Cultural Topic: Defining Sexism

American Heritage defines sexism two ways:

1)    Discrimination based on gender, especially discrimination against women.

2)    Attitudes, conditions, or behaviors that promote stereotyping of social roles based on gender.

Those who engage in the first form of sexism against women are probably accurately labeled as misogynists. But the second form of sexism is not so cut and dried.

I'd like to see a conversation that's not directly about Hillary -- although her experiences certainly help us put tangible examples on the examination table. This election season brought a host of simmering cultural challenges to a head -- partly because of the candidates' distinct identities, and partly because of their differing perspectives on big-picture cultural issues. Barack symbolizes, in effect, the turning of the page on the culture wars of the past few decades, which makes sense to the majority of young voters, but it feels like a backward move to many older warriors (particularly feminists, in light of what happened to Hillary).

We all know there's much discussion in feminist communities about the schism between those who think we're ready to move past the culture wars, and those who are still committed to the fight. As a man, I could just say this feminist divide is none of my business. But I think male perspectives are vital now more than ever. I know many people will vehemently disagree with my perspective, but I wonder whether it's possible to have discussions about these matters without completely losing empathy for others' experiences.

I was raised in a strongly feminist household as the 2nd wave was coming of age. I have lived most of my adult life with feminist values, actively supporting feminist causes, and affirmatively making pro-woman choices in my personal life, some fairly radical. Still, in recent years, I have increasingly felt shut out and alienated by what I might describe as hard-line feminists who name what I've come to believe are debatable oppressions. It almost goes without saying (in a community such as this one) that there's a whole lot of work to be done in the pursuit of equal opportunity for all, but I think, as Barrack pointed out in a parallel discussion of black liberation theology, some people are still fighting as though no gains have been made in the past 25 years.

Before this campaign, I had already begun to question the efficacy of certain stances from certain feminists, but the past few months have solidified a big pragmatic question that's been gradually forming in my brain for several years: "If the tactics of some of these feminists alienate someone like me -- someone who ought to be a natural ally to feminist causes -- how much more are they likely alienating the Joe Sixpacks of the world as they try to determine whether their sympathies lie more with seemingly anti-sex, anti-male activists or glib shock jocks who throw out terms like "feminazi."

I'm not going to try to discuss everyone's grievances here, addressing every infamous instance of sexism during this campaign. But, I think we should be able to speak frankly about our varying perspectives without fear of violating the rules of political correctness. For instance, it seems to me that we're not going to make any forward progress if we all coalesce around the emerging conventional wisdom that Hillary was treated in terribly sexist ways throughout the campaign. The less strident critics don't accuse Barack of such crimes so much as they accuse the media. But even with this caveat, I think the charges are generally not accurate, and generally not helpful. Yes, one can always find egregious examples, but the iron-my-shirt dickheads had their own agenda, which had little to do with politics. I'm more interested in talking about what I consider borderline cases.

A seminal borderline case was the attention to Hillary's cleavage early on. I went back and read the article by Robin Givhan, a Washington Post fashion writer, and found it largely inoffensive - in the sense that it made a rather sincere attempt to deconstruct just some of the signs and signifiers that carried a certain relevance at the time, and Hillary's psyche in particular (as opposed to a generic female candidate). To conclude that it was part of the fabric of sexism -- because no columnist would write about a male's cleavage -- is facile. Males are subject to other readings. (Certainly no more was said about Hillary's cleavage than was said about Barack's beach photo.)

Men and women are different. This is an easily ridiculed truism, but it's widely considered commonsense in the mainstream. More commonsense reasoning follows: gender differences fuel mainstream sensibilities about sexuality. So, for example, most people sexually objectify other people some of the time. I see carefree acts of objectification among my women friends, my gay friends, my lesbian friends, my liberal friends, my conservative friends, etc. Objectification, in and of itself, is not bad -- so long as that's not the only basis for a relationship or interaction (as it more often was some years ago). A certain level of objectification is a natural component of healthy sexuality. And since sexuality is such a large part of the human experience, if we deem all cultural readings that include objectification as incorrect, we come across (I think justly) as disconnected from reality in the commonsense eyes of the mainstream. Compounding that impression is the abundance of perceived double standards. (Mainstream Americans don't hear the same kind of complaints when Barbara Walters goes ga-ga over Barack's body that they hear when men talk about women's bodies.)

