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You have no right to insult these women, Ms. Morgan.

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TheWraith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-05-08 12:40 AM
Original message
You have no right to insult these women, Ms. Morgan.
The following screed was inspired by the posting of an essay by a woman named Robin Morgan, found here:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

I'll dispense with the rest of the content before getting to the part that offended me so badly, which I felt deserved notice.

The idea that Hillary is losing because of sexism doesn't pass even the most basic smell tests. You want to complain about the handful of most exaggerated anti-Clinton sexist rhetoric coming from fringe sources, without also mentioning the equivalent attacks directed at the other candidate? The false claim that Barack Obama is a secret Muslim, or Rush Limbaugh's use of a song entitled "Barack the Magic Negro" (used in conjunction, I must note, with a campaign directed at getting his listeners to vote for Clinton), or a dozen other equivalent things directed at Obama's race? Then you're intellectually dishonest at best.

Further, it talks about Hillary's positions like she's some ideal candidate, never mentioning her support for the Iraq War, her threats towards Iran, her support for the use of cluster bombs against civilians, or a dozen other things that no self-respecting progressive would try to justify.

It encourages sloppy, blindly loyal "identity politics," by telling women that they HAVE to vote for Hillary because she's a woman, and that's all. The actual text may stop short of using those exact words, but the message is clear: you must surrender your will and vote for Hillary, otherwise you're not a "real" woman, and it equates the Clinton campaign with all women, everywhere.

And just for good measure--and here's where I turned from disgusted to infuriated--it grossly and offensively insults the womanhood of any female who doesn't blindly line up behind Hillary, which makes me angrier than all the other parts put together. For the record, I know several women who support Obama, ranging from their early 20s to successful mature women who balance motherhood with professional careers. They're smart, they're wonderful, and one thing I know is that none of them is likely to let their opinion be cowed by others.

You know what? These are my friends, Ms. Morgan, and you have no right to insult them. You don't have the right to demean them, their intelligence, and their femininity by treating them as lesser because they don't agree with you.

Despite what you may think, your self-appointed position as moral arbiter of who is a "real woman" and who is a quivering wallflower exists only in your own mind, and you're more guilty of denigrating women than any T-shirt slogan when you claim that those who agree with you are intelligent, and those who don't are weak willed or gullible.

If any man were to take the incredibly condescending attitude you've displayed here, you would likely be the first one shouting from the rooftops that he was being sexist, yet you yourself expect a pass. For your own part, I'd suggest some deep soul searching, as well as an increased appreciation for these women who have more integrity and respect for their own individuality than you do.
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Jim Sagle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-05-08 12:45 AM
Response to Original message
1. Allergic to truth in principle? Or just for the primary?
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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-05-08 12:49 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. good question n/t
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-05-08 05:53 AM
Response to Reply #1
14. Who are you to judge the way any woman votes?
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Jim Sagle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-05-08 03:50 PM
Response to Reply #14
27. Me, myself and I.
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juno jones Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-05-08 12:54 AM
Response to Original message
3. Morgan is one of my former sacred cows
Edited on Mon May-05-08 12:57 AM by junofeb
She now exists for me between two slices of rye bread and smothered in onions and cheese. It is true, sacred cows are the best hamburger.

Sisterhood is powerful, but it not a determinant of will and destiny.
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dana_b Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-05-08 01:05 AM
Response to Original message
4. yep., but
I'm just a weak willed person with no mind who lets the men in my family tell me how to vote anyway.
:eyes:
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-05-08 01:09 AM
Response to Original message
5. Sexism: the fallback argument for why Hillary is losing
Edited on Mon May-05-08 01:10 AM by ProSense
Sexism: the fallback argument for why Hillary is losing

They pull it out every time one of her attacks fails.



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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-05-08 06:00 AM
Response to Reply #5
16. and Obama camp pulls out the race card as a fallback
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archiemo Donating Member (257 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-05-08 10:09 AM
Response to Reply #16
22. Please cite one example of Obama using the race card.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-05-08 10:13 AM
Response to Reply #16
23. Facts,
Edited on Mon May-05-08 10:14 AM by ProSense
get your facts here

And before you respond with more BS: Which came first: Shaheen's drug dealer comment, Mark Penn's cocaine reference, the fairy tale comment, the false hope accusation, the MLK comment, "shuck and jive" or...

the memo?

