Democratic Misogyny

Hillary Clinton and her supporters, not least among them Geraldine Ferraro, have said that sexism – misogyny – has played a part in the Democratic primary; that Hillary has been treated worse than her opponents by the mainstream media, bloggers, pundits and voters, because she is a woman. 
Furthermore, despite having made numerous comments that might reasonably be taken as raising the issue of race, and clearly having been the beneficiary of racism at the polls in both West Virginia and Kentucky (if the comments from the voters themselves are to be understood at all), Hillary and her cultish supporters have repeatedly said that race has not been an issue. This is patently absurd, but also not quite on point.

Leaving aside most of the instances in which Hillary Clinton’s veracity might be called into question (NAFTA, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Irish Peace process, Chelsea dodging falling debris on 9/11, claiming to have been named for Sir Edmund Hillary), imagine for a moment that a male candidate – Obama or anyone else – had been exposed as having fabricated a story about landing under sniper fire and having been forced to run, head down, for safety; that the story was not only a complete fabrication, but proven so by video evidence and a comedian’s eyewitness account.
Does anyone really think that MAN would still be in the race?  Or that the video clip, cut against another of the candidate repeatedly telling the same lie on numerous occasions, would not be the central focus of an ad campaign designed to remind voters, daily, of the outright lie?  Does anyone think the feeble excuse, “I misspoke because I use many words everyday and I was tired,” would suffice to make the fact of the lie dissolve into a non-issue?
The simple fact of the matter is that gender – being the only woman in the race and the only woman to have ever come this far in presidential politics (despite having ridden there on her husband’s coattails) – is the only reason Hillary has survived.  The cries of misogyny out of the Hillary camp do not represent any reasonable assertion that Hillary has been poorly treated as a result of being female, but rather a last desperate attempt to ensure that Hillary IS NOT treated just like every other candidate.  They have erected a gender wall of such magnitude that to attack Hillary – even for perfectly legitmate reasons – is to be labelled a woman-hater.  In point of fact, Hillary has received and continues to receive very special treatment – kid glove treatment – as a direct result of her gender.

And so it has come, with Hillary losing by every metric (unless you engage in the wild and logic-free application of selective Clinton math), to the point where those feminist supporters of Hillary – those for whom having a vagina is the primary qualification for president – are willing to fracture the party and tilt the general election to McCain rather than see anyone other than Hillary Clinton win the nomination. 
These women are being, to some degree, gamed by Republicans who would most assuredly prefer to run against Clinton rather than Obama.  Republicans turning out to vote for HRC in open primaries is by no means the only strategy.  They are also, there can be little doubt, posting in the blogosphere with the goal of inciting that Fembot faction, promoting the notion of some misogynistic conspiracy, and further splitting the Democratic party in anticipation of the general election.  Divide and conquer is not a new strategy, and in that most passionate wing of the Clinton camp they have found willing partners.

It is assured that some segment of these “feminists” will refuse to vote for Obama in the general election.  Some have publicly stated that if Obama is “jammed down their throats” they will actively campaign against him in November.  A few have even resorted to borderline offensive remarks to the effect that women are being told to “get to the back of the bus.”
These feminsts – the ones that aren’t GOP plants – should pause for a moment, take a deep breath and look around to see with whom they stand.  There are other groups passionately opposed to Obama getting the nomination (Republicans) or becoming president (racists).

Whatever one’s feelings about who would make the better candidate, or whether Hillary has conducted herself well or poorly in this race, when one finds oneself standing among such people, working for a common cause with truly repulsive sorts, one ought perhaps reconsider the path.  An old song by Stealer’s Wheel comes to mind:

Republicans to the left of me
Racists to the right
Here I am, stuck in the middle with Hillary

There seems to be, in this very straightforward attempt at blackmail (HRC or we split the party!), a conceptual failure. One hopes that these women, who for many years have been at the forefront of the battle for human rights, equal rights and civil rights, open their eyes and realize that aligning with racists and Republicans is not only a tactical error – cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face – but a complete abdication of their own core principles.

One Response

  1. Carpetbagger annihilated her today. Twas a sight to see – make sure you click the link to his place in today’s Discurso. I’ve never seen him quite so miffed.

    It’s too bad he can’t use foul language on his site. I have a feeling he would’ve been cussing a blue streak to put even us to shame today.

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