Official candidate of the sisterhood?

sisterhood_poster.jpgIn case you’ve been in hiding for the past two weeks, you should know that everyone is running for president. And they’re starting now. I’m pretty sure Dem Hill staffers are still hung-over from all the celebrating, but even though winter came late, spring is coming early in Washington. Joe Biden has already stepped in it (again), and he only officially announced his candidacy yesterday. Nice.
While Congressional leadership is trying to get work done, it seems everyone else is starting to take sides. As women sign up to work with anyone but Senator Clinton, of course, they’re being asked why. That’s the bad news. The good news is they’re all giving the same answer. Being a woman does not get you the automatic support of women. There’s no vagina litmus test, people. Congratulations on your new gigs, Kate, Eureka,and Amanda. For the rest of you out there, am I wrong? Should women, especially feminists be supporting Hillary by default?

and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

86 Comments

  1. Unkunvenshunal
    Posted January 31, 2007 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    I am in total agreement with you. I’m not a huge fan of Clinton, but the fact that she’s a woman automatically wins her my support – because my want for pushing women forward trumps almost anything else. I mean, I still pay attention to her views and what she’s doing – I wouldn’t vote for her if she was completly evil – but helping women take that next step forward is important enough to me that yes, I think we should all be supporting her by default.

  2. paperdaisy
    Posted January 31, 2007 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    I agree with you. Women should absolutely not side with women “just because.” In my opinion being a politician makes you suspect no matter what gender, race, or religion you are. But that’s me, I’m an optimist!
    Seriously, though, look at Imelda Marcos. The woman had like a million shoes and her people lived in poverty. I would hope thoughtful feminists would know better than to vote for someone like that.

  3. mimo92
    Posted January 31, 2007 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    We should vote for whoever is best suited for the job. And if it’s Hilary; good for her. If someone else; good for them.

  4. Posted January 31, 2007 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    I support Hillary as in “Man, it’s awesome that Hillary is running for president”, but I don’t prefer her over the other candidates, especially not as much as I used to.
    I think that women, and feminists especially, should be proud of her accomplishments, but that doesn’t mean they have to support her attempt to become president or any of her political endeavors, for that matter.

  5. Posted January 31, 2007 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    I remember in the last thread about this, a bunch women decided that they were going to support Obama in the primaries, but that if Hillary won the nomination, we would stand behind her.
    I’m a little divided, and I need to do more research on the candidates before I make my choice, but I do support Hillary to some extent partly because she is a woman.

  6. Posted January 31, 2007 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    I totally agree with Megan’s comment. I am thrilled that a woman is running for president and is actually considered a serious contender (the same goes for Obama and Richardson; it’s great to see POC running and people taking it seriously). But when it comes time to cast my ballot, I’m going to go with whoever has the closest views to mine on my important issues, regardless of gender or race.

  7. Vervain
    Posted January 31, 2007 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    If Fox News is to be believed *stifled laughter* Hillary’s totally got a lock on the chick vote.
    …on account of the vagina, presumably. Because everyone knows women don’t actually pay attention to issues! They just vote for the guy with the best hair. Duh.
    They don’t think much of us, do they?

  8. ElleMariachi
    Posted January 31, 2007 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    “They just vote for the guy with the best hair. Duh.”
    We also have a burning desire to know their preference on the “boxers or briefs” front.

