One Obama supporter pleads with him to take a stand against sexism and misogyny

I met my oldest friend in 1974 when she was 19 and I was 22 and we were both spiritual seekers and political activists. I'd been to India, she'd lived in ashrams; we both meditated and marched and worked for a better world. We were naïve, not as naïve as some of our peers, however. Hannah had grown up in New Jersey and when she was ten, her father abandoned her family for California in order to become a hippie. I grew up in Texas, along the Louisiana border, and my father suffered the mental and emotional disorders resulting from spending four years in combat in the Pacific theater during WWII and then another two years in some still undisclosed location during the Korean War. In other words, both Hannah and I came from screwed up families and we met at a time and and an age when people bond most closely with their peers.

We both march against the Viet Nam war, worked for the passage of Roe v Wade, petitioned and demonstrated law enforcement to ensure the use of rape kits in order that more rapists would be convicted. In the 1980s we joined affinity groups to protest nuclear power. We worked together for farm workers' rights and legislation for abused children, and together we facilitated groups for women recovering from domestic abuse.

We have traveled together, helped each other bear children, comforted each other during break ups and divorces, and celebrated births of grandsons, bar mitzvahs and the many up and downs of life, both big and small, that a long friendship includes.

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Misogynist Posts Okay? [Updated x2]

At this moment I am angry, sad, and stunned.  A person with a myDD account apparently believes so passionately in his/her candidate, Barack Obama, that she/he has sunk to a new low by posting a HATE DIARY. (Upon objection by a commenter, I deleted the specific reference here; I'm sure someone will point out in the comments section which diary is at issue.)

The subject of this diary is female Hillary supporters. The diarist calls out one of us by name who wrote a myDD diary and attempts to humiliate that member of our community with misogynist and degrading insults.

Now as we all know, a few Hillary supporters got banned from myDD recently; some of us successfully made the case for re-entry.  In my case, I was temporarily ousted for writing a diary about Obama's church changing its website that was based on linked news sources. But it sparked complaints from Obama supporters and it was deleted.  I have accepted that decision by Todd, Jonathan, and Jerome -- whom I respect for the responsibility they take on every day to ensure the integrity of their website.  Since returning to myDD, I have done my very best to be a better blogger and focus on less provocative subjects.

Other bloggers have been warned or banned for posting things at myDD that some interpreted to be racist.

What about misogyny?  Is that okay?

Today's hate diary is over the line.  As a woman I am particularly offended and I'd like to call for an end to all sexist and misogynist posts by Obama bloggers. If racism cannot be tolerated in this venue for Democrats, neither should sexism. The diary is ugly, personal, and viscious.

On a related note, I'd like to call out some Obama supporters (not by name because we all know who they are) who are posting comments on this site.  They have escalated to disturbing levels the practices of 1) inappropriate troll rating of other bloggers with whom they disagree and 2) mean and nasty comments that attack other bloggers personally.

It might be helpful if the myDD administrators posted the user guidelines again, and perhaps kept them up on the site somehow in a more visible and permanent way.

J, J, and T:  Thanks for the excellent work you all do in administering this site.  I know it must be giving you headaches these days to investigate all of the complaints you receive.  But please look into the actions here of some of the Obama supporters who are breaking your rules.

Thank you,
TexasDarlin

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Updated 4/5/08 3:21 PM PST: As seen in the comment threads, two points should be clarified:

1. There is a difference between criticizing a candidate and personally attacking another blogger. The people running for President should be under scrutiny. Fellow bloggers are not running for public office and therefore should be off limits. That being said...

2. There appears to be greater intolerance for ideas and statements about race than there is for those posts which are sexist or misogynist,whether in the context of the candidates themselves, or other bloggers. There should not be different standards.

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Updated 4/5/08 4:25 PM PST: Several commenters have asked why the subject diary was misogynist and offensive. Here's why:

1. The title of the diary, "Cranky Old Culture Wars," would be insulting even as a general statement, but is particularly demoralizing and offensive because it is directly linked to another myDD blogger who is quoted in her diary as being a 62-year-old woman. Imagine how this person feels? Yes, think about her feelings.

2. The diarist really sticks it to her, on a very personal level, and offends all women with this stunner:

The stridency coming from cultural/radical feminists during this primary season has been remarkably similar to Reverend Wright's.

