Wednesday, June 4, 2008

You've Probably Been Waiting For This.

Since the general assumption has been that I'm obsessed with the Clinton campaign, both of you reading this have probably wondered what my reaction to the final tally is.

First of all, I was never obsessed. I have an opinion and a preference and I'm not afraid to say what it is. But being in the minority in a lot of areas of my life, I was sought out as the go-to Clinton supporter and subsequently seen as a bastion of all knowledge and facts relating to her campaign. But obsessed? Not so much. Opinionated and obnoxious maybe.

Secondly, I have been saying since day one that I have no particular qualms with Barack Obama. In fact, come August (once the convention is over and his nomination is official) I will probably be sporting Obama campaign swag of some sort.

Trois, John Kerry wasn't my first choice in 2004 but I still voted for him. Of course, I voted by absentee ballot in Georgia so it probably wasn't counted anyway. But that's not the point.

I am, however, going to paste here something I just posted as a comment on Feministing. Basically I wrote about what the Clinton campaign (and the whole primary circus) taught me about this country.

It showed my how horrifyingly sexist our country still is. Even people I wouldn't have thought of as in any way misogynistic made comments about Clinton being "too political" or "too aggressive" and things of the same ilk, characteristics shared by all politicians but only lambasted in females.

It showed me that a woman can be the more experienced candidate but her career is taken far less seriously than a male competitor's is.

It showed me that a smart, strong, independent, qualified woman in a position of power still terrifies the American people at large.

I learned a woman can make a brilliant and intelligent speech or kick serious ass in a debate but the next day we will only her about her hairstyle, her pantsuit or her cleavage.

I learned you are either stony and emotionless or a hysterical woman; there is no middle ground.

I learned that if your husband cheats on you and you don't leave him, you are, by default, abusive to women and a sexual harasser. However, had you left him, you would be less of a woman or at least less qualified for the presidency for being divorced (that's my own speculation but I doubt anyone would disagree here).

I learned if your daughter helps you campaign, you are "pimping her out." Because there's no way that the daughter of a smart, strong woman would grow up to also be a smart, strong woman and be able to make her own decisions about politics.

I learned that the media's collective soft-kissing of a particular candidate can secure his future long before he ACTUALLY secures his future.

I learned that a female president will automatically attract terrorists, despite the fact that several countries we are allegedly fighting against have had women in positions of power, as have friendlier nations who have yet to be blown up for it.

I learned that people automatically assume that if you happen to choose the candidate that matches your sex or race (when there's actually an option other than white male) that is the only reason you are voting for them. It's not possible that you just prefer the candidate.

I learned that it's still OK to use derogatory sexist names and slurs while using parallel racial terms would earn you a one way trip to bloody-pulp-ville. Or banned-from-the-media-ville. Etc.

Mostly I learned that since the general public is still intimidated by smart, strong women, I should stand up and be one, not shut my mouth, not be a good little girl, and not take any of this sexist BS laying down, because if we just roll over and let it happen nothing will never change.

(I also decided that if Obama has any political savvy in him he'll pick Clinton for his veep, they would be completely unstoppable as a joint ticket in my opinion)

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