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.


Friday, November 16, 2012

Still Feeling Cranky

Cynthia Ruccia



Or maybe DEPRESSED is a better word for it. Whatever you want to call it, I am NOT HAPPY that I am facing another 4 years of Barack Obama as my president. My reasons for why I am feeling this way are not the most common reasons, but they are my reasons and I'm feeling what I'm feeling. My unhappiness with this man goes back to 2007--8 when he and his campaign used every single sexist tool at their disposal to vanquish Hillary Clinton, and then they turned around and used an even worst set of sexist tools against Sarah Palin. And if that wasn't bad enough, the machinery of the Democratic Party turned a blind eye to all of that and acted as if it never happened. Don't believe me? Well, check out the videos and the book by Anita Finley on the right column. There you will find all of the gory details for the record. People think they can revise history, but the true story has been written on that score.

Alot of folks have tired of this story line. They say---"Cynthia----get over it!!. There are many many more important things to be concerned with about our country than that. " Well I say "humph!!" to all of that. I believe that people do care about women getting ahead. But for some reason, it is a cause for many that is a stepchild, something that doesn't really deserve our full attention. It is a cause, this idea of women sharing the power equally in this country, that is always shifted to the back burner for "later," when other things aren't so urgent. Thing is, "later" never really arrives. And "later" will never arrive as long as women don't take matters into their own hands and use their determination to make this parity happen. And honestly, by taking care of our inequality problem, the bigger things will take care of themselves.

One of our biggest problems is that women aren't in any kind of agreement on what is in our own best interest. The most common idea with women gaining power is "it will just happen." I've written on that idea a host of times, and when I hear anyone say such an inane thing I have to laugh at their naivete. No one is just going to give up power so women can take their equal place at the table. Power just doesn't work that way. Women are going to have to be proactive and grab their place. It would be wonderful if women were united on this subject, but surprisingly we aren't. Women are still distracted by other topics that, while important, are also impeding our progress to the top. Why? It is so simple----we women are suffering from a serious case of goal diffusion. And really as long as we keep concentrating on reproductive issues to the exclusion of everything else, we will remain underrepresented, disempowered, and woefully divided, using our strength and energy to fight amongst ourselves. Period.

But back to our president. I don't know if the other guy would have been any better. He actually had a pretty good track record of appointing women, not that anyone was paying attention to that. But I believe that Barack Obama needed to pay for the sexist sins of his previous campaigns, and his slavering, slobbering devotees made sure that that would never happen. There is a collective amnesia on the Democratic side about this nasty sexist history. And with his victory, I am deeply disconsolate about the fact that he will likely be rewarded by the history books, and this sexist blot will fade away.

To me, letting him get away with the misogynist behavior of his campaigns in 2008 ranks right up there with the infamy of racism. It's ironic, isn't it? But in the end, the people in our country don't really care if women are getting anywhere or not. If they did, this ugly gaping sexist deed wouldn't have been tolerated. And to my friends who think that I need to get over it-----YOU get over it!!! If you are letting this pass, you are a faux feminist, blowing smoke about women when it suits you. This battle for women to get to the top is a long term venture, and it is not for those fair weather feminists who are unable to stick with anything and whose depth of conviction and fealty to what they say they support is really pretty shallow. I am reminded of what it took to finally get women the right to vote. Alice Paul anyone? She almost died for the cause. We don't have to die to get our place at the table, but we do need to keep our eye on that ball. And we don't need to be sweeping the efforts of people to deny us our place under the rug.

I wasn't going to write anything until I was feeling better, but I read something today that screamed out for a response. This piece by Jessica Valenti just about made my eyes fall out of my head. In it, this woman, and others cited, who cold shouldered Hillary Clinton in 2008 are claiming a huge feminist win in 2012 and patted themselves on the back for putting the feminist, Obama, back in the White House. They took a great huge victory lap and beat their chests for the great wins that the women on the left achieved in their progress. These are the same women, again, that blocked Hillary in 2008. Would someone PLEASE explain to me the logic in all of this?

There was some good news of course for women on election day, good news on both sides of the aisle. You'd never know that by reading the media reports, however. First of all, the lost ground for women in 2010 was regained, not that it is something to jump for joy about. Apparently now, instead of having 16.8% of the U.S. House be women, it is back up to 18%. And the "historic" 20% of U.S. Senators being female is also good news. It might be historic, but really isn't good enough. The U.S. will still have a mediocre standing for female representation in government. But hey----progress is progress, and I'll take it!!!!