When (X) (to cite just one example) writes on MyDD about her life struggles against the patriarchy, we appreciate her journey and, at the same time, can't help recognizing an emotional perspective that is stuck in time.

Really, if I have to explain to Obama supporters why the emphasized words are offensive to women, not to mention baby-boomer women, then please put me in touch with your mothers, wives, sisters, and daughters. Perhaps they will be able to explain it to you, but in case not, here's a hint:

Most women who support Hillary are not "radical feminists." We are just ordinary women, people who happen to be female. We are not irrational or trapped in emotional time warps. Yes, we are proud that Hillary is a woman, but that does not mean that we are too hysterical or hormonal to base our decision on whom we believe to be best qualified to be President. And to compare our passion as women to the hatred of Rev. Wright is just inexcusable.

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cross-posted at texasdarlin.wordpress.com

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The Democratic Party has Abandoned Women

Disclaimer: This was written in the height of anger, sadness, confusion and disappointment. As such, I have only supplied one link, but at some time in the future, I may take the time to give sources for some of the things I mention. I have edited it a bit, but some of what is written is offensive - and is meant to be so to make a point. Rest assured, they are only examples and not personal sentiments, to evidence the level of hypocrisy and double standards that have been allowed during this election cycle and put some of the things that have been said in a context in which everyone can understand the magnitude of the offensiveness.  For a bit of background, I am an African American female and have been a Democrat for as long as I can remember. Without further ado:
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Point blank: If Hillary Clinton does not win the nomination, I am leaving the Democratic Party.

I'm sure most Democrats have heard of Air America - the Liberal alternative to Rightwing Talk Radio. Their most popular radio talk show host is Randi Rhodes.

Recently, in a video taped appearance that she proudly links to on her website, she got on stage in front of a large, Democrat/Liberal audience a proclaimed to cheers and applause that Geraldine Ferraro and Hillary Clinton were "big f*cking whores."

Don't believe me? Check out this video.

For a fellow Democrat (she's a huge, outspoken Obama supporter) and fellow woman to denigrate and slur the first female Vice Presidential candidate and Former First Lady, and first woman with a shot at the presidency, is the lowest of lows.

The sexism that has been allowed go unchecked while benign statements and good people are labeled racist is ridiculous.

Where is the DNC when Chris Matthews is saying blatantly sexist things? Why did the Clintons have to call MSNBC themselves when David Shuster said Chelsea was being "pimped out"?

Where is DNC and the Dems over the sale of the "Hillary Nutcracker"?

Where is the DNC and the Dems over shirts that proclaim "Bros before Hoes" or "Life's a B*tch don't Vote for One"?

Where were the DNC and the Dems when those radio hosts thought it would be funny to go to a Hillary rally with signs that read "Iron My Shirt"? Apparently too busy claiming she had planted them, because OBVIOUSLY there is no such thing as sexism!

Where were the DNC and Dems when the media pundits were discussing Hillary's "fat ankles" or her display of "cleavage" when she wore a V-neck shirt?

Where were the DNC and other Dems when Hillary's famous emotional moment was played over and over again to much analysis and speculation about whether she would get the "sympathy vote"?

Where was the DNC and other Dems when Michelle Obama said "If you can't run your own house, you can't run the White House"?

Where was the outrage when Obama painted Hillary as emotionally unstable, claiming "Periodically, when she's feeling down, she launches these attacks..." or "When you attack the status quo the claws come out"? He certainly wouldn't use that language to characterize Edwards or McCain.

What about when Obama demoted First Lady to First Housewife? Where was the D*MN outrage?

Everybody couldn't wait to turn on our last Democratic President who presided over the longest period of economic growth in recent memory and who brought millions of people out of poverty into a racist. The founder of BET is a racist now. As well as Bob Kerrey, Ferraro and Hillary. But Reverend Wright is just misunderstood?!?!

I'm done! Women are 60% of the Democratic electorate and this is how our party treats them?!?!

Let's engage in a hypothetical exercise, so that the magnitude of what has been said and done to Senator Clinton can be grasped:

What if Randi Rhodes had gotten on stage and said "Barack Obama is a f*cking house n*gger?"

What if Chris Matthews said on MSNBC, "Obama needs to go back to Africa?"

What if Keith Olberman said, "Obama has the highest absentee rating and failed to hold any meeting of the Foreign Relations Committe subcommittee on Europe because he's a typical lazy black person?"

What if media outlets refused to host debates, claiming, "We don't trust him to be on stage with a white woman?"

