Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Feminism and political goals..

I don't often blog about politics -- and this isn't supposed to be directly about Clinton vs. Obama...

I love that Senator Clinton is a serious candidate (really, I don't know Hilary, so I think it is respectful to use her title...). She spent plenty of time supporting President Clinton and adjusting her career for him. She's a smart and passionate politician and from most reports, a good Senator.

Senator Obama (I don't know him either, so first names seem less than respectful) also seems to have had a great career in public service, although not as much time in government. He seems to be smart and passionate --- and from most reports, a good Senator.

It is an amazing choice the Democrats are able to make -- female or black man. Within my lifetime, the prospect of either being a serious Presidential candidate was slim...

The one blessing of having the primary/caucus season go on so long is that we've had a good chance to get to know them and their supporters. In a long race, the influence of political operators starts to wear off and we begin to see the real person.

When we elect a President, we are choosing a person who will use their own judgment to do what they think is best. As a public, we cannot predict the challenges a candidate will face, so knowing their current positions is only a partial guide to what they'll actually DO. What we are doing is picking someone whose character is important and will serve to guide and shape us in many ways...

I LOVE the fact that Senator Clinton is a serious candidate, for the top slot. That does not mean that I love her or will vote for her because she's a woman. That isn't want my brand of feminism is all about. I didn't support her in BNstate's caucus, because I thought Senator Obama would be a better candidate. It wasn't sexism, rather it was a choice of mine as to the candidate whose character I think will be a better guide for the country.

What REALLY bothers me is the idea that feminism = vote for the female candidate -- and failure to vote for the female candidate is an indication of sexism. That isn't what earlier generations of feminists wanted.

My grandma's sister was active in the push for the ERA -- I do wish my great aunt was alive (she'd be 105 years old... but she was sharp and feisty to the end) -- because I'd love to run the idea past her of voting for Senator Clinton based on gender. I think she'd laugh -- and say that the past system based on gender didn't do us much good, so why change the preferred gender but keep the same broken way of making decisions?

1 comment:

julie said...

Yeah, the "feminism = vote for a female" isn't feminism at all, if you ask me: it's a misunderstanding of the whole movement and philosophy, an easy sound-bite that's a reduction of the complexity and thorough radicalism that *real* feminism is about.

But I still think Clinton would make a better president. Check out the reasoning here: