What the hell is our problem, feminists of America?
As the hair-flipping, tweeny-bopper-imitating Naomi Wolf giddily claimed on the Teevee, we have instantly achieved all we could possibly want simply by electing Barack Obama to be our next President. I mean, hel-LLLLLOOOOO! What else could we possibly desire? Why don’t we just go away, and stop embarrassing well-behaved womens’ magazines so? Perhaps we should consult with our pastors and husbands before opening our big fat mouths again!
Well, Naomi dahlink, we have ISSUES – and not the emotional kind.
Just as no one in the corporate media or the Democratic Party would admit that the objections of millions of Democratic activists to Barack Obama were based on something other than race, patriarchy-enablers like Ms. Wolf refuse to acknowledge that feminist objections to Obama are based on…anything at all.
But we do object; we object most strenuously. In a year when Senator Hillary Clinton became the first woman to win a primary, and went on to win the most primary votes of any candidate, male or female; in a year when Governor Sarah Palin became the first vice-presidential nominee in 24 years (and the first one from the Republican Party), Ms. Magazine chose to highlight a man on the cover of their magazine – and not just any man: a man that had run a blatantly misogynistic campaign in order to defeat these women, and to win the Presidency of the United States. What woman worth her uterus would not be a tad exercised at this revolting development?
Yes, yes, I know. (Weary sigh.) Our Ever-Glorious Leader has some extra melanin in his skin. Somehow, that is supposed to make me feel better and cheer for the awesomeness of this now so-enlightened nation. In a small way, it does. It is certainly a step along the journey of our still-young country, to elect a person of color to the Presidency; and it was certainly a part of the vision of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to have an African-American POTUS.
But did we have to take two steps back to get there?
Did we have to portray Hillary Clinton as a castrating harpy, and Sarah Palin as a bimbo? Did we have to allow a torrent of violent sexual imagery to be unleashed against these women? Did the womens’ organizations who are supposed to defend all women have to sit by silently while Sarah Palin was hung in effigy and young Obaman women proudly wore t-shirts calling the Governor a “c**t”? Did NARAL have to endorse Obama over Clinton in the primaries, despite the Senator from New York’s peerless record on reproductive rights?
Apparently so. Apparently any threat to the patriarchy must be eliminated before Tucker Carlson has time to cross his legs.
Social justice for one group which is achieved by quashing the rights of others, is not social justice. And the person who used misogyny as a campaign strategy is not a feminist. As sister Naomi would say, “Like, DUH!!!”
This concept seems pretty simple to me. But people like Ms. Wolf and the editors of Ms. Magazine (one of whom is the lovely and talented Donna Brazile) do not want to understand. They just want to get back to the business of congratulating themselves on their open-mindedness. After all, they voted for a “guy with a funny name” who had a white mom and a Kenyan father. Oooh, how thrillingly subversive! As for me, having lived in New York for almost 20 years and voted 99% straight “D” during that time, I have voted for countless people of color (some, I’m sure, whom I didn’t even know were African-American as I blithely flipped the levers for the unknown names under the “Democrat” line). Sorry, folks, the thrill is gone.
For many Americans, the inauguration of Barack Obama will be the culmination of a lifetime of wishing and hoping to see an African-American President; a moment that seems cheap even at $150,000,000. I really do understand: I would have felt the same way if either Clinton or Palin had broken that highest, hardest glass ceiling this year. But unfortunately, we who have been paying attention know that we will need a lot more than a feel-good moment in history to repair the damage that Barack Obama and his enablers have done to the cause of feminism.
As we watch the odious misogynist Rick Warren give the inaugural invocation on Tuesday, we will realize yet again that America has taken one step forward and two steps back. And until social justice for one means social justice for all; until womens’ rights are finally recognized as human rights, no amount of wagging fingers and hero worship will satisfy us.
Address our issues, or prepare to hear from us until you do. Them’s the breaks, Ms. Magazine.