Feminists Changing Lightbulbs?

How many Feminists does it take to change a lightbulb?

None. Feminism doesn’t change anything.

Anyway. Not true, but still funny.

First off, I love the Onion and their fabulous photo, titled “Hillary Threatened By Black Man.” I die laughing every time I go to their site.

I just read this article about sexism and the Clinton campaign.

I consider myself to be a feminist. I know many people (perhaps mostly clustered to the Right) who write off “feminists” as a whole, so let me clarify. I believe in equality and justice for all people, regardless of gender, race, or any other factor, and I think gender divisions have created an unfair power distribution in society. I think that women’s rights movements have helped us move toward a more fair system, but we’re not there yet.

Ergo, I think as a country we need to have women in government. It is ridiculous that we’ve gone this long without a female president. On a similar note, I think it’s silly that the presidency has been all white. I believe that successful campaigns of minorities indicate growth as a country, to a point where we are able to accept people as leaders who are not just the same white guys, who have been trying to represent an incredibly diverse country.

That being said, I will never support a candidate simply for their race or their gender. That’s creating the same illogical bias that fosters racism, sexism, homophobia, and all the other ways that people hate others.

At the beginning of her campaign, I was unsure how I felt about Hillary Clinton, but as the race for the Democratic nomination went on, I became more and more disgusted with her, and more and more impressed with Obama. Every time I heard something from Hillary, it was almost always accusations, petty bickering, or opponent bashing. Maybe she has valuable things to say–like the things Obama had to say, in a much more thoughtful and diplomatic way–but for me, it got drowned in how disgusted I am by even her attitude. I don’t trust her to unselfishly support the country… she is unable to even support her own party, continuing her lost-cause campaign at a time when she should graciously accept defeat and stop wasting time and vast amounts of money.

None of my concerns have anything to do with gender. It would be nice to have a female president, but Clinton in the white house would be anything but “nice.” In no way would that be worth chalking one up for diversity. Has sexism affected Clinton’s campaign? Almost certainly. It affects a myriad of factors of society, unfortunately. But many people (myself included) are not against Clinton for her gender. We are against her because, well, she sucks. It bothers me that she is constantly trying to shift the blame elsewhere. Yes, she and all women have a legitimate beef with mysogeny, but she is clearly only looking at her own interests and not those of a diverse country.

“Clinton told the Washington Post that sexism has played a larger role in the campaign than racism.”
What? How did you measure that?

“Clinton’s comments in the Washington Post echo what many of her supporters have bitterly complained about as the long Democratic battle has neared an end — that she is treated differently because she’s a woman and if she eventually loses, it will be because of her gender. Clinton, they charge, has been criticized for things that a male candidate would never take heat for — her appearance, her emotions, her spouse’s sex life.”

The fact is, those factors will always come under scrutiny in a campaign, as well as any other quirks and dirt that can be dragged out about any politician. Politics is dirty business… but I think I’m okay with supporting someone less experienced, who isn’t so good at fighting dirty.

The good news is: Even though Clinton may not be a successful or even a desirable candidate for the presidency, she has made a giant step (Neil Armstrong style!) for… womankind? As House Speaker Nancy Pelosi points out, the ground broken by Clinton’s campaign “won’t be left broken. It will be built upon.” We don’t have to give up on dreams of a female president, but we also don’t have to put Hillary Clinton into the white house to achieve those goals.

Oh, and in other politics news, I happened upon this article as well… McCain Pastor: Islam Is a “Conspiracy of Spiritual Evil.” Apparently Obama’s not the only one attached to a scandalously ranting pastor. Sigh… hurray for Christians in the media!


2 Responses to Feminists Changing Lightbulbs?

  1. d.cous. says:

    Well said. Gender (or race, or hair colour) is not the right reason to elect anyone to office. I like to think that I would happily vote for the right woman. I would never in a million years vote for Hillary Clinton, unless she were running against Voldemort. (And really, Voldemort’s pretty cool. I may have to just vote for him anyways.)

    Hillary does have a point that she is under national scrutiny for different things than a man would be, but male candidates also have to (or think they have to) do stupid “manly” things on the campaign, like play a game of backyard football and barbecue whilst talking about war, and I really think that anyone who’s spouse is a known philanderer is bound to be the butt of at least an occasional bad joke. It’s not justified, but it’s probably true. John Edwards took a lot of flack for obsessing over his hairdo at one point, but really they probably all do that (television + politics = show business, you know), and he was just dumb enough to let someone film him doing so.

    Sorry. Long comment. Better to not mention politics in front of me again 🙂

  2. Nathan says:

    The thing that disturbs me about feminist theory is the nearly whole-sale negation of a masculinist theory of gender. While many feminists argue that we live in a patriarchal society thereby negating a need for the inspection of male gender roles, I would argue that, if society is indeed patriarchal, that it becomes all the more crucial to examine and deconstruct the male gender role and the performative acts of the male sex. I tend to lay doubt upon any ideologically based theory whose readings are predicated on subverting power structures regardless of the text at hand. To me, that seems more like a media spin machine than an honest evaluation of literature. If gender theory wants to be taken seriously, let it grapple with gender roles outside of such a predetermined and ideologically motivated impetus. It’s a buzzword like far-left, which has immediate political ramifications and framing and it draws a circle. You’re either in or out. Count me out.

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