"
Briscoe Darling to Sheriff Andy

HAHAHAHA.....

I'm sorry.....I saw the title in tracker and just about died. I thought we might have to put out a rating system or something. XXX rated topics at BlueNC.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



***************************
Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

The KOS piece makes some excellent points

Still, I'm not going to be "guilted" into voting for Clinton just because we share plumbing. To me, the triumph of feminism means that I can consider her candidacy on its merits alone, regardless of her gender. I'm not holding women back; I may well vote for Bev Perdue for Governor, and it pleases me to no end that Nancy Pelosi is Madam Speaker of the House.

NOW is calling Senator Ted Kennedy a traitor for endorsing Barack Obama, and Oprah is getting some of the same treatment -- though really, she was going to get it no matter what. She picks Clinton, she gets called a traitor to her race. She picks Obama and gets called a traitor to her gender. What'cha gonna do?

I have to say it irks me the way some people automatically assume that Clinton will pull the female vote, as if we're all some massive block that does everything together.

One look at women like Anne Coulter, Michelle Malkin, and all the women who oppose groups like NARAL should tell you that we're not a monolithic bunch that marches in lockstep.

On the other hand, while I'm not voting for her in the primary, I *will* vote for Clinton if she's the Dems' nominee, and I've never understood the foam-at-the-mouth rabid Clinton-hatred out there, and the things like the Clinton nutcracker that the Kos piece mentioned.

Though if I had to take a wild stab in the dark, I'd say a lot of that type of reaction ultimately comes from fear. A fear of powerful women, a fear of losing relevancy, a fear of being plowed under, forgotten, left behind.

People hate what they can't admit that they fear.

I totally agree...

I get hit with the sexist/racist cared a lot. When, two years ago, I said that I would not support a HRC run for the white house, I was asked/accused by a co-worker that it was because she is a woman. I responded that it was not that she is a woman, but that she is not the right person, for me, for the job. Boxer is one example of a great woman that I would love to see run for president.

I got hit with the racist card a lot this year too because of my support for Edwards. Most young people (my age) that I know were/are supporting Obama. With a quite a few of them, I think their support has more to do with showing the world that they are not racist. Over and over again I was asked by people why I was supporting Edwards over Obama, and no matter what response I gave, it was not good enough. There was always the question/accusation (sometimes spoken, sometimes not) that my lack of support for Obama was based in race, and not in some other area.

This has been less the case with friends that live in NC than else where, but it still has been an issue. Even now, my weak lackluster attitude for the remaining candidates (I will vote for Obama in the primary, mainly because I believe in the 22nd amendment as well as my belief that the Clinton years were awful for the working class in this country) is taken by many to be a sign that as a white, straight male I don't want to vote for someone that does not look like me.

Just my .02 and my frustrations.

CM

The Great appear great because we are on our knees – Let Us Rise!
-- “Big Jim” Larkin

The Great appear great because we are on our knees – Let Us Rise!
-- “Big Jim” Larkin

I've been asked about this as well.

This has been less the case with friends that live in NC than else where, but it still has been an issue. Even now, my weak lackluster attitude for the remaining candidates (I will vote for Obama in the primary, mainly because I believe in the 22nd amendment as well as my belief that the Clinton years were awful for the working class in this country) is taken by many to be a sign that as a white, straight male I don't want to vote for someone that does not look like me.

Folks just naturally think you don't "like" their candidate when you mention that you are now disinterested in the process. I think it is interesting though, that people have jumped to the conclusion that it is based on race or sex. To me, that shows a projection of their own feelings on the matter.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Exactly

which is one of the things that tells me that they are voting guilt and not belief.

CM

The Great appear great because we are on our knees – Let Us Rise!
-- “Big Jim” Larkin

The Great appear great because we are on our knees – Let Us Rise!
-- “Big Jim” Larkin

That's a new one

So you're saying now that a lot of "young white folks" you know are voting for Obama only because he's black?
I hadn't heard that one yet!

No...

not "just" because he is black, there is a lot more to it, but I think it definitely plays. And I certainly don't think that it is a concious thing, but it is there in the back of the mind somewhere, this "If I don't support him is it because I am racist?" white guilt kind of thing.

I in no way mean for this to be negative toward him, or the many Obama supporters that I know. I am throwing it out there and just describing what has been said to me and what I have seen.

CM

The Great appear great because we are on our knees – Let Us Rise!
-- “Big Jim” Larkin

The Great appear great because we are on our knees – Let Us Rise!
-- “Big Jim” Larkin

Sex and gender

Here in the very, very red Moore county, I was floored by a comment another woman made the other day. We were talking about the difference between dems and reps; I said just take a look at the field of candidates running for prez. On the rep side - all rich white men, that is not a representation of America. On the dem side - a rich white man, a black man and a woman, very representative of America. Then the republican woman opened her mouth and uttered this stunning remark, I was so dumbfounded by what she said, all I could do was roll my tongue back up and put it back in my mouth. She said...(not verbatim)I could never vote for a woman because they get very emotional once a month and could not deal with anything, especially a crisis during this "time of month".

Where did all those progressive hippies go?

