Are the Palin attacks sexist??

If by that do you mean would I be saying the same exact things if she weren’t a woman the answer is yes, some of the criticisms are altered to reflect the fact of her gender, like the use of the pronoun ‘she’.

But I have always been an equal opportunity attack dog, and here the case is no different.  But what is the question of sexism really about? Is it about perfect point-by-point sameness for everything women do, or is it about the societal structures that prevent women from being autonomous as much as men?

I would bet that most women wouldn’t want, even if it were realistic, to deny their femininity—a dig made at Hillary in praise of Palin.  It’s not about wearing ties or playing golf.  It’s about can I pursue my dreams.

Biology has a lot to say about that.  And women pressed into involuntary servitude as vessels for blastocysts they do not wish to bear, children they do not wish to have or raise can never have a chance of being equal in any meaningful sense.  

I don’t dispute that, at least at some point, when the fetus becomes viable, it gains its own rights.  But when its still part of mom, mom has a say.  Because if mom doesn’t, mom either has to become an asexual being or give up on being a lawyer, or a doctor, or a soccer player.  But remember, Palin’s not just about reversing Roe v. Wade or changing the date of viability, or banning d&x (“partial birth”), or limiting it to risks to the mother.  She’s about none, ever.  And also these same folks aren’t just about the relatively pathos-infused realities of abortion.  They want to stop people from having sex that doesn’t make kids, period, forever.  A sizeable minority may oppose abortion, but how many people would ban themselves from ever being allowed to have non-procreative sex?  Proof is in the pudding: if abortion were the real issue, then why on earth would “conservatives” block RU486?! Having a dispenser of that in every bathroom in the world would eliminate abortion!

But asskicking careers isn’t what all women want.  Some are stoked to be moms. I’m glad mine was. But I wouldn’t want a mom who had no choice (say because she was the daughter of a politician and also a minor) but to bear me, or but to be a child bearer and home maker, without any other choice, not in my existence, but in hers.

But men face none of these problems.  So, until we come to grips with this stuff, we’ll never start figuring out whether it really matters if women can play golf at Augusta. Nancy Pelosi and Sandra Day O’Connor and Geraldine Ferraro and Sarah Palin mean jack shit if they got in those positions while still locked into 18th century gender roles.  

So, to the extent that we’re supposed to think that Palin’s nomination or even (God forbid) election is some kind of victory for women just because she’s a woman is the sexist thought, not the criticism based on the fact that she wants to make the choice for all women, not just about abortion, but about limiting the scope of their entire potential being to that of a Norman Rockwell painting and nothing else.

Hillary, on the other hand, who this sexist supported in the primaries, well, Hillary as president or vice president or senator or majority leader—well, that means something. Why? Because she didn’t do it by being the church’s model of a perfect woman.  She did it by kicking ass and working twice as hard for half the reward for years and years, and still basically had to be married to a powerful man to get a chance to shine on her own.

No one picked Hillary because she’s a piece of ass.

Advertisements

Being Right And Being Wrong On The Big Issues

Until he issues a Sherman statement, I will be for Gore. Why? Because he’s right on the two biggest issues of our time, of this decade. He was right about Iraq before almost anyone of his stature was. And he is the premier spokesman for global warming, the issue of the 21st century.

Hillary, Obama, Edwards, Biden, and Richardson are all late comers to the anti-Iraq party, with Hillary, Biden, and Edwards actually having voted for the war. I don’t think I’ve heard much from any of them (except Richardson) about climate issues.

There will be things I vehemently disagree with Gore on, and other things I agree with the others on. But on the big issues–those that have consequences for generations–Gore is batting 1.000.

You don’t need a fancy education to see how history treats presidents and presidential candidates who were right on the most pressing issues of their time. Reagan was right about the Cold War. He will be remembered as a good president for that, despite the fact that his administration was corrupt, and his domestic policies were about as enlightened as Hammurabi. LBJ skates on signing Kennedy’s civil rights bill, even though he is responsible for the (now) second biggest farce in American history. Truman left office with his approval rating in the shitter, but he was there when America won World War II, the defining moment of at least two generations.

History does not judge presidents on a punchlist of their achievements. Even though Clinton dismantled the last relics of the New Deal and forced through NAFTA and other such Gilded Age policies such as the Telecom Act of 1996, he will be remembered for his political prowess and his steadfast dedication to world peace, even though he was impeached.

Let’s face it: some of our most hallowed presidents committed some stupid missteps. Lincoln may have been good with civil rights, but he was a mess with civil liberties, attempting to suspend habeas corpus. Washington didn’t really do a damn thing, but he was the figurehead of the Revolution. Jackson was as genocidal as Hitler, but he was the hero of New Orleans and created a calmed political atmosphere.

And the converse is true. Much good came from some of our lesser presidents. Nixon was good on the environment, for example. (I still can’t think of one for Bush II.)

I get the feeling that Hillary will be an effective president, but effective as to her agenda of pushing whatever pseudo-centrist agenda helps her the most. I don’t expect her to put a man on Mars, cure cancer, or solve the global warming crisis.

President Obama would have at least one speech that’s up there with “Ask not what your country can do for you” and “There is nothing to fear but fear itself” but for all his soaring rhetoric, I have no idea if my grandkids will say President Obama was the first black president and he brought peace to the Middle East, or if he signed the McDermott-Boehner Tax Reform Act of 2009.

Edwards? Well, we might see universal healthcare and some real progress for working people. But if he was hoodwinked on Iraq, what else will he miss?

That said, all of these show more promise than the ludicrous assortment of douchebags on the other side. Is their bench really that shallow?