G-L-O-R-I-A, GLORIA: MAMA FEMINISM, I LOVE YA BUT I GOTSTA CALL BS!

As much as I love and admire Ms. Steinem, and think for the most part she is on point in this piece in the despicable way lots of media dealt with the Clinton crying moment (which I really liked – a rare show of emotion on what can previously be defined as an emotional brick wall) I have to ride with feministing on this one — cause there are a few things I take issue with (her points in italics):
1. She writes, Gender is probably the most restricting force in American life, whether the question is who must be in the kitchen or who could be in the White House.
While obviously I agree with her on the gender-being-restrictive-in-America point – particularly as someone whose profession is generally dominated, decided and run by men, and as a woman whose ideas and accomplishments have at times been undermined because of it – I VEHEMENTLY disagree with the implied pitting-against-each-other of “restricting forces” (and the not-so-subtle comparison between Obama’s race and Clinton’s gender) – saying one disadvantaged group has it worse than another does nobody any favors, nor does it strengthen ANYONE’s cause. Even though she later says, “I’m not advocating a competition,” actually, it’s the basis of half her piece. It’s really nefarious and wrong.
2. What worries me is that she is accused of “playing the gender card” when citing the old boys’ club, while he is seen as unifying by citing civil rights confrontations.
Note that most people who have said this “unifying” stance have been the white media (and even then, rarely before he won Iowa). Meanwhile Barack has had to defend his “blackness” to everyone from Al Sharpton to hip-hop bloggers. Which is not to say anything except, it’s not like Barack Obama has had, or WILL have, some sort of uncontested walk in the park compared to Hillary Clinton’s struggles with double standard and gender perception! Like, call me when we get to the primaries in the real racist states, word?
3. What worries me is that some women, perhaps especially younger ones, hope to deny or escape the sexual caste system; thus Iowa women over 50 and 60, who disproportionately supported Senator Clinton, proved once again that women are the one group that grows more radical with age.
Actually, a lot of young women who are “disproportionately” voting for Obama, myself included, feel their vote is radical on the point that Hillary Clinton is a totally non-desirable candidate based on her voting record, particularly her cosign for the Iraq War, which she voted for despite that many of us young people PROTESTED EN MASSE.
Ann at Feministing says it well:
“I don’t have a feminist obligation to vote for Hillary Clinton, or donate money to her campaign, or show up at her rallies. My obligation is to support her right to compete on an equal playing field. To decry the disgusting amount of sexism she faces every day. (We’ve done so again and again and again.) And then to vote for another candidate if I feel he would make a better president. That, too, is a feminist act.”

Actually, what pisses me off the most about this piece is it seems like Steinem is calling young women voters who endorse Obama (and don’t endorse Clinton on the grounds that she is female) bad feminists! (And what of black feminists? Based on this logic, should they vote Oprah on the write-in ballot?) Are you serious!? Perhaps this election really IS about what the pundits are saying, what Joe Klein wrote eloquently about in Time – the passing of the political torch from the baby boomers to the new generation. Or rather, the TAKING of the political torch by the new generation from the baby boomers. Cause Gloria Steinem’s 1970s representational feminism, here, feels mesozoic.
Again, I totally think she did an amazing job of capturing the double standards, glass ceilings etc., but I feel somewhat preached to and condescended to, like my mom is telling me my crazy ideas are wrong:
What worries me is that some women, perhaps especially younger ones, hope to deny or escape the sexual caste system; thus Iowa women over 50 and 60, who disproportionately supported Senator Clinton, proved once again that women are the one group that grows more radical with age.
Um… no.

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One Response to G-L-O-R-I-A, GLORIA: MAMA FEMINISM, I LOVE YA BUT I GOTSTA CALL BS!

  1. akmat nzamad says:

    Props on calling out Hillary’s voting record. Not necessarily Steinem, but media in general, dish out hot topic big issue superficialism in dissecting the non-white-male hand of the oppressed cards game that completely bypasses the political process. More interesting but just as tangentially oblivious to logic would be discussing the relation between Hillary’s voting record and her gender. And that doesn’t discount Obama’s race. Is Hillary just trying to play Rugby with the boys by mawk(ish)ing the hawk and cosigning the bringing out of the big guns when it comes to foreign policy? Is Obama reaching for the upper-echelon looking to assure all white and over 60 that he will carry on the tradition of playing Polo with countries by also blurting out calls for the offensive when it doesn’t concern Iraq?
    Props also for even following the political process, yes it’s required or we get Gen-X apathy branded on our backends so it’ll be hard to sit down and watch music videos without some kind of old-school traditionalism child-rearing it’s ugly head, but there’s so much shit to wade through!

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