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Gloria Steinem isn't dead and whines like a ...

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by heyabbott, Jan 8, 2008.

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  1. heyabbott

    heyabbott Well-Known Member

    ...a bitch.

    By GLORIA STEINEM
    Published: January 8, 2008
    THE woman in question became a lawyer after some years as a community organizer, married a corporate lawyer and is the mother of two little girls, ages 9 and 6. Herself the daughter of a white American mother and a black African father — in this race-conscious country, she is considered black — she served as a state legislator for eight years, and became an inspirational voice for national unity.

    Be honest: Do you think this is the biography of someone who could be elected to the United States Senate? After less than one term there, do you believe she could be a viable candidate to head the most powerful nation on earth?

    If you answered no to either question, you’re not alone. Gender is probably the most restricting force in American life, whether the question is who must be in the kitchen or who could be in the White House. This country is way down the list of countries electing women and, according to one study, it polarizes gender roles more than the average democracy.

    That’s why the Iowa primary was following our historical pattern of making change. Black men were given the vote a half-century before women of any race were allowed to mark a ballot, and generally have ascended to positions of power, from the military to the boardroom, before any women (with the possible exception of obedient family members in the latter).

    If the lawyer described above had been just as charismatic but named, say, Achola Obama instead of Barack Obama, her goose would have been cooked long ago. Indeed, neither she nor Hillary Clinton could have used Mr. Obama’s public style — or Bill Clinton’s either — without being considered too emotional by Washington pundits.

    So why is the sex barrier not taken as seriously as the racial one? The reasons are as pervasive as the air we breathe: because sexism is still confused with nature as racism once was; because anything that affects males is seen as more serious than anything that affects “only” the female half of the human race; because children are still raised mostly by women (to put it mildly) so men especially tend to feel they are regressing to childhood when dealing with a powerful woman; because racism stereotyped black men as more “masculine” for so long that some white men find their presence to be masculinity-affirming (as long as there aren’t too many of them); and because there is still no “right” way to be a woman in public power without being considered a you-know-what.

    I’m not advocating a competition for who has it toughest. The caste systems of sex and race are interdependent and can only be uprooted together. That’s why Senators Clinton and Obama have to be careful not to let a healthy debate turn into the kind of hostility that the news media love. Both will need a coalition of outsiders to win a general election. The abolition and suffrage movements progressed when united and were damaged by division; we should remember that.

    I’m supporting Senator Clinton because like Senator Obama she has community organizing experience, but she also has more years in the Senate, an unprecedented eight years of on-the-job training in the White House, no masculinity to prove, the potential to tap a huge reservoir of this country’s talent by her example, and now even the courage to break the no-tears rule. I’m not opposing Mr. Obama; if he’s the nominee, I’ll volunteer. Indeed, if you look at votes during their two-year overlap in the Senate, they were the same more than 90 percent of the time. Besides, to clean up the mess left by President Bush, we may need two terms of President Clinton and two of President Obama.

    But what worries me is that he is seen as unifying by his race while she is seen as divisive by her sex.

    What worries me is that she is accused of “playing the gender card” when citing the old boys’ club, while he is seen as unifying by citing civil rights confrontations.

    What worries me is that male Iowa voters were seen as gender-free when supporting their own, while female voters were seen as biased if they did and disloyal if they didn’t.

    What worries me is that reporters ignore Mr. Obama’s dependence on the old — for instance, the frequent campaign comparisons to John F. Kennedy — while not challenging the slander that her progressive policies are part of the Washington status quo.

    What worries me is that some women, perhaps especially younger ones, hope to deny or escape the sexual caste system; thus Iowa women over 50 and 60, who disproportionately supported Senator Clinton, proved once again that women are the one group that grows more radical with age.

    This country can no longer afford to choose our leaders from a talent pool limited by sex, race, money, powerful fathers and paper degrees. It’s time to take equal pride in breaking all the barriers. We have to be able to say: “I’m supporting her because she’ll be a great president and because she’s a woman.”

    Correction: An earlier version of this Op-Ed stated that Senator Edward Kennedy had endorsed Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. He has not made an endorsement in the 2008 presidential race.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/08/opinion/08steinem.html?ref=opinion
     
  2. Twoback

    Twoback Active Member

    What Ms. Steinem leaves out, conveniently, is that many times women have more trouble with powerful women than men do.
    I know this for a fact.
    She ignores it because it would place some of the blame on her constituency.
     
  3. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Twoback is correct, but I think Ms. Steinem makes some good points in her column.
     
  4. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    An observation that might steer this toward a classier track.

    After watching both of them speak several times, I think both Elizabeth Edwards or Michelle Obama would make better candidates than HRC.

    I don't know that they'd make better presidents, but I think they'd make better candidates, especially among younger women voters.
     
  5. SigR

    SigR Member

    She ruins an otherwise insightful column with her concluding statement.

    Instead of “I’m supporting her because she’ll be a great president and because she’s a woman.”
    she should have written "I'm supporting her because she'll be a great president."
     
  6. JR

    JR Active Member

    I read the Steinem piece and it seemed pretty harmless to me. Nothing terribly new, radical, or groundbreaking.

    However, I'm curious what Ab' thinks a) the writer is "whining" about and 2) what the hell his topic thread means.
     
  7. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    Hillary Clinton's supporters seem unwilling and unable to even acknowledge that people might dislike her or not want to vote for her for reasons other than the fact that she's a woman. It's kind of a unfair position to be put in.

    "You don't like Hillary because you can't handle a powerful woman!"

    "No, I just like Obama better."

    "Because she's a woman!"

    "No, it's because he's more interesting and engaging and he doesn't talk down to people and he fills me with a little bit of hope that we can move beyond the 60s as well as the 90s."

    "IF SHE HAD A PENIS YOU WOULD TAKE HER SERIOUSLY!"

    "I do take her seriously. Too seriously, maybe. I think she'd be a decent president. I just like Obama better."

    "BUT IT'S HER TURN! SHUT UP AND VOTE FOR HER!"

    "Plese sit down. You're frightening me."

    "SEE! SEE! YOU'RE AFRAID OF A POWERFUL WOMEN!"

    "To be clear: Is is possible for me to like a candidate better that Clinton for reasons other than gender?"

    "NO! BECAUSE IF IT'S NOT ABOUT THAT, IT MEANS SHE'S FAILED SOMEHOW, AND SHE WILL NOT ACCEPT THAT!"

    "Just as long as we're clear."
     
  8. 21

    21 Well-Known Member

    Here's me whining like a bitch, nothing new: Why does every thread about a woman have to showcase someone's tits?


    (EDIT--There were tits here a couple of hours ago, I swear...)
     
  9. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    I wonder if it's because there's such an abudance of photos in which women are deliberately showcasing their tits?
     
  10. SigR

    SigR Member

    It's a combo of exerting cleverness and heterosexuality which leads to message-board status. And the theory that there are actually no women on the internet.
     
  11. sportschick

    sportschick Active Member

    Because the idea of a woman in power scares them so much that they have to put us back in our place by showing tits.

    There's not reason for a picture of Diane Lane on this thread, other than general male insecurity.
     
  12. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    Trust me, Smasher, if I had a six-pack and a 10-inch cock, you better believe I'd be running to the store naked. Instead, I throw on my hooded sweatshirt and pick up my milk in shame. I don't blame the women for showcasing their racks.
     
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