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wasab

Beautifully written.
Thank you!

anita

Actually, I have to disagree with you to a certain extent. Many women are pro-woman, absolutely. But many more I believe are not. Perhaps they are pro-women with regard to their friends and family, but when it comes to women in power, women doing "a man's job," they can be quite virulent and petty.

Something I found very interesting in the past few days was a comment made by Susan Kennedy (no blood relation to the, uh, well Kennedy "dynasty") who is Arnold Schwarzengger's press secretary (I've been trying to find the exact quote, but can't quite remember where I saw it) relative to the LA rally for Obama where Maria Shriver, Caroline Kennedy and Michelle Obama were all jumping up and down over their "girl power." Well, what Ms. Kennedy noted was that women very often sabotage their own self-interest. They hold women up to standards far and away higher than they do men.

Anyway, my point being, and this comes from experience, is that women, unlike men (who love the concept of "buddies") very, very often do not encourage other women. My experience in 'corporatopia' is that there is very, VERY little mentoring of young women by older, more experienced women and THAT, dear friends, is one (and I think a big one) of the reasons for the intractability of the 'glass ceiling.' When a man mentors a woman, often it is assumed the woman is "giving out" or the woman feels obligated to do so and there is always resentment. Older women feel threatened by younger, prettier and hyper-ambitious women in the workplace. And younger women are often turned off by what they perceive as an unfeminine, hard-edgedness that many older and successful women may have (necessarily) developed in order to simply survive.

Stanley Fish's most recent blog post in the NYT addresses the entire phenomenon of "Hillary Hatred" and likens it (for better or worse) to anti-semitism. While the blog is quite interesting in and of itself, I also think the comments are particularly revealing.

zeke

I must add that, as a male who favors Obama but would gladly vote for Hillary in the general election, I am growing a bit weary of the defensiveness of many Clinton supporters. Many, though certainly far from all, seem poised to detect misogyny in any critique of their candidate.

To paraphrase Freud, sometimes an unwise vote to cede warmaking powers to an immoral ignoramus is just an unwise vote to cede warmaking powers to an immoral ignoramus. It's that vote, not her gender, that keeps me from supporting her wholeheartedly.

Lance

zeke, for the record, I will be deleting any comments that I think make the If you don't support Hillary/Obama you're a racist/sexist, argument. But I will be laughing at any comments that try to pretend that racism/sexism are not playing big roles in the coverage of the election and that people who complain about it don't have a reason to or that by complaining they are doing something wrong.

Yours doesn't fall into either category, of course, it just reminded me I need to set down the ground rules for others.

Apostate

Very insightful comment by Anita (although I've been extremely fortunate in my professional life in terms of older women mentors).

And Hillary is an ignoramus?

zeke

Apostate,

No, George W. Bush was the ignoramus I had in mind. Sorry if that was not clear.

Lance,

Sadly, I must agree that sexism and racism are going to affect both the primary and general elections. And today, Mitt Romney's withdrawal from the race reminds us that religious bias also plays a role, especially on the Republican side of the political divide. In the end, the country may be more ready for a female or a black president than it is for a Mormon president.

Linkmeister

Lance, are you attempting to replace Carl Sandburg?

(That's an excerpt from his book-length poem "The People, Yes.")

LondonLee

I was listening to some idiot on right wing radio in the car the other day (our CD player is bust so I've been scanning the radio a lot) ranting and raving about how stupid it is to vote for Hillary/Obama because they're a woman/black because, he said "I have never voted for someone just because they are white!"

As if the GOP were always giving him the option of voting for someone who wasn't a white man.

Chris the Cop

Women may not be represented proportionally in the Congress but more and more they rising to the rank of chief in city police departments across the country and IT'S AN OUTRAGE!!