So it's from this perspective that I challenge many of today's accusations of sexism. I think it's a losing (and unconstructive) battle to call out as sexist any voice that is comfortable talking about our experiences in gender terms. That said, it may be mean-spirited for a commentator to say Hillary reminds him of his ex-wife, but I don't think it fits the first definition of sexism. There's no discrimination at work. And I would argue the ex-wife statement doesn't even meet the second definition criteria. The problem with condemning such a statement as unacceptable is that it wants to disallow the construction of precisely the metaphors that are most helpful for a particular speaker to communicate his or her experience of someone. To say that Hillary reminds some men of their ex-wives is a "helpful" form of informal cultural analysis, just as saying John McCain reminds some people of their cranky uncle (or whatever) -- helpful in the abstract sense, in that it paints a vivid picture for some. It could be argued that such informal, disrespectful helpfulness is not appropriate for a commentator, but to denounce such comments as sexist strikes me as shrill.

In the same vein, calling a woman a bitch is not much different than calling a man a prick - even though both slurs gesture toward gender. The point of calling a woman a bitch is not to devalue her based on gender, it is to devalue her based on personality.

A more compelling argument points to those who might think certain attributes (like aggressiveness) are acceptable in men, but, in women, are deemed intolerable. I don't deny there are sometimes double standards, but such double standards are sometimes far too complex to simply pronounce them as intolerable sexism.

All of us use social tools to accomplish our goals, tapping into myriad cultural cues (gender being but one). Hillary's "Muskee moment" -- authentic or not -- was quite helpful to her; whereas such a moment probably would have doomed Barack's candidacy. To the extent that all candidates have to appeal to voters on many levels -- including "sexual" (broadly defined) -- all candidates learn to use what works for their particular backgrounds, temperaments, physicalities, etc. Hillary was not shy about appearing coquettish when it served her, and Barack was not shy about appearing in a swaggering manner. Such role playing is not in and of itself bad. It is an expression of an individual who has learned to connect with others on levels other than intellectual -- on emotional and visceral and, indeed, sensual levels. If an individual can't do this, he or she will probably not make a very effective leader.

Nothing in the campaign proved that our culture won't allow a woman to make such a connection. Again, in politics, we will always see plenty of nasty, personalized attacks. To many, "Barky" Obama stutters like an idiot with his nose snootily in the air. No matter how great a person he is, if the majority of Americans see only this, he cannot lead us effectively. This, of course, has nothing to do with his gender.

Bottom line.  A lot of hard-core feminists seemed to have concluded that Barack was simply not qualified to be president, so, therefore, the only logical explanation for him defeating Hillary was misogyny. This line of reasoning is widespread at places like No Quarter, but it's clearly flawed because it doesn't allow for the very real sense among Barack's supporters that he is exceptionally qualified in unique ways.

Again, I'm refraining from countering all the examples of supposed sexism that we've all heard repeatedly during this campaign season -- not because I think they can't be effectively debated, but because I wanted to see if we could have a larger conversation about some of the underlying assumptions that fuel these accusations.

Note: After some weeks of "boycotting" this site (and removing my previous diaries) I am returning after seeing that most of the personalities who I felt had no interest in open-minded conversations seem to have found happy homes in other places like No Quarter and Hillary is 44.

Tags: barack, Culture War, Hillary, misogyny, sexism (all tags)

Comments

134 Comments

after reading you thorough diary....

im pretty disappointed.  if you were raised in a 'feminist family' and you dont get it - you never will.

by canadian gal 2008-06-14 08:46PM | 0 recs
Re: after reading you thorough diary....

Was raised in a family where both parents worked first in separate professions and then for the last 20 or so years of their working lives side by side in their own business. Sucessful business I might add. Part of this was before feminists marched in the 70's.

My mother would have hated it if she had to stay home and be a housewife. She didn't have a domestic bone in her body and loved her jobs. Because of her many young women went on to college or to own businesses of their own. My mother was always the teacher. Even when she was in charge of hiring and managing her employees. She always believed in giving her employees the power to go beyond our little town. To make their own choices in life. I admire her for that.

I took a different route and while I have a degree and worked before and after I was married and after the birth of my son. It became clear that staying home was a better option than working. Not that I'm any more domestically inclined than my mom. It was just the best thing for us to do.

MY gender didn't have anything to do with it. Economics and the best interest of my son did.

I think, no I know, that my mother's choices and then mine has had an affect on my son. He definalty sees women as people first. His decisions will be what is best for him, the person, not him the man. Same for his future parner in life.

I'm proud of him. He is a good person.

That is what I always thought feminism was about. To chose your life and not have it chosen for you because a person is female or male.

I'm telling you this because, well, I got to watch this process from before the modern day feminists til now and frankly I do think that there has been issues of sexism in politics this year. Especially in the presidential primaries.

As a female, I am discouraged.

Not trying to spin here. Just worried that if my son had a politically inclined daughter or wife that their choices would be limited.

Just a thought.

Will take a while to come back and respond again to this post. But definately be back as this is an issue I am very  much interested in.

Thanks.
 

by 12 dogs and a blog 2008-06-15 01:45AM | 0 recs
Re: after reading you thorough diary....

By the way. I thought it was interesting that some women commented that Sen.Clinton campaigned like a man and not a woman. That they didn't like this. These woman thought that Sen. should have campaigned like a woman? Folks I thought she was supposed to campaign like a person.

She was supposed to campaign like a woman and not a man? What heck does that mean exactly? I thought she was supposed to just campaign on the issues.

Campaign like your gender? Wha' heck. Sounds kind of sexist to me. What do you think?

by 12 dogs and a blog 2008-06-15 01:49AM | 0 recs
Re: after reading you thorough diary....

Susan Faludi (who's hit-or-miss, as far as I'm concerned) has followed up a piece she wrote a few weeks back regarding how Hillary Clinton was shattering stereotypes of how women are supposed to act with one in today's Times about how Obama is doing the same thing.

One of the reasons I like him is that you won't see him riding a tank, or dressed up in a duckblind, or wearing a flightsuit.  And for all that he gets called a prissy or a wuss, an elitist (read: gay), or how he's got no balls.

The McCain campaign keeps hitting him with the word "hysterical", which is absurd considering how unbelievably calm he is.

by Jess81 2008-06-15 04:12AM | 0 recs
Re: after reading you thorough diary....

Rightey O!

Thanks Jess. I appreciate that very much.

That is today's times(Sunday) Times? (New York Times)

Will read this article and post back here.

Thank you again.

12 dogs.

Oh and ps.
"...One of the reasons I like him(Sen.Obama) is that you won't see him riding a tank, or dressed up in a duckblind, or wearing a flightsuit..."

That kind of stuff (the riding in tanks, duck hunting, riding in on a fighter jet) NEVER got my vote. You wonder why folks keep running those durn ads. They must be successful somewhere. I just never have figured where that somewhere is. From what I'm hearing the economy is going to be problematic for the next president. We need to be talking about that now. Bread and milk cost a fortune and so does fuel. Now Iowa is flooded. In addition to how terrible this is for the residents of Iowa, this means corn crops damaged. Another reason to jack up corn prices which further increases the cost of food stuffs and fuel(ethanol).

I got a real bad feeling about all this.

Finally

"Re: after reading you thorough diary.... "

If that is in reference to the learning post.

Yes, I am here at myDD to learn about the political process as a whole.

In my state we have had one woman governor. Her name was Lurleen Wallace and she was Gov. George Wallace's wife. While alot of folks thought she was just a place holder because her husband couldn't run for a third consecutive term, I did like that she fostered a state wide Junior College system. This system allowed women to earn college degrees while living at home. I know teachers and medical professionals who would have never made it to college without this help. They wouldn't have been able to raise families or afford tuition.
As to women in politics.
I thought that we might have a second female governor this last election cycle but alas no. Her name is Lucy Baxley. I've met this woman before. See ran sucessfully first for State treasurer and then for Lt. Governor. It was a tough race. The current governor is popular and our state is beating the national trends and actually improving. Both Dems and Reps liked him.
To bad. I liked her. One of the first things she did, as Lt Gvernor, was tell the Senate that if they couldn't be bothered to show up on time and get to work she couldn't be bothered to have it meet that day. LOL funny, The governorship is our political "glass ceiliing". Not long after the election she had a stroke and I while I don't count her out of politics I'm not sure if she'd be able to mount another campaign.