  9. Posted January 31, 2007 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with supporting Hillary in part because she’s a woman… the fact is that her sex in and of itself is relevant in the current political culture. The bottom line is that we NEED to get a woman in the White House at some point, and soon, because the simply fact is that having a female president aids the cause of feminism, period. Having a female president is a step toward equality. We live in a culture in which women make up a teeny tiny percentage of The Powerful, and the symbolism of having a woman as the most powerful person in the country, is meaningful. It is. It says to young girls, “yes, even YOU could be president too” when formerly they might quite plausibly have thought it’s just a “man’s job.” If a woman takes the White House, they may still have toxic people in their life telling them that president is a “man’s job” — but then they will be FORCED to reconcile this with the fact that a woman has been president. This is powerful. This is extremely extremely important. This changes perceptions, and it changes society. The same goes for race — the fact that Obama is a person of color IS a valid reason to support him.
    At the same time, the fact that she is a woman cannot be the ONLY relevant aspect of her candidacy. It has to be weighed against other issues. For instance, she voted for the war. This is highly relevant — we’ve wasted billions of dollars that could have been used to improve conditions for the US and for oppressed peoples worldwide (thinking theoretically here — I’m not so naive to think much of the money would actually be put to good use… but some of it might have). We’ve wasted thousands of soldiers’ lives and destroyed families in Bush’s conquest for oil. This is reprehensible, and Hillary should have fought it more strongly.
    Further, I have to consider the fact that she’s toned down her feminism. I understand the pragmatic point — she may never have gotten to where she was remaining the strident feminist she was in law school… but I simply have to question where someone’s loyalties TRULY lie when they become chameleons at the urging of political expediency. She changed her last name, not because it was her honest personal choice, but for POLITICAL GAIN. She softened her activism, not because she became more thoughtful about it and changed her mind on key points, but for POLITICAL GAIN. There’s little I despise more than cynical politicking of this sort. So for me, weighing all of these factors together, I’m forced to conclude that Obama is my candidate.
    But, as Mary notes, if Hillary wins the dem nomination, I’ll go out the next day and buy a Hillary button.

  10. ForbiddenComma
    Posted January 31, 2007 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    I must admit that I support Hillary partly because of her gender. It is not an automatic thing, though: her Iraq record remains troublesome at best, and as Law Fairy notes, it is quite conceivable that she’d abandon promoting feminism as a president purely for political expedience.
    Still, until we hear more about Obama, Hillary’s XX chromosomes are the tiebreaker for me.

  11. Posted January 31, 2007 at 3:44 pm | Permalink
  12. Posted January 31, 2007 at 3:46 pm | Permalink
  13. Posted January 31, 2007 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    oops…sorry for the double post!

  14. UltraMagnus
    Posted January 31, 2007 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    I agree. If there’s anything we learn from these feminist blogs is that women don’t always have the best interest of women in mind and they too have agendas to suit their desire for power. While it would be a momentous day to celebrate if Hillary became president it’s not something that’s going to be detrimental to us if it doesn’t happen and we really do need to put our collective foots down about who we support. Congrats to all those women for sticking to their guns.

  15. EG
    Posted January 31, 2007 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    Basically, I’ll support whoever is the most pro-choice candidate. Clinton has a pro-choice voting record, although she supports parental notification and her current website avoids any mention of the subject.
    I’m not saying that all women should vote based on my views, though. I personally like Clinton despite her hawkishness because it’s hard for me to dislike anyone who’s so thoroughly hated and demonized by the right, especially when that hatred clearly stems from discomfort with the fact that a woman might be smart and powerful.

  16. Andrea
    Posted January 31, 2007 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    I have to agree with Jen’s post and Megan’s comment — it’s great that we have the first serious female presidential candidate in history, but the having of a uterus does not automatically qualify a person for my vote (just like the having of a uterus should not automatically qualify one for discrimination, but I digress). Of course, as has been said, if Hillary wins the nomination, I will support her fully.
    I’m wondering if anyone else shares my irritation with how women who support Hillary are interacting with her — for example, on one of her webchats, asking her what her favorite movie is, or at her most recent rally, asking her how she’s qualified to deal with all the evil men out there — it’s almost a confirmation of all the negative stereotypes people have about women not being able to understand politics. We get a female candidate, and how do women talk to her? As if they’re middle schoolers having a sleepover. With that, however, is the caveat that these incidents are only tiny soundbytes presented on TV (the Daily Show in this case), and obviously a lot of other things have been discussed during her public appearences. It’s entirely possible that the media is simply nitpicking this crap (even though all candidates are asked such silly questions at some point) just because she’s female. I don’t know.
    Sorry for being a little OT. I blogged about this earlier today, and I’m still in stream-of-consciousness mode trying to assimilate it.