The Republicans elected a woman, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, as the chair of their caucus in the U.S. House. McMorris Rodgers is a tireless spokesperson for laying out an economic message for women. I hope she continues to do it, and I hope she continues to rise. We need strong capable women on both sides of the aisle, and McMorris Rodgers has earned the respect of her colleagues in both parties.

I also want to spend a little more time in the future highlighting the groups on both sides of the aisle who work tirelessly to get women elected. It is these groups who work mostly silently to help erase the power gap at the top. Sam Bennett of She Should Run and the Women's Campaign Fund has recognized that until women reach the top, our work will not be finished.

But it is Michelle Bachelet, the first woman president of Chile, who said it best when she said that nothing changed the status of women in her country as profoundly as having a female head of state. It advanced the Chilean women more than all of the laws put together.

Hmmmm-----a woman president? Isn't it about time we accomplished that here in the U.S.? That will be my focus for 2016-----as soon as I'm over my funk that is. I'm still de-funking myself......How are you feeling?

23 comments:

  1. Was wondering how you were doing Cynthia. I'm depressed too. But I'm also excited about electing a woman in 2016.

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  2. I meant a woman president in 2016!

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    1. What woman are you referring to? I can't seriously think that Hillary would run again after she and Bill both became "slavering, slobbering devotees" always bailing out obama's ass at his every beck and call. And then when she fell on the sword to yet again save obama's ass from the Benghazi debacle, she totally destroyed all credibility that she had.

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    2. you know anonymous, no one really knew who Barack Obama was in 2004, and there are women we may not even know about waiting in the wings. If the Dems nominate Hillary in 2016, and that's a big if right now, it's not the only game in town. The republicans may nominate a woman or have a woman on the ticket too. They have a deep bench of women----deeper than the Dems.
      I'd love to see a woman heading both tickets and then we could concentrate on the issues since history will be made no matter what.
      We've only to look at the Oklahoma gubernatorial contest of 2010 to see what a woman v woman race looks like......

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    3. I have been a democrat since 1970 and never voted for a Republican until John McCain in 2008 and then again for Mitt Romney in 2012. I'm so disgusted with the democratic party with all their free handouts making everyone dependent on the government to make their like easy. None of the scumbags even want a job so that's why the democrats will become a permanent fixture in the White House. Doesn't matter who they nominate in 2016, as long as they keep giving out the free government goodies, they're sure to win. Everyone --- and I mean all races --- have their hands out for free stuff. "Gimme, gimme, gimme --- but oh, no, don't you go givin' me no job I gots to work at. I just wants the free stuff."

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  3. When progressive feminists disparage the potentially first woman president because she "voted for the war" and embrace Biden who "Voted for the war ( not to mention voting for Sen. Kerry in 2004 - he voted for the war) and you fiercely back a president who signed NDAA and has hit the top of the charts on drone attacks then, I would say they have a problem with progressive principles and are sexist at heart.
    Women have a long way to go.

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    1. yes-----a big SIGH. a long long long way to go.

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  4. over at the Confluence last week RD said she was talking with some like minded liberal men about third party organization and having a blog movement to promote the same. She said her demand would be that at least 34 percent of the bloggers be women. Why do we ask for so little? That is my question. I would never think to demand less than 50 percent. It is way past time for gradual increases. I told my brother I voted for every woman on my ballot regardless of party and he told me I was sexist. Good gracious, how do you even answer that?

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    1. so does that mean that the 97% of African Americans who voted for Obama are racist?

      No offense to your brother, but he is just being silly.......

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  5. Cynthia, I'm feeling the same!! I either mute, turn off, or literally put my fingers over my ears and sing la la la la la, whenever his face comes on tv.

    Just the way it is!!

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    1. I am still listening to all sides and it is torture. I may need to do a little of what you're doing .....

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  6. I am still depressed, and angry -- in particular about PBO's behavior, words, etc.

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    1. it's rough....and you can't even drown your sorrows in twinkies anymore either!!!!

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  7. it was quite a blow when O won. I'm not over it either. I spent the last four years wishing hoping and dreaming of his losing. o know it sound pathetic but I feel like you do Cynthia. He shouldn't be allowed to get away with the sexism.

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  8. Again, you have expressed my feelings so perfectly. I will sulk for awhile longer and then start looking forward to what could happen in 2016 if we all work hard together.

