Comments on: “Vogue” profile of Hillary Clinton History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Sun, 28 Sep 2014 10:58:43 +0000 hourly 1 By: Emma Mon, 23 Nov 2009 00:40:24 +0000 Not to mention, many of the advocacy groups you mention do ignore women who fall into those categories.

If you follow the madperson theory of political bargaining, you can feel free to withdraw your support of those advocacy groups and their issues until they address your needs as a woman — whatever your race, ethnicity, or sexuality.

And, I’m not trying to be an ass here, so I’ll say this as non-assy as I can while still being firm: I, personally, am done with being held to standards of conduct, including standards of issue inclusivity and “big picture” analysis, that you will not hold your male allies to. It is because we do NOT hold our male allies to the same exacting standards required of the women’s movement that women’s equality — including poor women, women of color, and lesbians — has backslid as far as it has.

Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. Or something like that.

By: Emma Mon, 23 Nov 2009 00:27:53 +0000 Anybody who has any issue they are committed to is welcome to participate in the madperson theory of political bargaining. For example, the Congressional Black Caucus recently refused to pass a key bit of Obama administration legislation out of committee because they feel that Presient Obama has not focused enough efforts on jobs and the CBC is particularly concerned about the incredibly high jobless rate in the African American Community.

To which I say: Good for them! Grind your axe! Force people to address your concerns! Flex your muscles!

And to which I note: nobody is writing long screeds to the CBC saying “when are you going to quit advocating on your own behalf? Don’t you know Obama won?” Or, “think of somebody besides yourselves, for once!” Or, “some of us unemployed black people belong to other groups too! How dare you focus on our race to the exclusion of everthing else!”

Also, if you can tell me how this health care reform helps poor people, people of color, gay and lesbian people — some of whom are even women — while it denies basic equality to women, I’d sure appreciate hearing that.

And, once you figure that out, ask yourself: is some help for some people really worth the price of denying equality to others?

By: Barrington Sun, 22 Nov 2009 22:38:46 +0000 frogprincess – I agree the other movements ignore women, because they seem to ignore all but their own specific focus. That’s why I wish the women’s movement was, like these other groups, also more dedicated to one simple message – otherwise, “women in general” is not the focus of anyone.

But I’ve seen what women’s studies programs are like now, and there’s no focus on women. It’s all about the intersections, and I think it makes us try to put out so many fires, that there is no effective voice or power for “women in general”.

I do appreciate and am aware of your recognition that many women of color do feel/have felt left out. IMO, the answer is to make sure the movement is led by women of all stripes. But the focus should be what they share, not their differences. It’s just my opinion.

By: Paul S. Sun, 22 Nov 2009 22:17:35 +0000 I think that the “false left” that people are referring to is actually the “center”, without which a political party can rarely achieve success on anything more than a local scale in the United States. The Democrats were able to take control of the presidency and both houses of Congress because a significant number of people in the center who had voted Republican before switched to voting Democrat. This also means that the Democrats at the national level simply can not pass much of the legislation or support many of the policies that the truly “left” part of their constituency wants – if they did, their control of Congress and the Presidency would probably evaporate in the next election as the center swung back toward the Republicans.

The Republicans are actually pretty much the same on the national level – they have never been able to actually carry out the wishes of the truly “right” portion of their constituency, either during the years of Reagan or the years of George W. Bush. These would, I think, include things like a total repeal of Roe v. Wade, an end to most forms of gun control, a “flat tax” or more drastic tax cuts, an end to many forms of welfare, the allowance of prayer and the teaching of intelligent design in public schools, among other things. Most Republican leaders on the national level have surely realized, as have the Democrats, that satisfying many of the wishes of their bases, right or left, is impossible on a national level if they wish to have any chance of being the majority.

It seems to me that what the Republicans have been better at than the Democrats since the time of Reagan is being able to appeal to their base at one end of the political spectrum, and keeping them as active supporters, while at the same time appealing to moderates in the center with a different message. The Democrats seem to be able to do one or the other, but rarely both at the same time, so they either alienate moderates or their base.

By: Janice Sun, 22 Nov 2009 21:56:55 +0000 Historiann, you’re right that she’s tough because she’s been through fire. I’m impressed because I know I couldn’t be that strong-minded: I’d never want to go into politics from all that I’ve seen.

And, frankly, I feel pretty damned lucky to live in Canada because even though I have little respect and no agreement with our politicians, we’re not opening the cans of worms that are occupying the American political agenda.

By: thefrogprincess Sun, 22 Nov 2009 21:19:20 +0000 “The women’s movement got a lot done in the first two waves, but when diluted in the 3rd wave with the intersecting factors, led to what we have now, among other things, the worst objectification of women (particularly in the media) that we’ve ever had.”

I’ll admit that I don’t know a ton about this but my understanding is that women of color felt fairly left out in the early phases of the women’s movement. And I still have the sense that some feminists of color feel like the larger women’s movement is insensitive to their needs. I appreciate your concerns about dilution but women’s issues do take on a different valence depending on one’s demographic. Not to mention, many of the advocacy groups you mention do ignore women who fall into those categories.

By: Barrington Sun, 22 Nov 2009 20:43:58 +0000 frogprincess – I respect your opinion, but I disagree strongly with you. All those different issues you mentioned all have their own advocacy groups, and they focus on the one issue, they don’t dilute their message by pulling in all the intersecting factions.

The only movement that does address the intersecting factors is the women’s movement, and it, IMO, simply replicates the work that the social work field does, leaving no one working forcefully for the equality of womanhood in general.

The women’s movement got a lot done in the first two waves, but when diluted in the 3rd wave with the intersecting factors, led to what we have now, among other things, the worst objectification of women (particularly in the media) that we’ve ever had. To me, the fact that the women’s movement is the only one getting diluted with other intersecting issues is evidence of internalizing a strong tenet of patriarchy – that women must take care of everyone and everything, and never themselves.

Now, I understand that the intersection means that there are women IN these other groups (poor, etc), but as I said, every other movement is allowed to focus on its general purpose, and not be diluted by issues that have their own groups. What’s the value in replicating the work of the social work field (which is ALL about intersection) and denying women a strong movement with a clear voice and singular, simple message, not diluted by many different issues? To me, all it does is keep us from moving forward.

All movements and issues are valid and important, but while the intersection shouldn’t be ignored by the women’s movement, it should not be its focus, IMO.

By: No Blood for Hubris Sun, 22 Nov 2009 20:37:13 +0000 Emma at 11:09 — you are exactly correct. Exactly.

They don’t get it. They’ve never gotten it. They never will. They don’t have to.

We get it.

It’s deja vu time for ERA — all over again.

This time getting the job done.

By: thefrogprincess Sun, 22 Nov 2009 20:33:27 +0000 Rich, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m incredibly cynical and jaded and no, I don’t see a solution. What I do see is a social conservatism that is well entrenched and that is sometimes a haven for racism and xenophobia and my vote is an attempt to keep the worst of that at bay. And my vote is not guaranteed to Democrats: I’ve never been a registered Democrat and have no intention of becoming one, I don’t donate money, and sometimes I don’t vote. (Then again, I’m a grad student, I have no money to donate.)

By: Rich Sun, 22 Nov 2009 20:09:43 +0000 “but there is no viable party that holds similar views to mine on these issues.”

How is your vote any less wasted if it’s guaranteed to Democrats no matter what they do?

Your rhetoric, while fairly adept at pushing other people into corners, doesn’t even presume a solution. So who’s really the cynic here?