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.


Saturday, June 2, 2012

Speaking The Unspeakable

Cynthia Ruccia



I've been silent of late because I haven't wanted to write what I've really been thinking for fear that I was being too negative and would jinx everything. Of course even admitting to that exposes my narcissistic and superstitious streaks and that's a little embarrassing. Many have told me that I've been dreaming with my head in the clouds. But I'm a big believer in thinking big, dreaming big, and believing in the impossible because only in doing so will those things ever become real. And of course we have to add on an action plan!!!

But what's been rattling around in my brain is the fact that the growing drumbeat of sources points to Mitt Romney adding Rob Portman to his ticket as VP. Now I'm an Ohioan, and I may be a bit more familiar with our junior Senator than some. He seems like an immensely likeable man and also a highly accomplished and experienced one. The idea that he might bring Ohio with him in the presidential campaign isn't as solid as some might think who don't live here, but it also isn't outside being plausible and intuitive. He will likely prove to be completely noncontroversial (except for maybe his years spent as the trade rep for the George W. Bush administration), and if Romney wins Ohio, Portman will get some of the credit for that happening.



But I am just plain sad that the drum isn't beating loudly enough for  a woman VP pick. As stated in many posts on this blog and elsewhere, there is a very very deep bench of women on the Republican side. Fabulous women, qualified women, women of high accomplishments-------women just as likeable as Rob Portman, just as experienced, just as probable to bring home the bacon in some contested states. I am also incredibly frustrated that women STILL haven't cleared the bar high enough for people to not think that putting one of them on the ticket is more trouble than it is worth.

If Romney doesn't nominate a woman VP, I'm not going to go into a tailspin over it. I get some pretty harrowing tirades from people who sputter to me that he wants to kick women back to the stone ages, blah blah blah. They are just spouting boilerplate leftist trash that is trotted out year after year over any Republican who dares to run. And the more people like me choose to ignore the tantrums about how Republicans "don't care about women" the worse the tantrumming folks tantrum and spit. Blech!!

The fact is, as usual, I believe that BOTH parties STINK when it comes to helping women get ahead. They just both stink!! Both parties use women when convenient to win and reward female loyalty with alot of nothing. A pitiful piece of legislation that may move the ball a half inch ahead on the football field and they act like it was a 50-yard run. Big deal------

I don't believe that the kind of equality many of us seek------power and economic parity-------- can necessarily be addressed by legislation. But it CAN be addressed by powerful symbols. Symbols like a woman VP or like France just did a 50/50 male/female cabinet. These symbolic moves mean more than you can imagine. No, they won't end sexism and misogyny. They may not close the wage gap right away. They won't end the scourge of domestic violence. But what they DO do is to accustom the public to seeing an equal number of men and women IN CHARGE, something that people aren't used to seeing. And the more people see women in charge, the more the comfort level of women running things will rise. And the more commonplace it is seeing women run things, the more easily women will finally be able to take their places in equal numbers among the CEO's, presidents, vice presidents, and on and on. THIS is the final challenge to women being able to savor the promise of equality in the United States.

Now, back to Romney. If he doesn't appoint a woman VP, I am going to be disappointed and depressed. Real depressed. But I am not going to stay depressed because until our goal of power and economic parity is reached, we can't rest for more than a minute. This is not a blog for Obama bashing, but I will say that I am not voting for him this time either. I am still completely turned off to him. Every time I see him or think of him I am reminded of the sexist hit job his campaign did to Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin and I will not reward him with my vote. And because I am in an important swing state, I am NOT throwing my vote away on a third party candidate who has no chance of winning. I will vote for Romney and that is that. However, I DO NOT believe all of the sexist crap he is accused of even if he nominates Rob Portman instead of Condi Rice, Susana Martinez, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, or Kelly Ayotte.

I will be disappointed that he caved to the Palin excuse. But that is not as terrible a sin as what was done to HRC and Palin in my book. The Democrats can spout all they want about how the Republicans have never been friends to women, but that means that they ignore their own deep seated problems with women. And many of us women see right through their insistence that we walk in lockstep with their crummy ideas that won't help women in the long run. If Romney is elected, we can still insist on a gender neutral cabinet. Or we can take our fight to a different place. It gets pretty depressing to have to constantly ask men for a handout when it comes to power sharing.

But for sure I'm not giving up. And I might still hold out just a little bit of hope that the Romney campaign may decide a woman is worth taking a chance on. For sure the Romney campaign will give as good as it gets (what was that "gander/goose" thing he just said the other day?), and I would love to see them smash the sexism this time around. But even if I don't get what I want, I'm not pouting for long. Onward!!!!


31 comments:

  1. I'm still pushing for a woman---don't give up hope so easily

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  2. Oh goodness. I thought surely C. Rice had a good chance. Ditto to what you said about All Of It!