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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-05-08 01:14 AM
Response to Original message
6. From your OP
It encourages sloppy, blindly loyal "identity politics," by telling women that they HAVE to vote for Hillary because she's a woman, and that's all. The actual text may stop short of using those exact words, but the message is clear: you must surrender your will and vote for Hillary, otherwise you're not a "real" woman, and it equates the Clinton campaign with all women, everywhere.

Hillary's camp is now trying to include men in the equation. Hillary is macho and real men vote for Hillary.

Her entire campaign is built on gender and race baiting.

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saltpoint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-05-08 01:20 AM
Response to Original message
7. I've read Morgan and admire her range and depth and visional insight.
I just feel she has the call on this primary contest wrong.

I would consider Morgan to be a true feminist. That she imagines Hillary Clinton to have lost the ground she's lost is owed to sexism, IMO, is a theory under considerable strain.


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TheWraith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-05-08 01:43 AM
Response to Reply #7
10. I don't recall reading anything else of hers.
I may have done so, but... (shrug)

Personally, going just from this example, I can see that she's got some flourish with the language, but I'm not impressed with the argument.
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saltpoint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-05-08 01:45 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. She's a provocative, brainy read. I think she's made the wrong call
on this primary, is all.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-05-08 06:54 AM
Response to Reply #10
20. Deleted sub-thread
Sub-thread removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-05-08 05:56 AM
Response to Reply #7
15. This 70s granola feminist sez that cluster bombs are NOT feminist
Nor is voting to put the entire female population of Iraq under house arrest.
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murielm99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-05-08 01:26 AM
Response to Original message
8. "Real woman?"
Somehow this reminds me that people on DU are deciding arbitrarily who is a "real Democrat." If we do not support Obama, we are not real Democrats.

I respect Morgan. Your rant does nothing to change that.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-05-08 01:28 AM
Response to Original message
9. Could you post a snip that shows Morgan's argument? n/t
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TheWraith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-05-08 01:45 AM
Response to Reply #9
12. Here you go:
Goodbye to the double standard . . .

Hillary is too ballsy but too womanly, a Snow Maiden whos emotional, and so much a politician as to be unfit for politics.

Shes ambitious but he shows fire in the belly. (Ever had labor pains?)When a sexist idiot screamed Iron my shirt! at HRC, it was considered amusing; if a racist idiot shouted Shine my shoes! at BO, it wouldve inspired hours of airtime and pages of newsprint analyzing our national dishonor.

Young political KennedysKathleen, Kerry, and Bobby Jr.all endorsed Hillary. Senator Ted, age 76, endorsed Obama. If the situation were reversed, pundits would snort See? Ted and establishment types back her, but the forward-looking generation backs him. (Personally, Im unimpressed with Carolines longing for the Return of the Fathers. Unlike the rest of the world, Americans have short memories. Me, I still recall Marilyn Monroes suicide, and a dead girl named Mary Jo Kopechne in Chappaquiddick.)

...

Goodbye to a misrepresented generational divide . . .

Goodbye to the so-called spontaneous Obama Girl flaunting her bikini-clad ass onlinethen confessing Oh yeah it wasnt her idea after all, some guys got her to do it and dictated the clothes, which she said made me feel like a dork.

Goodbye to some young women eager to win male approval by showing theyre not feminists (at least not the kind who actually threaten thestatus quo), who cant identify with a woman candidate because she is unafraid of eeueweeeu yucky power, who fear their boyfriends might look at them funny if they say something good about her.

Goodbye to women of any age again feeling unworthy, sulking what if shes not electable? or maybe its post-feminism and whoooosh were already free. Let a statement by the magnificent Harriet Tubman stand as reply. When asked how she managed to save hundreds of enslaved African Americans via the Underground Railroad during the Civil War, she replied bitterly, I could have saved thousandsif only Id been able to convince them they were slaves.
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Berry Cool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-05-08 06:40 AM
Response to Reply #12
18. That part is especially insulting.
She implies that the only reason not to support Hillary is if you believe in double standards for women and men. Nonsense.