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  9. Still feeling angry. The idea of Hillary in 2016 makes me angry.
    Buffet saying Hillary in 2016 makes me angry. As far as I am concerned
    Hillary should have been 44, won it, and Romney won this one.
    Romney's victory was stolen from him, voter fraud. Having Hillary
    wait until 2016 , standing in line waiting for her turn is just what
    all women do. I would spit in their faces.

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  10. It is ridiculous that we must have him for 4 more years. I change the channel or the station rather than see or hear about it. Ignore print about it as well! Hope we can elect more women in the mid-terms.

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  11. I am sorry that you still feel cranky, Cynthia. Personally, I’m encouraged to see so many more women elected to the Senate and House, and I’m especially glad that women used our power at the ballot box to repudiate the Republicans’ stated intentions of imposing their cruel, unthinking religious beliefs on us. IMO there’s quite enough of that going on elsewhere in the world.

    As a Hillary 08 (now Hillary 2016) supporter, former PUMA, and former Palin supporter (until her support of “personhood” and of Komen defunding PP, and her tacit endorsement of Limbaugh’s disgusting comments about women who use contraceptives), I understand your disappointment with Obama’s re-election and the difficulty you’re having with there being no payback for the 08 sexism. IMO, though, Obama and the Dems generally were far superior in every way to the alternative this year. A sizeable majority of women recognized that, and voted accordingly.

    You write: “Women are going to have to be proactive and grab their place.” Well, I think that’s exactly what we just did, or at least made a start at doing. We made a strong statement against Republicans' contemptuous, paternalistic, and egregiously discriminatory policies, and – unlike the sexism of the 08 campaigns – our show of strength will not be forgotten. For example, you mentioned Rep. Cathy McMorris Rogers’ elevation to a Republican leadership role in the House. Given the Republicans’ track record, do you really think she (or any woman) would have even been part of the discussion, much less actually elevated, if women en masse hadn’t put their foot down on Nov. 6 against the Republicans’ anti-women rhetoric and policies?

    [I also strongly disagree with your statements that letting Obama get away with his 07-08 sexism “ranks right up there with … racism”, and that anyone who has moved on from 08 is a “faux feminist”.]

    For some years now I’ve had this crazy fantasy about abortion not being any part of our politics, but IMO the only way that will ever happen is if Republican candidates are firmly repudiated over and over again, at every level of state and federal government, until they get the message. Getting 1 or 2 more young-ish pro-individual rights Supreme Court justices will also help immeasurably. Obama's re-election and the Dems' Senate wins make this possible; a Romney/Ryan win would have sunk us even deeper into the abortion morass for another generation or more.

    Frankly, for the first time since December 2000 I feel very hopeful about our country (WHAT a relief!), and especially about the future of American women. IMO no woman or generation of women should have to devote ANY of her/their valuable time, energies, intelligence, talents, resources, and votes to protecting our rights and our dignity from grubby, ignorant, throwback politicians. With this year’s hugely important pro-women wins on so many fronts, I believe we can realistically look forward to women's full and equal rights becoming established, unassailable, even unremarkable political fact within the decade, and possibly even sooner. Especially with Hillary being elected president in 2016.

    [N.B.: This comment contains excerpts edited from a longer WW2 comment on November 11.]

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    1. JB in VA----I'm glad you are happy and wish that I felt the same way. As I wrote in a previous post, I am hoping that if Obama has a chance to appoint a coupe of prochoice judges to the SC, maybe the fear mongering of the abortion issue will lose its sting.

      I am just not as partisan as you anymore. I think both parties suck, but I spent the best part of 40 years demonizing Republicans and I'm weary of that exercise. I am truly happier as an Independent because there are things from both parties I like and things I abhor about both.

      We will never get anywhere if both parties don't work together, and I'm sorry to disagree with you, and it's not personal, but I find your criticisms of the other side a little over the top. Sorry----it's just how I see it.

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    2. JBinVA, how can you say that you were a puma, Hillary and Palin supporter and not feel that the sexism in 2008 was as bad as racism? It's not a contest, but the similarities are too close to deny. It's the denial that it happened that lines it up with racism.

      you seem to be the kind of believer that as long as you see the people on the right as your enemy it will justify you sweeping the sexism under the rug to serve a more important goal. I think you have made Cynthia's case for faux feminist.

      and whatever happened in 2010 and 2012 concerning women's progress was a blip on the screen. Yes, women had a banner year on the republican side in 2010, and it wasn't such a bad year in 2012. But women are hardly using their strength to get ahead. If they did, they would start finding a way to seek common ground with all women and then we'd be talking about woman power.