  17. EG
    Posted January 31, 2007 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know, Andrea. I was a little irritated with The Daily Show‘s coverage in that episode, though as I generally love the show, I figured, what the hell, I can take a joke. Their coverage of Clinton was entirely about making fun of her, while their coverage of Obama was entirely about making fun of right-wing hysteria about him.
    That said, it was one episode, and I’m sure that when the right-wing trots out their scary Wicked Witch of the West/dominatrix/frigid ballbuster rhetoric, Stewart & Co. will mock it as well.
    I tended to think that the non-intellecutal tone of the clips shown is indicative of the trend toward idiocy in politics in general, though, not anything that’s specific to Clinton or her supporters as women. I mean, think of the questions Bush got from his supporters–did they really display a nuanced and mature understanding of politics, or were they more along the lines of “I just wanna know that you’re gonna stand tough, Mr. President?” I suspect that the Democrats in general are going to try to counteract the impression given by both Gore and Kerry of subtle, nuanced thinking. That kinda thing puts off the voters.
    Remember also the importance to Bill Clinton’s campaign of the boxers/briefs MTV interview and the saxophone-playing on Arsenio Hall. Vapid stupidity in presidential campaigns is not limited to women.

  18. Andrea
    Posted January 31, 2007 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    EG, it’s really comforting to hear that Monday’s Daily Show was irritating to you as well.
    I see what you’re saying about the commentary on general idiocy in politics, though. I’m not sure why — perhaps because I’m defensive about Hillary’s femaleness (thinking, “okay, female candidate… everyone’s going to be come a sexist asshole now. great”) — I forget that most other campaigns are plagued by trite attempts to get nice and pals-y with voters.
    Thinking about it in a bigger context, it’s almost like I’m expecting women to interact with a woman candidate in a way that adheres to a much higher standard of intellectualism than any other candidate would be held to. Which is wrong on my part.

  19. Denise
    Posted January 31, 2007 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    Hillary is not and cannot be the Feminist candidate. She is the UN-feminist. We need women who have done things on their own. Hillary has NEVER done a thing on her own, she has always just rode the coattails of Bill (you remember Bill, the pig womanizer and possibly rapist).
    She was denied partnership at the Rose law firm in Little Rock until THE DAY AFTER Bill was elected Attorney General of the state. And then she was made a partner without the usually required financial contribution.
    She kept her own name but then suddenly changed it to Clinton after Bill lost his reelection campaign for AG and polls showed that her keeping her own name was disliked by ARK voters.
    The only reason she is a Senator is because of the fame she achieved based on what Bill did.
    Plus, she is not trustable. Clintons have no strongly held beliefs other than they like to win elections and have power. They adjust their beliefs to whatever they think will win them elections. That is why the formerly VERY liberal Hillary is posing as much more conservative. She cannot be trusted.
    Let’s put our support behind a real feminist, someone who has actually gotten where she has on her own!

  20. donna darko
    Posted January 31, 2007 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    Let’s put our support behind a real feminist, someone who has actually gotten where she has on her own!
    Who would be… in ’08…?

  21. Perin
    Posted January 31, 2007 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    I think Katha Politt sums up why all women should at least consider supporting Clinton:
    “Suppressed ethnicities and communities have put up with everything from drunkenness to corruption to outright criminality in their politicians, as long as those politicians delivered–even just a little–back home. Maybe women should forget about being angels and start being more like Italians, Irish or blacks. Let me put it this way: Any candidate who wants me to vote for him instead of her had better have a whole long list of reasons, beginning with what he will do for women that Hillary Clinton wouldn’t do.”
    Katha Pollitt
    http://www.thenation.com/doc/20061120/pollitt

  22. Posted January 31, 2007 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    I’m with Jen on this one. For me, Hillary’s position on Iraq totally trumps her possession of a vagina.
    As for women in positions of power in general- if, say, Dawn Eden or Ann Coulter were elected president, it wouldn’t be a feminist victory. A sign of the impending apocalypse, yes. But not a feminist victory.

  23. donna darko
    Posted January 31, 2007 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    It’s so much easier to quote Katha:
    “But since anyone with a realistic hope of becoming President will necessarily have made all sorts of unsavory bargains with the status quo, this amounts to saying we’ll never have a woman in the White House. We’ll continue on as now: “expecting more” of women and tacitly expecting less of men.”
    “Well, count me out. The contemporary women’s movement is almost forty years old, and after all that time exactly one woman has managed to reach the point where she can make a credible run for the White House. And I don’t see another one around the corner, do you? But right now, if HRC were a man, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation. But then, if she were a man, she wouldn’t be almost universally perceived as unelectable.”
    “I’m not saying I’d vote for Hillary Clinton in the primary–although by 2008 I expect she’ll have come around on the war. I’d like a lefter candidate. But I want respect for women–and power is what gets you that.”