She also implies that there's something wrong with Obama because a Kennedy backs him, implying that if you think the Kennedys' endorsement has any value, you must not "remember" Marilyn Monroe or Chappaquiddick. Please. She's going to smear Caroline Kennedy with Marilyn Monroe's suicide and Chappaquiddick? And just in case you're wondering, Ms. Morgan, I DO remember. But I fail to see how they make all Kennedys automatically non-feminists, and their endorsements or opinions of a candidate worthless. And even if they did, what do I care? I don't need a Kennedy to tell me what to think of Obama.

I also don't hold "Obama Girl" against Obama. He didn't create her. She is not part of his campaign. He doesn't have to answer for her. I don't have to like or approve of her in order to approve of Obama.

And guess what. I'm not young enough, but I'm willing to bet there are lots of young women who actually support Obama NOT because they are "eager to win male approval by showing theyre not feminists," or because they "cant identify with a woman candidate because she is unafraid of eeueweeeu yucky power," or because they "fear their boyfriends might look at them funny if they say something good about her," but because they ACTUALLY PREFER HIM!!!! Imagine that!!!! Young women with autonomous minds, capable of making their own decisions without concerning themselves with what men will think! Isn't that what feminism is SUPPOSED to be about?

Nor is this about "women of any age again feeling unworthy." This is not about age. Electability? Yeah, it might be, but what's antifeminist about being concerned about a candidate's electability? Nor is it about post-feminism. I am not deluded enough to think women are "whoooosh already free. Nor am I deluded enough to think we will be free the day a woman, ANY woman, becomes President.

And don't even try to dig Harriet Tubman up from the grave and make her a Hillary supporter. By doing so, you insult every woman who supports Obama by implying she only does it "because she doesn't know she's a slave." I.e., the only women who don't support Hillary are the ones so deluded and in denial about their condition that THEY DON'T EVEN REALIZE THAT AS WOMEN, THEY ARE NOT YET FREE, AND THAT ONLY HILLARY'S ELECTION WILL SET THEM FREE.

Nice tautological argument! If you're too deluded to realize you need Hillary, you can make no successful argument explaining why you don't support her, can you? It can merely be explained away by saying that you are too unaware of your need for her to realize that you, well, need her. Very clever...and very insulting. "If only you knew you were ENSLAVED, you would be able to SEE that you need liberation, and that only she can provide it for you."

It's all ironic as hell...because it's coming from a feminist, and yet it's treating other women as stupid and ignorant and unfeminist simply for not supporting a particular woman.
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TheWraith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-05-08 07:25 PM
Response to Reply #18
28. Pretty much exactly how I saw it.
It could take hours to itemize all the specific ways in which that essay is insulting.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-05-08 10:28 AM
Response to Reply #12
24. Thanks. And here is a direct link to Morgan's piece:
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leftofcool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-05-08 04:32 AM
Response to Original message
13. "real women"?
You mean the the Obama girl showing her ass because "some guys told her to"
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Berry Cool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-05-08 06:22 AM
Response to Original message
17. K&R
I normally respect and admire Morgan a great deal for what she has done for feminism, but she missed the mark here by a mile.
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barack the house Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-05-08 06:50 AM
Response to Original message
19. Highly recommended.
Edited on Mon May-05-08 06:50 AM by barack the house
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Prophet 451 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-05-08 09:57 AM
Response to Original message
21. If you see prejudice where all others see only disagreement, then it is YOU who has the problem
I saw this in a concert a few weeks ago where Sir Elton John endorsed Senator Hillary Clinton's bid for the presidency. His right, of course, (although given that he's A: English, B: gay and C: married to his partner, one has to wonder how that will play in Peoria) but his comments that Hillary was behind due to "sexism" bothered me. And he's not the only one, quite a few pundits of various degrees of respectability (and Taylor Marsh who's neither a pundit nor respectable but a partisan hack) have claimed that Hillary is behind due to the inherant sexism of the American electorate. Now, granted, the American electorate is, to some extent, inherently sexist (as is most of the Western world). Granted also, that the media coverage of Senator Clinton's campaign has often been tainted with subtle (and occasionlly, unsubtle) sexism. However, the fact remains that if you declare that Hillary Clinton is behind due to sexism, you are firstly declaring that to be the only reason she's behind and secondly, you are proclaiming that the struggles Senator Clinton has had as a woman are more extreme than the struggles Senator Obama has had as a black man. This is, to put it bluntly, a crock of shit.

