Author: has written 5281 posts for this blog.

Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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107 Responses

  1. Roxanne
    Roxanne January 10, 2008 at 12:10 am |

    Dude has a blind spot. Okay, about six blind spots.

  2. evil fizz
    evil fizz January 10, 2008 at 12:17 am |

    Subtitled: Help John learn to write a simple declarative sentence.

  3. zuzu
    zuzu January 10, 2008 at 12:28 am |

    And yet, were the subject gay men…

  4. annajcook
    annajcook January 10, 2008 at 12:43 am |

    I couldn’t make it passed this one:

    Is it wrong for a candidate to say that their opponent is emotional, empathetic, and strives to settle differences peacefully, and that those aren’t qualities we need in a commander in chief during wartime?

    Those aren’t qualities we need in a commander in chief during wartime? emotion? empathy? striving to settle differences peacefully? I hope to God who ever we elect has a full measure of all of those qualities!

  5. Pinko Punko
    Pinko Punko January 10, 2008 at 1:15 am |

    Jill, the man is a total and complete emu. There are no two ways about it. This has earned him a gigantic beef on the Three Bulls! mix tape diss tape. He can’t handle our rhymes. Word. Additionally, not to be looksist, but there is not a more orange human being than John Emuvosis.*

    *Excluding Tucker Carlson.

  6. Charlotte
    Charlotte January 10, 2008 at 1:20 am |

    I actually like John Edwards and am predisposed to forgive him the stupidity. HOWEVER, it would be interesting to consider how our perception of the statement would have changed if it had been Obama tearing up …

  7. piny
    piny January 10, 2008 at 1:22 am |

    I’m not the brightest crayon in the political-blogger box, but isn’t there another candidate who has teared up not once but a few times? I don’t remember anyone questioning Romney’s ability to lead an invasion force because he “got emotional” while discussing an issue (ostensibly) close to his heart. His honesty, sure.

  8. piny
    piny January 10, 2008 at 1:25 am |

    And since he mentioned it? Of course people would wonder about homophobia if a gay male candidate got ridiculed for tearing up about, I dunno, Matthew Shepard’s funeral.

  9. Melisssa
    Melisssa January 10, 2008 at 2:37 am |

    One of my favorite parts was the

    But having said that, every group has its members who just aren’t happy unless they can spot the daily bigot who’s holding them down. And if they can’t spot him, they’ll create him.

    Come on! Let’s blame the victims, shall we?

  10. donna darko
    donna darko January 10, 2008 at 3:12 am |

    That was funny. Like he was talking to himself.

  11. RacyT
    RacyT January 10, 2008 at 3:29 am |

    As usual, Jon Stewart has the reasonable reaction. I love this. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/01/09/thats-it-jon-stewart-_n_80749.html
    “That’s it? That’s what will cost her the election?”

    Goddam I missed you Jon.

    “ARE YOU F**KING SH**ING ME???!!!

  12. belledame222
    belledame222 January 10, 2008 at 3:35 am |

    oh gawd emuvosis

  13. mia
    mia January 10, 2008 at 3:39 am |

    for fuckssakes, are we ever going to progress beyond the tired, “OMG!!1! what-if-she’s-PMSing-and-has-her-finger-on-the-button!!1!” argument? ’cause if girly bits are all that it takes to turn leaders into crazy-ass unpredictable war mongers, someone should give Dubya a pap smear.

  14. Cymbal
    Cymbal January 10, 2008 at 3:55 am |

    Can we lose this idjit idea that WOMENS ARE TEH EMOTIONAL, please? On account of all human beings having emotion AND rational thought? And that it’s not like all women and all men are manufactured in a factory somewhere that gives one ALL THE EMOTION and the latter ALL THE RATIONALITY. Or is that too hard? Yeah? Easier to just think that all women are exactly the same and just have a blob of emotionality for a brain? ALL RIGHTY THEN.

    Also: since when is Hillary Clinton considered emotionally open and empathetic by the He-Man Hillary-Haters Club anyway?

    Oh? Since it became more fun to slander her as weepy-emotional-hysterical rather then frigid-bitch? Okay, GOTCHA.

  15. JackGoff
    JackGoff January 10, 2008 at 3:58 am |

    oh gawd emuvosis

    LOLOLOLOL!!!!

    Yeah, who is this piece of shit?

  16. louise
    louise January 10, 2008 at 6:34 am |

    Saw Daily Show too, racyt- it was PERFECT.

  17. The14thOpossum
    The14thOpossum January 10, 2008 at 6:41 am |

    Didn’t avorosis write last year that some politician was “a big girl” as an insult? I remember being bothered by it…

  18. anangryoldbroad
    anangryoldbroad January 10, 2008 at 8:28 am |

    Hillary Clinton is 60 yrs old. I know it’s a stretch for some of the more manly men among us to get this,but I’ve never met a 60 yr old woman who actually deals with PMS of any sort. A little thing I like to call menopause is usually pretty much over with by that time,no more flashes and hormonal ups and downs and the like to use against a woman. Sorry boys. Hell,I’m almost 50 and am post menopausal,I doubt I’m in a huge minority.

    Aravosis is an idiot. He needs to find a female friend or two,if he could find someone who could stand his privledged white behind. I’m sure he’s taken all kinds of crap for being a gay man,but damn,that should make him more compassionate,not less.

    What a nitwit.

  19. C.
    C. January 10, 2008 at 9:01 am |

    The thing is, if she displayed herself as aggressive and the perfect leader for wartime, the commentary would go like this: “What a bitch. If I want a man in office, Imma vote for a real one.”

    Le sigh.

  20. zuzu
    zuzu January 10, 2008 at 9:44 am |

    I don’t remember anyone questioning Romney’s ability to lead an invasion force because he “got emotional” while discussing an issue (ostensibly) close to his heart.

    Yeah, and you know what one of those issues was? The decision by the Mormon church to allow black people to be treated as humans. In 1978. Conveniently, when they were about to lose some kind of funding as a result.

  21. norbizness
    norbizness January 10, 2008 at 10:12 am |

    Thank goodness the only time Rudy’s ever cried is when he learned that his generic denture cleaner didn’t get out the tough blueberry stains BETWEEN the teeth; thank goodness he discovered Extra Strength Polident. Oh, and 9/11.

  22. Holly
    Holly January 10, 2008 at 10:13 am |

    There are like ten things wrong with his whole line of argument, and only one of them is sexism. The other ones are factual inaccuracy, using stereotypes as a substitute for accurate information, making judgements about an individual based on their membership in a group, false claims of objectivity, and generally willful blindness. Probably some other logical fallacies too.

  23. TinaH
    TinaH January 10, 2008 at 11:16 am |

    -ism, -ism. Hmmm. Oh, I know. How about dumbassism! He seems to have that o’plenty!

  24. Mnemosyne
    Mnemosyne January 10, 2008 at 11:50 am |

    I don’t know why I’m shocked when white gay men say and do stupid misogynist things, but I am, every time. Just a reminder that sexual orientation is not proof against larger societal pressures, I guess.

  25. evil fizz
    evil fizz January 10, 2008 at 11:55 am |

    Can we lose this idjit idea that WOMENS ARE TEH EMOTIONAL, please?

    And while we’re at it: ANGER IS AN EMOTION.

  26. Alara Rogers
    Alara Rogers January 10, 2008 at 11:56 am |

    You know, given that female emotion is stereotyped as empathy, compassion, sorrow, and love, and male emotion is stereotyped as anger, violence, hatred and a refusal to express compassion or empathy, why are we not arguing that men are biologically inferior leaders to women? I mean, they’re so emotional. Always ready to go to war, to commit violence over a stupid thing like their pride. They have such giant egos and they’re so willing to kill or harm others to protect those giant egos. Clearly, the right person for the job of leader, a person who must be calm, rational, compassionate and measured, who must have empathy for her own people and be able to put herself in the shoes of the opponent to get what she wants from them *without* going to war, has *always* been a woman. George Bush just proves how inferior male leadership can get.

    Okay, no, I don’t actually believe any of that, but the next time someone tells me that women can’t lead because they’re too emotional, I’m going to point out that 90% of murderers are male, so who is too emotional and what’s the emotion we’re talking about again? Given a choice between a leader who might cry when moved and a leader who might go to war to prove that he is better than his daddy, I think there shouldn’t be any question which would be the better choice.

  27. norbizness
    norbizness January 10, 2008 at 12:17 pm |

    I thought that anger is an en-er-gy (2:30).

  28. Dan G.
    Dan G. January 10, 2008 at 12:48 pm |

    Let’s not forget poor Ed Muskie who may have teared up in a snowstorm (1972) as a Prez candidate defending allegations against his wife. His campaign, for the Dem nod, which also was facing a spirited challenge from eventual nominee George McGovern, did not recover. It was later revealed, however, that Nixon peeps (the so-called “rat fuckers” or dirty tricks committee) were already — prior to Tears in the Snow — working to discredit Nixon’s toughest foes. Amongst other things, they forged a document referred to as the Canuck Letter (I think) which was an attempt to derail Muskie’s support amongst French Canadians living in New England. Still, it was the tears that apparently cost Senator Muskie, who went on to be Secretary of State and receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The tears apparently said “Not tough” or whatever. It’s dangerous territory for any candidate — male, female and/or combinations thereof. Still, for any Dem, or Dem candidate, to assail Clinton for an emotional moment, would bring back, to me, anyhow, images of the Muskie campaign, which was, by many accounts, led by a great man.