  24. Edo
    Posted January 31, 2007 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    but the fact that she’s a woman automatically wins her my support – because my want for pushing women forward trumps almost anything else.

    This is a shortsighted view. What if Jean Kirkpatrick were running for President? Please tell me you wouldn’t support her, even if she is female.
    I thought the whole point of feminism was to look beyond gender. I suppose I need to better understand the movement.

  25. donna darko
    Posted January 31, 2007 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    “Well, actually, they might not, if they’re like Code Pink, the women’s peace group, which “bird-dogs” HRC around the country because of her support for the Iraq War. When I asked Medea Benjamin, co-founder of the group, why they focused on Clinton, she said it was primarily because the senator is “important and influential” but also because of her sex: “You expect more of a woman.” Zillah Eisenstein, whose essay “Hillary’s War” is posted on Code Pink’s listenhillary.org, wrote me in an e-mail, “Yes, it is because she’s female.”"

  26. Posted January 31, 2007 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    Because everyone knows women don’t actually pay attention to issues! They just vote for the guy with the best hair. Duh.
    Clinton’s hair looks really bad. (Hillary) Clinton and Edwards are both people who are capable of turning me gay.
    Maybe women should forget about being angels and start being more like Italians, Irish or blacks.
    Three cheers for machine politics!
    Basically, I’ll support whoever is the most pro-choice candidate.
    It’s kind of a problem in this election, where there are three Democrats and one Republican who are basically indistinguishable on choice. In 2004 there was Howard Dean. This cycle if you’re a single issue pro-choice voter you might as well change parties and help Giuliani, who’s as nominally pro-choice and as uncommitted to spending any political capital on abortion as Clinton, Edwards, and Obama.

  27. EG
    Posted January 31, 2007 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    Except I’m a New Yorker, and as such I’ve never liked what Giuliani did.
    If all candidates are equally pro-choice, I’ll start looking at other issues, but I’m really not as convinced of Clinton’s about-face as you are.

  28. EG
    Posted January 31, 2007 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    You know, I’m not that opposed to machine politics, either. It was corrupt and dishonest, certainly–but so is politics today. Then, you’d get x and y benefits (in the days of Tammany Hall, maybe a job and some food), and in return you’d be expected to vote the way they told you. Nowadays, it seems like you don’t get any benefits, and you’re still supposed to vote for these clowns.

  29. Posted January 31, 2007 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    My position on Clinton is simple: I don’t think she’s the strongest feminist candidate running (I don’t know who is, now that Russ Feingold has dropped out, but it isn’t her), I don’t think she has much of a soul, and I don’t think it’s a huge step forward for feminism if a woman wins the presidency largely because she’s the wife of an ex-president. There’s too much of a Lurleen Wallace dynamic involved in her base of support–”We can’t give Bill Clinton a third term, so let’s elect his wife!”–for me to get really enthusiastic about her as “the first woman president.”
    But if she wins the nomination, I will back her 100%.
    Cheers,
    TH

  30. tink
    Posted January 31, 2007 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    If Hillary wins the nomination, I will back her, but I’d like to see Obama get it. He belongs to the same church I do – and – stay with me – joined voluntarily as an adult – AND (stay w/ me here) the UCC is the first (and so far, only) mainstream church to ENDORSE gay marriage in general synod. As to abortion, the UCC says it sees women as “full people/adults in the eyes of God” capable of making our own decisions, etc. Obama has been very upfront about his membership in the UCC. The UCC has been very up front about it’s positions on social issues. I believe that, much like Carter, Obama will feel obligated to do what he believes is right.
    Okay, I may be naive as hell. But this is what I hope for.

  31. Posted January 31, 2007 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    I think it’s important to make the distinction between “If she gets the nomination I’ll support her because I want to support the Democratic candidate” and “If she gets the nomination I’ll support her because I want to support the female candidate.”
    I think part of the reason Hillary is virtually unelectable in the minds of so many is that voting for a woman carries so much baggage. You’re not just voting for the democratic candidate, you’re voting for the female candidate. Whether or not we (particularly we women) vote for someone for feminist reasons, there are those who will always see voting for a female candidate as a feminist action.
    And, yknow, feminist is still a dirty word to plenty of folks.

