I’m Back – Women who ran for president

As a former Hillary Clinton fan (back before Bush), and a person that has just spent way too much time in the frozen, uniform gray rainy liberal feminist mecca of stumptown, I can’t help but weigh in.

Some have already noted that in the 25-30 minutes she spoke, Clinton spent only 4.5-6 minutes directly addressing Obama, using the rest of the time to talk about her own place in history, mainstream feminism, and the Democratic Party. As a historian, I was struck by the way she acknowledged the Suffragettes and white female abolitionist and wrote herself into this herstory absent of Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, and so many other suffragettes and abolitionists of color. Though I was less surprised about how she avoided the similarities between her own frustration with Obama and Stanton & Anthony’s with Douglass right down to the race baiting. (Stanton once said she would not stand for “the n—–s and the paddys getting the vote before women” and Anthony wrote a scathing letter when black men got the vote before women stating “the negro question and the woman question are now and forever two separate questions” refusing to ever support another black person again; much like some of Hillary Clinton’s supporters now.) I was also struck by the length of the speech dedicated to speaking for women, rallying women, and placing herself at the head of women’s history as the woman who made it possible to believe “women can run for president.” These are the women who have run before her (taken directly from wikipedia up to 2000 election & the World Wide Guide to Women and Leadership):

U.S. Presidential candidates:

Year Name Party Running Mate
1872 Victoria Woodhull[1] Equal Rights Party Frederick Douglass
1884 Belva Ann Lockwood National Equal Rights Party Marietta Stow[3]
1888 Belva Ann Lockwood National Equal Rights Party Alfred Love
1940 Grace Allen Surprise Party N.A.
1968 Charlene Mitchell Communist Party Michael Zagarell
1972 Linda Jenness Socialist Workers Party Andrew Pulley
1972 Evelyn Reed Socialist Workers Party
1972

1972

1972

Shirley Chisholm

Patsy Takamoto Mink

Bella Abdzug

Democrat”Independent/feminist party”

Democrat

Democrat

1976

1976

Margaret Wright

Ellen McCormack

Peopleโ€™s Party

Democrat

Benjamin Spock
1980 Ellen McCormack Right to Life Party
Carroll Driscoll
1980 Maureen Smith Peace and Freedom Party Elizabeth Cervantes Barron
1980 Deirdre Griswold Workers World Party Gavrielle Holmes[5].
1984 Sonia Johnson Citizens Party Emma Wong Mar
1984

1984

Gabriella Holmes

Patricia Scott Shroeder

Workers World Party

Democrat

1988 Lenora Fulani New Alliance Party Joyce Dattner
1988 Willa Kenoyer Socialist Party Ron Ehrenreich
1992 Lenora Fulani New Alliance Party Maria Elizabeth Munoz
1992 Helen Halyard Workers League/Socialist Equality Party Fred Mazelis
19921992 Isabell MastersSusan Block Looking Back Party?
1992

1992

Gloria LaRiva

Millie Howard

Workers World Party

Independent

Larry Holmes
1996 Monica Moorehead Workers World Party Gloria LaRiva
1996 Marsha Feinland Peace and Freedom Party Kate McClatchy
1996 Mary Cal Hollis Socialist Party Eric Chester
1996

1996

1996

Diane Beall Templin

Elevina Hoyd Duffy

Georgina H Doerschuck

American Party

Republican

Republican

Gary Van Horn



1996

1996

1996

Isabell MastersS

usan Duncan

Ann Jennings

Looking Back

PartyRepublican

Republican

Shirley Jean Masters
2000

2000

Monica Moorehead

Millie Howard

Workers World Party

Independent

Gloria LaRiva
2000

2004

2004

2008

Cathy Gordon Brown

Carol Moseley Braun

Millie Howard

Cynthia McKenny

Independent

Democrat

Republican

Green Party

unnamed?

unnamed

unknown

Rosa Clemente

Hillary is the first woman to garner slightly less than 18 million votes but she is not the first woman to assume she had the right to be President nor to test that assumption at the polls. The most famous of these women: Shirley Chisholm. Chisholm was also a Democratic Senator from NY when she ran and endured endless sexism, as well as racism, from the media and other sources. When the media announced her running they said she had “thrown her bonnet into the race.” Rather than point to the similarities in their historic races and write Chisholm back into our herstory/history, Clinton and the media’s insistence that she is the first has largely eclipsed Chisholm’s legacy. Chisholm also refused special interest money a full 36 years before Obama did. It is likely that while Clinton will be added to the history textbooks, Chisolm still will not.