    Well, this is one heck of an election, otherwise. You’ve got white people voting for a man of color, to an exent, out of white guilt, (not because he’s terribly accomplished), and you’ve got the first ever (?) primary won by a woman. Is that right? Not to mention evangelical (Huckabee) vs. management (Romney) vs. war (McCain). Let us Democrats hope that it’s not an experienced hand such as McCain taking an inexperienced if like-able Obama to the cleaners for a Dukakis-like rout. That is a worrisome scenario. DG

  29. Mnemosyne
    Mnemosyne January 10, 2008 at 1:41 pm |

    HOWEVER, it would be interesting to consider how our perception of the statement would have changed if it had been Obama tearing up …

    If Obama had been the one tearing up, Edwards would have been pointing out that Obama was being weak and overemotional — you know, acting like a woman. It’s still a sexist assumption, even if it’s leveled against another man. In fact, it’s especially sexist when it’s used against a man, as the whole Muskie meltdown proved.

  30. Janis
    Janis January 10, 2008 at 2:04 pm |

    Actually, I think you’ve got white MEN voting for Obama (who I’ll like once he sits on a vine and ripens for a few years more) not out of guilt but out of a desire to punch their progressive membership cards while still going on and on about sluts, whores, and dyke-bitches. That’s what Obama gives them. The chance to identify with a man whose people HAVE been legitimately victimized and thus play their favorite game EV4H when talking to women: “Men Are The Real Victims Here.”

    In reality, they couldn’t give a rat’s ass for Obama or for the issues confronting black men (and sure as hell not those confronting black women). They’re white guys who listen to hip-hop because it makes them feel transgressive and down with the cause, and they still get to hate pussies. I’ve barely read a single blog where white guys who claim to love Obama can restrain themselves from throwing “whore” and “cunt” around like croutons on a word salad.

    They are falling over themselves in glee that they get to playact at being liberal and still hate cunts. In reality, they can’t give two half-craps about the problems confronting black men, either. And black men know it — but they are also prepared to take advantage of it where they need to, and while I think that’s unwise, I can’t exactly blame them. That’s the kind of bargain you find yourself making in a situation of being barely considered human, which as a woman I know all too well.

  31. Janis
    Janis January 10, 2008 at 2:39 pm |

    Oh, there’s also that “caring and compassionate are bad qualities when we’re at war” thing … I guess John Edwards doesn’t think FDR should have been in charge during WWII? I mean, I know the Rethuglicans are all over that particular rich, white guy as Satan Incarnate and A Class Traitor Besides, but shouldn’t Johnny Edwards feel otherwise?

  32. norbizness
    norbizness January 10, 2008 at 3:25 pm |

    Well, Janis, to be fair, because of the fucked-up primary system, white people have had their voices heard at a disproportionate rate. That includes two contests’ worth of voters, superdelegates (whoever the fuck they are), and, of course, corporate lobbyists. Who knows how women of color will vote in South Carolina, for instance?

  33. Janis
    Janis January 10, 2008 at 3:39 pm |

    I’m well aware that white people have had a disproportionate effect on the politics of this country — and I think that white men who support Obama do so out of the glee that results frmo being able to be down with the liberal cause while still throwing words like “cunt” and “whore” around.

    I’m also not even going to address how women of color will vote — mostly because I’m sick and tired of reading articles, comments, blogs, and everything else about how black women are some monolithic voting bloc territory that black men and white women have to fight over. Black women will do what black women have always done, navigated that particular unenviable minefield individually, in the privacy of their own skulls, and vote however they vote, and everyone else can damned well STFU about it. I resent the way that I as a white woman am expected to use them as the rope in a tug-of-war of some sort, mostly because I’d be enraged if anyone treated me that way.

  34. Janis
    Janis January 10, 2008 at 3:52 pm |

    I should state that I don’t feel YOU are expecting me to do that — I’m addressing the whole “which way will Black Women™ jump?” question, which irks me. They’ve got a rough choice, and I’m not going to pretend to predict it or act like I have much knowledge of it beyond what I can glean from sympathy and common sense. They’ll vote how they vote, and I guess I used your last sentence as a springboard to bring that up. My bad.

  35. Sean
    Sean January 10, 2008 at 3:52 pm |

    As a white, male, Obama loving feminist, I am appalled by the above comments. I couldn’t give two fucks about the fact he is a black male. This is true of the other Obama supporters I know regardless of their race or sex. He has policies that are different and distinct from the other presidential candidates and there are very legitimate reasons for not liking Ms. Clinton or Mr. Edwards that have nothing to do with the color of their skin nor their sex. To suggest that white males (as opposed to random asshole bloggers) all feel, must feel, or generally feel otherwise is both sexist AND racist.

    Personally, I liked when Hillary responded to the likability question during the debate AND when she welled up during her questioning before the New Hampshire Debate. People who know her well tend to say she is very funny and likable in person and I always want to scream, “well let me see that then, God damnit!” Candidates are often the most compelling when they are showing their humanity–especially when the primary complaint against them is their “robot-like’ presence. Many people say Bob’s Dole’s best performance came during his appearance on David Letterman–after the election–when he was funny and personable. Had he done more of that, he may have beat (Mr.) Clinton. Gore and Kerry suffered similar fates. (Ms.) Clinton will too if she wins the nomination and goes against a more (publicly) personable McCain or Huckabee.

    Also, whether or not you agree, I think it is perfectly legitimate to feel as if a candidate should not wear his or her emotions on his or her sleeve. To feel that a woman or a man will be better or worse than this because of his or her sex, is sexist. To find the behavior more or less preferable/acceptable is not.

  36. Sean
    Sean January 10, 2008 at 3:56 pm |

    “welled up before the New Hampshire debate” should read “welled up before the New Hampshire election.” I really need to start proofreading.

  37. Janis
    Janis January 10, 2008 at 3:56 pm |

    So you feel it’s legitimate to require a candidate not to wear their emotions on their sleeve, but you don’t like Hillary because she’s too stoic. Hm, irony pie. Time for lunch …

    And no, you don’t get to segment supporters of a given candidate as “real” supporters and “asshole bloggers.” Supporters are supporters, no matter what medium they use to reflect it. You may like to play the game that calling out men on their sexism is itself sexist, but that old chestnut got statle a long time ago, so find a new tactic. That one bores me.

    I should also state that I do not connect that sexism in any way to Obama himself. Unlike most of you who seem to think that Hillary Clinton’s farts lava and eats dead babies, I’m able to understand that while I don’t care much for the man’s supporters, he himself is not to be held responsible for their behavior — either on blogs or in the nebulously defined space in which “real” supporters congregate.

  38. Janis
    Janis January 10, 2008 at 4:04 pm |

    Another question for you, Sean: you obviosuly consider female Clinton supporters who take her gender into account sexist — despite the fact that we are legitimately reacting to a world that takes her and our gender into account every day.

    Do you also take black male Obama supporters to task for their racism in supporting a black male candidate partly because he is a black male, as I’m sure they do and as I can’t fault them one iota for doing?

    I am not the one who invented sexism. I am reacting to it — in a world that pays us a third less money for doing the same goddamned job, where 1 in 3 of us get raped, and where the leading cause of death for pregnant women is murder, might I gently suggest to you that the existence of sexism is no in any doubnt, and if you believe things were all hunky-dory between men and women before Hillary made us all sexist, you might want to stop eating so many espresso beans?

    Similarly, I cannot for one second fault black men for supporting a man who has confronted the same things they have, and who knows their particular struggles personally. Nor am I stupid and craven enough to call them racist for doing so. The fact is that this is a racist country, and where candidates and people are already judged on skin color, then there isn’t a damned thing wrong with taking skin color into account for people who have been on the receiving end of that shit. I would probably look a bit fish-eyed at a black man who didn’t support Obama in light of that, because black men have also been so terribly crapped on. (A white man supporting a white man wouldn’t get the same treatment for a simple reason: white men have no oppression to react against.)

    So again, I ask: You must have heard black male supporters of Obama state that their support partly stems from him being another black man. Do you take them to task for being racist? Or are only women supposed to join you in your fantasy that gender doesn’t matter? Instead of inconveniently reminding you that, while it shouldn’t matter, it sure as shit does?

  39. zuzu
    zuzu January 10, 2008 at 4:05 pm |

    To suggest that white males (as opposed to random asshole bloggers) all feel, must feel, or generally feel otherwise is both sexist AND racist.

    Who did that? Links, please.

  40. anna
    anna January 10, 2008 at 4:21 pm |

    Yeah, and you know what one of those issues was? The decision by the Mormon church to allow black people to be treated as humans. In 1978. Conveniently, when they were about to lose some kind of funding as a result.

    And did they even bring up the fact that women are still second class citizens (can’t be priests, deacons etc) and homosexuality is still considered a sin in the Mormon Church? Of course not. Will they confront Giuliani about the Catholic Church and reproductive rights, and gay rights, and women still not being allowed to be clergy? Of course not. If he belonged to a church where black people couldn’t be clergy or interracial relationships were not recognized, he could never run for office.

  41. Janis
    Janis January 10, 2008 at 4:22 pm |

    I should also point out what Gloria Steinem, bless her heart, said — if Obama were a woman, his candidacy would be dead in the water and woudl have been dead for months now. Obama, in the eyes of his white male supporters, is overwhelmingly an opportunity for them to gain progressive cred while still crapping on the girl.