  32. SDstuck
    Posted January 31, 2007 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    Genitalia is not a deciding factor in a presidential candidate. I’m not that worried about Hillary being the first woman president because Pelosi is going to beat her to it before ’08. Hey one can hope right?
    Obama seems to be the most capable and closer to my views. The UCC thing doesn’t hurt either.

  33. Posted January 31, 2007 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    Uhm, are some of you crazy?
    Just b/c she’s a woman doesn’t mean she has our best interests at heart? Would you vote for Phyllis Schlafly? I mean, I’m pretty sure she has a vag too.
    1. She voted for an imperialistic war, that is hurting the men & women of Iraq & America.
    2. She’s BARELY pro-choice, or if she is she’s really pandering to the anti-choice element.

  34. donna darko
    Posted January 31, 2007 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    “We can’t give Bill Clinton a third term, so let’s elect his wife!”–for me to get really enthusiastic about her as “the first woman president.”
    I’m don’t think I’m alone in thinking she’d be a better president than Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton always believed Hillary would be a better president than Bill Clinton. I’ll also wait and see Obama’s policy and political positions.
    I think part of the reason Hillary is virtually unelectable in the minds of so many is that voting for a woman carries so much baggage. You’re not just voting for the democratic candidate, you’re voting for the female candidate. Whether or not we (particularly we women) vote for someone for feminist reasons, there are those who will always see voting for a female candidate as a feminist action.
    That’s sexist and inappropriate especially for self-identified feminists.

  35. dhsredhead
    Posted January 31, 2007 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    I’m not in love with Hilary Clinton as a presidential candidate. Maybe it’s because she didn’t divorce her husband, maybe its because she isn’t a very good public speaker…maybe its because she doesn’t represent feminism to me. But if the choice is between a male candidate and a female candidate (assuming both are liberals) I’ll vote for a woman over a man. Maybe thats sexist, to pick someone for their gender and not for their merits, but I believe we just in general need more women in office.

  36. Posted January 31, 2007 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    If you gave me two otherwise identical candidates (which is a practical impossibility that I’m willing to entertain for the sake of argument), then I’d certainly pick the woman, too. Over the man of color. Over the man from a nontraditional religious background. Over the gay man, even. I do believe, as a radical feminist, that sexism is the most fundamental form of oppression.
    But we’re not looking at identical candidates. HRC’s platform and ideology are not those of a clearly and decisively feminist candidate, the baggage with/shadow of her husband bothers me, and I don’t find her charismatic.
    There are women in the Democratic Party that I’d love to see run for office. HRC would not be my first, fifth, or tenth choice.
    And I can’t help but notice that nobody was having this discussion about whether gender is the most important thing in 2004, when Carol Moseley Braun was running.
    Cheers,
    TH

  37. Posted January 31, 2007 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    donna- After seeing the section you quoted, I probably should’ve phrased my comment more clearly (new additions in bold):
    I think part of the reason Hillary is virtually unelectable in the minds of so many is that, for some (not me), voting for a woman carries so much baggage. To these people, you’re not just voting for the democratic candidate, you’re voting for the female candidate. Whether or not we (particularly we women) vote for someone for feminist reasons, there are those who will always see voting for a female candidate as a feminist action.
    …And, yes, of course this is sexist and inappropriate, but unfortunately this is some of the thinking we’re up against.

  38. EG
    Posted January 31, 2007 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    I dunno, Tom. My mother and I loved Braun. We would’ve voted for her.

  39. Posted January 31, 2007 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    I’m sorry, EG–that came across wrong. I didn’t mean “nobody” here; folks here probably did discuss Braun’s candidacy in serious terms. I’m just saying I didn’t see the national debate that I’m seeing now over whether women are obligated to vote for HRC, which strikes me as a little strange.
    It’s like the punditocracy is perfectly willing to take a female candidate seriously…if she’s a former president or former presidential candidate’s wife. I mean, it was Elizabeth Dole and then Hillary Rodham Clinton. Period. No other potential female candidate has ever been taken seriously, with the possible exception of Condoleezza Rice (and that’s primarily because of Dick Morris’ awful “catfight” book that presented her as an anti-Hillary).
    Cheers,
    TH

  40. Edo
    Posted January 31, 2007 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    If you gave me two otherwise identical candidates (which is a practical impossibility that I’m willing to entertain for the sake of argument), then I’d certainly pick the woman, too.