Clinton was not the first woman running as a member of a major party either. That distinction goes to three women running in 1972: Bela Abdzug, Patsy Takamoto Mink, and Shirley Chisholm. Hawaiian candidate Mink and mainland white female candidate Abzug both dropped out well before the convention. However, Chisholm won 150+ delegates at the DNC. All three candidates received some support from the “feminist party” a group of high profile feminists working to get women on the ballot. They threw their full support behind Chisholm, including Gloria Steinem who later referred to this support when trying to get out of her “gender over race” comments during the current campaign.

Clinton is not the only woman running for president in 2008. Former Panther Elaine Brown was in the running before splitting with Green Party over Radical politics. Mckinney is still running, currently beating Nader for the nominee by 130+ votes, tho completely ignored. No one has mentioned the gender dynamics of the media attention to Nader’s Green Party bid vs. its complete inattention to McKinney’s.

Yet Clinton’s historic place cannot be forgotten nor slighted. Her legacy while inspiring to many also left many more wary of a woman who would reference assassination and white rural voters “who will never vote for a black man” as reasons she should triumph. Still she brought older women, first time female voters, and many more to the polls (as did Obama). She called out politicians and reporters alike on their real sexism: from the cleavage comments, to the “take out the trash” and “nagging wife” comments, to the “shrew” and “witch” labels she endured. She stood up for her daughter as a mother and as a public figure throughout the campaign, and long before it. And yes, her candidacy no doubt opened the doors for white women to be more often featured as pundits; ensuring Rachel Maddow a particularly unprecedented amount of air time despite not being on the Clinton bus for too long. Together with Obama’s campaign, she forced the door open for women of color, since people brought them in to act as foil or “traitors” to whichever id. they were trying to discredit or undermine. Sadly, such tokenism of all women does not sit well with the idea that women should be sought out for their opinions as thinkers and experienced analysts which is what we feminists should champion. The failure of the media to do so is the fault of neither campaign; Hillary’s camp certainly demanded women be taken seriously.

As the dust settles for the moment, and I believe it to be only a moment, I am left to wonder what the election would have looked like if we had talked about multiplicative and intersecting oppressions and not false hierarchies and binaries? What if Hillary Clinton had shown herself to be as quick to stop racism as she was to confront sexism by saying to any of her supporters who disparaged the realities of race in N. America that she disavowed them, their support, and their tactics? What if she had pointed to the intersection of racism and sexism by demanding Bill O’Reilly be fired for supporting the lynching of Michelle Obama, the same way she demanded other reporters be fired for saying she had “pimped out Chelsea”? Such stands might have made Hillary Clinton seem like the legacy of camelot that she and Bill appeared to be during their campaign. They might have reminded people that the educational attainment, home ownership, and general wealth of African American families went up for the first time in decades under the Clinton administration.

And what would have happened if the media actually dealt with the statistics that show Hillary only swept women 50 and above? She was equal or only slightly higher in demographics amongst women 30-50. Obama swept women in the 18-25 year old category. While she garnered a slightly larger percentage of white women and Latina votes, she did so poorly amongst black women that in some states she only got 20% or less. Stats on Asian women were not available but there were Asian women’s caucuses for Obama. Would a discussion about race and age polarization have led to a re-evaluation of how we all do feminism and potentially reinvigorated the movement through new commitments from the presidential candidate down? Would we have been able to move past the oft disproved suffragette assumption that “women vote as a class” to actually addressing how class, education, age, location, race, sexuality, etc. impact women’s voting? Would we have been able to develop nuanced ways of talking about “women’s interests” that showed how understanding our differences can turn into strengths for female candidates and for issues we all hold in common instead of opening up the world to comments that we were “mindlessly voting id,” invested in essentialism that “proves feminism does not work,” or worse “hopelessly divided” none of which is or has to be true.

