Tag Archives: feminism

The 65th Carnival of Feminists

It’s up.  Check it out.

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It’s time for another petition

As I’ve said before, I’m not normally a, “Let’s all go sign a petition!” kind of girl, but I’m making (another) exception.  Thanks to the the folks at Michelle Obama Watch for pointing me over to ThinkGirl.net for this one.  The petition is not sponsored by ThinkGirl.net, but is described on their site this way:

We refuse a feminism that assumes that “women” are a homogeneous group. We recognize that women identify along a spectrum of identities, and that gender is not always the mostprominent one. Gender is a significant structure, to be sure, but it is not the only structure shaping women’s lives. Multiple systems of oppression and privilege, including racism, white supremacy, class hierarchy, religious intolerance, xenophobia, anti-immigrant policies, heterosexism, ableism and ageism shape women’s lives, identities, and experiences. We need movements that recognize these multiplicities.

Along these lines, Melissa Spatz and Ann Russo have put together a statement of Refusals and Commitments that they hope white feminists might use in creating conversations and mobilizing around commitments to coalitional antiracist feminist analysis, practice, and pedagogy.

They’re also hoping that folks will sign on to the statement to reflect these commitments.



Please click the link and sign.

This is what I do.  I’m a white feminist.  I blog on race and politics.  I believe that we have to look beyond gender and race and understand that everyone’s experience is multi-layered.  At the same time, we have to look into gender and race, working within those constructs to find the commonalities that will open conversations without which we cannot hope to bring about change. 

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BuzzFlash Editor’s Blog

Today, I’m sending you over to BuzzFlash to read yesterday’s Editor’s Blog.  There’s a very good discussion there on the current climate in the Clinton campaign, the tactics coming out of that campaign, the issues facing feminists in this election, and the decisions we, as Americans, need to make about what kind of politics we want to engage in in 21st century America.  Check it out:

BuzzFlash Editor’s Blog, Sunday, February 24

Thanks to Curtis Walker for pointing this one out to me.

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A Rebuttal to Erica Jong or One Angry Feminist v. Another

So this morning, Erica Jong really pissed me off.  Understand, Ms. Jong was one of my heroines as I was finding my feminist footing.  As I was discovering myself, I was both scared to death and thrilled by the poetry in Half-Lives (and most of Marge Piercy’s work, but that’s for another time).  Jong has been an icon for me; a towering figure in the feminist movement that I, and many others, have worshipped in our own red tents.

As I’ve gotten older, though, she has begun to piss me off.  Today may be the last straw.  Not that she cares.  I mean, really, who am I to Erica Jong?  Precisely noboby is who.  But for what it’s worth, I think she’s gone as loopy as Gloria Steinem. 

Here’s the piece:  Patriarchy:1000, Hillary:0.  In this, she argues that poor Hillary can’t catch a break because of all the mean, inarticulate men bashing her unfairly just because she’s a woman.  She also completely negates everything Sen. Obama has done in his career and falls back on that inane “all talk, no substance” argument that belies nothing but the accuser’s lack of intelligence.  I’m so furious with this ill-logic that I can’t put together a sane rebuttal that won’t be filled with expletives.  Fortunately, my famously smart word-girl Sis O can, and she has granted me permission to print her rebuttal right here.  Thanks, Sis, for the great answer.  Y’all enjoy.

Erica Jong, your generational gap is showing.  In fact it is waving.  How old are you, honey, that you are going to make me believe you do not know what the internet or a book is?  When Obama first ran for President, he was giving library town hall meetings so issue laden that people accused him of being too professorial.  His entire stand on the issues is on his website and his entire BluePrint For Change can be downloaded there, as well.  He has written two informative books for which he won two Grammy awards for Best Spoken Word for the audio versions.  They can both be downloaded off that thing, Erica, called the internet.
As a female, I consider it oppressive of you, Erica, to try to make all of us women only vote for Hillary simply based on her gender.  As a candidate, Hillary would not be known if it were not for her last name of Clinton.  And since her husband, whom she has defended, has been such a sexual cad, she may have had a better chance if she did not have Bill’s last name. 
The main point is of the two candidates, Obama is the best candidate. He has the freshest ideas and does not have the negative polarizing history that Hillary and the Clintons have.  Which means that of all the ideas that Hillary may flaunt, she does not have the capability of getting them passed.  I need a President with the ability to get the job done.
So welcome to the new generation Erica.  The new movement that finally judges a person not on gender or color but on their abilities.  That is the kind of the world I am happy to live in.  Erica, it is time for you to take your head out of the sand and come join it.


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One Feminist’s Perspective on the 2008 Election

By all rights, I should be a Hillary Clinton supporter. I’m white, in my late 30’s, mother of two, educated, pro-choice, and was, up until recently, a member of EMILY’s List. I’m a soccer Mom, happily married, and live just about an hour south of DC. If forced, I declare myself Protestant, though I’m not a Sunday church go-er and consider myself more spiritual than religious. I was raised to believe that there is nothing a woman can’t do and since I heard the word, I have categorized myself as a feminist.
When it became clear (and honestly, when wasn’t it?) that Mrs. Clinton was going to run for President, I knew that I would support her. Come on, a woman as leader of the free world? What woman-like-me wouldn’t go for that? My knee jerk reaction was, “Go, Hillary!” But there was something niggling at the back of my mind.
I hate to go backwards. I detest the idea that people running for President aren’t allowed the mistakes of their pasts. And yet there are certain mistakes that belie candidates’ internal compasses and these mistakes, I believe, are fair game. With Mrs. Clinton, her conduct during her husband’s pecadillos is, for me, one of these watershed moments.

As arguably one of the most visible women in the world, Hillary Clinton had a choice when Bill screwed around. She could stand up for herself and, by extension, women around the world or she could stand by her man and essentially prove that women deserve to be treated with little or no respect. She chose the latter and sent a message to men everywhere that they could screw around and to their women that we have to take it and not only shut up, but vehemently defend them.

Several feminists and feminist organizations have looked past Mrs. Clinton’s stand-by-your man example and into an endorsement of her campaign. I love that they looked past this traditional, “shut up and take it for the the good of the marriage” role, championed her as a feminist, as Gloria Steinem has done on the New York Times Op Ed page, and then refused to cry foul when Mrs. Clinton essentially won New Hampshire because she got weepy when discussing how hard it is to have perfect hair and stay perky on the campaign trail. In fact, when writing in the New York Times on January 8, Ms. Steinem made the case that, “. . . Hillary Clinton could (not) have used Mr. Obama’s public style – or Bill Clinton’s either – without being considered too emotional by Washington pundits.” It is convenient to be able to make such a comment in print and then overlook the national hubbub over the “mist” that won New Hampshire.

My point here, of course, is that championing Mrs. Clinton as a feminist and then overlooking such blatantly un-feminist actions is, at best, hypocritical. I can hear the old guard now, scolding me because I didn’t live through the 60’s and was only a babe in the 70’s when they were fighting for the equal rights I now enjoy. While I appreciate their vision, I think it has left them with blinders. My point is that we shouldn’t support the wrong woman just because she is the only one running.

When I went shopping for a new feminist candidate, I found Barack Obama. Coincidentally, he has also been called a feminist by Gloria Steinem on the OpEd page of the New York Times. He has a stellar record on reproductive rights issues; a plan for addressing math and science education, which is an area of concern for girls; an economic plan with focuses on expanding child care tax credits, providing a living wage, and job training; and a platform of promoting responsible fatherhood.

So, thanks Gloria, et al., for your input, but I’ll be voting for Barack in my state’s primary. He’s one man I can both stand by and endorse.

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