    Racism and sexism both shift adn morph when in the presence of one another. Against a pack of entirely white male candidates, Obama would be a distant and laughable last-place finisher, and we need to keep that in mind. Obama’s race would disqualify him utterly in any race but this one.

    In this one, the hated ball-bashing evil Dragon Lady — who is a robot if she shows no emotion and a big old weepy or nagging girl if she does — is in the race, and in the rush to hate on the chick while still protesting their liberal cred, white males flock to Obama — an excellent but dreadfully inexperienced candidate. Again, go back and reread that op-ed by Steinem where she lists his credentials and pins them to a woman.

    And ask yourself how many white men were behind Carole Moseley-Bruan when she ran, a goddamned credible and far more qualified black candidate, but not a “viable” one (meaning not male)?

    I cannot think of one single white man who supported Braun, and I’d have to go hunt the Wayback to find out if any endorsed her. The fact that tehy all mysteriously came out of the woodwork when a far less qualified male candidate showed up — in a race against the ballbusting slut-cunt-bitch-of-Armageddon — is just too much coincidence, sorry.

  42. norbizness
    norbizness January 10, 2008 at 4:24 pm |

    Zuzu: I imagine it was this passage from upthread

    “Actually, I think you’ve got white MEN voting for Obama (who I’ll like once he sits on a vine and ripens for a few years more) not out of guilt but out of a desire to punch their progressive membership cards while still going on and on about sluts, whores, and dyke-bitches. That’s what Obama gives them.”

    I can only speak for myself (someone keenly interested in moving anti-Republican coalitions into the 21st century and wishing to get younger voters into the ballot box and unregistered persons registered and voting against Republicans). I’m sorry that Janis has run across frat-boy misogyny in sites that support my preferred candidate, and I’m further sorry that disingenuous morons like Andrew Sullivan, Maureen Dowd, and Chris Matthews are against my preferred candidate’s main opponent for sexist reasons. That’s not enough to make her into my preferred candidate, though, for a panoply of reasons.

  43. drakyn
    drakyn January 10, 2008 at 4:25 pm |

    I think he is referring to Janis’s comment #30.

    And while I think there are some white guys who are voting for Obama (or Clinton) to up their liberal/progressive creds, it certainly isn’t all of us.
    Though, that guy is an asshat; I remember his posts about ENDA and trans*folks.

  44. Jetgirl
    Jetgirl January 10, 2008 at 4:28 pm |

    Thank you, Janis. Where is all the anger and finger-pointing at black voters who are voting for Obama in large part because he is black? Or is that going to start should he get the candidacy?
    I plan to vote for Clinton. I agree with more of her politics than with those of the other candidates, and I am not ashamed to say I very much want a woman in the White House. How is my decision any worse than that of the guys who plan to not vote for Clinton because she reminds them of their harridan wives? Or for Bush because he was so folksy?
    Oh, right, men are paragons of logic and rational thought. They are not ruled by their hormones. Because testosterone is not a hormone. Testosterone in excess doesn’t cause aggression and insanity. Not at all.

  45. Dan G.
    Dan G. January 10, 2008 at 4:45 pm |

    Just to be clear on something that I wrote: I said that whites are voting for Obama IN PART due to white guilt, which I think is true, but certainly not for that reason alone. The commentary and debate on this blog has been very interesting to me. Certainly, there is no viable white man on the Dem side in ’08. This will ensure an historic nominee. A friend of mine asked, “Who do you think a white guy is most willing to take an order from? A black guy or a woman?” That, or “Who is a white guy most willing to vote for?” might be the question(s) of the year. Or, it could be that the country is ready for neither, in which case, we’ll get either war (McCain), management (Romney), evangelism (Huckabee), or, and I left this out before, LaGuardia Lite (Giuliani).

    A final point — Muskie, may he rest in peace, was responding to personal attacks on his wife, when he cried. (He claimed that melting snow on his face was creating the illusion). Remember that Dukakis responded coldly to a question about a hypothetical assault on his wife, and this cost him at the polls. So, I mean, there’s a fine line, and the interesting thing was that Hillary’s emotion was more tied up in how much she seemed to care about her political interests, i.e., the country’s future. In there may be the key. People are moved by America, whether it be men or women, left or right. It wasn’t a big tear-jerker, either. In its own way, it was restrained. Some have reasoned that it helped her in N.H. It has not, for sure, condemned her campaign to the same Muskie fate of yore. Personally: I want a race. I want to see these two smash each other for months and then — at the deadlocked convention — Al Gore struts out to wild applause. JUST KIDDING! DG

  46. piny
    piny January 10, 2008 at 5:05 pm |

    Thank you, Janis. Where is all the anger and finger-pointing at black voters who are voting for Obama in large part because he is black? Or is that going to start should he get the candidacy?

    Of course it will. It is starting already; it swung into overdrive as soon as Obama started to be the candidate to watch. Obama voters are the kinda people who will “riot” if their candidate loses. The judgment, citizenship, and intelligence of black voters and candidates has been under assault in every election cycle. In this election cycle, that’s also translating into the idea that people are opting for the black guy because it makes them feel good about themselves.

    One of the reasons Hillary has had to deal with more misogyny than Obama has had to deal with racism is that she’s been the front-runner. (And she’s been the “front-runner” for much, much longer–she’s been the pivot-babe of choice for misogynist right-wingers and moderates for many years.)

    There are sexist people who feel more comfortable with a black man than a white woman, just as there are racist people who feel more comfortable with a white woman than a black man. It’s unlikely, however, that either candidate will benefit more in the aggregate from being subject to one prejudice than the other.

  47. Vanessa
    Vanessa January 10, 2008 at 5:13 pm |

    It’s unlikely, however, that either candidate will benefit more in the aggregate from being subject to one prejudice than the other.

    Yes. What piny said.

  48. Jetgirl
    Jetgirl January 10, 2008 at 5:35 pm |

    Gaah. Yes, of course. And at the root of both these isms is the notion that certain groups (female, of color, and — gasp! — those who are female and not white) couldn’t possibly possess the intellect or logic to choose the “right” candidate for office, the “natural” leader, which is of course by default a white dude.
    Because, you know, God is a white dude, and Jesus was a white dude, and Adam was a white dude. Gaah.

  49. Janis
    Janis January 10, 2008 at 5:48 pm |

    Norbiz, I want to underline that I don’t attribute the obnoxious behavior toward Clinton that I’ve seen from Obama supporters to Obama himself, either. It has influenced my support of Clinton though, because it can’t do any other. I know as I know that the sun rises in the East, the orgy of pussy-centered hatred that will pour forth in this country if/when she loses (too close to call at this point). The white boys — ALL OF THEM — will be besides themselves with glee and will lose absolutely NO chance to gloat insanely, endlessly, in the faces of every woman they know over it. That will be the political life of every woman in the United States if/when she loses, and even women who don’t support clinton will have to live in it. It’s not an intellectual bagatelle for me.

    But be that as it may, I do not attribute that to Obama, I don’t sit back and imagine fantasy conspiracies whereby he supports it or is promoting it, and I don’t think him a bad person for it.

    I also think that, should Clinton win (again, too close to say), she had goddamned well better choose a black male running mate, because the visceral level kick to the stomach that black men and women will take is the sort of kick that never goes away and never stops hurting. As a woman, I know what that kick feels like. After a lifetime of “not your turn yet,” and listening to shit like that “I’ll support a woman … someday” horseshit, I know what that kick feels like. And IF Clinton wins, black men and women everywhere in this country weil be feeling it, and it will hurt like hell and never quite stop hurting. She MUST pick a black male running mate, whoever it is.

    I also am a realist, and should Obama win, I don’t expect he’ll pick anything but a white guy, and I don’t expect ANY of his supporters to understand the kick to the stomach that women will take — that we took after Iowa and that motivated us to pull a not-so-fast in NH.

  50. Janis
    Janis January 10, 2008 at 5:51 pm |

    piny, while I still think that the 15 years-plus of hate-fest bullshit that Hillary Clinton has taken full in the face is faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar above and beyond ANYTHING that ANY political figure has taken throughout the history of this country and any other country since the dawn of time … your point is taken. That “shuck and jive” comment linked to above made me see red — and it goes a long way to highlighting that the boys in charge will poke and prod and have a ball tormenting whichever one they want, the Ballbusting Women i>or the Scary Black Men. They switch back adn forth between us at their leisure and for their fucking amusement. It’s sickening.

  51. Sean
    Sean January 10, 2008 at 6:14 pm |

    Zuzu,
    Janis and Dan G. have both supported my initial reading of their posts as making broad statements of all white male Obama supporters.

    What is “sickening,” Janice, is to suggest that all white male Obama supporters support Obama because he is not a woman. You want to see me support a woman? Call me when my wonderful governor, Kathleen Sebelius, runs for President. In a state that is more than 60% republican, the Democrat Sebelius won reelection with nearly 60% of the vote. I was happy to vote for her twice. This is the kind of unifer I want in the White House.

    Simply put, Obama represents a change from the divisive politics that have gripped this country for 16 years. Ms. Clinton offers more of the same. She continues the fear mongering of the Bush administration. I don’t need 4-8 more years of that shit. After 6 years of America exporting fear to the rest of the world, I am ready for America to export hope again.

