What women's rights look like when the two sides come together as one.
What women's rights are when women are no longer manipulated by party rhetoric.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Not Feeling Too Excited........

Cynthia Ruccia

I just haven't had much to write about lately. And since I'm about to write some nice things about Sarah Palin I have to brace myself for the following:

1) I will lose Facebook friends
2) our Facebook Women Win Too site will lose a few likes
3) I will open myself up for being called a dumb ass and worse
4) I will be accused by some dimwits of setting back the entire course of women's rights for the rest of time by saying something nice about Sarah Palin

Sigh------it is all just so TIRESOME. And actually, it has become BORING. People who like Palin for any reason whatsoever will get stereotyped by the very people and forces that make it so very difficult for women to run for office. And let me be clear-----those forces are alive and well on both sides of the aisle. People on the left have martyred Sarah Palin and her ilk, and people on the right have done the same for any woman on the left who dares stand up and thinks she can be a power player. And truth be told, people on the left do it to the women on the left (Hillary Clinton anyone?), and people on the right do it to women on the right (Sarah Palin or whomever-----take your pick).

I'm just feeling listless over the current presidential field. It feels like the men are off and running again, playing their old games about how they can one-up each other and win. And their bases are just jumping up according to cue, reacting to the correct bait. People are just so predictable. We've had the Tea Party excoriated on the left as racists, astroturf, etc. We now have the Wall Street protesters excoriated by the right as astroturf and people who want something for nothing. And the supporters of both movements are hypocritically defending themselves against the very things that they've criticized the other side for.  You've just gotta love free speech when it comes down to this!!!!

I'm feeling uninterested because Palin isn't running. And you know, I really don't blame her for her decision. People can say whatever they want, but until you're the one running for office, you just can't even imagine what happens and what it feels like until you put yourself out there as a candidate. I can't imagine that I can totally understand what it is like to run for president. But as a two-time Congressional candidate in a high profile race, I've been on the hot seat. And let me tell you, you'd better be tough or you will fall apart. Your being a candidate gives people the license to tear you from limb to limb, figuratively speaking of course. You will be caricatured in the worse possible way, and then that caricature will be taken as the gospel truth about you. Sometimes it is really funny. But sometimes it stinks.

I've watched that phenomenon take over Sarah Palin, and it is through how she has handled it that I have grown to admire her. She broke into the national consciousness, of course, as John McCain's running mate. I for one, was so excited that he'd chosen a woman. So what if people thought that he did it to attract Hillary supporters, the type of Hillary supporters who were totally involved because they'd longed for a woman to break the ultimate glass ceiling. That was part of it. Of course immediately, we had to deal with the people on the left that said we would lose our right to an abortion by supporting Palin, the only woman's issue that matters. Pffft. How short-sighted was that? What about the symbolism of a country who ranked #70 in the world in female representation finally throwing off its sexism to elect a woman? Apparently the woman's movement had devolved into something so ridiculous that it couldn't appreciate the value in women's progress in such an event.

But what anyone who supported Palin suffered paled in comparison to the blowback that Palin got for having the unmitigated gall to be a woman who wanted to run for VP. She was pilloried, ridiculed, her image distorted. Her family was also mashed up in the process. Palin was accused of views that were not true, misrepresented to such an extreme that even the caricatures were caricatured.

I could expand on the treatment Palin got, but I won't. What I saw was a self-made woman, conservative, who was a working mother who aimed high and achieved. What's not admirable about that? What have her naysayers done lately that makes them qualified to knock her down? Palin not only achieved, she singlehandedly took on her party's establishment and won. Find me many politicians of any stripe who started from nothing and were able to do that? I found her mettle in that regard to be admirable. But what really won me over in my admiration was how she fought the sexists. WOW!!!! NO ONE IN POLITICS had done what she did, using the current social networking to completely short-circuit the establishment and get her points across unfiltered and real. And she was able to needle the establishment mercilessly!!! She invented a new way to be a woman running for office, and she has inspired a new generation of women to go forward as she did, aim high, and don't take any guff.

Except that she's decided not to run. And I am truly disappointed. I had wanted to see more of the famous Palin mettle. But I understand why she isn't and I'm not holding it against her. I'm just reflecting on the fact that not only must a woman be perfect to run for president, but she needs to be twice as tough. We put all of our candidates through the meat grinder, but there is a special meat grinder reserved for women, one in which they can't win no matter what they do.  If this sounds like a bit of a pity party, I guess it is. Things are what they are.

