"There is difference and there is power. And who holds the power decides the meaning of the difference." --June Jordan

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Democratic Party Does Not Care About Women

Or, at least, it doesn't if party leaders actually put forth Virginia Senator James Webb as Obama's running mate if Obama ends up with the nomination.

Melissa McEwan:

I cannot begin to express what a terrible, terrible, terrible idea it would be for the Democratic Party to allow Jim Webb onto the national ticket after this primary season, for reasons I'm guessing I don't need to explain. I resent the idea that sticking any old pair of boobs in the veep slot is going to mollify the women who are rightfully angry with the way Clinton has been treated by her own party during this primary (yeah, I'm looking at you, Leahy, just for a start), but I resent even more the notion that it doesn't matter at all. Handing the veep slot to Webb on an Obama ticket would be a huge slap in the face to feminists. I can think of almost nothing that would prevent me from voting for the Democratic ticket this November, but putting Webb's name on it would send me screaming Green without reservation—because it wouldn't just be about Webb; it would be about the Democrats signaling that they just don't give a shit about my vote. (emphasis mine)

Go read Melissa's whole post to find out why Webb is such a bad choice for V.P.


Anonymous said...

Why, as a woman, do I find this so abominable? When I read government-defrauding articles by leftwing nutjobs, I'm like, "Rah! Rah!" But when I read this, I'm like, "Pipe down." What makes women hate feminists?

Tracey said...

My first instinct is to say internalized self-hatred, normalization of the silencing of women, and a lifetime of socialization to make us think that our own issues are unimportant, but I would rather you tell me what makes you hate feminists.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's that I don't really feel like I'm being held down by being a woman. I worry when my rights are threatened by a conservative government, sure, but I mostly feel like being female has benefited me. I can understand how woman working on Wall Street or in the restaurant industry have it rough trying to work their way up, and maybe I don't feel it because I'm happy hanging out with the peons. But you know I'd be happy being supported by a man and staying at home all day. I hate that I can't afford my own Manhattan apartment, but I like that Kamran pays for me when we go out.

Basically, I think it's important to be a little bit feminist, just like it's important to be a little bit affirmative actiony. But what are these women experiencing that I'm not?

Clayton said...

Although I appreciate the author's point (and honestly she makes a pretty good case for defecting if you're a feminist) I really don't think Senator Webb would be a bad choice for Senator Obama. He's not the only one of course, but I think a good case can be made for picking him.

To be honest, if I were Obama, I would probably be leaning towards Webb right now.

Tracey said...

Katie: I just think feminists notice patterns of constant inequity between men and women and unfairness in language, systems, perceptions, and expectations. Whether or not they experience it personally on a regular basis doesn't matter, because it affects all of us.

Clayton: What would make Webb a good choice? His military experience? His appeal to more conservative democrats? If that's the case, then I think it's a horrible idea. Obama's not liberal enough as it is, and it's only going to piss off progressive voters if he tries to move more toward the center.

Clayton said...

Not liberal enough, jeez.

Well pretty much exactly what you said. A VP choice only matters in how it reflects on the nominee. It doesn't help win a State or a region. It reflects the candidate's judgment.

Sure, some progressives will be pissed and will vote Green. They'll judge Obama by his choice of running mate.

But a lot of moderates will judge it differently. They'll say, "he's associating himself with people with military experience," and "he's willing to work with someone who isn't as liberal." Moderates like that stuff.

I mean, this being politics the complete opposite could happen and everyone would HATE Obama for selecting Webb (if he does).