    I could go on and on about my reasons for supporting Obama and not supporting Clinton but I don’t think that will influence you in any way from thinking that I am doing so simply because he is not a woman.

    BTW, I am an Independent who is–at this second–a registered Republican (don’t worry fellow Obama supporters, I will hop back to the Democratic side before the Kansas Caucuses). If you think I have ANY interest in my “liberal cred” you could not be further from the truth.

  52. Sean
    Sean January 10, 2008 at 6:22 pm |

    Janis,
    I offer my apologies for misspelling your name.

  53. Janis
    Janis January 10, 2008 at 6:27 pm |

    Sean, you are making a basic logical mistake. I’m not saying that you are supporting Obama because he is not a woman. I’m saying, if he were a woman, you would not be supporting him.

    And no, they aren’t the same statement, and someday I’ll stop expecting people to grasp things like logic and statistics, but that day is not today.

  54. Sean
    Sean January 10, 2008 at 6:33 pm |

    Janis,
    I grasp the difference in your statements. It would be just as foolish for me to promise you that I would support Obama if he were a woman than it is for you to presume I wouldn’t. All I can say is I support Obama now and there are women I would support in the future. My reasons for not supporting Ms. Clinton have nothing to do with her sex and everything to do with her politics as compared to those of Mr. Obama. She still beats the Hell out of a Romney or a Huckabee.

  55. Sean
    Sean January 10, 2008 at 6:42 pm |

    BTW, that is a very easy attack to make and impossible to refute. Essentially, you are saying, “if things were different, they wouldn’t be the same.” True enough, as far as it goes, but not very helpful for analyzing people’s reasoning and conduct.

  56. Mnemosyne
    Mnemosyne January 10, 2008 at 8:51 pm |

    I know as I know that the sun rises in the East, the orgy of pussy-centered hatred that will pour forth in this country if/when she loses (too close to call at this point). The white boys — ALL OF THEM — will be besides themselves with glee and will lose absolutely NO chance to gloat insanely, endlessly, in the faces of every woman they know over it. That will be the political life of every woman in the United States if/when she loses, and even women who don’t support clinton will have to live in it.

    I do not support Clinton and won’t vote for her in the primary (I will in the general), but you nailed it. I wish wish wish that fratboy impulse didn’t exist in so many otherwise normal-seeming men, but it does.

    And it doesn’t particularly track with whether someone identifies as liberal or conservative. I’ve referred to the “shut up and make me a sandwich” liberal guys that I’ve met or dated before, and that particular stream has been quite vocal on the internet during this election season.

  57. Michael Hussey
    Michael Hussey January 10, 2008 at 9:00 pm |

    Now take the word “woman” out of it altogether. Is it wrong for a candidate to say that their opponent is emotional, empathetic, and strives to settle differences peacefully, and that those aren’t qualities we need in a commander in chief during wartime?

    It is if that candidate is trying to win New Hampshire. I like Edwards. That doesn’t mean he has doesn’t have a visceral hatred for Hillary. Edwards was attacking Hillary hard during the New Hampshire debate and using kid gloves on Barack Obama. Logic say attack the candidate ahead in the polls. That wasn’t Hillary.

    In John Aravosis defense, he is looking at the Hillary issue from a gay male’s perspective. I’m a straight guy that played sports and came from a Republican family. Feminism can get confusing for me. I rarely read Americablog. I don’t have strong fellings about Aravosis one way or the other.

    We have a female and African-American candidate. Progressive are wrestling with how to discuss race and gender. The Left has worked a long time to have viable minority candidates. At some point we are going to have to come together and drop or personal biases. Otherwise, say hello to President Huckabee.

  58. Janis
    Janis January 10, 2008 at 9:04 pm |

    Mnemosyne, I’m not all that fond of some of the triangulating that Clinton has had to do, but I do think that that exact tactic has been wildly successful for the ultra-right-wing for the past 30 years. Dubya’s dickweed posse would have been laughed at in 1975 or even 1980, but they did what I’d like to see women do — gained a little ground, and pushed. Then they gained a little more ground, and pushed. More, and more, like the boa constrictor. And now 30 years later, we’re all going, “How the shit did we get all the way over here?!”

    By necessity, Clinton’s had to move her politics to the right of where we want them, and probably where she wants them. So we do what the right wing nutcases have done — hold our noses and vote for someone who isn’t quite as far to one side as we’d like them to be. Then, build pilings on the ground we gained, and shove to one side again. Build more piling, shove again. Gain ground, push, gain ground, push. Over and over and over. Instead of expecting to gain the whole thingi n one fell swoop or refusing to vote for a woman who isn’t smack-dab all the way at the far end where we’re aiming for. We won’t make up 30 years worth of lost ground in one election cycle, and if we refuse to budge unless we do, we will simply slide further to the right. (As Steinem said, she and Obama have overlapped 90% of the time anyhow.)

    That’s why it bugs me to hear people, specially women, say that they dislike her for not being far enough to the left, as left as she’d like to be in her own mind, I have no doubt. We are expecting ANY candidate, especially a woman in whom we’d like to see our political selves reflected, to gain 30 years worth of political liberal ground in one election cycle. Won’t happen — gain ground, then push, gain, then push. A little more, a little more, just a little more … and 30 years from now we’ll be back where we were. We’ll have gained three decades of lost ground, lost to the past, and we’ll be able to shove more.

    But we have to do what the right wing has learned to do — dig in our heels, vote slightly to one side of where we want to be, and wait it out. Patience, like the boa constrictor. Shove it inch by inch back to the left, until we have transformed things to the point where a woman candidate can be what we want her to be and still have a snail’s chance in hell of succeeding.

  59. Janis
    Janis January 10, 2008 at 9:24 pm |

    M, I also feel the need to restate what I sid, and the comment that you picked out and responsed to as well, just to make sure this doesn’t get lost in “yes-but” territory:

    If Hillary Clinton loses we are FUCKED. Women are FUCKED. FUCKED SIX WAYS FROM SUNDAY. It really does come down to that, as liberal and progressive as Obama is (assuming it’s a contest between him and Clinton, which is seems to be shaping up as). We are royally fucked if Clinton loses.

    Not because of Obama’s policies or political opinions. He’ll be a fine friend to women’s rights; he’s pro-choice and anti-gay freakbots with whom he’s shared the stage notwithstanding, he’s as much of a friend to LGBT as anyone else who has a snail’s chance of winning.

    But nevertheless, due to the message that white males — who are nonetheless WELL IN POWER in this world — will take away from it, a clinton loss will leave is so fucked we’ll still be taking out stock in Astroglide when I retire. All over the country — in business, in boardrooms, in classrooms, on the street, in the home, in every arena possible, we will be screwed over to within an inch of our lives if she loses. Unlike the graciousness that Pat Robertson ominously advised Clinton to evince in her hypothetical NH concession speech, they will show no grace at all towards us. The pall that will descend over our heads if Clinton loses will fuck us over until Doomsday. This is do or die for women, period. We are so thoroughly screwed if she loses that it’s beyond what anyone thinks.

    Any woman who thinks otherwise is in for a nasty hangover come the day after the election, I’m serious. This is indeed do or die, and I’m not overstating it. That woman wins, at least in the primaries, or we pay the price in every conceivable way. I hate it, and I hate the fact that it’s true. I especially hate the way it’s been positioned as a “black men or white women get empowerment, pick one” sort of thing. But while I do not imagine a sudden rise in the rate of lynchings should Obama lose, I most certainly DO imagine a rise in the rate of pregnant women homicides and rapes (and a drop in reporting) if Clinton loses. This really, really is do or die. This is not an exercise, and this is not a drill. I am not optimistic because I never have been, and the last three decades of politics have demonstrated nothing to me but that optimism is a crock of shit. But we — as women — either win this, or we are fucked.

  60. Janis
    Janis January 10, 2008 at 10:00 pm |

    I also advise you to think twice about what Robertson heavily implied with that “be very, very gracious” comment:

    “You uppity bitches LOST, okay? Now, you’d damned well better show us the backs of your necks and beg like hell for forgiveness for being so uppity in the first place.”

    If she loses, we’d ALL better get goddamned good at begging for forgiveness and promising Mr. Sir we won’t be so uppity again.

    We talked back to Mr. Sir, and if we can’t make it stick, we either grovel or we get it good.

  61. Michael Hussey
    Michael Hussey January 10, 2008 at 10:19 pm |

    I hate it, and I hate the fact that it’s true. I especially hate the way it’s been positioned as a “black men or white women get empowerment, pick one” sort of thing.

    I don’t think we should have to pick. We need to fight for equality for all. My concern is this will become a wedge that tears Democrats apart. Xenophobia on immigration tore Republicans apart and helped Democrats in 2006. I’m more than happy to see more Hispanics vote Democrats and Republicans falter. What troubles me the xenophobia gave people like Jim Gilchrist a platform.

    We have heard Jesse Jackson Jr and Andrew Cuomo spout prejudicial garbage. I’m concerned that attacks will lead to more attacks of this nature.

    A Hillary victory will change America’s views of women in leadership roles. How many women are CEO’s). I’m not sure if Hillary will further feminist goals.

    Not this time. Abortion is “a sad, even tragic choice to many, many women,” said Clinton. Then she went further: “There is no reason why government cannot do more to educate and inform and provide assistance so that the choice guaranteed under our constitution either does not ever have to be exercised or only in very rare circumstances.”

    The quote comes from the horrible William Saletan. Still, I don’t like how she is attempting to triangulate the abortion debate.

    All over the country — in business, in boardrooms, in classrooms, on the street, in the home, in every arena possible, we will be screwed over to within an inch of our lives if she loses.

    Obama is picking up endorsements and momentum. I’m prepared to fight with women to further feminist ideals, in the event of a Clinton loss.

    Not because of Obama’s policies or political opinions. He’ll be a fine friend to women’s rights; he’s pro-choice and anti-gay freakbots with whom he’s shared the stage notwithstanding, he’s as much of a friend to LGBT as anyone else who has a snail’s chance of winning.

    Hillary came off much better than Obama during the HRC forum. Obama is a powerful messanger. The problem is he lacks substance (with the exception of his foreign policy paper.) We all want change. Obama hasn’t outlined his goals in wonkish details. His doom and gloom talk on Social Security was terrible.

    We all want the same things. How do we achieve that with conservatives wanting to destroy our agenda?

  62. zuzu
    zuzu January 10, 2008 at 10:32 pm |

    The quote comes from the horrible William Saletan. Still, I don’t like how she is attempting to triangulate the abortion debate.

    They’re ALL doing that, though. Every one of them. Because people freak out when you come out too full throatedly in favor of abortion, so you have to pat the “abortion is icky” crowd on the head and let them know that you too think abortion is icky.

  63. Vanessa
    Vanessa January 10, 2008 at 11:44 pm |

    Janis…what? If I follow your logic, then won’t black people be fucked if Obama loses?

    So, as a black woman I’m fucked either way?

  64. Janis
    Janis January 11, 2008 at 12:12 am |

    Again, like I said, I don’t foresee a rise in anti-black violence if Obama loses, but I most definitely foresee a bootheel on all women if Clinton does.

    And Vanessa, the last thing I want to do is attempt to make light of the choice confronting women of color here. The more I’ve been thinking about it, the more and more deeply I realize that, as far as I can get with common sense and sympathy, I just can’t understand it. Period. I’m not there. I’m not trying to either identify with a stranger, or with a man who wears the face of my family members. Barack Obama is for women of color, family. Husband, dad, child, pesky kid brother. Hillary Clinton is a woman, but she is a stranger. And that doesn’t even begin to address the marginalization “wait a sec we’ll get around to you, too” that black women have been hearing from all sides regards both race and gender. It doesn’t even begin to address the kick to the stomach that I mention above that you will feel and see in the men you love and share family with if Clinton wins, nor the bile that all women, including black women, will taste upon an Obama victory when ALL our men turn to us and smugly say, “It’ll be your turn someday, honey.”

    But again, I do think that the upshot of a Clinton loss will be far, far, far worse for all women of all colors than the upshot of an Obama loss will be for all black people of all genders. I admit freely that I speak hypothetically about half of that, but I think I’m reading the country’s mood correctly in this case.

    Basically, Clinton has endured such awesome and breathtaking hatred, and will do so if she loses to an extent that will take every woman’s breath away. And after seeing how badly a woman who loses will be treated, I fear that no other women will try for my lifetime, or yours. I honestly wish she hadn’t decided to run. I could have just voted for a woman-friendly man if she hadn’t, Obama included. As I said, I like him fine, if he were older. He really is too green.

    But I could have just voted for a woman-friendly man and hoped for the best, like always. There was a strong reaction in me of “JESUS CHRIST WOMAN KEEP YOUR HEAD DOWN!” when she declared herself a candidate. You don’t want to RISK IT! Everything we’ve gained! But she did. And now the gauntlet is thrown, and we have to pick it up.

    And again, I am not attempting to dismiss the importance of Obama’s candidacy. Black Americans are in a hideous position in this country, where they starve and drown and die in a major city while Nero fiddles. Where young black males and black women as well are at such terrible risk for death from so goddamned many causes that it’s hard to keep track of them all. But I do think that the slapdown that faces all women of all colors everywhere in the event of a Clinton loss is far, far worse. “Be very, very gracious.” You got mouthy, and you’re gonna pay, is what that says.

    It’s all a matter of balancing it out, and I can vote for Obama in a general election. But if Clinton loses and gets sent through the fang-baring meat-grinder that awaits her, you and I will be dead for two lifetimes before another woman of any color will dare lift her head who isn’t to the right of Margaret Thatcher.

    I’m not saying you’re fucked either way. I’m saying you’re fucked far, far, far worse one way than the other — and if saying this as a white woman seems dismissive or light, I cannot tell you how thoroughly I apologize for it, and I welcome with open arms and heart any enlightenment or dialogue about this.

    God, I hate living in a world where this sort of thing even has to be said or discussed. God, I fucking hate this. I need a margarita.

  65. Janis
    Janis January 11, 2008 at 12:16 am |

    Michael: “I don’t think we should have to pick. We need to fight for equality for all.”

    I agree — and I wish everyone suddenly got this eloquent (and I’m including me on this) on how we “shouldn’t have to pick” when Carole Moseley-Braun was running, and before her candidacy spun into the ground for lack of ANYONE giving a half-crap.

  66. Janis
    Janis January 11, 2008 at 12:25 am |

    Shit. Does anyone know what Braun’s old campaign URL was? I want to go to the Wayback and do a little looking around to see what endorsements/contributors she got.

  67. Vanessa
    Vanessa January 11, 2008 at 12:34 am |

    Uh, yeah. Janis, I fail to see how voting for or against yet another rich white liar is going to affect the lives of black women in this country in any way shape or form.

    If Hillary Clinton wants to count her time being married to someone as political experience, then let’s talk about it. Let’s talk about Clinton-era welfare reform. Let’s talk about Rwandan women abandoned by those that could help them. Let’s talk about that. And then tell me how I’m supposed to care about Hillary Clinton again?

    Oh well. Yet! Another! Example! of why women of color feel alienated by white feminism.

  68. Vanessa
    Vanessa January 11, 2008 at 12:43 am |

    And to clarify: I’m not exactly an Obama supporter either. As of yet I’m undecided. I just refuse to vote for someone based on anything other than quality.

  69. Janis
    Janis January 11, 2008 at 12:45 am |

    Found it. And the endorsements I found were:

    Ms President and American Women Presidents PAC

    IBEW Local 134

    NOW and NOW and National Women’s Political caucus

    Apparently, the Ms. President and American Women Presidents PACs and NOW/NWPC were the big ones for her. The archive itself is … depressing and inspiring. *sigh*

    Again, people were suspiciously quiet on the “let’s join hands and sing why polarize race and gender” front when a really, really good candidate who truly does unify reared her head. She got taken down by manufactured garbage. Barack Obama, as good as he could be in a few years, isn’t one-half the candidate she was, and I don’t recall seeing men falling over themselves to support her.

    Sorry, but the way she was treated still ticks me off. She was a fucking good candidate. Where was all this “join hands and forget about race and gender” rhetoric in 2004, when we really could have unified behind a fucking good candidate?

    I’ll tell you — because it really is all about the powers that be pitting us against one another and enjoying watching the fur fly, and watching women of color spin themselves in circles trying to negotiate it.

    Like I said, margarita. And dinner. Then, sleep. Early morning tomorrow.

  70. Mnemosyne
    Mnemosyne January 11, 2008 at 1:50 am |

    Again, people were suspiciously quiet on the “let’s join hands and sing why polarize race and gender” front when a really, really good candidate who truly does unify reared her head.

    Uh, Carol Moseley Braun had her whole problem of supporting the dictatorship in Nigeria, so she wasn’t the savior you seem to casting her as. She looked great on paper, but her judgement wasn’t the best.

    Sort of like how people wondered why Bill Richardson’s campaign never took off — it’s because a lot of us still remember Wen Ho Lee and how Richardson threw him to the dogs.

  71. norbizness
    norbizness January 11, 2008 at 1:42 pm |

    Apparently Janet Napolitano doesn’t realize that she’s damning American women for several generations. At least she was good in Concrete Blonde.

  72. Alara Rogers
    Alara Rogers January 11, 2008 at 1:48 pm |

    Honestly, I cannot comprehend why anyone would think that a Hillary loss would cause more problems for women. Candidates lose. That’s normal, and I don’t think *anyone* is positioning Hillary as the Great White Savior of All Womankind and the final, ultimate product of feminism. I would actually be more concerned that a Hillary *win* would cause more violence against women, as men feel threatened by the “uppity bitch” in the White House and take it out against women they *can* dominate and control. Not that that is a good reason not to vote for her (I have other reasons not to vote for her; the fear that her win will cause a backlash against women in their private lives is not one of them, but I do think it would occur.)

    The logic that a loss for Hillary is a loss for all womankind and will cause widespread backlash against women but a loss for Obama is nothing and will generate no problems for black people seems absurd. In fact I would suspect the opposite. Because the categories “men” and “women” exist below the level of group identity, because every family and nearly every unit of a friendship circle contains both, it is a lot easier to say “Hillary happens to be a woman, but she’s not like the women *I* know” than it is for whites to say “Obama happens to be black, but that doesn’t make him like black people.” (Actually i’ve heard that statement more often *from* black people.) I don’t think the vast majority of men or women in this country identify Hillary with “all women” the way that Obama might be identified with “all black people.” There are too many women who have vicious irrational hatred for Hillary for that to be true.