If Hillary Clinton had owned her part in NAFTA instead of having it exposed by The Nation and then made a commitment to stop trade policies that exploit women and exacerbate existing gender inequality in other countries, would she have won over immigrant women and college aged Latinas, Asians, etc.? And would such ownership have led Clinton to also renounce her work defending Tyson chicken whose subsidiaries have been exposed for human trafficking to staff their chicken processing plants? If so would she have set a precedent in which being “the voice of women” as she claimed today, would mean that we were finally talking about all women? Or even better that the men who ushered in those policies and perpetuate them would finally be held accountable for the way their economic policies are in fact engendered?

Think of the possibilities available for women globally if the top contenders for the Democratic nomination had owned up to their part in economic oppression of women in order to shine a light on a myriad of disastrous policies for women. Would Clinton’s ownership of her continued legal work for Monsanto have opened the way to confronting the global food crisis that is disproportionately impacting women, girls, and people of color globally? Could such a discussion about the connections between corporations and women’s rights have opened the door for talking about femicides, war and genocide related trafficking of women and girls, and the sanctioned mass rapes and bodily mutilations of women that go on so that we can have cheap computers, access to oil, and rainforest wood furniture? If Clinton had been so brave as “to speak for [all] women” as she claimed, could all of this had led to the Democrats mapping out a way to bolster our failing industries, struggling farmers, and growing working class as well as the women of the world instead of both candidates talking about “outsourcing” as some invisible evil untied to trade policy and trafficking?

How could the support of working class women have been built into the election if Hillary Clinton’s lawyering for Walmart was not countered with Obama’s taking funds from a convicted slum Lord? What if both of them had owned what they did and then outlined how they would support working women in the future? What if Hillary had said she knows working to protect the heads of Walmart at the expense of female workers and her husband’s passing of welfare reform has set working class and rural women so far back economically that she knows she has to center them in her campaign to make things right? And if such a commitment moved beyond rhetoric to concrete policy how many women would have benefited and/or been drawn into the fold? It certainly would have rang more true than her quick reference to supporting unions in the speech today, given that the previous Clinton administration helped break up unions and continue Reagen inspired monopolies.

And if Hillary had stood up for all of these things, how would it have shifted the way we were and are able to talk about Obama’s sexist comments like “sweetie” and calling Florida a “beauty pageant”? Afterall, these criticism were largely eclipsed by the gender over race arguments that ensued or were embedded in these arguments. But if the precedent had been set that we would talk about gender AND race, and that everyone has both, then could we have forced the Obama campaign to own these moments and promise not to engage in them in the future? Could we have been more diligent and effective in raising awareness about his voting record on reproductive choice? He has several policy papers on women and large support from a female base of especially young, college educated, women regardless of race but what precedent would have been set if we had forced him to talk about women’s rights more often and more throughly by making them part of a democrat agenda rather than a gender over race discussion?

And what if the queer community had spent less time claiming Hillary Clinton had a better record because of the one time support of Melissa Ethridge, who along with other high profile members of the queer community, including former Clinton Administration members, are actually voting for Obama, and Clinton’s historic march in the NY Pride parade (the only first lady to do so) and actually demanded that the democratic candidate support equal rights for GLBTQ folk? Currently neither Obama nor Clinton supported gay marriage. Only Obama has detailed GLBTQ policies up on his site, Clitnon does/did not. Would putting an end to vilifying Obama for beliefs they both hold have led to discussions of Obama’s support for gay immigrants rights? And if so would we have written queer back into immigration debates and forced discussion of EVERYONE’s rights in policies in which they are absent? Would such discussions have led us to talk about the ways families are being broken up, women and queer people are abused by border patrol and non-governmental border watches, and how the immigration debate has been framed in such a way as discourage equality, women’s safety, queer and straight family unity, and workers rights? Could this have opened up a larger discussion about basic civil and human rights in the same way the film pictured to the right was able to do when discussing queer immigration in the U.S.? Again imagine the possibilities for moving across and within intersections to build an platform that really did support ALL women AND showed us all how we are intimately tied together in loss when anyone is discriminated against.