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Progressive Discussions

Feminism and Hillary Clinton

I think too many feminists (particularly of the second wave) have tied the cause of feminism to Hillary's campaign...as if we need to add any additional incentive for a new generation of women to not call themselves feminists. Not only are people going to be turned off to the movement if they support another candidate, but the movement risks its own legitimacy by clinging to the anchor of one politician. The cause of feminism is greater than the rise and/or fall of any one candidate.

I'm not denying that a large amount of stuff from that diary is true. I absolutely think some of the criticism of Clinton is reprehensible and a result of sexist ideology (ahem, Chris Matthews). But let's be honest about this: the electorate is not that sexist.

Here's a map I created for a blog entry I wrote on this topic:

The blue areas represent states and DC were women have won statewide elections and are currently serving in top positions (Senate, Governor, Lt. Governor and, in some cases, the House of Representatives). Most voters would vote for a woman...in fact, most voters already have. Whether or not they'll vote for this particular woman for President, is still TBD.

----
There are people in every time and every land who want to stop history in its tracks. They fear the future, mistrust the present, and invoke the security of the comfortable past which, in fact, never existed. - Robert F. Kennedy

----
There are people in every time and every land who want to stop history in its tracks. They fear the future, mistrust the present, and invoke the security of the comfortable past which, in fact, never existed. - Robert F. Kennedy

I always look for the block

that says "as often as possible"

"85% of Republicans are Democrats who don't know what's going on." -Robert Kennedy, Jr.

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire

This was psoted on Locker Room today

johnlocke.org/lockerroom/lockerroom.html?id=14838

The implication here is that anxious kids end up becoming Republicans. If there's any truth in this passage (it's hard to gauge the truth when Ms. Begley fails to cite any source to back up the claim), I doubt the words Ms. Begley chose for her story convey that truth accurately.

Given that he previously refered to the author as "Begley," I think he is using the "Ms." to imply something about the author's legitimacy.

That being said, I've seen some of us do the same thing. Indeed, I've probably done it...

- - - - -
The GOP will try to suppress the vote in 2008.

Journalism

A long time ago it was appropriate to refer to a person by their last name after having introduced them with a full title. I believe it is still acceptable. I find it odd that anyone would start with the shortened version and move to using the title and I think you've pegged the writer's intent.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



***************************
Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

feminists, Clinton, Perdue

On Amy Goodman's Democracy Now, I heard a fascinating exchange between Gloria Steinem and a woman whose name I've forgotten, but who was an assistant professor at Columbia, I believe, and was also black. Steinem's opponent broke things down into "second-wave feminism" (Steinem) and "third-wave feminism" (her), and was laying into Steinem over her NYT op-ed drawing parallels between the oppression experienced by African-Americans and that experienced by women. Essentially, she was saying, both are significant, and not remotely comparable. Steinem, frankly, didn't get it, and just kept coming back to the equation of the two.

I've got a passing familiarity with gender theory, but hearing it broken down into second-wave and third-wave feminism was both new and instructive for me. (First wave, I can only assume, goes back to Susan B. Anthony and the pre-WWII movement.) To draw a really crude caricature, the second-wave sees Clinton as a hero and a champion, fighting through all of the barriers. The third-wave is more circumspect -- Clinton's positions are largely admirable, but her accrual of power through her husband remains problematic.

At the same time, I'm generally sympathetic. When it comes to the Governor's primary, while I liked Moore early on, the muck between them, and frankly their milquetoast positions, has made me come to see them both as party machine hacks. And in some ways, that's not a bad thing -- party hacks have their uses (although I prefer them in the US Senate rather than the governor's office) -- but it doesn't help me choose between them.

With everything else so equal, I'm ready to vote for Perdue, just to get a woman governor of this state. It's about time, after all.

Just to get a woman governor?

Why? Perdue's being a female hasn't made a damned bit of difference thus far. She's one of the good ole boys and has been playing the good ole boys' game for as long as she has been in politics.

Just to get a woman governor? So you'd vote for her if she were GOP? We have a woman in the U. S. Senate -- for all the good it has done us.

As for Hillary's accruing power through her husband -- How do you know she wouldn't have achieved MORE by this time without him? What's problematic about her power? Is there some indication that she's not particularly bright -- just famous because of her husband?

I wouldn't vote for someone for being female or vote for someone for being black. Do do either is just as bad as NOT voting for someone because of gender or race.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing
-Edmund Burke

"With everything else being equal"

Those were very key words in my post. Having gone through their positions on unionization, the environment, their past records, where they've taken stands, where they've gone missing, where they've done good work, frankly it starts to be a wash between the two of them. They're both very compromised, they've both done idiotic things in office, and they both hold positions that make me wince, but they've also both championed good causes even when it wasn't the way the political wind was blowing. They'd both make pretty good governors, and I'm fine with either, certainly over any Republicans.

I certainly wouldn't support Liddy Dole simply because she's a woman. And I'm not supporting Clinton because she's a woman or Obama because he's black. But if either of them becomes President, it will be nice to get that ceiling shattered. In the absence of other strong deciding factors, this doesn't seem all that bad.

Regarding Hillary's power, I find the question very sticky, but I also find myself uncomfortable with her claiming "35 years of experience," much of that as First Lady, because it perpetuates the myth that women have to work through their husbands if they want to get anywhere. As my mother said, she'd feel very differently about this race if it were Nancy Pelosi running.

Good point

You're right, you did say that, and I should have read more thoroughly before responding.

But I'll stick up for Hillary's claim for that experience. I don't think her counting all that time perpetuates the myth of women having to work through their husbands, but can appreciate how some might see it that way.

I can't rattle 'em off now, but I remember from back in my life in Arkansas -- and suspect most Arkansans do as well-- that she had a lot of accomplishments, and lot going on with her own ventures before and during her "terms" as First Lady.

My problem with her is that she doesn't come across as a straight shooter.

I guess my feelings about Barak Obama and Hillary Clinton are similar to yours about Moore and Perdue in the sense that I could be happy with either Obama or Clinton in the executive office.

But as for Moore and Perdue -- argh. I know too much about Perdue to vote for her, and the more I know about Moore, the worse I feel about voting for him.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing
-Edmund Burke

Both of the Clintons are extremely intelligent,

Regarding Hillary's power, I find the question very sticky, but I also find myself uncomfortable with her claiming "35 years of experience," much of that as First Lady, because it perpetuates the myth that women have to work through their husbands if they want to get anywhere.

but I'm not sure either one would have achieved such a level of power and responsibility without help from the other. Like almost all married couples, the abilities of each are tempered by their union, making it difficult to assign values to either by themselves.

Hillary has been deeply involved in politics and movements since she was a youngster, and there are very few people in Washington who take her for granted anymore. It's not a wise thing to do. :)

True feminism

allows you to vote for whomever you want, because you are recognized as an intelligent individual in your own right, not having to rely on silly things like race and/or gender in order to make a decision.

So, I figure, fuck 'em if they can't take it. I vote for the best candidate.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Race and Gender Blindness

One point that gets glossed over in the discussion is how some of the MSM -- and others who aren't so mainstream -- talk about her in ways that are derogatory in a sexist way, and impact how we view who is the "best candidate." It mostly goes unchecked. One of the commentators, talking about a heated debate exchange between Clinton and Obama -- actually said that she was more "shrill." The fact is that if Hillary hadn't developed some hardness and toughness, she wouldn't be in this race, and probably wouldn't have been elected to the Senate. I really don't know who I'll vote for, but it troubles me the way we talk about Hillary as being unlikeable, etc. In some ways, Obama is taking a sort of stereotypically feminist/feminine approach -- focusing on bringing people together rather than on conflict, winning, etc. I'm not sure a woman could get away with that approach because it would look weak.

You're right about how Clinton is spoken of

I'm not a particular fan of hers, but she does get characterized in stereotypical manner -- moreso, I think, than other candidates. We've talked here before about the double standard that applies, still, after all this time. A strong, straightforward woman who isn't afraid to drop the "F" bomb is too controversial, too "butch", too bitchy to be successful. Those character traits are admired in men - even the colorful language.

In a post yesterday, video of Senate candidate Jim Neal was posted, and he said "Hell, yes". or "Hell, no." I don't think that a video of Kay Hagan would have been as well received - not just because there are so many Jim Neal supporters on this site, but because he's a guy, and she's not.

You're right - if Clinton wasn't strong and tough, she wouldn't be in the Senate, and she wouldn't be vying for the Presidency right now.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

As a guy

I would have to say that if Hagen had said that exact same thing, I still would have loved it. My (female) partner use way more profanity than I do, and I certainly don't have a problem with it.

I think one thing here is sometimes with a man it *seems* natural, and with a woman it seems forced and fake, a persona that she is using to seem tough. But then there are men where it seems fake, and women where it is natural.

I think a lot of the time it is about how it is perceived, whether natural or not. The question is is this based solely in gender stereotypes, or in something else? And I think that the answer varies from person to person.

CM

The Great appear great because we are on our knees – Let Us Rise!
-- “Big Jim” Larkin

The Great appear great because we are on our knees – Let Us Rise!
-- “Big Jim” Larkin

I would have loved it too.

But I'm one of the women of my generation who was raised by my parents to believe I was just as good as men at swearing. :)

And you're right, it varies from person to person.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Does anyone recall that woman at that McCain

event a few months back who asked McCain "How do we stop the b***h?". A real straight talker with any class would not have let that woman get away with that question. He just kind of smiled and winked through an answer. That winking is just what the MSM did and apparently most of the country as well. Just imagine the outrage if the woman had said "How do we stop the n*****?".
Huge double standard.
Also, a woman has to be tough to succeed in the rough and tumble of american politics, but then becomes unlikeable as a person. Catch-22.
This planet has many races, colors and creeds that label strangers as "alien" and therefore easier to hate, but we only have 2 genders. With the exception of a few times and places in history, women have been degraded in many ways. Recall that black men got the vote 50+ years before white women.
Admittedly the lot of women has improved over the centuries in most places, but we still have a long ways to go.

Person County Democrats

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?