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    3. I don't care about abortion anymore. I'm sick of it being used as a wedge against women, I'm sick of the left's fear mongering about it, and I'm sick of the left telling women to sit down and shut up unless they need them to talk about their girly parts and attack the right. I am more than just a walking uterus and I will not allow a bunch of idiots who call Pres Obama a "feminist" to scare me into submission.

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    4. Kathy, Personally, I think the sexism in 2007-08 was far worse than the racism in 2007-08; I would also maintain that sexism in general is far worse, more pernicious, and more pervasive than racism. But I read Cynthia's line as comparing the sexism over 1-2 years of political campaigning -- directed primarily at 2 high-profile, extremely strong, powerful, privileged women -- to the legacy of racism over centuries directed at countless ordinary, mostly powerless people. For me that simply doesn't fly, as a matter of historical weight and perspective. That's all I meant.

      I don't accept anyone -- you, Cynthia, whoever -- judging me to be a faux feminist, especially on the grounds that I don't hold a grudge long enough. Really? Granted, the sexism of 07-08 was a horrifying eye-opener, and extremely hurtful at that time to the cause of women generally and women in leadership in particular. But it did not pass unnoticed, and may have a lot to do with positive developments since then and going forward. In any event, one cannot change any part of what happened then, one can only learn from it and work like hell to make sure it doesn't happen again.

      To my mind, anyone who believes in and furthers women's rights is a feminist, full stop. If getting women to stick together is part of the strategy here, it doesn't seem very helpful to knock someone just because she doesn't agree with Republican stands on issues that disproportionately or exclusively impact women; or because she doesn't condemn Obama and the Dems for all time because of the sexism in 2007-08 (as if no one else had done that before).

      I don't see the people on the right as my enemy, but it's pretty clear that people on the right view women, and therefore me, as their enemy. Or else as subhuman, or something -- certainly not as full citizens, and complete and entirely capable human beings. Frankly, I see them as pretty sad specimens all around, male and female alike.

      Cynthia -- I'm not partisan anymore either, but I'm not going to close my eyes to what's going on.

      Republicans -- mostly men, but some women, too -- and their supporters and mouthpieces have stepped way over the line this past year, on multiple fronts. I have been extremely disappointed that Republican women leaders haven't called them on it, but the fact is, they haven't. They've either remained silent, thereby giving their tacit support to hatefulness like Limbaugh's, for example, and ignorance like Akins', etc., or they have actively supported things like ending Planned Parenthood, or passing "personhood" amendments (which in legal terms will be a total nightmare for all girls and women, even the true believers, until they pass safely into menopause. I have a law degree, have taught courses on women and the law, and have read and thought about this a great deal, and believe me, it poses tremendous threats to women's standing as citizens and women's rights as individuals. And it's IN THE REPUBLICAN PLATFORM, governing their agenda for at least the next 4 years.)

      As long as Republicans continue to assault the basic rights which make every other aspect of women's lives and aspirations possible, I will remain in the independent Dems' camp. Of course Democrats aren't perfect, but at least they're getting better. And the fact is, no Dem anywhere at any level or in any branch of government is actively trying to put in place policies and legal precedent to diminish women's rights and curtail our freedoms -- as Republicans everywhere are.

      Given the gulf between where you are and where I am, I will refrain from commenting in future unless I can do so without stepping on anyone's toes. But really, life's too short -- when you can, please try to look on the bright side.

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  12. I am not donating to either Planned Parenthood or NARAL anymore because they have not done enough to educate women about their reproductive rights in the state they live in and they have not done enough to sponsor legislation to grant women state reproductive rights. In my opinion women's groups should be as active as gay rights groups in sponsoring legislation to extend women's rights. But of course "women's rights" groups are nothing but the ladies auxiliary of the Democrat party and they don't want the issue resolved because then Democrats couldn't use it as a whip to keep the women's vote in line. Seriously some pro choice Republicans should set up a group the informs young women of their reproductive rights by state and sponsors legislation, this is the only way progress will be made on the issue so it doesn't dominate the Democrats dialog with women voters. Mark my words, Democrats do not want reproductive rights progress for young women.

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