Like it or not, Obama is our candidate. He is, as Hillary put it, our only hope to turn the tide against Republicans and their policies that harm ALL women. If she had represented all of us, I believe she might have been the chosen candidate. And even if she had still lost, because of sexism and the fear of “legacies” or something else, such a stand would have forced the Obama campaign to publicly address women’s issues and policies impacting women. If both candidates has been forced to constantly center all women in their platform the face of the democratic party would have surely changed no matter who the democratic candidate was or will be in the future. It would have forced feminists to do better on addressing the needs of all women and stopping the cycle of erasing or abusing the many for the “universal” few. And it would have forced an ongoing discussion about sexism that will be silent in many corners because of the oppressive binaries so many involved in that discussion continue to use. The insistence on hierarchies clouded the moments when sexism should have been crystal clear as surely as it clouded the racist ones.

So while m
any cry over the loss of “the women’s vote” and the “only female presidential candidate,” I cry over a history littered with women candidates and marginalized women and queers thrown under many a campaign bus at one time or another during the primaries. Like others I do not have the luxury of choosing gender over race, nor do I subscribe to a politik that would ask me to put anyone’s suffering over anyone else’s and erase those whose suffering lies in multiple identities. Nor are all my hopes lost nor won in the campaign of a single woman because I know the history of all of the women who built the road she walks on. I also have faith in all the women who will come after Clinton, faith enough to know that not all of them will be in her shadow but rather locked arm in arm with the multitude who paved the way. And maybe they will be globally minded enough to have been inspired by other feminist female presidents and prime ministers around the world as well as all of the feminist female candidates in N. America (and no I’m not saying all female leaders are feminist, far from it).

For me, the strongest moment in Hillary Clinton’s speech will likely be one that was missed by most. When she said that she hoped her campaign had not discouraged any young women or any women at all from running, I like to think that for that moment she was talking to all of us. She was not just saying to the women who were disappointed by her loss that they should keep trying, which is a powerful message in itself, but also to the women her supporters have wronged, her policies have left behind, and who shuddered when she said she could rock the racist vote, that they too should know they have a place in the Democratic Party. For that apology, Senator Clinton, you have earned back a small piece of my respect which you so sorely lost and tossed away most of this campaign.

And for the record, Obama’s campaign does inspire me to tell my girl children they can be president just as much as my boy children not because we share a racial history but because I know what happens to black men who “over step there place” especially vis-a-vis white women’s desires in America. More importantly, unlike Clinton my history of the path both she and he took today goes all the way back to the “real dream ticket” in 1872 when a white woman and a black man ran on the same ticket to show their understanding that our oppressions are ultimately and intimately tied together.

No amount of rhetoric will make me forget that part of Obama’s historic place is in the candidacy is the struggle of Shirley Chisholm, Winona LaDuke (VP), Carol Moseley Braun, and most of the women listed above (not including the Republican ones), and all of the women who fought at the DNC for or against the Michigan and Florida votes to ensure that representation was fair and equal and who now fight to unite the party. Just as my hopes are not dashed by Ferraro, who took what many felt was Jesse Jackson’s hard earned place as the VP on the ticket (the same feeling that now permeates the Clinton camp), and spouting ever increasingly racist nonesense to anyone who will listen; nor is it dashed by Harriet Christian (youtubed in the previous post) who called Obama “an inadequate black male” and whose claim to vote for McCain in the name of disgruntled women and Americans is echoed by far too many other women using more “polite” language. While I can empathize with women who genuinely thought Clinton was the better candidate, I cannot empathize with those who ignore racism, champion gender over race, mean “white women” when they say women, or who are so bigoted that they would vote for a Republican who is anti-abortion, anti-gay rights, anti-social programs that benefit women and people of color, anti-ERA, etc. all women’s issues that Obama has committed to supporting accept the equal marriage initiatives and we have to call him on that at every turn.

For me Obama’s white mother, Asian sister, and black wife who through modeling their own strength and abilities as successful women told him he could do anything he wanted, stand out far more than those showing how clearly dominant race intersects gender in this campaign. Like Kennedy and Chisholm, Obama’s insistence on being honest about race, consistent in his message regardless of the cost, refusal to play dirty, compassion in the face of others loss, and consistent support of the troops by refusing to authorize an unjust war, inspire me to vote and to encourage anyone who wants to run to do so. I don’t need him to be a woman for that. I am old enough to know that what matters is not what is between his legs but what lies in his heart. Not all women are feminists and sadly, not all feminists understand what it means to support all women.

Lets hope Obama becomes and proves to be the kind of feminist who supports all women, or at the very least is influenced enough by them that women’s rights are not just rhetoric in his campaign in the coming years and that Clinton finally gets what it means to represent all women in her next endeavor.