I can only hope that we have learned a few lessons from the Hillary/Sarah experience. First of all, some women's things are more important than the abortion issue. Things like breaking glass ceilings, especially the presidential one for all of its symbolism. Secondly, we women need to stop being such jealous and hateful b****es. So what if some women really get ahead? And so what if the women are from the other party? The more women who reach high and achieve, the more room that makes for more women to achieve too. All women of all political stripes!! It's nothing but good news for all of us!!!! Third, we women need to stop letting the political parties use us to their sexist ends. I'm not saying that both parties are 100% sexist. Not at all. I'm just saying that  as long as the parties say a few key words and ring a bell and we come running to do their bidding, we short-circuit our own power and we sell it cheaply.

I'm sure that there are other lessons as well. I'm just trying to find a way to get excited again about the 2012 election. Hope it's not just another election with women being exploited for their votes and then nothing is delivered.


  1. Gosh, I thought it was just me. Hope we see an election some day soon when 50% of the people running for president are women.

  2. me too Contrary. Me too.

  3. I think we need to voice our disdain for this everywhere. It is true that women are more interested in campaigns when women are running. We are equally affected about who becomes president - we shouldn't feel disconnected.

    "All male presidential races are unhealthy."

    "All male presidential races lead to StagNation."

    Come up with a tagline, spread it around.

  4. All male presidential candidates are unhealthy for women and children.

  5. interesting that there is no mention of michelle bachman, the only woman running and a favorite of conservatives...

  6. Can't give up on voicing objections and disdain for this status quo. And remember you don't like men, you hold back women, you hate men, you don't understand that the boyz are better, you hold back women by giving voice because people don't like that.

  7. Anonymous, Yes, I should have mentioned that. She is there and it is good. I saw an image of the debate and I thought it was great she was there. and you are right.
    Speaking for myself, I feel that she is getting the same treatment in media as Hillary and Palin. I have a feeling because of that and fundraising she will be drummed out by the powers that be.
    Thanks for reminding me.

  8. Anonymous----I'm depressed about Bachmann too. She's still in there but hanging by a thread. I must say that although she has been excoriated abominably by the left, the Republicans have been much fairer to her than I expected.

    I think Jennifer that sadly she has been left in the dust by the frontrunners. It was great watching her hold her own though....

    For those who read this blog, I probably don't agree with at least 70% of Bachmann's views, but that doesn't mean that I can't admire the courageous race she has run. It takes courrage to put yourself out there, and she has done it well. In that she has set a great example to stand up tall, believe in yourself, and don't apologize for what you believe in.

  9. PumaforLife (Kathy)October 9, 2011 at 5:13 PM

    I am totally discouraged and depressed. I was a strong Palin supporter and fully expected her to run. I was stunned by her announcement as was just about everyone who was working for her unannounced campaign. I am sorry, but I am starting to think maybe the sexists are right; the American woman just does not have what it takes to become POTUS. Look at Hillary; she refused to take the fight to the convention floor where she had a very good chance to win the nomination. Instead, she chose her party over her country...now look where we are. Now, Palin. How many candidates do you know who have: an all volunteer operation (O4P) working in most states and on the ground in Iowa for almost a year; a private individual who spends 2 million dollars of his own money to make a film about the candidate; and a blog (C4P) that has been actively supporting and defending her since 2008....and then decides not to run????!!!! My opinion: she lost her nerve momentarily and sent out a letter that is too late to recall. Can you imagine a male candidate doing something like that. I am totally po'd at Palin....anyway, there is no one I will vote for at the moment, so that's that. I'll write in Palin's name if I have to.

    BTW, why do people always feel like they have to apologize when they say something good about Palin. That is really irritating.

  10. I get how angry you are PumaforLife (Kathy)---makes you not want to support another candidate male or female. But I think that there have been many men running for president with an even stronger base of support than Palin over the course of many elections who have also backed out. It truly sucks. So now what do we do?

  11. Good Blog -- and boy are you right and people especially women are not getting it. The way Hillary and yes Palin were handled by the press, liberals as well as conservatives just told me my endless days and years of Marching for equality were forgotten.

    I still have not gotten over it and as an avid Hillary supporter I will never get over the obvious Gender bashing that went on and especially in the Democratic Party and now they are crying why didn't we elect Hillary. I can not understand why women's groups were not outraged by the Gender bashing that went on with both Hillary and Palin -- they not only turned the other cheek -- they were solidly pushed to the back of the bus and there they stay. Makes my heart hurt.