This primary has been an eye opener for me. I have never felt so ignorant of this part of the process. I'm learning. At least I hope I am. I stopped blogging because I felt there was a lot for me to learn and not so much for me to teach. When that happens it's best for me to hush.

Again a real eye opener this experience.

Thank you so very much for telling me about this article.

12 dogs

by 12 dogs and a blog 2008-06-15 05:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Cultural Topic: Defining Sexism

In the same vein, calling a woman a bitch is not much different than calling a man a prick - even though both slurs gesture toward gender. The point of calling a woman a bitch is not to devalue her based on gender, it is to devalue her based on personality.

hmmm..... how many times did the MSM call a male candidate a prick?

I can tell you that there were several instances on MSM when Hillary was called a bitch.

I agree with CG - your diary is disappointing.  And you still don't get it.

by colebiancardi 2008-06-14 08:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Cultural Topic: Defining Sexism

Well... it probably won't surprise you that I find both of your conclusions that I "just don't get it" pretty unconstructive and dismissive. Proclaiming, broadly, that someone "doesn't get it" closes conversation. I may well have blind spots, but I also have a legitimate perspective.

But, no, I don't want to get into debating individual instances of "sexism" in this space, as I 've seen where that road leads. I was interested in seeing if anyone wanted to dialogue larger cultural assumptions. And even if you think my perspective is warped, I would think you'd at least be interested, in a pragmatic sense, in the unintended consequences of certain feminist tendencies to name certain oppressions with such absolute righteousness.

by Petey 2008-06-14 08:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Cultural Topic: Defining Sexism

you didn't reply to the prick question.

and you can't.  Because the MSM didn't.

your diary helps promote sexism by denying it.

by colebiancardi 2008-06-14 08:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Cultural Topic: Defining Sexism

Because I didn't bring up prick for the reason you're trying to use it. I brought it up to make a semantic point. People have called Hillary a bitch because they found her unlikable and manipulative, not because she's a woman. (Have you ever heard anyone call Kathleen Sibelius a bitch? I haven't.) People have called Barack "Obambi" because they think he's ineffectual. If we over-zealously police each others' langauge, we degrade communication.

That said, I don't like TV commentators using such language. But not because I think it's sexist.

by Petey 2008-06-14 09:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Cultural Topic: Defining Sexism

Have you ever heard anyone call Kathleen Sibelius a bitch?by Petey on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 01:21:46 AM EST

LOL I'm glad that you brought this up.

Sen. Clinton had the support of almost 1/2 the Democrats who voted in this primary. There are alot of folks so suggest that fact and not her sex makes her the best person for the VP slot in this GE. There are other folks who disagree and who've suggested that Gov Sibelius would be better at the VP spot that Sen. Clinton. Even though she is unknown, yes she is, I know of her because of her previous job not because of her national rep. She didn't bring all the votes like Sen. Clinton in this presidential primary. And yet Gov. Sebelius is supposed to be a better choice than the PERSON who won primaries and brought in a large voter turnout. A nationally know person who got actual presidential type votes.  As if one woman could replace the other, because she was female. Sorry women aren't interchangable gears. You don't just pop one out and replace with the other.

I know you want us to speak in generalities here. And I can happily do that. Thing is this primary has made me a bit cynical at the motives of some of the discussions. That they are laying the ground work  for trying to insinuate Gov. Sebelius in to replace Sen. Clinton. So I mention it here just in caee.

AS for calling a woman a bitch because she is strong. Or unfit because she is a female and hormonal. I don't see the same conversation as a man. No one, to my knowledge, has said of the male candidates, "I don't think I should vote fore you. You might have a testosterone surge and try to start a war." Have you? So okay maybe Dic Chaney. And know I've never heard a male candidate be called a prick either. