I didn’t plan to use my debut post talking about the presidential campaign. Certainly not talking about Hillary Clinton. But as a young woman, I feel that someone has to comment. The headline isn’t misleading or designed to get reads- its real: Feminism is dead and Hillary Clinton proves that. I’ll explain below.
In yesterday’s New York Times
Gloria Steinem felt it necessary to rally the old hens of feminism and pull a sympathy vote for Hillary Clinton. And, she made it happen, the women of New Hampshire turned out in droves to essentially say “pass the ball to the girl”.
It was the perfect storm really the ABC debate was made to look like a pile on of all the boys on to the girl. Then the Clintons went on the offensive, Bill is angry, Hilllary is crying. Finally, she pulls the trifecta: Gloria Steinem comes out of the woodwork to turn the New Hampshire primary into a referendum on sexism. While I don’t think Hillary’s teary moment was fake it clearly did her a favor.
The Steinem article was rife with half truths, about both Hillary and Obama. Steinem wants to claim that Hillary’s play-dates with Benazir Bhutto & other world leaders equal on-the-job training. That’s simply not true, her whirlwind globe trotting as first lady doesn’t equal any more experience than Obama’s internationally based childhood. Her one big initiative during her tenure as first lady, her health care plan was a flop and a give away to insurance companies. If President Bush’s record of astounding failure is what we’re setting the bar at here I suppose the failure of Hillary’s intiative gives her credentials. She wants to claim that Hillary’s slightly longer time in the Senate is enough to overshadow Obama. To me, that isn’t enough to do much more than further ingratiate her into the same old Washington establishment that hurts this country rather than helping it.
She further claims “worry” over Obama’s dependence on the old. That’s a laugh Hillary is literally and figuratively married to the past. And behind her on the podium after both her speeches in Iowa and New Hampshire is the same cast of characters that surrounded her husband in the 1990s. So exactly who is focused on the past here? It seems to me that, its hard to be a change candidate when you’re flanked by the same old people. And the only people you’re talking to are old women. Hillary has made it clear she’s committed to lobbyists or she wouldn’t have given such a prominent position to Penn. How is that a candidate for change? Another candidate from the same old families, in the pocket of the same old companies.
What surprises me is Steinem came to her position as an activist and an agent for change and now she’s supporting the idea that voting for a woman just because she’s a woman is somehow better, as well as our duty to the sisterhood. How is that feminism? Running for president is about being put through the blender – especially when you invite it by going negative and using the Karl Rove playbook as she has. Now it’s too much, because she’s a woman? Now we’re supposed to give her the sympathy vote? How is that not more ammo for the naysayers against feminism, who think we are too weak. How does it advance women if women aren’t allowed to vote for Obama because we feel he brings more to the table, and not vote for Clinton because we feel she doesn’t have the right stuff? What happened to our right of self determination? Blind loyalty to gender or race is just as dangerous as any of the other worries Ms. Steinem voices in her article.
Obama speaks to me as a younger voter, not just a woman. He is inspiring, his policy positions are weighty and realistic. He’s asking for post-partisanship. And bringing every one up. He is the 21st century. It’s clear to me he has at least some idea what technology is about, what the issues I face are, and he know’s what it’s like to work through school and to make his own opportunities. His history with drugs, life, and growing up is well documented in an open and honest account. An accounting of the past that no other candidate seems able to muster. Obama is more than a candidate, he is an idea coupled with a movement toward progress. Something Ms. Steinem claimed to stand for previously.
Hillary doesn’t speak to me as near as I can tell she’s only interested in talking to those who are the same as her. Well enough off suburban boomer liberals who’ve sold their ideals own the river for a 401k and a sensible suit. Now, these women have a sense of entitlement about them I find equally off putting behind the bully pulpit or, when they look at you smugly in the office. They wear their war scars on their sleeves “I fought to get you here”. I don’t contest that point and I appreciate it. What I don’t appreciate is hearing those same feminist slogans when your actions support an establishment that consistently sets us back, rather than brings us up. For Steinem, this is apparently “getting more radical with age” to me, they were just voting for themselves which isn’t radical, it’s typical.
What worries me is the cabal of female “leadership” we’ve put forward lately. Condi Rice, Nancy Pelosi, and Hillary? Elizabeth Hassleback of all people is on the list of most powerful women? Why? Because she was on a game show, makes poor conclusions about american politics, and now she’s on the View riding the coattails of Barbara Wawa? Sorry but that makes us look far weaker then a yes vote for Obama. I have a hard time believing I’m supposed to be looking to these people as role models when Condi can’t find a sentence with both hands, Nancy caves faster than a house of cards, and well my thoughts on Hillary are outlined above.
Yes I’m supporting Obama because he has new things to say, new perspectives, authenticity, and gravitas. And if that’s a betrayal to the sisterhood, just call me, one of the boys.