Obama and Clinton Need to Support a New Feminist Movement

Clinton should disassociate herself from the PUMAs, defending her former supporters who are following her advice to work their hearts out for Obama. Clinton supporters who immediately started to work for Obama seem to be  targeted by  some PUMA  trolls on our blogger blogs as cowardly traitors. The anonymous attacks on me removed from the Clintonista for Obama blog were revolting and ageist, implying I was too close to the grave to have a right to political advocacy, that I desperately needed, but would never get, a man, that they laughed themselves sick at my profile.

Given that these personal attacks on me echoed the attacks made by the media and progressive blogs against older Hillary supporters, I have to wonder who those anonymous hit-and-run attackers truly were.  Are they truly Hillary supporters or an army of Karl Roves in disguise?  Is it completely unfair to associate them with genuine PUMAS? The whole mess is heartbreaking. I certainly understand where the PUMA people are coming from. I just have to reread all my letters to my daughters and sons-in-law for the last year. I was totally demoralized that they were all supporting Obama and repeating all the right-wing Hillary demonizing that had now been adopted by too many progressive blogs.

I had dedicated 30 years of my life to nonsexist childrearing of 4 daughters, and now I was discovering they probably weren't feminists and couldn't recognize sexism and misogyny. They had splendid educations and excellent jobs, so they hadn't experienced much discrimination. However, after a year of mothering, my oldest daughter realizes we don't live in a postfeminist era. Two more daughters are becoming mothers this year, so they will be similarly enlightened. There is nothing like discovering you might make $100,000 plus, but are still expected to pump breastmilk in a toilet to raise your consciousness.

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Fight for Equality

Today I have read diaries that have told me I don't have the right to complain about sexism because there are more important issues than sexism.

They say if I complain about "ho" jokes at a Democratic fundraiser I am being divisive and frivolous. Sexism is divisive. Those who engage in it and defend it are the problem, not me. "Ho" jokes are anti-woman and anti-feminist especially during a political event. Democratic women don't be fooled or intimidated by those who attempt to convince you otherwise. Don't be fooled by those who dismiss your equality to re-fighting the primary.

As a Democratic woman, I have chosen to fight for my equality and not vote for the Democratic nominee. I will not be bullied into voting for a man who will benefit from the sexism unleashed and/or unchecked by the Democratic Party against the woman candidate. Sexism has become a part of the winning strategy, just as race became a part of Nixon's southern strategy.

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Doubts About Feminism, 1971, Age 25

I was very active in the feminist movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Although I described myself as a radical feminist, I always had serious misgivings. I explore them in this journal entry from October 1971. I have not edited it, because it gives a snapshot of a particular point in time. At the time I was a happily married woman working as an Editing Supervisor at Basic Books, which pubished social science and psychiatric books.

Are men necessarily the enemies? Adopting that logic, couldn't women be categorized as the enemies? Must there be an enemy? Must the movement have a scapegoat? There is a danger of generalizing for all women from a few women's (typical, atypical) experience with men. Perhaps most men are baffled rather than hostile. They have been socialized to believe the myths, so they do believe them. Why does the movement assume that their motives are vicious?

Perhaps the myths are harsher than the realities. Individual women are treated better and respected more than social mythology about women dictates. The movement shouldn't present what seems to be a fatal choice: true autonomy or loving, intimate relationships with men. If all men are despaired of, shouldn't most women be despaired of? Have women tried hard enough to explain themselves? Or would they rather renounce men than fight through to an accommodation?

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Can a Feminist Be a Misogynist?

Warning: pedantry ahead. Let's distinguish between misogyny, misandry, and sexism. Misogyny is hatred and disdain for women in general. Misandry, hatred and disdain for men in general, is probably the most underused word in political debate. Although a lifelong feminist, I have always loathed  knee-jerk male-bashing and defended men against stereotyping all my life. Wikipedia has a decent definition of sexism: "Sexism is commonly considered to be discrimination and/or hatred of people based on their sex rather than their individual merits."

I struggle greatly with my own misogyny. I was much more comfortable being the only girl in my political science classes at Fordham than attending an all girls Catholic College in my freshman year. I credit my 5 younger brothers and 5 young uncles. My four daughters might have contributed to the misogyny too:) Working in the women-dominated fields of librarianship and social work has been a terribly bad fit for me with dire economic consequences.

I am far more confident that men will like me than women will like me. I don't do tact. If I see a group of 5 men at a party, I know they need me:) All my shrinks have been men. I have done my best therapy  work with male clients. One client told me I must have been a gay male in a previous lifetime since I understood him so well:) The real explanation was that manic depressive closets resemble gay closets.

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We Need a Nonviolent Revolution, Not Family Squabbles

I am new here, and I am trouble. You  should stop fighting with everyone else and concentrate on me. I do believe that she who laughs, lasts, so humor will temper my arrogance.  My fellow Clintonistas have been talking about MyDD for weeks, but  I have resisted temptation. My name is Mary Joan, and I am far more a Joan than a Mary. Imagine how much more fun Western art would be if Mary, the mother of God, and Joan of Arc had exchanged wardrobes.

I am one day older than the atom bomb, born the day after Trinity (I expect birthday greetings very soon if you know your history.) I was a 1960s radical nonviolent pacifist. I can go spectacularly limp if you try to drag me from the demonstration. I have not changed as I raised 4 daughters, took care of my dying parents, worked as a public librarian and social worker. I am not a dried up old crone. My English husband, 16 years younger, gave up job and country to swim the Atlantic to marry  me.

We need a nonviolent revolution to transform America into a  children-friendly, family-friendly, elder-friendly, human-being friendly society that is not the disgrace of most of the world. If you want to have children or take care of your aging parents, you would be better off moving almost anywhere in the world.

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Diaries

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