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    1. I do think she has a good chance, but I keep hearing Rob Portman's name everywhere I turn.......

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  3. I still think Romney is just as likely to nominate a woman. I haven't given up any hope. Usually these candidates pick someone unexpected.

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  4. What if Obama talks Hillary into replacing Biden? Then, will you vote for him? Just curious.

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    1. well, it unequivocally looks as if Biden is not being replaced by anyone so the question is moot. Ask me again if it happens and I'll give you an honest answer.......

      From where I sit today, I can't see myself voting for that ticket.

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    2. Hypothetically speaking, since it looks like unequivocally that Biden will not be replaced, why would you not vote for an Obama/Clinton ticket? I'm confused?

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    3. I'm sorry, but this question is a little confusing. I'm not going to decide on hypothetical right now, that's all.

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    4. Let me be clear, why would you not vote for an Obama/Clinton ticket?

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    5. And I shall be clear back-----I don't intend to make that decision unless I have to. There are too many variables in my head to make such a decision unless I have to. Too many "what ifs." And it isn't looking like I'll have to so it's a moot point. But I'll tell you what Anonymous, if things change, I'll certainly be making a definite decision, and I'm sure I'll be writing about it here. Stay tuned.

      For now if it is an Obama/Biden ticket, and the Dems INSIST that that is what it is and that is what it will be, I'm voting for the other guy. Period.

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    6. I take it that you are more in favor of a GOP victory than a woman's rights advocate? No one in their right mind, and a woman's advocate at that, should ever vote Republician.

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    7. you would be totally wrong to define me in your frame Anonymous. I am one of a huge and growing number of feminists who have moved beyond the old left/right definition of women's rights. If you wish to define that term narrowly by including only reproductive rights, that's your prerogative. But you must not be reading this blog very carefully. I think both parties are equally awful for women, and we are stuck in a horrible economic and power vacuum for women by staying in that old place. It's time to move on to fresh definitions of what is a woman's right. I choose to believe that the promise of the women's rights movement is completely stalled, and what both parties are offering is more of the same to keep us stalled. But the left is almost worse than the right because their definition of feminism has become a totalitarian view of women's rights for a few but not all. And that is fine----this is America after all and you can believe whatever you want.

      I just think that it's time to think outside of the box. There are women on both sides of the aisle, and if you have been reading my pieces you would see that, both sides, except for a tiny sliver on the extremes of both parties,want economic and power parity. The extreme left only wants it for certain women, a group which for them gets smaller and smaller all of the time. The extreme right wants to keep women at home . And then there are the misogynists of both parties who are threatened by the idea of female power sharing. But those are stereotypes. The vast middle, say 70% of people ON BOTH SIDES want the same thing in terms of economic and power parity for women.

      To demonize one side over the other as you are doing, keeps women permanently divided and disempowered. So if we keep doing the same stuff over and over again, women will continue to be mired in 17% representation in government, as 2.8% of CEO's, etc and so on.

      And honestly Anonymous, no name calling of me and my ilk as pro Republican hits the mark. It is an old and unproductive way of thinking. At one time that kind of thinking was daring and productive. But like everything else, in a Confuscian sense, it has become its opposite------stodgy, old, decayed. Time for some fresh new thinking to move things along!! You might want to think about jumping on this bandwagon or it will soon pass you by!!

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  5. This makes no sense to me at all. How can a vote against Obama be a vote for women? I don't get it.

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    1. how can you say that a vote for Obama is a vote FOR women?????????? You must be blind.

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    2. everyone knows that the Republicans are the enemy of women. They want to take away your birth control and your right to an abortion. Without these rights, women are nothing.

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    3. The Democrats unleashed disgusting sexism against Hillary and Palin (and mocked any woman candidate in sight)to get Obama elected in 2008. Neither party is the party of women. But I feel the Democrats sexism towards women candidates(which is the status quo)is far worse for the future of women than a bunch of threats to end government spending on birth control which hasn't actually happened yet. If the Republicans actually restrict reproductive rights then I might change my mind. I am not loyal to either party.

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    4. No Republican wants to take away anyone's birth control! We just don't want to pay for it. We want you to pay for your own birth control. Don't make ignorant statements.

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  6. Cynthia-Excellent post! Thank you.
    I feel the way you do----depressed if a woman isn't chosen, but will vote for Romney regardless.
    This society only has one use for women: sex. That's it. Period.
    I'm 65 yrs. old and don't believe I'll live to see that change....but I would love to be proved wrong!

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    1. Cindy----you always uplift me!! I'm 5 years younger than you and I believe that you and I will live to see the day. We'll be two of the old ladies crying when that first woman is inaugurated president. And yet----we might not even be that old!!!!

