Feminists for floor fights

Some believe Clinton is the stronger candidate for the GE.  At the same time, the length and bitterness of her campaign is taking a toll on her ability to mobilize the base.

I believe a floor fight at the convention would be the undoing of the nominee, WHOEVER it is... that the base would be so divided, we would not coalesce around either candidate.  This would doom the party in the general, no matter who's nominated.  This is not a particularly novel opinion.

Does this make me sexist - wanting Clinton to step aside rather than take this to the convention?

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Our Sexism Problem

Has anyone noticed the recent explosion of solidarity and outrage among women Democrats over the sexist treatment in the media of Hillary Clinton during this primary season?  MYDD regulars would say this is something that has been an issue among Clinton supporters for a long while, but in terms of national coverage, we seemed to have turned some kind of corner, reached critical mass.  There was an excellent discussion with folks from Emily's List and NARAL Pro Choice America yesterday, for example, on Talk of the Nation, the NPR program.  There was the New York Times article earlier this week, and now all the morning shows are talking about it today.

In my advocacy for Barack Obama, here and among my friends, I've always tried to keep a cool head about the nature of this primary, remembering that Clinton is not some kind of evil enemy, but a fellow Democrat.  Sometimes, I've been very frustrated with Clinton tactics, things that made me want to lash, and in some cases to actually lash out in anger.  But I've also always tried to refrain from the type of casual sexism (and the not-so-casual, bordering on vitriolic kind) that one often hears thrown around about powerful women.  

As much as I often regret the sort of "gotcha" PC atmospherics which surrounds our public discourse on matters relating to identity politics, I'm also quite aware of the utility of this line.  Yesterday on Talk of the Nation, Elizabeth Shipp eloquently made the point that open sexism is one of the last frontiers of public bigotry in this country (though, I'm quite sure that heterosexism ought to be included in that category as well).  One in five Kentucky and West Virginia voters notwithstanding, America has by and large become a place where--at least in mainstream public discourse--open racism is frowned upon.  We have a ways to go before we get there with sexism and heterosexism, I'm afraid.  

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Why is Hillary such a vessel for negtivity?

Let me lay out a few basics before I get into my main point. I am a male in my 20s, and I support Obama for President. For some people, this may entirely discount what I'm about to say, but so be it.

I have to ask a question to certain Hillary supports (not all), who really believe that Hillary is the only chance we have for a woman to be president in their or my lifetime. For the life of me, I can't see this, and I genuinely think this view is very patronizing towards women. If we are to be seeking true equality of the sexes, why wouldn't we say there will be a legitimate female candidate every year? Honestly, why not? I can think of women in our political system who will be there in 4 years, 8 years, and beyond. Hillary is hardly the last chance.

From my perspective, Hillary is actually a pretty poor person to represent the hopes of women into the White House. She's the wife of a former President who doesn't have much independent experience in government. Why do we think a woman similarly or more accomplished (of which there are many) would not be able to compete? Is it just pessimism? Negativism? Is there any logical reason to think Hillary is the last chance?

Hillary is probably the most intensely disliked female politician in American today (whether deserved or not), and she has come very close. Shouldn't we be a little more optimistic about our future?

I don't see what makes Hillary so special that she is the last best hope of womankind, and I think saying so does a great disservice to all other woman who aspire to that office.

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Hillary's Quest for President: Blazing the Trail

No false unity diary below, nor is this any attempt from an Obama supporter to curry favor with Hillary supporters or 'get them on side'. This is just a brief thought piece. I'll still expect flames.

Back in January my fifteen year old daughter was a Hillary supporter. She lives in the UK, so wasn't quite so up on the issues as she would have been in the US, but I guess her primary reason for supporting HRC was that:

She wanted to see a female president

I've never tried to sway her opinions on anything. In fact I love the independence of thought from both my kids. But within a couple of months, largely due to the 'framing strategy' of the Hillary campaign, my daughter shifted allegiance and became an Obama supporter.

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Thank you NARAL

In the last few days I have been growing more concerned about the us vs them mentality that appeared to be developing in Hillary's camp, especially in terms of its potential impact on feminism. I wrote here and in my blog < http://msa4.wordpress.com/> the following:

"It is time that feminists who have supported Clinton for the right reasons step up to the plate and criticize her for unacceptable remarks and practices. The women's movement has been deeply divided over the Clinton candidacy. Yet what started out as a legitimate disagreement about the merits of the candidates and their agendas has turned into a test of one's feminist credentials. But the test is perverse. It is not a test of feminist principles and values. It has become a test of loyalty to Clinton, in spite of the fact that she is undermining basic feminist values..... ........"

I can't tell you how pleased I am that NARAL has stepped up to the plate, even if its position doesn't entail any direct criticism of Hillary's remarks and practices.  

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