To declare that the only reason Senator Clinton is losing the campaign is due to sexism is to ignore the possibility that others could have legitimate reasons for voting against her: Her vote for the Iraq War Resolution perhaps, her exagerations of her own record and competency, the plain fact that she rubs a lot of people the wrong way. That would be a stupid reason but it would still be a reason. The reasoning at work here is that of the Inquisitions; the attitude that no sane person would reject mother church so anyone who did was, by definition, either not sane or in league with devils. In the same way, fanatical Clinton supporters declare that no reasonable person could reject Hillary so anyone who does is, by definition, unreasonable. This is not only wrong, it is insulting to the rich variety of human reasoning and experiance. It shows a "my way or the highway" arrogance that the electorate, after seven years of it's embodiment, are entirely sick of.

As for the second allegation, this is both insulting and absurd. Let's deal with the insulting first: When did this become a contest of which group has suffered more? The repression of women does not discount the repression of African-Americans and vice versa. This is not a zero-sum program, it is not an either/or contest, when we say that black people have been repressed far more than women in the USA, we are not discounting the fact that women were (and in some cases, still are) repressed. With that said, the allegation is still absurd and laughable on it's face. Women in the USA gained the universal vote in 1920, black people not until 1965. Women in the USA make, on average, three-quarters of what men do. Yes, that's a bad thing but black men make, on average, only 70%. For black women, it's 63% (Hispanic women, BTW, are 52%). The average life expectancy for a white woman in the USA is roughly 79 years. For a black man, it's around 69; for black women, it's 74 (and no, that doesn't give any boost to the arguement that black people get less from social security because it's an average caused mainly by high mortality levels in early life. For black people who make it to retirement, their average age on death will be roughly the same as whites). Incarceration rates are 134 per 100,000 for women; 2,468 per 100,000 for black males (for comparison, Hispanics are 1,038). To make the point on prisons even more clear, South Africa under apartheid in 1993, locked up 851 per 100,000 black people. Granted, some prejudice is not quantifiable, not measurable in any concrete way and I'll say again, we are not discounting the repression of women in the past or present but on the numbers that can be measured, women in the United States are doing better than men.

Of course, in the end, these comparison's are or should be meaingless anyway because a competition for high office should not be decided by who has had it harder. Anti-instinctual as it may be, it should not be about who has worked harder to get there. If that were the case, George W. Bush, the silver spoon son of a career politician, would never have got anywhere (and there was some rejoicing at that thought) but it is not the case. The contest for election is not or should not, be about who can spin the better hard luck story, or charm the most donors or befriend the most people. The contest for the presidency should be decided by who is likely to be better at the job, who is brighter (to hell with "elitism", I want someone with brains in office), who has the better plans for what to do when they get there. Some may say that person is Hillary Clinton or even, shudder, John McCain, that's their right but no-one ever has the right to say "vote against them because they're black" and no-one ever has the right to say "vote for her because of her genitals". The cry of "sexism" whenever someone publically disagrees with or even fails to agree with Senator Clinton devalues the worth of protesting actual sexism. It's as wilfully blind as the Bush supporters who invented Bush Derangement Syndrome to explain why some people didn't believe W was the greatest politician in history: The refusal to believe that sensible people could have their reasons and so, their resistence must be down to simple prejudice.

It is, in short, as insulting and morally worthless as, well, bringing up Chappaquiddick.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-05-08 10:34 AM
Response to Original message
25. Morgan is right that horrendous woman-hatred has been tossed
at Clinton (and, by extension, at American women).

But, that's about all she gets right. She conveniently overlooks that a lot of the race baiting has been coming directly from the fine, progressive, qualified, refreshingly thoughtful Clinton campaign.
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TragedyandHope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-05-08 11:34 AM
Response to Original message
26. Kick for Respect, not dogma
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