What if those radio hosts had showed up at an Obama rally with signs that said "Pick my Cotton"?

THERE WOULD BE OUTRAGE, - or as Obama supporters like to imply "riots in the streets!" as there should be!

I simply ask, where is the outrage over the blatant sexism that is being allowed?

I cannot be a part of a party that wants to protect my skin but not my anatomy. That will push me aside and call me a whore or a b*tch because I have ambition and am willing to fight for what I believe.

I don't want to hear one more thing about "party unity." I hope Hillary tears the party apart - she's within her rights after this kind of crap is allowed to go on. I hope she runs as McCain's running mate. At least Republicans support each other. Do you think a Republican would be calling one of their female candidates a "big f*cking whore"? I don't think so.

It amazes me that Hillary still has the courage and passion to still want to serve the party that has vilified her so. But you can rest assured, if Hillary's name is not atop the ballot in November, I'll be raising money and canvassing for Republicans.

The Democratic party has abandoned its principles, and women - the very people who have worked most often and hardest to see this party succeed.

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CNN Jumps the Shark

Today on "The Situation Room" CNN moved out of the realm of simple bias and into the realm of Rush Limbaugh.  

Commentators were three men and one woman:   Wolf Blitzer, Jack Cafferty, some third guy I don't know, and a woman whose name escapes me.    The topic was the MI revote and the fact that Hillary supports it, has claimed that not doing it would be an affront to the rights of MI voters, and has called on Obama to "do the right thing."

So ... what was the content of the ensuing discussion by CNN commentators?  

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Is Obama Untrue? What is Happening?

As Jerome has pointed out, with an abnormally and increasingly divisive tone, Barack Obama will indeed be making a speech today about race, and our country's collective future within that context.  

Let's set aside our beliefs over which sites are slanted towards whom for a minute, aqs well as any discussion of the roots of our disagreements over who started what and which camp is dishonest, etc.  

I want to tell you what I KNOW about Barack Obama, personally; and what I beleive that suggests about him and what it portends for his Presidency.  I want you to for JUST 1 minute, before or after his speech consider my diary today before you make any assessment of what you have heard (and please if you don't listen to it from beginning to end, please do not attempt to attack or support it).

On Friday, March 7th, through a simple twist of fate, someone close to the Obama campaign became aware of a fundraising page that I posted on his website to honor my twin brother who has very nearly terminal cancer.  Here's a link to the page:

http://my.barackobama.com/page/outreach/ view/main/Fightin4Bro

Anyway, long story short...on the eve of a very important caucas, Barack Obama, having heard of my brother's plight and all the work Steve has done on Obama's behalf in spite of his sickness, CALLED MY BROTHER PERSONALLY.

Conversation snippets I heard with my own ears included Obama telling my brother that it is "people like you, Steve, that make my dream of a better america for all of us, possible.  Not only for the work you have done, but because you are facing difficult times and impossible odds."

He went on to tell steve that he would "fight for him personally, and for everyone who faces difficult odds" all the way to the convention and to the White House.  

He told Steve that like (Steve) He himself has "faced long odds all his life and that he beleived that HIS OWN perseverence mad him stronger." 

Finally he told steve that he respected and admired Steve's strength, and that in the coming days when HE felt brusied and battered, that he would think of Steve.

For the first time in two years, my Brother, a 40 year old man cried out of HAPPINESS, rather than fear or sadness.

What does this say about Obama?

Barack Obama did not have to reach out to ONE very sick man to cheer him up; to give his life meaning. Especially when he had campaign events where he would be reaching hundreds of thousands of voters both in the caucas state and abroad.  Instead, he took the time to offer hope and kindness to ONE man.

Barack Obama proved himself to be compassionate, caring, aware of his own context and story, but mostly, a person willing to put his needs aside for the benefit of another.  That, my friends, is genuine kindness and intrinsic honesty.

Steve is not a big donor

Steve is not a lobbyist

Steve is not a member of the press or blogosphere

Steve is not a man with influence

Yet Obama reached out to him in a time of need.  

THIS is the kind of candidate and President we need in this country.  Obama views the world, and is running this race (to the best of his ability) unfettered by race.  Obama wants to define change NOT by race or gender, but by leadership, judgement, and vision. 

I think you'll see that in his speech today, JUST as I have witnessed it PERSONALLY.

What do you think?

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Diaries

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