Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Hillary Clinton would be terrible for the feminist movement

Ha, this is going to be a fun semester. My blog might take on a new form and might be more interesting. Sunday I met my exact opposite: Caitlin. In "media" terms, I am a conservative crackpot and she is a liberal nut job. We both love political debate and of course do it in friendly terms. It's actually a lot of fun, and I dunno what it is, but some of my most favorite people in the world are those I disagree with and debate with a lot. Here's her blog: . Obviously I know Republicans aren't perfect, neither is my hero, Rush Limbaugh, or my candidate, Br. Mitt Romney, but I still think it's good to rip into bad candidates and why the left is wrong...about everything, eh, dunno, I'll let ya'll know if I find out if they're right about anything.

I have too much to do right now to add much commentary, but, according to a couple feminists, here's why Hillary is terrible for the movement. Eh, let me know if ya need sources. My commentary is in parentheses.

The conservative feminist believes that women being told they need a boost to get ahead is insulting to a woman's intelligence and resolve. Conservative feminism regards abortion as violence to women and children, and believes in supporting women in the military, who are vital to our nation's defense. The conservative feminist does not enjoy being discriminated against, thus would not endorse discrimination against others in the form of affirmative action.

(Has Pelosi done anything for the movement? How has she been a step forward in the right direction?)

One would think a true feminist would be gender-blind and judge everyone equally on their abilities

(Here's some things I found regarding income disparity between genders. I'm not really going to argue this really, because I do agree that there is sexism and such. But it's still healthy to get the whole picture about the issue)

In fact, he says that many times women actually earn more:
There are 90 fields that pay women more than men.
There are 39 fields in which women earn more than 5 percent more than men.
Female sales engineers earn 143 percent of male sales engineers.
Female part-time workers earn $1.10 for every dollar a male part-time worker makes.
Women who choose non-traditional careers may be the best off. According to the Labor Department, women dentists (who make up just 20 percent of the field), airline pilots and navigators (less than 4 percent of the field) may make lifetime earnings that are 150 percent higher than women in traditional careers.

However, what is comes down to may be the simple fact that women are less willing to make sacrifices at home or in their personal lives to make more money.

Says Farrell, "Women and men look at their life, and women say, 'What do I need? Do I need more money, or do I need more time?' And women are intelligent enough to say, I need more time. And so women lead balanced lives, men should be learning from women."

(Here's a story from a feminist in India)
BOMBAY -- She is the first lady of a nation that is supposed to lead the world's women in their "liberation" -- a woman long seen as a feminist and as the epitome of the modern day "professional" woman. Yet in response to charges that her husband has cheated on her, she has made a public display of loyalty to him, even joining in his denials.

This choice is reason to question seriously Hillary Clinton's credentials as leader for a reformed world for women, especially for me, as an Indian woman living in a still overwhelmingly traditional society.

Here, as in so many other areas of the world, women experience oppression almost entirely in the private life -- in their intimate relations. Achieving equality for women in the public realm has no immediate bearing on those whose knowledge of the larger world is limited to the television screen.

Watching Hillary Clinton on television, one sees her jump to the defense of her husband and his presidency. But there is an emptiness in her eyes, and also a sort of suppressed womanhood, as well as distinctive aloneness. One cost of being co-president is clearly the demise of a feminist United States.

The first lady, this Hillary, is no different from an aunt or cousin or sister, someone we all grew up with. Faced with an abusive spouse, what did our mothers advise? "Go back to him, my dear. That is your home. He is your all." Seeing Hillary act out that advice is the biggest travesty of the current scandal. What is at stake here is not the ethics of sexual promiscuity but how a wife should deal with it in terms independent of her husband and child.

If Hillary acts as she does -- stands by her man -- because she loves him or her daughter too much, then her claim to being a feminist is open to serious question. If she does it to protect his presidency, not just her man, then she can be charged with being a nationalist rather than a feminist. Finally, if she is being steadfast out of her own ambition, to stay in command as co-president, she again falls short of the feminist ideal -- an authentic feminist would be honorable only if she sought to hold power on her own, not as an icon with reflected glory.
If feminists and the women's movement feel let down by the present sexual scandal, they have both Clintons to blame, not just Bill Clinton.

(A feminist, liberal nut job's take on Mrs. Bill Clinton)
So what gives? For people like my friends and me, her hawkish position on Iraq and her insistence that the U.S. maintain a military presence there even after the troops are withdrawn have been very disappointing. But it’s more than any specific position. Women don’t trust Hillary. They see her as an opportunist; many feel betrayed by her. Why?

Baby boomer women grew up with the Feminine Mystique and then came of age with the Women’s Liberation Movement. As a result, millions of us have spent our lives crafting a compromise—or a fusion—between femininity on the one hand and feminism on the other. And for many of us feminism did not mean trying to be more like men. It meant challenging patriarchy: trying to bring equity to family life, humanizing the workplace, prioritizing women’s issues in politics, and confronting the dangers of militarism and imperialism. And millions of us fought (and continue to fight) these battles wearing lipstick, skirts and a smile: the masquerade of femininity we are compelled to don.

Hillary, by contrast, seems to want to be more like a man in her demeanor and politics, makes few concessions to the social demands of femininity, and yet seems to be only a partial feminist. She seems above us, exempting herself from compromises women have to make every day, while, at the same time, leaving some of the basic tenets of feminism in the dust. We are sold out on both counts. In other words, she seems like patriarchy in sheep’s clothing.

All of this frames many women’s reactions to Hillary. If she’s a feminist, how could she continue to support this war for so long? If she’s such a passionate advocate for children, women and families, how could she countenance the ongoing killing of innocent Iraqi families, and of American soldiers who are also someone’s children? If it would be so revolutionary to have a female as president, why does she feel like the same old poll-driven opportunistic politician who seems to craft her positions accordingly?

(...not that there's anything wrong with all this, cause I do want her to be the nominee)

1 comment:

Council Bluffs said...

I agree with feminists on some issues and do think there's some things that need fixed. But it's really society that needs fixed.

It's also really hard for me to support any candidate that wants to kill innocent babies. I do welcome our side. Not like Bill Clinton and Al Gore who became pro-choice.

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