Ah, how that word encapsulates the incredible amounts of misogyny and sexism that has been directed at Senator Clinton, sometimes by her opponents, but most often by the media, both corporate and “progressive!”
Soon after Senator Obama inappropriately used the word “Sweetie” to dismissively refuse to answer a female reporter’s question, Senator Hillary Clinton was interviewed by the Washington Post and asked about the roles of sexism and racism in the historic campaigns of both Democrats.
Here is the paragraph that stood out to me:
Oppression of women and discrimination against women is universal. You can go to places in the world where there are no racial distinctions except everyone is joined together in their oppression of women. The treatment of women is the single biggest problem we have politically and socially in the world. If you look at the extremism and the fundamentalism, it is all about controlling women, at it’s base. The idea that we would have a presidential campaign in which so much of what has occurred that has been very sexist would be just shrugged off I think is a very unfortunate commentary about the lack of seriousness that should be applied to any kind of discrimination or prejudice. I have spent my entire life trying to stand up for civil rights and women’s rights and human rights and I abhor wherever it is discrimination is present.
This, folks, is the awareness of a person who is ready to become president of the United States. She sees the bigger picture. She understands that all forms of social injustice are unacceptable, but that whenever the government fails to do its job, women are disproportionately the ones that suffer (yes, gasp! racism affects women too!). Where racism is not a factor, somehow, women manage to be oppressed as well. Look at China; racially homogenous, for the most part, yet determined to treat women as inferiors with very few civil rights.
Senator Clinton also states that the goal of fundamentalism, such as we find in every country and every religion, is predominantly the control of women. I could not agree with that statement more, and I’ve felt that way for a very long time. What is the real reason behind blaming “original sin” on Eve? Why must women remain virgins until marriage, but men have no such responsibility? Why are clitorectomies performed? Why are women sometimes unable to become priests? Why is birth control not acceptable by the Catholic Church? Why do women have to cover all but their eyes in fundamentalist Islam, and why are they restricted from any but the most basic freedoms of life? (Note: A great book on this subject is “The Chalice and the Blade,” by Riane Eisler. Seriously, if you haven’t read it, it’s an amazing work about the struggle between the male and female principles throughout human history.)
The media, with its usual blithe lack of self-awareness, has attempted to discredit Senator Clinton’s words. But it’s too late for that. The mask has fallen off. We’re as mad as hell, and we’re not going to take it any more.
Good luck getting our votes in November, Barack Obama. You – and the Democratic Party – have stood silently by while the most qualified and viable woman candidate ever has been treated with violent, despicable misogyny. You all can iron your own damn shirts.
Sweetie, my ass.