Vadranor

Your guestimate for number of female governors is off. At the present time, there are eight, five Democrats (Ruth Ann Minner-DE; Jennifer Granholm-MI; Kathleen Sebelius-KS; Janet Napolitano-AZ and Christine Gregoire-WA) and three Republicans (Linda Lingle-HI; Jodi Rell-CT and Sarah Palin-AK). Two months ago, there would have been a ninth, Kathleen Blanco-LA. It's slow, but the country is making progress.

greg in ak

hmmm maybe the struggle for some woman about supporting Hillary ( who isn't my first choice but i would gladly vote for) is that part of the movement for equality and all has been to judge people on what they do as opposed to a superficial characteristic. MLK's great line about being judged by your character instead of your color is a great message that many of us believe. but admitting that you vote for someone because of their race, gender, etc. is in contradiction to that.

it should be OK to want Hillary because she would be the first woman or obama as the first African American, I'll be proud to vote for either, because it is long overdue and signify something or other that is good. but us liberal types should recognize a bit of a contradiction with our cherished beliefs.

sfmike

What Zeke said. I've been working for women bosses my entire working life, over 40 years, with a few dudes thrown in here and there, but they were never important.

With those credentials in mind, I have to confess that I preferred the 70s women bosses, who had energy and creativity to spare, rather than the 1990s women bosses and it's hard to put my finger on quite why, but it has something to do with what I've seen corporate women evolve into. It's all about "process" and control and hoarding information and stabbing/eviscerating people with a smile on one's face. Men can be evil but not quite in that way.

Presently, I'm working for a bunch of straight male engineers, and it feels like a bit of an Eden. When there's a disagreement, they butt heads violently, but when there's a task that needs doing, they all help each other out rather than plotting against each other.

I think Hillary is embodying a lot of the ambivalence people are feeling about female corporate leadership in America right now, and it needs to be acknowledged.

zeke

sfmike, for the record that wasn't me (zeke) - it was anita whose post you were responding too.

Ed D.

Are we a nation of sheep? Well, that is a book from the Vietnam era about how we were led into that fiasco. But as a counter example to us not being sheep, I remember the ballyhoo that got us into Iraq... 9/11 being repeatedly invoked when it actually had no bearing whatsoever. But into Iraq we went.

Then as I was picking my kid up from school yesterday I had a brief talk with a friend (our dogs play together) about the economy. He's still a proponet of trickle down and tax cuts for the rich. This has been an economic fantasy perpetrated from the Reagan days that folks who came of age in that time take to be first principles of economic theory. Of course not one has actually read Adam Smith or carefully read even Hayak - where community action takes a prime mover status. It amazes me that this generation, the Reagan babies, don't even consider demand side as a viable economic path. But then both the Fed Chairman and Treasury Sec came out for it a couple of weeks ago when promoting the stimulus package - we have to get money into the hands of the folks who will spend it!!! And they don't even realize that they've turned a 180 on it. That is sheep behavior.

Ed

Lance

Ed, in the latter case I'm more inclined to call it the behavior of spoiled children who refuse to believe they can't have their cake and eat it too. As for the war in Iraq, I'm not comfortable calling people who are relentlessly and brazenly lied to by their government and the media sheep because they believe the lies. You'd think that after Vietnam we'd have learned our lesson about trusting what Presidents tell us, but one of the other lessons of that era was that we could rely on the Press to tell us the truth when politicians refuse to and call those politicians on their lies. Most of the country still hasn't gotten the memo that the Press has become the Media and the Media sees itself as a combination of Pravda and Entertainment Tonight.

huh

“But there is nothing wrong with women supporting her and voting for her for reasons that include the fact that she is a woman.
There is nothing wrong with women voting for a woman because she is a woman. Just as there is nothing wrong with African-Americans voting for a black man because he is black.”
With all due respect, this is sexism/racism which I can’t admire -- even if I support some of the candidates that would benefit. What is racism but favoritism of one race over another based solely on appearance? I can see no reasonable way to say that it’s admirable that white men will vote for McCain (even in part) because he’s a white man. Nor do I see any good in women voting for either Rice or Clinton just because those candidates are women. Or black people voting for Obama because he looks like them. Does it happen? Obviously. But do you really want to be heard to say that it’s fine to judge people negatively or positively even in part - by what they have been given - their skin or gender – rather than what they have chosen – military or religion.

greg in ak

Huh???