    So no. I don’t think a loss for Hillary will be a loss for womankind any more than Geraldine Ferraro’s loss was. There will be pundits who claim that Hillary’s loss indicates the country wasn’t “ready” for a woman president, if she loses, but the very fact that she was once the front runner and she won New Hampshire proves she was as viable a candidate as any man has ever been. Some individual men might go “neener neener neener” and some of them might have a pulpit to do it from like Hardball or the NYT, but honestly, so what? Another woman will run as soon as one comes through the pipeline who has a chance. Maybe the next one will be a governor like Granholm or Sebelius. God forbid, the next one might be a Republican — they have governors and experienced Senators too. Can you imagine a race where *both* parties pick a woman and we have say Gregoire vs. Whitman (or worse, any Democratic white woman vs. Condoleeza Rice?)

    Hillary has opened the door whether she wins or not. The next woman to come along may do even better. So no, I see no need for feminists to support Hillary *just* because she’s a woman. If you support her because you like her beliefs, her style of governing, her personality and its implications for how she would lead, or her voting record, great. If you support her just because she’s female… well, by that logic you’ll vote for Whitman or Rice or Jenna Bush if they run.

  73. Janis
    Janis January 11, 2008 at 2:29 pm |

    You know, the more I think about this, the more ticked off and despondent I’m getting. I do stand behind my assertion that many people support Obama because it gives them a chance to be progressive and still rip a woman to shreds, a confident woman who has had the nerve to act like she deserves to win. (“Female CEO Walking Around Like She Owns The Place,” said the Onion headline.)

    I also think that the bullshit surrounding her is set up so she can’t win, like the commenter above who said he wanted to see more likeability and then followed it up with a call for less emotion. Yeah, let me know when you figure out how a woman’s supposed to walk THAT tightrope. She didn’t take Bill’s last name, and that hurt his and her chances because she was a total ball buster, obviously. So she took it, and now she’s cashing in on him.

    But I’m also thinking that I’m able to see less violence against black Americans as a result of a (hypothetical) Obama loss because I live in a relatively diverse area. On thinking about it, there are definitely places in this country, lots of them, where his loss will signal threats, vandalism, and grafitti that will send the clear signal, “Keep your place” to any black people around. Jesus, we had a couple kids sentenced for murder, and the whole thing started when they had the nerve to sit under the white people’s tree. Nooses went up. Jesus Christ!

    I just don’t know what the hell to think about this, and I know that this shit, as much as I want to imagine it not affecting my vote, will affect it, and honestly, I think it should. Like I said, I’d think that a black man who wasn’t an Obama supporter should have his head examined. That stuff does count, okay? I’m not saying that I’ll vote for Margaret Thatcher because she’s got tits, but we can’t make race adn gender not matter by simply pretending it hasn’t for the last few centuries. I do think that Clinton has too much experience to turn down, and that Obama is excellent but too green. Push comes to shove, that’s how it’s coming out for me.

    But shit. Shit shit shit. Women are in the cross-hairs, and I think I’m able to think that black people are less so because I live someplace where it’s not as prevalent. But the whole country isn’t like that, and even where I live has shit going on.

    This is enough to make me want to just live in a cave and not come out until December of this year. If they both get EXACTLY the same number of votes, can we declare co-presidents?

  74. D.N. Nation
    D.N. Nation January 11, 2008 at 2:51 pm |

    This is enough to make me want to just live in a cave and not come out until December of this year.

    Giuliani, Romney, Huckabee, McCain, Thompson:

    Gooood. Gooood.

  75. Janis
    Janis January 11, 2008 at 3:26 pm |

    The thing that scares me is that, given the savaging she took and will take even worse, what chance do you really think of there being a “next one?” Fabulosuly qualified strong-contender women candidates for president don’t just rain on us out of the sky, and clinton has had to stick it out through 15 years of solid boiling lava poured down her back to make it this far. The last time a woman ran, she was patted on the head, congratulated for giving it a go, and otherwise back-burnered as a game and plucky loser.

  76. Gayle
    Gayle January 11, 2008 at 3:27 pm |

    # Janis says:
    January 11th, 2008 at 2:29 pm – Edit

    You know, the more I think about this, the more ticked off and despondent I’m getting. I do stand behind my assertion that many people support Obama because it gives them a chance to be progressive and still rip a woman to shreds, a confident woman who has had the nerve to act like she deserves to win. (”Female CEO Walking Around Like She Owns The Place,” said the Onion headline.)

    Given that their actual voting records and policy statements are barely distinquishable from one another, I’d have to say you’re right.

    But the progressives have found their Not-Hillary and they are sticking by their man. The last few days on Kos and Huff Post have been sickening. All positive Obama, all negative Clinton. All kinds of tired sexist rants.

  77. Gayle
    Gayle January 11, 2008 at 3:37 pm |

    If Hillary Clinton wants to count her time being married to someone as political experience, then let’s talk about it.

    Jesus H. you’re repeating that old, sexist canard?

    HRC has been involved in policy, politics and activism her entire life. She’s the only first lady to have had an office in the West Wing. She’s also a two term Senator. Get off it.

  78. Vanessa
    Vanessa January 11, 2008 at 4:21 pm |

    Jesus H. you’re repeating that old, sexist canard?

    So, let’s talk about it then. If she was part of that administration, then the multitude of mistakes that that administration made are fair game.

    I agree that Obama and Clinton are both pretty much the same. I was disagreeing with Janis that I should vote for one just because she’s a woman.

  79. Janis
    Janis January 11, 2008 at 4:21 pm |

    Gayle, that’s a big part of the reason why I’m still leaning that way, and leaning in the direction that a loss for Clinton would mean worse for women than a loss for Obama would mean for black men and women.

    I haven’t heard anyone making disparaging racially tinged remarks (although I dojn’t doubt there are some) toward Obama in the Clinton posse anywhere NEAR the hateful, sexist vile garbage I’ve heard said about Clinton, and by extension any woman who dares to act like she has a place at the head of the table, in every progressive camp. The worst of the worst, the scum of the Earth, the backward assholes who are on the way out and know it, are against Obama because of his skin.

    THE ENTIRE POLITICAL LANDSCAPE is against Clinton because of her gender. Period. The right wing has hated on her for decades because she’s an uppity bitch who dared to have a career and a kid. The “make me a sammich” male left wing hates her ass, too. EVERYONE hates women — the worst, most blood-set enemies can agree on one thing: them pussy hags better shut up and take what we give `em, and say thanks besides.

    And again, I ask where were all these supposed “progressives” dutring Braun’s campaign — remember, the first African-American Democrat in the effing Senate? But suddenly, a less well-qualified penis-bearing black person shows up four years later, and they all boil out of the woodwork and act like they give a shit for black issues suddenly. And who were the people who stood by Braun? Women’s organizations.

    It’s always dick and pussy, eventually. It always boils down to that. ALWAYS. There will be no difference between Rush Limbaugh and Daily Kos if Clinton loses, not for us. The same raucous “stick it to them uppity pussies” garbage will carpet both places of exchange. They’ll ALL be uncapping a beer and clinking their champagne glasses together of showing them bitches what’s what.

  80. Janis
    Janis January 11, 2008 at 4:24 pm |

    Vanessa, I think I’ve written about three novellas at this point on the issue. If that’s the only take-away you get from all that verbiage, then the discussion, as far as you’re concerned, is pretty much ended.

  81. Vanessa
    Vanessa January 11, 2008 at 4:26 pm |

    Vanessa, I think I’ve written about three novellas at this point on the issue.

    About her implication in the problems of the Clinton administration?

  82. D.N. Nation
    D.N. Nation January 11, 2008 at 4:33 pm |

    THE ENTIRE POLITICAL LANDSCAPE is against Clinton because of her gender. Period.

    No period.

    Why certain progressives (a group of which D.N. Nation is a member) detest HRC is because they believe she’ll continue the executive expansion dog-and-pony show we’ve had to endure under W., and that in four years she’ll have won enough anti-converts among centrist-conservatives/libertarians that any post-W. momentum will have been lost. We believe this not because she’s an uppity woman-person, but because she’s got an authoritarian streak you can see for miles and miles.

    It’s that easy. I wish I could like HRC more than I do, because I do think she’ll attach herself to enough progressive causes that her administration would be semi-worthwhile, but it’s what she’d do to executive powers that just rubs me the wrong way. Has nothing to do with, oh, pantsuits and crying and menopause and whatever.

    I haven’t heard anyone making disparaging racially tinged remarks (although I dojn’t doubt there are some) toward Obama in the Clinton posse anywhere NEAR the hateful, sexist vile garbage I’ve heard said about Clinton

    O RLY? Methinks the whole “Osama…oops!…Obama” routine reaching near-ubiquity would tend to reveal the opposite of this.

    And again, I ask where were all these supposed “progressives” dutring Braun’s campaign — remember, the first African-American Democrat in the effing Senate?

    CMB would have been nuked in the general election, and you know it. And although that wasn’t enough to necessarily make one run from nominal support, her corruption sure was.

    They’ll ALL be uncapping a beer and clinking their champagne glasses together of showing them bitches what’s what.

    Yeah, me and Rush. Best buds. As long as we stick it to HRC then we can get over the whole, you know, disagree-about-everything bit. Penis first. Always the penis.

    (You cannot possibly fully believe this.)