35 thoughts on “I’m Back – Women who ran for president

  1. I haven’t finish reading your blog; but, I realized about a month ago (lol, I was reading some else’s blog.) that (maybe) black women or maybe all women of color were not considered suffragettes? All of the history books point to ww being the only suffragetes. Maybe it is time to re-define what is a suffragette? Heavens knows black women have a long history for being out on the battle front for equal rights. It is not often I will see an Asian female speak about equal rights. I am not saying Asian females do not speak about equal rights- for me it is a rarity to see them speaking out in the media.A. F.

  2. Very thought-provoking and perceptive post!One quibble: Chisholm ran for the Democratic nomination, not as an Independent.

  3. First time commenter, delurking to say I’m so happy you’re back. And thank you for this post. I cheered out loud when I got to your dissection of her role in NAFTA and the exploitation of women in developing countries, such as my native Philippines. I do understand the symbolic importance of a female leader. But I come from a country which has had two female presidents, and it takes much more than symbolism to address gender inequity.

  4. Welcome to the blog. Consuelo and Hagar’s Daughter. ๐Ÿ˜€Ann welcome to the blog. you raise interesting questions about history and naming. Many women, especially woc, are left out of the historical record or assumed to be members or non-members of groups based on gender and/or race. Many black people worked with and for the cause of the suffragettes, Sojourner Truth being the most often cited/quoted. In the most minimal definition of women who actively fought for the women’s right to vote, no one can deny that Sojourner is a suffragette. In the sense in which that word has been reserved by certain historians and the popular imaginary, she may not be, but why not? b/c of race. Also how did she name herself? She certainly made sure the question the assembled suffragettes who did not want her to speak and Stanton who said it might be better if she did not speak, after inviting her, by pointing out that she was a woman and wanted to vote. So naming is tricky and I would hate to deny her a place based on such a sticky thing.On a different note: there were some radical Asian women standing up for the Obama campaign. I have some of their videos here on the blog or check youtube. For a regular slice of Asian feminism you should really add htpp://www.reapproriate.com to your reading. Also check out my post on APAI feminists for a starter list of historical and contemporary radical Asian women activists, artists, and academics. And if you are in the bay area, check out the Asian women artists, poets, and workshop facilitators who are part of this years festival (see the post right after this one).Tanglad welcome. thank you for adding the piece I left out, that there have been several female presidents/prime ministers around the world and that does not always translate to gender equity or even basic human rights. I tell my students to ask the question do they want more women or more feminists? if the answer is women – for representations’ sake – what kind of representation and is representation enough. These are things we all need to ask, so we can be more critical about what we are asking for and what we are aligned with or against.Hi Kai. thanks. ๐Ÿ˜€Anastasia welcome to the blog. You have hit on why I say always question wikipedia as a source. I took the grid straight off their site as I say in the post. Since then, someone asked me to add “feminist party” because they read a piece in which she was asked for her party and she said “feminist.” She was a democratic Senator for NY at the time she ran, and garnered 150+ delegates at the DNC but she also insistent on her right to run independent of any party or affiliation as evidenced by her first Q & A where she said anyone over 35 and a citizen had the right to run and that was the only criteria she needed. So does this get us back to Ann’s question about history and naming or does someone remember the ballot that year so we can be definitive? Regardless, I think her own words on the issue are important and it looks like she said all three at some point.

  5. Hello! New reader first time commenting here. Wonderful post about what each candidate would have done and said if either of them were truly progressive, and what we need to work towards. Adding to the Presidential candidate list: Carol Moseley Braun–2004.Also, another wonderful blogger who talks about the politics of being Asian and feminist is Claire Light at http://clairelight.typepad.com/seelight/

  6. welcome to the blog Lavendertook. Thanks for both pieces of info. I knew 2004 had a woman AND on a MAJOR PARTY TICKET. She ran as a democrat. I’ve added her in.

  7. […] Iโ€™m Back – Women who ran for president: As a former Hillary Clinton fan (back before Bush), and a person that has just spent way too much time in the frozen, uniform gray rainy liberal feminist mecca of stumptown, I canโ€™t help but weigh in. […]

  8. I’ve been reading you for a while… de-lurking to say:- so glad you are back!- wonderful post!- hope you don’t mind that I linked to you (#13)… don’t know that I’ll send you any traffic but you are so on point with so much that you say. Thank you for writing…..

