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.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A Postscript on Michele Bachmann

Cynthia Ruccia

I have turned 59 recently, and I have been voting since I was 18. I STILL won't have the opportunity to vote for a woman for president this year!! And I'm grumbling about it. It's 2012, and the only conclusion that can be drawn is that in this country neither Democrats nor Republicans are ready yet to seriously consider electing a woman for president. Oh yes, we have made a little progress, that is for sure. We are now letting women into the field to run for president, and we are considering them a little more seriously, but when push comes to shove and decisions must be made, as a nation we just can't envision a woman leading us.

Michele Bachmann is a case in point. Let me say up front, I didn't always agree with her positions. Some of them were even a little creepy to me (that's just me). But I was extremely proud and impressed with the way she conducted herself as a candidate. She entered the fray with gusto, confidence. She was articulate, and she stood up to the boys with strength, dignity, and no apologies. She even made history by being the first woman ever to win the Iowa straw poll.

But she still was judged by the sexist standards of the day. Yes she made a few boneheaded mistakes-----they all make them. But because she was female she was much more harshly judged for them. The "stupid, ditzy woman" meme is always a powerful deterrent to letting a woman run anything.

The Republican field appears to be fractured between the Romney forces and the rest who are splitting the conservative "values" vote. There's a movement to start consolidating that "values" vote into fewer candidates in order to beat Romney. So if the "values vote" candidates are Gingrich (that's quite a joke!!), Perry, Bachmann, Santorum, why was it that polling showed in Iowa that the voters decided that Bachmann was the most unelectable? In my opinion, and in the opinion of much of the ongoing polling, NONE of the above-mentioned candidates has a chance against Obama. Only Romney appears to have much of a chance of beating Obama. So I ask you this------why is it that of the group of "unelectables" the woman ended up being voted out first?

An argument can be made that she was simply a bad and weak candidate. But if you look at these candidates on paper, that argument just doesn't hold up. NO ONE has weirder positions on certain things that Ron Paul, so the "weird position" argument isn't a strong one. Her views match those of Perry and Santorum almost point for point. I maintain that the reason she was the first to go is that we still aren't ready to consider a woman to lead us beyond a certain point. That point is a little more advanced than before Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin ran. But not much.

The BIGGEST sexist argument you will ever hear is when someone says ---"ANY woman, just not THAT woman." Let's get that straight and in the open right now. That argument is sexist to the core, and if you ever hear it, you must call that person out. It is an argument made for the person who says it to look tolerant. But under it is a feeling that that person can't accept the idea of a woman leading this country. Period. Maybe the person saying it is unaware of that reality, but if you press them, on it, you will win the argument, and maybe you will make that person more aware of their prejudices.

I heard that argument all of the time about Hillary when she was running. And no one NO ONE was more qualified and capable of being president than Hillary. Even the people who said that awful thing in 2008 are regretting their decision now.

So I'm a little grumpy that I will not be given the choice to vote for a woman for president once again. Will I live long enough to see that day? BOTH parties are awful when it comes to "women's issues." The only women's issue that matters is getting women elected and leading things in proportion to our numbers. All of the other "women's issues" have become de facto balls and chains to divide women up and clip our power. As soon as women wake up and see that, women will be elected. My two great friends, "T" and "N" have convinced me that women can at least start by voting for all of the women in their own party without having to hold their noses too much. Let's get on with it!! And to Michele Bachmann-------great effort!!! You have shown a few more potential female presidents the way!!!! Kudos to you!!!!


  1. What a great article Cynthia. I hope it gets read widely. Please send it around so lots of people see it. I will do the same.

    I am discouraged because yesterday someone told me that despite her wild popularity, they doubt Warren will win in Massachusetts against Brown. Why? Same old same old - "she's a woman, stupid." I hope they are wrong.

    Thanks for the great post.

  2. I've been swatting my fellow liberals right and left on the subject of Bachmann. They are pointedly nasty about her in a way they are not about Perry, Santorum or Gingrich. She is of course different from them in only one respect. When she was the frontrunner every good little liberal I knew was screeching OMG THAT CRAZY BITCH IS GONNA BE PREZ! A few weeks later when Cain was the allged frontrunner? Crickets. Good lord I despise liberal Democrat hypocrisy.

  3. Thanks Cynthia,
    This needed to be said. I do feel however, that in regards to Michelle (maybe I am wrong) I do feel she was judged in a similar way to her male counter-parts and that is all we can ask...right??
    In 2008 both sides decimated their own and the opposing women (Hillary & Sarah). This time there was most definitely some; but not as much of the personal attacks...again maybe I am wrong. I thought her closing video clip was amazing...very strong and heart-felt!!
    She made me as a woman proud of her run, even if the final outcome was less than desirable.
    This quote still is an open wound:

    "I heard that argument all of the time about Hillary when she was running. And no one NO ONE was more qualified and capable of being president than Hillary. Even the people who said that awful thing in 2008 are regretting their decision now".