  12. Well obviously ya all didn't see John Stewart's take on Mrs. Palin..I have no qualms of voting for a woman President, just don't want to vote for a sound bite quiter, that had no, none,nada ,zip ...zero business running for vice President, and fer sure , President, tho if you listen to Stewart, there is a clip in there that her daughter let the ole "cat out of the bag' back in June of this year... SHE WAS IN IT FOR THE MONEY.......geesh ...

  13. Hey walldodger1969----the current occupant of the White House had far less experience than Palin. And so what if she made money? Men do it all of the time. Your "I have no qualms voting for a woman" sounds like a bunch of baloney to me.

  14. This really needed to be said, Cynthia. The women's movement let me down when it became obvious that they were not concerned with the goal of assuring that ALL women had the opportunities to pursue their goals, but, rather, only liberal women.

  15. I'll be excited if the republican ticket has a woman vp. Lets make it happen. Make some noise. Let the front runners know there are votes to be gained, money to be donated and a ton of enthusiasm to be generated. Don't wait until it doesn't happen to mope about it. Try to make it happen. Make your voided heard.

  16. You know I'm really sad Palin isn't running - for me, women, and the country - but I'm glad for HER that she isn't. Who in their right mind would want to go through the grinder they've already been putting her through all over again and this time set on espresso extra fine grind? As much as I wanted HER to do it - there isn't a snowball's chance in he** that I would be willing to do it myself. Life is too short. Plus I understand her not wanting to put her family through it again. We all know how her husband and children have been treated (not kid glove like the Obama kids - as it should be) and I can understand her being unwilling to ask them to go into the grinder again. Considering that, how can I be mad at her since I wouldn't do it to myself or my family?

    This is why the next time a woman sticks her head up out of the crowd we MUST be ready to cover fire for her or we can't expect her to take all that fecal storm alone. I had hoped it would be Palin - and it may still be at a later time, but if it's Bachmann or Clinton or Smith or Jones or Ruccia - we have to show them they won't have to go through what Clinton and Palin did alone.

    All that said, if I can't vote FOR Palin, I'm going to vote for anybody on the R ticket AGAINST Pres. Obama. Among other things, I think he is flat out a sexist - and he has demonstrated that to me many many times from the early days of the campaign on.

  17. PS - Part of the reason Bachmann is behind on fund raising is that she tries to get all her money from individual donors rather than being influenced by bundlers, lobbyist, etc. It's one of the things I like about her most but it puts her at a huge disadvantage on the money game. I'm really proud of how well she's done - another chip in the ceiling every time a woman tries IMHO. She isn't out yet but it doesn't look good right now.

  18. I love all of the people who comment on this blog----we have a really diverse group of Dems, Repubs, and Independents, men and women. And we all care about the unfortunate progress of women. Thanks to everyone who says what's on your mind. It's all good!!!!

  19. There is a lot more to gender equality than parity in politics, but each woman has her own special focus for specific women's issues. I sympathize with your frustration and boredom over all the smears and personal backbiting. The more women who are in the House and Senate, the higher chances we will have of obtaining an electable candidate.

    I think it is a plus for women that even though Michele Bachmann is now low in the polls, sexism has nothing to do with her drop. As Thia said, Bachmann does not use many funds.

  20. nice to see you over here and speaking up Arkadelos------welcome back!!

  21. I am with Anonymous- make a lot of noise about a woman VP.

  22. I also can't get excited about 2012. It looks like it is going to be Curtis (Obama) vs Ken (Romney). Yawn! Oh well I definitely will vote against Obama and also the local part of the ballot.

    Although it's clear the Dems and Reps are only offering the same old shit in 2012, I am still hoping for something from Americans Elect, the online convention which has their ticket on the ballot of all 50 states already. http://www.americanselect.org/

  23. I too am depressed and discouraged about the lack of women running this year and with Michelle’s drop from the top. I think however, Sarah did the right thing for now. The US is just not ready for a female in first place- we have a lot of work to do first. Hillary was the one and no one else quite reaches her qualifications yet- getting a woman in the VP slot will change that. If Hillary could not get the party behind her against this community organizer with no business and no executive background, what chance will any women have in this sexist country have against men running who are now touting both running a business and Governorships? The stakes have been raised to include job creation, completing office and passing bills and laws for example. Too bad they didn’t vet Obama that way!

