Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Am I the broken record, or is the rest of the press?

Having a day of annoyance with political journalism. I feel like the press has, like, 5 templates for stories (the "comeback," the "not out of the race yet" the "well what it comes down to everyone really wants change, even Republicans, they just have to decide who they think will give them the change they want" the "if he doesn't win the next one he's out" and the "black man or white woman?" are the ones that come to mind), and they just plug in a candidate into each template, depending on who is ahead in the polls that day. It's sort of tiresome. I was interested to hear the exit poll data from NH yesterday, but heard a lot of things that sounded familiar (the one thing that jumped out at me was that the lower-income groups voted for Clinton, not Edwards, but then of course there's the "older women vote for Hillary, younger women vote for Obama" thing which, whether it's true or not, is starting to sound trite). I guess it's just that, predictably, in this post-Hillary-tears-on-TV world, that's all anyone can talk about. I'm a little tired today of wondering about the bias of this paper or radio commentator or columnist or news site. Most of that, I think is me being annoyed about the Hillary tears debate. It's bringing up a lot of complicated bullshit over this whole woman candidate thing. Was it weakness or emotional strength? Whatever. I liked it, and so did a lot of other people, but I keep asking myself whether people liked it or didn't like it for the right reasons. On NPR this morning they interviewed a woman from NH who voted for Hillary. She decided Saturday morning, and soon after her decision her daughter called. Her daughter had volunteered for Obama. She told her mom, "Mom, when I was a kid, I told you I'd never call myself a feminist, and you told me 'How ungrateful.'" Then she told her mom she'd changed her mind and was voting for Hillary. I keep thinking about this stuff because I don't think any of it is clear cut. I want to support women in leadership roles, but I don't think Hillary is right for this role right now.

So there's a lot of stir over this shit. Maureen Dowd's op-ed today in the Times was pretty unbearable, in my opinion. Moe at Jezebel posted a rant about Hillary supporters that made me kind of sad, since Jezebel's one of my favorite sites and I hate to see women hating on other women so much, especially since I don't see supporting Hillary like it's the end of the world. (This post did reinforce my belief that while I love reading Moe's writing on Jezebel, I just don't know if I could actually stomach her in real life. She has a weird set of opinions sometimes.) I am upset about this stuff not because I am a Hillary supporter, but because I am disturbed by the number of people who truly hate her, who disbelieve everything she says, who make everything about her gender. It feels backwards. Now, with Obama, people definitely do talk about his race, but such talk lacks the viciousness of the anti-Clinton rhetoric. And I don't think you can say that this is all residual from the Bill Clinton era. Not at all.

It makes me sad that this is even a subject. It makes me sad that my support of Obama puts me, in some people's opinions, in a group of "young women in denial" about the state of sexism in our nation. It makes me sad for Hillary, and for our country, too.

Sorry, as usual this is rather jumbled and probably misinformed. I'm just venting.

(via Feministing)


macbeach said...

Who can feel sorry for the demise of mainstream media when they put out stuff like this:

(and hardly a supportive comment to be found).

Silvs said...

maybe i'm living under a rock but i haven't really heard that many anti-woman rhetoric when it comes to clinton beyond the stupid shouts of those two idiots in new hampshire.

for me its also an issue of legacy. if hilary wins, she will go down in a very special chapter of history as the first female president. from there on out, any great feat of achievement by a woman will undoubtedly be in the shadow of hilary. anytime anyone thinks of building a center or endowment or whatever for women, she will be the person people will hold as a symbol of how far women have come in the world. hell i can even see 100 years down the road, a national holiday to celebrate women, and guess who's birthday will seem apropos? she's going to have this legacy that i truly don't think she deserves. yes, she has accomplished a lot but at what cost? how many scandals? how many people trampled on her way to the top. i don't really believe her when she says she cares about this country.

i also don't think its right that people are voting for her just because she's a woman. what about political beliefs? it would be like me voting for obama just cause he's black even though i don't agree with his politics (although ideals are a different story).
not to mention, after all the partisan crap we went through with bush's election, i would like the next 4 or 8 years to be a time where people actually work together on issues. if hilary wins, we're just going to have another period of partisan bickering where nothing significant actually gets done. she may have a few nuggets of decent policy that under nomral circumstances the repubs would actually support, but because its hilary, people won't want to work together. the same thing happened with bush jr.
and finally, i think it's time for a new family. think about it. for the past 20 years, this country has been run by the same two families, bush and clinton. 88-92 bush, 92-00 clinton, 00-08 bush. 08-??'s time for a change.

Emily said...

oh, don't get me wrong. i definitely see your point on not voting for hillary because she's a woman (i wouldn't, and i'm not) and about partisan issues. i also know what you mean about the new families, the dynasty thing. (there was an interesting piece in the new yorker a bit ago about how dynastic our politicians actually are, which is a lot.) those points i agree with you on (i feel like that fact says something about the state of politics today). however, i do think there's a lot of sexism still out there, and i think this election is proving that.

as far as legacy, i'm not sure about that. i'm not sure if legacy is important when i'm considering my vote. for one thing, "deserving" a legacy is a tricky thing. a lot of times it's just about being first, no matter who you are and if you "deserve it." being first makes you "deserve it," in one sense, because that's just how legacies work. or how history works (history written by the winners, and such).

el super said...

ok wow...that nytimes thing about the crying was like COMPLETELY offensive and it upsets me that a woman wrote it but i'm sure they felt like it was ok to publish because a woman wrote it. it was like some fucking shelby steele writing about how racism is black people's fault kind of shit...

and point in my post a few days ago was that what people are passing off as objective criticisms about hillary, when you really think about it, are coming from a place of gender inequality and so what i'm saying is (and perhaps what gloria is saying too) is that sexism is so deeply ingrained not just in our society but in the world that the way the double standard we have for women in power is completely acceptable.

and to say that peopel are just voting for her because she's a woman is a really major simplification of the situation.

and if you look at hilary's history in congress she has actually gotten more alot of support and unity from the not super conservatives (who probably don't agree with her on principle). so when peopel talk about her being all divisive if you relaly look at her track record is just an ignorant view on the situation.

and i'm not voting for her just becuase she's a woman, i'm voting because i think she's better suited and more experienced and i'm sure someone will get offended by the but i think that obama has been getting suck fucking royal treatment from the media because it's totally ok to write oodles of articles discussing how a woman in power cried but we are not allowed to mention obamas race in any sort of negative light.

sorry emily...since that actually had very little to do with your post

Anonymous said...

If you want evidence of sexism in politics, ask yourself why Ms. Clinton is mostly referred to as "Hillary" and all the boys by their surnames. Caryl