    Agreed.

  41. EG
    Posted January 31, 2007 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    Oh, yes, of course you’re right. Though I almost think that’s more because Braun is black and female than anything else. (Everyone knows that white women can’t be expected to owe allegiance to a black woman [to be read in a tone dripping with sarcasm]). That, and she’s probably way too far left to be taken seriously in the national arena.
    I find myself less and less concerned with how the women in question got to the place where they will be taken seriously nationally, though obviously it exposes serious sexism and a bad double bind that on the one hand, a woman can only achieve national recognition as a political wife, and then when she uses such recognition to her benefit, is castigated for riding on her husband’s coattails.

  42. Posted January 31, 2007 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    That, and Braun just wasn’t a serious candidate. There are a lot of candidates who aren’t serious: this cycle, they include Vilsack, Kucinich, Biden, and Richardson. Of those, only Kucinich is a real leftist; the rest are blue dogs.
    The reason I think Clinton is pro-choice is that she supported the Alito filibuster. I don’t think the filibuster had much of a chance, so she could do this just to gain votes, but that she took a stand on that one issue after flip-flopping on everything else suggests she is pro-choice.
    Right now, on a scale of 0 to 10, my rankings of the candidates on choice are,
    Clinton 7
    Obama, Edwards, Giuliani 6
    Romney 4
    McCain 3
    Brownback 0
    Feingold would’ve been a 9, because he violated his own rule of confirming every judicial nominee and voted against Alito. The most important abortion-related issue in American Presidential politics is judicial nominations, at least as long as the Supreme Court is 5-4 pro-choice and one of the 5 is 86. This is also why Clinton is a 7, since she supports some sideline restrictions like parental notification.

  43. Posted January 31, 2007 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    I think you’re absolutely right. Its one of those stupid little absurdities where they try to shove every woman in the world in the same little tiny box with the label “female” on it.
    Personally, though, I have a soft spot for Senator Clinton. I’ve had one since I was a kid. Its not an automatic vote in the primaries, but its an inclination to listen with interest and if she gets the nomination she’ll have my vote unless the Republicans somehow have an overhaul and put up a Super-Feminist.
    In the meantime I’m following the Clinton campaign most closely because I’m watching the media reaction for a blog project.

  44. Posted January 31, 2007 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    Personally, I’d rather vote for the president based on their politics than their gender. As much as I would love to see a female president, I like Obama’s politics better than her’s. I respect her, but politically I favor Obama. In a way, I frown upon voting for a female just because she’s female. It seems like a more equal way of considering things would be to choose your candidate based on the person, not the gender / race/ etc. therefore eliminating all aspects of racism/sexism. I guess it’s a tricky choice to make, though.

  45. lyra27
    Posted January 31, 2007 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    I guess I’m a little surprised that so many here are either unwilling to back HRC or are backing her somewhat grudgingly (if no one better comes along, or only if she gets the nomination without my primary vote, etc.). I personally wouldn’t back any ol’ woman who was running, just because they were female, but come on, Hillary is no Phyllis Schlafly (thank God). I’m just wondering though — if we’re waiting for the “ideal” feminist presidential candidate to come along, isn’t it possible we might end up waiting forever? What other feminist politician is there right now who can potentially appeal to a mass voting audience, most of whom rarely think about feminism at all? HRC might be our generation’s moment in history to see a feminist woman in the #1 spot. So why shy away from that big picture, especially since any politician can let us down, including one Barack Obama who has yet to really prove himself or embroil himself in much controversy (inevitable, as I see it). Instead, why not back a woman from the get-go who could potentially make the path to the White House smoother for future generations of women politicians, despite her own controversial ascent?

