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?