  9. ok. someone in the fam with a better memory than me confirms that Chisholm ran as a democrat on the ballot. So I have changed it and left independent/feminist party in quotations to honor her answers to who she was running with at various points during the campaign. If someone can find the in-print citations for the other party’s mentioned maybe we can wikipedia to do the same as it lists it as “independent.”

  10. This post was such a breath of fresh air–thank you, and so glad to see you back! I’m not sure whether or not I’ve ever commented, but I’ve been reading for a while.

  11. This is so well written, thought out, magnificent. This is my first time on your blog and Professor, you are AWESOME. God bless you and your family.

  12. As a woman of color I honestly am not impressed with the Obama campaign either. I really hated the comment Obama made about Hillary’s “claws come out” (was that really necessary?), just to name one thing out of many that was sexist. Yeah, I don’t think that Hillary spoke for all women either, and I was also annoyed that she claimed to do so, especially because she is white and rich. But I don’t think Obama speaks for all people of color either. Until both sides acknowledge sexism and racism for being interconnected instead of opposing each other I will not vote with my new US citizenship, to say the least. I am also deeply suspicious of the US government to start with, so….I will probably never vote, heh. :PI think I am just irritated by the really blatant sexism (I mean, I am talking practically violent sexism) thrown at Hillary. So I guess I am touchy about this. I feel that while I definitely do not want white middle-upper class views to dominate mainstream feminism (as they often times have) I also feel that, as a woman of color, I am pressured into supporting Obama or thinking that white women are “against us.” Something about this whole dynamic and this whole campaign just strikes me as disturbing.Thank you for putting that list of women who have ran for president before! I knew that Shirley Chisholm ran for the Democratic nomination in the 70s, for sure. It just goes to show you how little people, including myself, know about women and herstory in this country.

  13. Lara – this post is about Clinton’s “concession speech” not about Obama’s campaign. Despite that fact I did mention my major concerns with Obama’s voting record and some of his sexist quotes and that we have to find a way in the aftermath to hold him accountable as the candidate elect.I never objected to Hillary Clinton’s campaign on the basis of her being white or middle class. As I point out in this post, I object to her claiming to speak for/ represent all women when she ran a campaign that took no responsibility for her involvement with NAFTA. Welfare Reform, Wallmart, Tyson Chicken, and Monsanto all of which jeopardize women’s rights and create multi-layered unsafe environments for them and possibly their children. I object to her continued failure to support DOMA, lack of stated support and policies for queer immigrants (tho she did say she would sign the bill that includes their rights), and her insistence that “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” was a legitimate policy for its time, all of which make the world unequal and unsafe for queer women and girls. I also object to the ways she did not denounce Ferraro, who resigned herself and was not fired, for 4 full days after her first racist remark, did not renounce Steinem for her comments about gender over race, claimed she could not be held responsible for staffers in her camp who circulated racist images and video and then claimed the real racism was in bringing them up all the time, did not denounce the SNL skit that put black leaders in dog collars on the same show she appeared in, and yet ran on a platform that everyone who did not denounce or renounce people who said offensive things was unfit for office, making her both a hypocrite, exacerbating unravelling race relations, and making women of color less equal in the projected image of her campaign. I object to her comments that because she can mobilize racist voters she is a better candidate (and I object not only b/c it supports racism that makes woc unsafe but b/c the comment itself stereotyped an entire region of people based on their location and class). Finally, I objected to the way her campaign and the media erased a history of women’s leadership in this country dating back to the 1870s and how her speech tied her to white suffragettes but not to the black women who fought alongside them nor to the black female presidential candidate with whom she had the most in common.Pointing to all of these failings is not akin to absolving Obama and his camp of their actions. Directly responding to the inaccuracies in her speech in a post about her speech is not akin to blindly championing Obama.While I empathize with the sense that essentialism also exists amongst Obama supporters – if your black you have to support Obama, that is not a crime I am guilty of here or anywhere else on this blog. I say clearly that I support Obama because of his policies and not because he is a black man; I actually spell that piece out. So while this is surely somethig you’ve experienced, I am not sure how it relates to this post or this forum.I am also concerned about why you felt you needed to bring up “blatant sexism” with emphasize as if I did not address it. I have a whole section in this post where I bring up examples from the media, misogynist products, and comments made by Obama himself. I actually say that all of the divisive behavior surrounding the democratic campaign make it near impossible for many to recognize even the most obvious sexism. So I guess I find myself reading your response and thinking “did she not read that far” “did she just decide that b/c I criticized Hillary I can’t possibly believe sexism exists” was that paragraph and the accompanying image of the Hillary nutcracker product from sexist hell not clear enough?!I’m writing against polarization, against essentialism, against bigotry, and yes, against the idea that Hillary Clinton is the first women to run on a major party ticket and represented and will continue to represent all women in her 40 year career and her campaign. The fact that I can support Obama for all of the things he got right does not mean I am blind to those things he got wrong; I’ve mentioned those many times, including here. The fact that I can see clearly all the things she got wrong, does not mean that I am blind to the things she got right; I mention those many times, including a few here.

