Winning the Equal Representation Argument

You Are In Good Hands with Women In Charge

You Are In Good Hands with Women In Charge

Be forewarned, ladies. If you dare to think you are entitled to equal representation in government, you are doing something called “femi-whining.”

Don Surber says so, and his post made the “best of the blogs” on RealClearPolitics, so he must have a point. Right?

Surber objects to an article by Anne Kornblut of The Washington Post, in which she mentioned – gasp – numbers! (We all know girls can’t do math, right, Larry Summers?) In any case, Ms. Kornblut uses the fact that only 16 (now 17 again) out of 100 Senators are women. His intelligent and informed response to this?

Boo hoo hoo.

Senators are elected. Before you are elected you have to run. It was pretty hard for Minnesota to elect a woman this year because both major candidates were men. But if Norma Coleman and Alice Franken had run… well, we still would not have a winner but I think my point is made.

Clinton was not elected president because she was not a woman? Well, of the 20 leading contenders last year, 18 men were denied the job as well.

But Kornblut lives in a world where women are entitled to 50 Senate seats without bothering to campaign for them (emphasis added).

Nonsense.

Yes, Don Surber, it IS nonsense. And let me tell you why.

Never did Ms. Kornblut, or any feminist, state that women are “entitled to 50 Senate seats without bothering to campaign for them.” We live in a country where Senators are elected, Don; even when they’re appointed due to special circumstances, they still must stand for election within two years. Don dearest, are you actually claiming that feminists want to institute an all-appointment style of government? I must ask, what world are YOU living in? You sound like a paranoid conspiracy theorist to me. 

If you’re wondering how Mr. Surber got this claptrap past his editor, it’s because the editor was invested in pushing the narrative that feminists are hysterical, whiny freaks who want to take over the world and relegate men to second-class citizen status (you know, the status that we women have been enjoying for thousands and thousands of years?). And what’s worse, women don’t even think they should EARN it! Because men ALWAYS earn the elected offices THEY seek, don’t they? I mean, George W. Bush…well, um, Barack Obama…uh…

In my opinion, the reason for this type of pushback is that the patriarchy is starting to feel threatened. They are seeing that the obvious suppression of women who DO dare to run for office (something which, of course, never happened according to Don Surber and his like-minded pals) was a little TOO heavy-handed this year. Women woke up by the millions and realized that if things stay the way they are, misogyny will prevent any woman from being elected President. For example, a liberal Democrat ran for President, and her own Party sabotaged her by changing its rules to favor a man; a conservative Republican ran for Vice President, and was treated like a lightweight bimbo by the media, her own Party and the Democratic Party. These two women had nothing in common except being female, yet their hopes of breaking the highest, hardest glass ceiling were stymied by the efforts of the current ruling class to keep the patriarchy intact.

When a woman knows she can be treated like a power-hungry, castrating bitch or a brainless slut by her own Party with no repercussions at all, it’s difficult for her to consider putting her hat in the ring. This year was meant as an object lesson to women who dare to break the mold and dream of being the leader of the most powerful country in the world.

But rejoice, my feminist sisters and brothers: we are changing the narrative. Politics is all about winning arguments, and we are beginning to make our case.

The patriarchy is especially threatened by our push for equal representation, so they are advancing the meme that we will support any woman regardless of her qualifications. Although our friend Mr. Surber would no doubt disagree, equal representation does not require affirmative action in order to make it happen. There are plenty of experienced women who can be put forward by both parties in 2010, should we make it our policy to demand that they do so (and I believe we should). 

In my opinion, we must make it absolutely clear that we feminists will not endanger our government by supporting women who have no qualifications or experience. This is the needle we must thread. We won this argument with Caroline Kennedy and Governor Paterson; let’s keep making it. Electing more women is a must for this country, due to the well-documented fact that until we get to at least 30% representation, our needs and voices will continue to be ignored in Congress; but we do not have to sabotage our own movement by pushing for inexperienced and unqualified women to sit in those seats. (And yes, I realize that some people here at The New Agenda may disagree with that last statement, and I welcome their rebuttals.)

Some people commented that when I wrote my piece “Women First,” I was advocating that a matriarchy would be better than a patriarchy, and that was not necessarily true. I understand those concerns, but the fact is, both in ancient times and today, the more women there are in a government, the more the government concentrates on social justice. In other words, women and men really are different in their approaches to power. Women advocate partnership, and men advocate dominance. There is no example in which a matriarchy became cruel and suppressive towards men or other women, because it simply doesn’t happen.

So let’s keep at it, sisters and brothers. It won’t be an easy fight, but I am convinced we can, and will, make our dreams of a more just, peaceful and equitable America a reality.

All we have to do is win the argument.

Originally posted at The New Agenda

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One response to “Winning the Equal Representation Argument

  1. “I’m always on your side”!