  83. Vanessa
    Vanessa January 11, 2008 at 4:45 pm |

    I haven’t heard anyone making disparaging racially tinged remarks (although I dojn’t doubt there are some) toward Obama in the Clinton posse anywhere NEAR the hateful, sexist vile garbage I’ve heard said about Clinton,

    Really? I think most of that, though, centers around fear mongering about Islam.

    He went to a madrassa! (Which, btw, came from the Clinton camp, I believe.)

    His middle name is Husein!

    Osama and Obama sound alike!

    I’ve heard all of those aplenty. Look, clearly this discussion is one of those that’s not going to be productive. No one wins at Oppression Olympics. I just fail to see the Great Feminist Symbolism of supporting someone who was part of an administration who brought the world Welfare Reform, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and inaction in the face of the Rwandan Genocide (and, who has yet to take a position on genocide in the Sudan).

    People say sexist things about Clinton, they say racist things about Obama. They also said racist things about Clarence Thomas and sexist things about Margaret Thatcher. Really, it’s not progressive to support a candidate based on their race or gender.

  84. norbizness
    norbizness January 11, 2008 at 4:47 pm |

    BTW, I think Sibelius or Napolitano would be a great VP choice (regardless of who the Presidential candidate is), setting up a run of their own when the time comes. Both, as a previous poster pointed out, are successful at building coalitions in recently-Republican states like Kansas and Arizona. If only Governor Granholm of Michigan was eligible (she isn’t, having been born in Canada, I think). Like I said, that which cuts into Republican strongholds to secure permanent minority status for the GOP is a good thing.

    A little known fact: Governor Napolitano was Anita Hill’s attorney in 1991.

  85. Janis
    Janis January 11, 2008 at 4:47 pm |

    SHIT. Vanessa, I owe you an enormous apology. I’m thining of a raft of posts that I didn’t make on this blog.

    Let me go eat my lunch, then I’ll nail the healthcare dragon (that’s always what it is when people talk about her performance during the BC years).

    Shit. I’m really sorry about that.

  86. piny
    piny January 11, 2008 at 5:03 pm |

    That’s not what Vanessa’s talking about. She’s talking about things like welfare reform. Or the War on Drugs, which the Clinton administration was pretty fucking hawkish for. Or prison expansion. Or, hey, let’s talk about DADT! Or DOMA! (Remember that?) Or voter disenfranchisement, which didn’t start in Florida in 2000. If we are going to talk about Hillary as a veteran politician, then we need to talk about her place in an administration that was really fucking disappointing for many people.

    It is true, like I said, that race-related identity politics are not facing quite as much “scrutiny” from well-meaning racist assholes. (Yet.) But at least some of that has to do with disenfranchisement on a more fundamental level. It’s really irritating to see a commenter handwaving at institutional racism while simultaneously complaining that sexism isn’t taken very seriously.

  87. Janis
    Janis January 11, 2008 at 5:14 pm |

    Okay, lunch successfully snarfed, and another apology offered. It wasn’t until I actually was out to pick up my lunch that I realized that I’d made the relevant posts on the effing Guardian and not here. So, the magic of cut-and-paste with a little editing:

    Let’s talk about the failures she claims during the BC years: healthcare. That’s what people are always talking about. I don’t want to lay the blame for ALL the failures of that administration at her feet; there’s got to be a middle ground between “she was just a wife” and “she was responsible for every hangnail.” She had a distinct role, and that role was centered on a very high-profile failure: healthcare. An enormous monster currently choking the life out of our economy and our people, and the first time she had a go at it, it knocked her on her ass. Let’s consider what she — and Obama — can bring to the table now:

    Clinton: a hell of a lot of detailed knowledge about the problem, knowledge about the players, and a ton of experience that will stand her in good stead, as well as what I think is a sincere desire to fix the problem.
    Obama: verve, energy, fresh ideas, and good intentions

    I’d say that what she brings to that table the second time around is too valuable to lose. I’d also say that there was no chance in hell of her winning that fight the first time around. It’s just not possible for her to have slain that dragon after only one go. No one could have done that, not against the congress that the administration faced during the BC years. She tried, she failed.

    But never forget that she brought to the table during that failure exactly what Obama brings now: verve, energy, fresh ideas, and good intentions. Which weren’t enough the first time around. Obama, I can assure anyone reading this, will also get knocked flat on his ass the first time he tries to slay that dragon, the same as she was. She learned, and she can bring everything she learned to the table the second time around. That is invaluable. Most of the big problems that have confronted humanity since time immemorial have taken more than one punch to fall over. It takes not flashy victories by newcomers with photogenic “fresh ideas,” but plodders, people who just hang in there and keep hitting and keep getting up every time they’re hit, to take stuff like this down. That’s related to the whole “gain ground, then shove a little” mentality. Also, if the past fifteen years have proven nothing, they’ve proven that Clinton takes a beating and keeps in the fight.

    Also, I might submit that the reason why she has more failures to pin her to the cork over is simply because she’s done more stuff. That’s the appeal of the flashy newcomer: they have fewer failures because they haven’t actually done as much. That’s also the danger of politics, and why politicians are so loathe to actually do anything at all. If they do stuff, they risk screwing up.

    So again, when it comes to her failures during the BC years (and I’ve defined that as healthcare since that’s what most people mean, and since that was her role), I’d say that she took a whack, got knocked over, and just like all the people who have brought down mountains, learned that you don’t do it all at once. and I’d say that the only thing Obama brings to the table is the same stuff she brought to the table 15 years ago — and that stuff has been demonstrated insufficient.

    There’s a bash at the question, and one that doesnt’ mention anyone’s gender or race at all — and it’s got the benefit of being an argument that I sincerely get behind.

  88. zuzu
    zuzu January 11, 2008 at 5:15 pm |

    It’s that easy. I wish I could like HRC more than I do, because I do think she’ll attach herself to enough progressive causes that her administration would be semi-worthwhile, but it’s what she’d do to executive powers that just rubs me the wrong way. Has nothing to do with, oh, pantsuits and crying and menopause and whatever.

    The problem is that HRC isn’t being evaluated on the merits. She’s got not only the baggage of being a woman (with all the creepy obsessive attention from Tweety that entails) and being Hillary Clinton (ditto). Obama’s had to fend off a lot of shit, too (and God knows the fact that he’s had to have Secret Service protection for months because of death threats is frightening), but I don’t think he’s had nearly the uphill battle that she has so far in the press. Now, is that because she’s a woman, and misogyny is like air to those people (and it’s safer to be misogynist than racist in the press), because she’s Hillary Clinton, and brings with her all the baggage of the past 15 years, or because she’s been the front-runner for so long? She can’t even win one primary without people accusing her of rigging the vote, or accusing white voters of lying to pollsters,* or accusing female voters of being swayed by tears, which she was accused of faking.

    I would so, so, love if she — or any female candidate — could be evaluated simply on her positions and record and not on all the other shit, but since she’s the First and all, nobody can let this alone. And I guess if Obama winds up being solidly the front-runner and then the nominee, we’ll see the media tearing him down as well. Because they hate the Democrats and have probably left him alone only because with HRC in the race, they can obsess about the Clintons.

    Incidentally, none of this should be construed as being pro-Hillary. I’m still undecided, as I have some real issues with all of the front-runners. Not that I have any pressure to make up my mind, since New York has a late primary and I probably won’t actually have a choice at that point.

    *There was a lot of talk of the Bradley effect, but Obama actually performed exactly as predicted by pre-election polling (as did Edwards). Clinton was the one whose results were unexpected, but that was likely due to the undecideds breaking her way, and the far greater turnout of women than men. And the backlash from the way she was excoriated over showing a little human emotion, which made a lot of women, even women who had no intention of voting for her, really fucking pissed off.

  89. Vanessa
    Vanessa January 11, 2008 at 5:23 pm |

    and I’ve defined that as healthcare since that’s what most people mean, and since that was her role

    Well, here’s my problem with her claiming time as first lady as experience. Yes, this was the big thing she was involved in beyond usual first lady stuff. But she’s not painting herself as more experienced than Obama because she drafted a health care bill. She’s painting herself as more experienced than Obama because she was in the White House, and an active participant in that administration.

    To which I say, then, why didn’t she use her influence to help the women who suffered from welfare reform and DADT and Rwanda?

  90. D.N. Nation
    D.N. Nation January 11, 2008 at 5:57 pm |

    The problem is that HRC isn’t being evaluated on the merits.

    See, I see her being evaluated on the merits pretty much all over the place. I just kinda tune the “Oppression Olympics” stuff out.

    I will, though, admit that being someone who benefits from the patriarchy makes me more immune to this. That’s the rub.

  91. Janis
    Janis January 11, 2008 at 6:12 pm |

    Okay, I’m not sure about the “painting” thing, I suppose. I’m seeing her office and her job during the BC years and evaluating that. I’ll need to poke around on her site and see what sort of language she’s using to present her abilities. It could simply be that she’s saying that she’s accumulated a hell of a good rolodex during that time, which is also valuable but may not address what you’re saying, either.

    I also don’t want to get caught in scope creep, where we inch bit by bit toward the “she must be held accountable for every hangnail” end of the spectrum. I admit I’m seeing her benefits during that time as being her official experience and the networking she carried out. What marketing lingo she uses to describe it, I don’t care as much about. She can bring healthcare experience to the table and call it a frozen turkey for all I care. It’s still more than the other goers have in their bags of tricks.