No this is not racist or sexist in any way. those terms imply a hatred or inferiority of a gender or race solely based on gender or race. Of course people base many choices on superficial characteristics. What we have is contradiction between two positive values/desires: judging people on their character and wanting to see a racial or gender barrier broken. Wanting to see the prez. go to somebody other than a white guy does not imply that anybody is judging a person better or worse based on race or gender.

for the record I wanted edwards to win it , because is more liberal and much better on health care. of course I'm a white guy so maybe i don't even what i think. ( i doubt that)

Ed D.

But... Lance, there was plenty of dissent in the press. No, not the evening news or the newspapers even, but the blog-o-sphere was alive with dissent and valid info. Remember Billmon and his list of quotes? Whatever happened to him? But his list was widely posted. I know I sent it to everyone I could.

Yes, I do believe that the reason Reagan is almost a saint among so many is that he validated greed and self-centeredness by equating it with freedom itself. He invoked a vision of an age of individuality, the rugged American type, that really never existed. If you read the history of the founding of our nation, the pioneer days, none of them would have made it without each other. Try Allan Eckert's Frontiersmen series. He pulled the narrative info from actual interviews done with the principals that exist only in script at the University of Wisconsin - The Draper Papers. Good ol' Danial Boone would have been dead a hunert times without community around him.

This same feeling of pulling together was the ace in the hole of WWII and the genius of FDR. He characterized Lend-Lease as loaning a neighbor the garden hose to put out a fire and then getting it back afterwards. Pure poppycock of course because war destroys that garden hose in the form of tanks, etc. But the people bought it because he had created a feeling of community through the New Deal... that pulling together we could all do so much more than pulling individually. Reagan turned that around and laced it with greed being good in the classical economic sense. Adam Smith actually said that the respect of our neighbors was the height of self interest - more than naked monetary wealth. But who has actually read that door stop of a book. I don't think it's even required for a degree in Economics anymore.

And of course there is the great anomaly of the golden rule with greed based individuality. And you're supposed to pass those talents around rather than hiding them... The Reagan pulse was strong indeed to overshadow those biblical lessons - especially with the evangelistas.

Ed

ps... love your blog. Thanks so much for a great day starter. Wonderful, musical writing.

e

Caveat

Excellent piece.

As a white boomer woman, I tend to lean towards Barack Obama but I'm also a Canadian, so who cares which way I would lean?

I agree that the condescending tone of media should change. The assumptions are without merit.

If opponents of the Dems sincerely believe that people vote for superficial reasons such as gender, the tone of a skin or other unalterable trappings and not for the intellect, knowledge, principles and goals of a candidate, then why haven't the GOP brains mounted more visually diverse candidates?

And as you so nicely point out, why aren't there more women, blacks and martians holding high offices in the US?

I believe this meme is just a desperate attempt at belittlement, and as you point out, running Condi would be all the evidence needed to prove that.

huh

To Greg's point. Racism is simply the belief that race is the (or at least a primary) determinant of human traits and capacities. Sexism is the same thing but with gender.

To vote for HRC simply because she is a woman or Obama because he black is Not Only to judge both them on the basis of their gender/race But Also to view McCain less favorably solely because his is a white man. That folks is racism/sexism.

Flip it over. Suppose I were a white man telling you that I was voting for McCain partially because he's a white man. You would be horrified. Would it make it OK if I were to tell you by way of explanation that, although I'm fine with women and minorities, I just like white men better? Not at all. And nor should it.

(And for the record, I support Obama).

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