    In my humble opinion, Hillary - has lost the opportunity to be the first woman POTUS, the stakes have been raised and we will need a woman to go through the VP process before she will ever withstand the fires of the hell of the presidential process. As for Hillary, a friend of mine recently wrote the following:

    “As much as I continue to admire all that HRC has accomplished, I cannot view her as I once did after she has been a part of such a corrupt, misogynistic administration. I realize she has continued to serve the American people in her role as SoS, and I'm grateful for that, but unfortunately, her service as part of this administration has required her tacit acceptance of much of the harm that BO has done, including the harm to women's rights. Though HRC has continued to speak out for the rights of girls and women worldwide, she has had to "look the other way" while BO has fostered a "hostile environment" for women, not only in the WH, but across this country.”

    Palin has never felt it necessary to seek permission to strive and succeed. She has simply gone ahead and done so. I believe whatever her next steps are will be with that same decisive approach. That's my kind of woman leader.
    A couple of thoughts:
    1- Obama has to go no matter what!
    2- We need a Female VP 2012 no matter what!
    3- Herman Cain's rise is a poke in the eye to all those racists who swore any anti Obama sentiment was racism! Cain is an all American, full blooded, rise from poverty, black man whose background is transparent.

    Cain is impressive and if he lands on top - I hope he has a strong woman in his pocket - perhaps Sarah Palin or at the very least Carly Fiorina? Any other names?

    FreeMeNow- I haven't been blogging because I can't sign in!

  24. FreeMeNow----great to see you!! I haven't a clue as to why you can't sign in. However if coming in as anonymous works, well so be it. You can always sign your name that way......

  25. The sad thing about this is that people are NOT against Palin or Bachmann for being a woman . . . far from it. They are against both of them because they are both crazy, ignorant, opportunistic, and detrimental to the cause of women. This makes them just like the rest of the GOP field. We NEED a female president, no question . . . but NOT one that is as backward as the men in that party. Hillary had plenty of support, that's why the primaries dragged on so long . . . but in the end, Obama was the better candidate and that's what mattered to thinking people. NO ONE, not one single person, questioned her intelligence. Notice that?? She remains respected. We had two good candidates and the GOP had none then and they don't this year either.

    Imagine what a disaster Cain or Bachmann would've been for women. Cain has a long history of infidelity and objectifying women. Bachmann expects all women to follow the lead of their husbands on everything. How in the world could either of them be productive for women? They can't. Palin has really worked the system. She hasn't achieved anything. McCain picked her because she was pretty, not because she was smart. The more she opened her mouth the more they realized she was the wrong pretty face for the figurehead job because her ignorance was SO blatantly obvious. Do you want someone who rose because he thought she might be good in the sack? Here's a man, who like Cain and Gingrich and a great many other "family values" republicans has either cheated or had multiple wives. This party does NOTHING for women but use them as objects and discards them when they're done.

    What is old and boring and ridiculous is that women do this to themselves by stating many of the things said above and/or by voting for awful people like the ones suggested above. Are you trying to PROVE to women (and men) around the world that we're not smart enough to connect the dots and vote in our best interests?

    Time for a little wake up over here. Voting for smart candidates (regardless of gender) with integrity makes sense. Voting for smart WOMEN candidates with integrity is AWESOME!! Voting for candidates of either gender without integrity or intelligence is foolish for all people. A vote for any member of the current GOP presidential field (and the vast majority of them out there) is counterproductive to the goals of women (and all people in general) around the world unless you're part of the top 1% . . .but if you're not . . . please don't be brainwashed into hurting yourself. You don't benefit from corporate friendly, greedy policies and that's what the GOP gives you. They'd like women barefoot, pregnant and silent. Couldn't be more obvious.

    1. I am always amazed at the courageous people who sign themselves anonymous to throw a bomb and act like they didn't do it. You have given no substantive reasons why you think certain women are crazy and ignorant. It must be because you yourself are an ignorant sexist who can't identify yourself and clearly don't want women in charge. As such, you have resorted to the lowest of low under-the-radar sexist slurs to make your point. Makes you sound like an ignorant buffoon if I do say so myself. Just using your level of logic anonymous......

  26. Obama has been very positive for the cause of women. He clearly respects them, especially his wife and daughters. He has been supportive of Fluke in the face of Limbaugh's despicable remarks and his policies are very pro women eg getting free birth control from your employers, however, sadly, his economic and foreign policies are far too right leaning which is why recovery has been slower than it could've been. Still there is no question he had a huge mess to clean up from the Bush disaster.

    1. and P.S. anonymous-----our current president is a coward in the woman department. If he REALLY cared about the future of women, including his own daughters, he would put a woman on the ticket with him and appoint 50% of the cabinet chairs as woman and announce that he is going to do so. He is in a position to make a huge difference to women, and he's done as little as the previous administrations----less!! Both Clinton and Bush appointed more women....