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    2. LOL---Well, you uplift ME, young lady!
      Thank you for always having a positive attitude, even when it seems that the possibility of electing a female president is a lost cause!

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  7. It will difficult to explain to my daughter that women can be president and vice president if we have another all male race for the US presidency. The drumbeat that needs to happen is non-existent in the US, except for blogs like this. Thank you.

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  8. Wonderful article, Cynthia. I couldn't agree with you more. C. Rice would be my first choice for VP candidate, but R. Portman would make an excellent second choice.

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  9. How could you get a better candidate than C Rice?! The power grubbing creeps who run the political parties and Corporate Media are who is hold beck the progress of women in this country.

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  10. Joshua W. BurtonJune 6, 2012 at 8:41 AM

    In what world is OH a 2012 swing state? Like MO, you're now in the firm lean-R column, according to Nate Silver (at 538; ignoring his research is a sucker bet). The new OH / PA / MI is CO / NM / VA -- if your state is actually in play in November, Gov. Romney is toast.

    So relax: you are free to trade your Romney vote with someone in a purple state, and vote your conscience without guilt.

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    1. someone besides Nate Silver must think we're a swing state. We are inundated with campaign ads from both sides and both side's worth of superpac ads and have been for weeks and weeks. We've also had our traffic snarled over and over again by presidential visits ad nauseum, vice presidential visits, visits from the Romney camp. I don't think that these campaigns would be wasting their valuable time and money if Ohio weren't in play. It is funny that Silver calls our state leaning R because by most measures Obama has been ahead of Romney most of the time albeit with a rapidly shrinking margin. You are being misinformed Joshua. Take the truth from those of us here------this feels like any other campaign the way we are being targeted. Oh, and BTW----we're ALREADY getting robocalls ad nauseum. It can drive a person nuts......

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    2. Joshua W. BurtonJune 6, 2012 at 11:49 AM

      There's a bell curve, of course - and after Citizen's United, there is a lot of early money for states that are some way out on each tail. No one thinks you're AK or UT . . . more like FL, NC, maybe AZ? "Merite le detour, pas le voyage" in this year's political Guide Michelin. Sorry about the robocalls, on behalf of all my IT colleagues!

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    3. Joshua W. BurtonJune 6, 2012 at 11:55 AM

      Given this year's budgets, of it feels just like last time, that means you're half a standard deviation farther out on the right tail. Ask a Virginian like my sister; they'll tell you how much louder 2012 sounds than 2008 in the middle. Obama would like your electoral votes, but odds are he'll already have about 350 if he gets them.

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    4. Joshua W. BurtonJune 6, 2012 at 12:10 PM

      And re polls - note that "lean R" does NOT mean Gov. Romney is ahead in OH; that shifts with the weather. What it means is that, as states shift together, you are right of 270 by a statistically significant margin, wherever EC vote 270 (this year, probably a Coloradan) is at the moment. Right now you're near a tie, but that simply means the D's are slightly ahead nationally today.

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    5. whatever Joshua----Ohio has been a (and sometimes THE) major swing state for the past 20 years. I'm no analyst like you, but intuitively (which often counts just as much-----as much as that idea grates on you logical folks) we're getting just as much attention as we always have gotten. My sense is that there is alot of creativity with the electoral map this year, but in the end, Ohio is still one of the states each party wants to win. And we DO swing one way or the other depending on a multitude of factors. So no matter what the technicians say, we're still getting pounded here in Ohio and that means something I suppose. My friends in CA, NY, etc. say that they rarely even ever see a presidential campaign ad. I've even received some direct mail already------it's so frigging early. You can't imagine what it's like being in Ohio during a presidential year. Normally things wait until at least late summer. Not this year. And it couldn't be just the CU money (which the caterwauling about from the left gives me nausea). We're seeing an even number of Obama and Romney stuff.

      So the bottom line is that argue with me all you want, you don't live here and aren't seeing what's happening on the ground. Nate Silver is great, but he's not perfect.......

      As far as Virginia goes (where one of my sons lives), I imagine this treatment seems novel since Virginia hasn't really been in play very long.

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    6. Joshua W. BurtonJune 6, 2012 at 4:25 PM

      Hey, here's hoping you're right! Enjoy.

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  11. Think about this for a minute - remember the treatment that Sarah Palin received back in 2008 for the "crime" of being a female VP candidate because she wasn't a member of the "right" party?

    You'd think that all of the ladies beating the drum for a female President would have been ecstatic to have a woman on the ticket - apparently they will only accept a woman on the ticket if she is a Democrat.

    If you were a Republican woman who was being considered for the VP slot and you remembered how Ms. Palin AND HER FAMILY were treated, would you want to go through that?

    My guess is that any women they might have considered have told them "Thanks, but no thanks"....

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