  4. Tonia T. -----I would love to be wrong and you be right. The men ARE handed alot of guff as well. But they are still in the fray and she is not.....

    Elizabeff-----liberals are spectacular hypocrites on this subject. They are supremely pious on it. But when it comes to explaining why we don't have a woman president and why women don't run anything, they are strangely silent. Or they may offer up that we've made a world of progress and that it will happen some day. Oh really? That answer is just subcontracting the work of making those things happen to the Democratic Party. And the Dems have been pathetic in that regard. The only things the Dems excell at is having convinced so many intelligent people that they are working in their best interests when they clearly are not!!

    Anonymous-----thanks so much!!! Makes you want to tear your hair out when you hear someone say that she won't win cause she's a woman. And in MA!!!! what a joke!!!!

  5. Tonia, I definitely picked up on a disparity in my circles (real life, Facebook, blogs). One acquaintance (a woman no less) said Bachmann would've brought a 'special kind of crazy' to the race. Really? How so? Politically and socially she is not that far from the other candidates. Self-hating Democratic women drive me nuts.

    I hear you about the buyer's remorse crowd and boy do I have to bite my tongue. At least we've been disabused of the notion that they are in any way shape or form allies of women's right to participate fully in society.

  6. It's not the voters who can't deal with women in politics it is the Corporate Media and the power men in both political parties.

    I don't agree that women made any progress in 2008. What did happen is we had it made clear to us that when a qualified woman wins the majority of the votes (Hillary) the men in that party will toss out the votes of The People, corrupt the caucus process and threaten the woman candidate to get out before they hold their kabuki nominating convention for their anointed male candidate. Women will not have parity in political representation until the two party system is changed and the Corporate Media is forced to operate in a free market.

    Thanks for this article. I don't expect to see anything of the sort from the Democrat parties ladies auxiliary over at NOW.

  7. While I disagreed with Ms Bachmann's positions- especially in regard to gay and lesbian issues- I still had to ask yesterday.
    Exactly WHAT DIFFERENCE is there between her and Santorum?
    Sadly, the answer is- a vagina.
    The Iowans supported Santorum, who has many many positions in common with Michelle. IMO- blatant evidence of sexism.
    (ps I still hate blogspot- which will NOT let me post as anpnymous- it rejects my comments unless I give it my info- which then requires me to go de google my computer- which is why you do not see me comment very often.)

  8. Seriously, I don't think it is the voters who won't support a woman candidate. Republicans want to defeat Obama in 2012 and they know the bigoted, sexist Corporate Media will destroy a woman candidate if the male power brokers of her own party won't destroy her first after watching Hillary and Palin in 2008. Given this reality they pick a man. Voters aren't stupid and they know the deck is stacked against women. That doesn't mean they won't accept a woman as leader.

  9. Excellent analysis. Particularly the comparison with Ron Paul.

  10. Yep. Another woman unable to break that marble ceiling. I would not have been able to vote for her in VA's primary. And now I won't be able to vote for her against the present White House occupier.

  11. Great article as usual Cynthia!

    You know where I stand- I am not at all suprised- two wings on the same vulture- neither party will ever let a woman run this country. If not Hillary who was the best hope for a qualified woman -- it will be a long time before either side has another quite as qualified and they shot her down.

    We need a new women's party but we both know the majority is too wrapped up in the abortion issue to worry about the glass ceing first- so Let's hope Romney or ? selects a Female VP and Obama grabs Hillary or ? for VP!

    That is my bet and - Its the closest we will get - having each side take a woman to out do each other!

  12. A useful strategy to advance the cause of moving women into position of political visibility and power is to push for a Mitt Romney - Nikki Haley ticket on the Republican side and force Obama into an equivalent move, to stay in the game. We would then have two women set for the presidency the next couple cycles.

  13. I think one of the reasons Michele Bachman didn't prevail was her open conversation about God calling upon her to run. She was expecting a Miracle because she talks with the one who makes Miracles. Ok. I must admit, I too talked to God and asked for many a Miracle. Guess what? They didn't happen.

    If a woman is going to run for office she cannot come across too softly. We all know she has to be TRIPLE PERFECT to stand a chance. This is one of the reasons I do believe ELIZABETH WARREN will knock Brown out of his seat. She is Genuine, Smart & a Smooth Operator.

  14. Every successful woman has had to defy the status quo, so they're basically unafraid. This scares the hell out of the puppeteers who run the political show. They are doing pretty well with their cast of mediocre puppets who will do as told when elected. Why take a chance with a woman with a mind of her own?

  15. Well hang in there Cynthia. I am guessing you are getting the same kind of resistance I am. I am advocating the same thing. I have no fear that the women who really should not hold higher office will get elected. The American populace will chose right. But we have to get more and more women on to the ballots so that we have the choice of several or a whole crowd of women so that the best can be elected. Voting for women is such a no brainer. It's not like men haven't been penile voters for hundreds, perhaps thousands of years.