  14. lara – i had to take some time before responding to your decision not to vote at all. Whether we agree on the candidates or political issues or not, I sincerely hope you change your mind about voting. The history of N. America is filled with people who literally fought and died for the right to vote. One of the things that gives so many of us pause about the rise in lynching metaphors at the same time a black man is running for office is precisely because of the ways lynching was used to try and stop the franchise and put an end to black political careers (as well as to stop perceived interracial dating between black men and white women, and other so-called “transgressions”). Women risked severe beatings at the hands of their male relatives and husbands, public abuse, and social ostracism to fight for the right to vote. In recent years, administrations have tightened laws that make it impossible for people convicted of certain crimes from voting, which disproportionately impacts the voting rights of people of color and poor people while not acknowledging the history of injustice in the legal system that means some of those people may not be guilty of anything. And while government, especially the current one, has often shown itself to be untrustworthy, one of the main ways that we can turn that tide is by voting and encouraging others to do the same. When I vote, even in elections where I am choosing between evils, I vote in honor of all the lives lost and all the brave women and men abused so that I could have that right. I hope that you will reconsider your position so as to honor them and your own needs as a person governed by the people who will or might not come into office possible due to the absence of your vote and those like you as well.

  15. re. women, white or black and Mr. Obama, what of one Ms. Alice Palmer – his black woman mentor that he “threw under the bus” to get where he is. as a black woman, i’m still for Hillary because we could have had a long solid run of a woman and a black *man* as dems to make a difference. make no mistake. “Barry” as he used to be called is so “transcendent” and such a uniter that we aren’t demanding anything from him. what does that mean? as black people, we’ll get nothing but – i guess – the “good feeling” of knowing america finally elected a black person. four years at best, then back to republicans. guess a good feeling is better than nothing…just wait and see and crank up “what have you done for me lately?”

  16. Mirren – welcome to the blog. I see my original comments are quite long, so I’m going to try and do the cliff note version below.I am not voting for Obama b/c it makes me “feel good,” I am voting for him based on a detailed review of his policies, voting record, and campaign strategies vs. those of McCain and H. Clinton and because he is the party’s nominee. Anything else is projection and neither reflects my position nor the content of this post or blog. In the future, please read the posts before commenting as this post is about H. Clinton’s speech and the problems with essentialism that have already cost too much. If you prefer a nation run by a Republican whose policies run counter to most of the rights we democrats are supposed to uphold, including women’s rights, that is your choice but please don’t tell me you are doing it out of support for H. Clinton and women everywhere b/c women are the ones who will lose if McCain is allowed to appoint Supreme Court Justices.

  17. I found this blog while looking for the first American women that took a daring journey in the presidential race. I had just half listened to Hillary’s speech from the DNC and thought you had written this blog about that speech. :> You said everything that I’ve been trying to say to many women and some men about Hillary. As a women (nearing 50) I am a product of the earlier working society where women employers treated their employees with arrogance and disdain. And they often acted as power hungry mongrels . At times Hillary has reminded me of those B’s. Thanks jamie

  18. welcome to the blog Jamie. It makes me sad to hear that other women did not treat you well in the workplace but sadly, not surprised. I keep saying we need a feminist not just a woman and that feminism has to be about all women if it means anything. Luck to you and thanks for commenting. ๐Ÿ˜€

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