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    Tuesday, January 29, 2008

    Femi-missed

    Marcia Pappas, the New York state NOW president, responded to Teddy's endorsement of Obama this way:

    "This latest move by Kennedy, is so telling about the status of and respect for women's rights, women's voices, women's equality, women's authority and our ability – indeed, our obligation - to promote and earn and deserve and elect, unabashedly, a President that is the first woman after centuries of men who 'know what's best for us,'" - Marcia Pappas, president of New York State's chapter of NOW.

    Earlier in the month, she called Obama and Edwards attacking Hillary in a debate as a "Psychological Gang Bang."

    http://www.nownys.org/pr_2008/pr_011108.html

    I heard yesterday that Teddy felt compelled to endorse Obama, or at least go about it the way he did, after the Hillary campaign turned nasty, and especially after Bill got involved the way he did, and especially after he urged Bill to cool it.  I don't think it is unfair to have your spouse campaign for you, even if your spouse is a former president.  But who uses their spouse as a hatchet man?  If Bill were out there making appearances and sticking to a positive message, and deferring to his candidate, that would be ok.  But having your husband go out there to attack your opponents for you, defending your honor in some twisted form of chivalry -- isn't this actually anti-feminist? 
     
    In fact, isn't it anti-feminist to run on your husband's experience?  When Hillary talks about her decades of experience, she's really talking about her time as first lady of the country and the state of Arkansas, as well as her seven years in the Senate.  What kind of feminism stands on your husband's shoulders as if you are standing for yourself? 
     
    Sure, down on the farm, the wife can run the farm as well as the husband.  And if Tom Brady's ankle is still acting up this Sunday, I'm sure Gisele Bundchen can step right in there and lead the Pats.   In fairness, Hillary's experience is probably somewhere in between.  But her experience gained from the opportunity to botch health care reform in early 1990s is an opportunity she gained because she was married to the president, and more to the point, health care is in worse shape now than it was before her efforts.   

    Comments on "Femi-missed"

     

    Blogger Kristen said ... (7:41 AM, January 29, 2008) : 

    I'm no feminist myself and really I'm flopping back and forth between Obama and Clinton, but I think that if you have to give Hialry anything, its that she certainly didn't need to ride anyones coattails to get to where she is. I'm not sure that taking a back seat to your spouses career path makes you weak which is what it feels like you're saying.

     

    Blogger anne said ... (9:31 AM, January 29, 2008) : 

    Clinton's efforts at health care reform are not the cause of our current health care problems. If anything, Edwards is more responsible for that, as he is a malpractice lawyer.

    And just because Clinton learned from Bill (who some people regard as a great foreign policy president) does not mean she is anti-feminist or riding on coattails. It means she is smart enough to take advantage of the opportunities that have been provided to her. Not to mention she herself has been involved in politics since she graduated law school.

    Just because Obama has only been involved in politics since 1997 does not mean he is better suited to be our president. It just means he hasn't had time to make any mistakes. It's easy to be perfect when you haven't been tested.

     

    Blogger Mr. Bebout said ... (9:41 AM, January 29, 2008) : 

    The issue is the Ted Kennedy, and the whoe of the Kennedy family, have given their considerable support to Mr. Obama instead of Mrs Clinton and now the NOW leadership are upset and tryong to call sexism. Shame on them.
    By saying this decision is based on the gender of the candidate NOW is being sexist.
    The decision to give support to a candidate should be based on the commonality of beliefs and the voter's beliefe that the candidate they chose will represent them to a better degree.
    Further, Mrs Clinton has road on Mr Clinton's coattails for every job she has gottne since be came the goveror of Arkansas and that is a fact. I believe they work in partnership to accomplish goals, as any married couple should. I think to discount their relationship and say she would have gone as far without it is foolish and wrong headed. THis is not to say that she could not have done the same or similar things, just that she got to where she is because of her husband.

     

    Anonymous Evil John said ... (11:12 AM, January 29, 2008) : 

    The national-level NOW released a, err... "conciliatory" press release.

    I've seen it said that NARAL is much more influential in NY than NOW. NY's NOW may be marginalized and a little heavy on the nuts and candied fruit. From their press release they certainly seem like it.

    For the coattails issue I'll just say: When women are as free as men to rely on cronyism, nepotism and the "Old Boys" network as men, only then will women have achieved equality.

     

    Blogger Kate Anne said ... (2:50 PM, January 29, 2008) : 

    Feminism: the belief in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes; and action toward achieving same. EQUALITY, not superiority.

    You know how I feel about Hillary Clinton. She's out for Hillary not womenkind. She's not out for peace and the working people, not really. Her lack of listening to the peace and justice activists in NYC is very telling.

    And I have never heard John Edwards descibed as a malpractice lawyer, though in context possibly he is/was. He actually has been out there winning some good cases for all of us. And earning a living.

    The define right of Hillary is nauseating and, as you know, I have suspended my NOW membership because of their unquestionable support of her, despite the above mentioned failures. ARGH!! -- You might want to check out the article at CommonDreams.org, Its Her Party and She'll Do What She Wants To.

     

    Blogger Gina Ventre said ... (5:14 PM, January 29, 2008) : 

    i have little love for billary and little love for NOW.

    what does ted kennedy's endorsement of obama have to do with "the status of and respect for women's rights?" she is making it about something that it isn't. kennedy endorsed the person he thinks is the best person for the job. that's it. it has nothing to do with "our obligation to promote and earn and deserve and elect, unabashedly, a President that is the first woman after centuries.." I'm all for a woman president but I don't feel any such obligation to vote for someone just because they are a woman, thereby discounting her stance on the issues and the fact that she is Establishment all the way.

    billary (biliary?)is anacronistic to the message she supposedly wants to send. she is hitching her wagon to her husband's political star. she is hoping for camelot-like fervor as folks reminisce about the clinton years. fuck that. and fuck dynasties. lets get some fresh ideas or else its going to resemble some weird bush/clinton oligarchy.

    she couldn't even concede south carolina with dignity. for pointers on how to give a speech, see obama's victory speech from south carolina. it's the best bit of political speaking i've heard in a long while.

     

    Blogger Gina Ventre said ... (5:21 PM, January 29, 2008) : 

    to elect someone "just because they are a woman" is much like doing any else "just because they are a woman." that statement still has negative connotations, even though the ends seem justifiable on the surface. equal rights is just that. it's striving for equality, the jettisoning of the "just because..." statement. billary will have to withstand attacks just like any other political candidate. Pappas' parallels between debate conduct and a gang bang is a cheap appeal to victimhood rather than equality.

     

    Blogger Christie said ... (3:54 PM, January 31, 2008) : 

    I have to agree with both Gina and Michael here - on everything. Wow. I can't believe I'm having a political conversation on this blog and agree with anyone. I think I even agree with Dave. Weird. Sure, I think any woman would like to see a woman president...that's exciting. It doesn't have to be Hilary, though. Be patient, another woman will come along. I have to say I want to like and believe Obama. I'm just scared he is a media creation. I think he has the best shot of pulling independent votes and if Hilary is the nomination, I think the GOP could put up a monkey and would probably win. :)

     

    Blogger Kate Anne said ... (3:03 PM, February 01, 2008) : 

    FYI, Lots of Progressives coming over to Obama. MoveOn.org -- Obama got 70% and the endorsement. On Thom Hartmann's straw poll (today) -- call in, unannounced (I didn't get through):

    Obama 48
    Clinton 8
    Edwards 5
    Paul 1
    McCain 1

     

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