  92. S.H.
    S.H. January 11, 2008 at 6:12 pm |

    To which I say, then, why didn’t she use her influence to help the women who suffered from welfare reform and DADT and Rwanda?

    Just for the record, I recently saw quotes from Bill Clinton about welfare reform and Rwanda. He said she did recommend going into Rwanda, he regrets not listening to her, and I think he said she approved going ahead with the final version of the welfare reform bill b/c it was good politics. I’d give a link but I can’t remember where i read it. But If you google for example “Hillary Rwanda” there are a couple articles that make similar claims.

  93. Janis
    Janis January 11, 2008 at 6:20 pm |

    Hm, “Hillary Clinton welfare reform” also appears to be a good Google candidate as well.

    Jesus. All this time, when I’ve heard “Clinton White House failure” I’ve been zeroing in on healthcare, since to me that was the big banana peel for her. I’ve got more reading to do.

  94. Mnemosyne
    Mnemosyne January 11, 2008 at 6:32 pm |

    I’d be more than happy to have Hillary as the secretary for Health & Human Services and have her hammer out a universal healthcare plan for the country. I’m just not sure I’d want her as president, though I’ll support her if she’s the nominee.

  95. Rose
    Rose January 11, 2008 at 6:32 pm |

    I think this has been about the level of debate on the liberal blogesphere in the wake of Obama’s Iowa win and Clinton’s NH win:

    “Sexism is worse than racism!”

    “No! Racism is worse than sexism!”

    “Is not!”

    “Is too!”

    “I’m rubber and you’re glue, whatever you say bounces off me and onto you!”

    The right wing is watching us folks, and they smell our blood in the water everywhere now. You want sexism and racism, wait until they run against Obama or Clinton, BRACE YOURSELVES – THERE WILL BE NO RESTRAINT! If you find jokes about rape and lynchings funny, you’re going to be in for a very good time. If like me you don’t, this is going to be a long and hard road ahead.

    Our best hope will be unity. Black, white, Hispanic, male female, gay, straight, and everyone who wants the Rethuglicans out of the highest office in the land. The tantrums being indulged this week on the liberal blogesphre have been a sight to behold. If we want any chance at all, I hope we mature. Because if we don’t all we’ll have is 4 more years of Republicans and the warm glow that comes with knowing you had a chance to confront your own sexism and racism and usher in a new era of where there are NO GLASS CEILINGS FOR ANYONE, but were too scared of anyone wreaking havoc with your privilege to do it.

    And that would be a goddamn shame.

  96. zuzu
    zuzu January 11, 2008 at 6:36 pm |

    Rose, thanks for your concern-trolling.

    Jesus, like they need to have anything factual to smear Democrats with?

    Really, I’m tired of this “Not in front of the Republicans!” business.

  97. Gayle
    Gayle January 11, 2008 at 6:51 pm |

    So, let’s talk about it then. If she was part of that administration, then the multitude of mistakes that that administration made are fair game.

    Absolutely! That’s a big part of the discussion people should be having — talking about where all the candidates stand on the actual issues with an examination of all of their records and connections. As far as the Clinton Presidency is concerned, I’d like to know more about what projects and initiatives she worked on (besides health care) and on what issues she agreed and disagreed with the President.

    I’ve seen several of the debates. How insane is it that this was never vigorously discussed? She’s also had a career beyond her term as First Lady, and that’s worth examination, too.

    But that’s not what people are talking about. They’re talking about how she’s calculating and overly ambitious, as if the male candidates aren’t. They call her a Dragon Lady, an Old Bag, a Witch. They say her voice is “shrill.” She was too cold and now she’s too emotional– hysterical even. And I’m not talking about the MSM or the Right right wing. I’m talking about liberal blogs and on-line magazines. Camille Pagillia called her a Feminazi the other day on Salon for God’s sake. Where was all the outrage about that on the liberal blogs? HRC’s run a near flawless campaign with some pitch-perfect debate performances, and she weathered last week’s attacks with grace, yet she gets no credit where credit is due–everything she’s does is being spun as failure.

    Obama, on the other hand, is a Rock Star, a Jack Kennedy, a Bobby Kennedy, MLK and Lincoln. He’s not just a man; he’s a movement, etc. Yes, he can recite a great speech, but come on!

    BTW, I’m not blaming Obama for these ridiculous analogies and I’m certainly not blaming him for the left’s sexism. I’m agreeing with Janis when she says so-called progressive men (and women) are gleefully slapping a woman down for being too high, too uppity, too ambitious and too feminist. They’re alarmingly upfront about it; they’re sending a message that goes well beyond her. I also agree if they succeed in this, if she’s trounced, there will be consequences.

  98. D.N. Nation
    D.N. Nation January 11, 2008 at 7:46 pm |

    Really, I’m tired of this “Not in front of the Republicans!” business.

    Does “Just fucking knock it off!” work?

  99. zuzu
    zuzu January 11, 2008 at 7:52 pm |

    That’s better, because at least it doesn’t ask people to change their behavior because what the Republicans might think.

  100. D.N. Nation
    D.N. Nation January 11, 2008 at 8:00 pm |

    Well said, zuzu, and it’s actually somewhat inspiring to turn on the cable shouting heads the last two days not to be greeted with this breed of fisticuffsmanship.

  101. Janis
    Janis January 11, 2008 at 8:21 pm |

    Starting in on welfare reform — HOLY EFFING SHIT. This is gonna takes MONTHS to get this noe straight in my head. I knew the broad strokes, but Jesus effing on a pogo stick.

    Anyone have any recommendations as to how to start researching? This thing’s enormous, and while Wikipedia is useful for the drier, more obscure stuff, I somehow doubt that this topic will be very well-treated there.

    I also admit that when I go to a site and read that one of the major indictments against welfare is that it causes a “breakdown of the family unit,” my bullshit detector pegs the red bar …

  102. prairielily
    prairielily January 11, 2008 at 10:13 pm |

    I have to say that as a WOC, and a Muslim at that, I really wish that we could see a Clinton/Obama ticket. I know that neither of them are progressive enough for me, but there would be so much ground-breaking diversity in the White House, and the US would start moving in the right direction. It would open the door for everyone.

    The reason I want to see Clinton/Obama instead of Obama/Clinton is because Clinton does have more experience, and Obama is a very charismatic speaker. After some time as VP he would gain that experience, and he would win even though this administration is going to have to make some very unpopular decisions to fix the damage of the last few years. I also think that if he won right now, a lot of people would be dying to pounce on him and we’d see a lot of accusations about him being a snake oil salesman, or compare him to Jimmy Carter. (He was a pretty green candidate who was voted in on a message of change, right?) I want Obama to get a fair chance as a leader.

    And if a combo woman/black person ticket were to lose to a weaker Republican team, I think a lot of people would finally see how racist AND sexist the world still is.

  103. S.H.
    S.H. January 11, 2008 at 10:21 pm |

    Starting in on welfare reform — HOLY EFFING SHIT. This is gonna takes MONTHS to get this noe straight in my head. I knew the broad strokes, but Jesus effing on a pogo stick.

    I’m with you in theory here, because the welfare reform act stank to high heaven and I can never bring myself to forgive (Bill) Clinton for not acting on Rwanda. There’s just no excuse (and I’ve heard them all). See this is the problem with Hillary running on experience though. The way I understood it, in essence Hillary was Bill’s top advisor, he respected her opinion on every issue, sought it out, and took it into account consistently. But in the end those were still his policies not hers. So it is a double edged sword. I also kind of don’t like her taking credit unless she’s going to take the rap for the bad policies (which she did with Rwanda to some extent as did he) but at the same time I got really pissed when Obama diminished her role. I’m not entirely sure she saying “I did that” she’s saying “I’ve seen how the game is played firsthand and I know how to play it too”, which is a legit argument in my eyes.

    The bottom line is she was more than the “traditional” or rather ceremonial first lady but still not the president and she’s going to milk what she can. But what pisses me off the most about this whole thing is that if the democrats wanted experience they would’ve opted for Biden, Richardson, or Dodd. But they didn’t get the votes, they didn’t get the money, and they didn’t get the support despite their resumes, and now it’s down to two candidates whose resumes are a little more unique to say the least. So maybe the same democrats who rejected outright the most experienced candidates should drop the experience issue already (and that includes the remaining candidates).

  104. donna darko
    donna darko January 13, 2008 at 12:24 am |

    I’m with you Prairielily. Clinton/Obama then Obama/____. Except he already refused to be her VP.

  105. Sniper
    Sniper January 13, 2008 at 1:02 am |

    Clinton/Obama then Obama/____. Except he already refused to be her VP.

    Anyone else get an Obama/Edwards vibe during the debate?

    I have little to add to the posts on Clinton/Obama/sexism/racism except to say that I have a weird feeling that if Clinton loses it will “prove” to the media massholes that politics is a man’s game. I don’t have similar misgivings about an Obama loss, but that could very well be because my radar isn’t sensitive that way.

  106. donna darko
    donna darko January 15, 2008 at 7:08 pm |

    Policy-wise and philosophically, they have more in common.

  107. Brian
    Brian March 21, 2008 at 3:19 pm |

    Actually, I kind of agree with the arguement. In fact these are questions I’ve ask many times watching the give and take between male anchors and female guests. Sexism, like racism, can go both ways…and is often assumed when it is not the case.

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