  46. soupcann314
    Posted January 31, 2007 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    So, since it seems one of the big issues about HRC is her vote authorizing force in Iraq, I thought I’d post this quote from a piece in the 1/15/07 issue of the New Yorker. The article is “Starting Gate” by Jeffrey Goldberg, and it’s a profile of HRC, Obama and Edwards:
    “Hillary Clinton’s decision to give Bush her approval in 2002 was influenced by her recent White House experience. ‘I have respect for Presidential decision-making and I saw what the Republican Congress had done to Bill on a range of issues, denying him the authority to deal with Bosnia and Kosovo and second-guessing him on every imaginable issue,’ [HRC] said. ‘And I don’t think that’s good for the country, and I had no problem in giving President Bush the authority to do what he stated he would do and what I was assured privately on many occasions would be done.’
    Still, Clinton was never an enthusiastic supporter of the war. In a speech to the Senate before casting her vote to support the resolution, she cautioned Bush, saying, ‘If we were to attack Iraq now, alone or with few allies, it would set a precedent that could come back to haunt us. In recent days, Russia has talked of an invasion of Georgia to attack Chechen rebels. India has mentioned the possibility of a preemptive strike on Pakistan. And what if China were to perceive a threat from Taiwan? So, Mr. President, for all its appeal, a unilateral attack, while it cannot be ruled out, on the present facts is not a good option.’”
    Not defending her, not attacking her, just wondering – what do people think about this? Does this change anything about supporting her candidacy?

  47. aspendarlin
    Posted January 31, 2007 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    A professor made the arguement that if Hillary were elected, that would mean the Executive Branch would be controlled by two families (Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton) for the past 20+ years. That much power, limited in so few hands, is a scary thought.
    I hadn’t thought of it that way, but that idea unsettles me.
    As for Hillary… it would be nice to have a female President, but I’ll vote for a candidate that represents my interests and views, not my sex. Obama interests me highly, but at this point, I honestly don’t know enough to know which one I’m pulling for.
    Either way, the Dems most likely have my vote. Guiliani’s social positions and the severe damage he did to those in poverty in New York scare the fuck out of me(such as allowing the Fire Dept and Police to answer calls only in places they “felt safe” — leading to a huge rise in fire deaths in poorer parts of the city). And McCain, well, pro-war scares me just as much.
    I want a President who believes in childcare, education and healthcare for all people first… getting out of Iraq second… minority (including GLBT) equality third. I want a President who doesn’t use his beliefs to redefine the relgion of the nation, who can properly pronounce words, and who is more interested in policies that work than propaganda. I want a President who will pull us out of this budget deficit, who doesn’t believe corporations (and pharmaceuticals and tobacco) run this nation, and who isn’t afraid to talk back to the Christian Coalition once in awhile. I want a President who listens and who can (somewhat) unite this country… who gives me (some) faith in the US government’s abilities… and who realizes our bureaucracies are slow and ineffective.
    I want a lot.
    And the disillusioned side screams in my head: It’s about power and money, and this is honestly a choice of the lesser of evils.

  48. Posted February 1, 2007 at 12:12 am | Permalink

    I am a feminist and I will vote for the candidate who offers the greatest advancement of women. I don’t care what gender they are at all.

  49. donna darko
    Posted February 1, 2007 at 1:20 am | Permalink

    if Hillary were elected, that would mean the Executive Branch would be controlled by two families for the past 20+ years. That much power, limited in so few hands, is a scary thought.
    so you’re going to stop after two horrible republicans, one male democrat right before the one who could possibly deliver the world?
    I am a feminist and I will vote for the candidate who offers the greatest advancement of women. I don’t care what gender they are at all.
    that’s why i’m bully for her. male presidents have never done much for women. clinton started with the family-medical leave act and vawa and stopped. we need a president who puts women’s issues first or second.

  50. Posted February 1, 2007 at 2:33 am | Permalink

    I think what’s happening, at least among thoughtful feminists, is one hundred percent acceptable. We’re acknowledging that the fact that she is a woman is a positive (which I admantly believe it is), but are reticent to say that all of the positives — including her gender — outweight all of the negatives, or that her net positive outweighs the net positive of other candidates.
    At least, that’s how I personally see things. And I’ll just reiterate that in my mind Obama’s lack of a “track record” really doesn’t trouble me. Politicians are by and large corrupt, and the better they can game the system, the corrupt-er they are. I mean, have we EVER gotten a Mr. Smith in the White House? George Washington, MAYBE? I’ll take a person who doesn’t know the system, who has a conscience, over someone who can game the system but only PRETENDS to believe what I do.*
    * I’m not saying necessarily that this is HRC — I’m just saying this is most politicians generally.

226 queries. 1.534 seconds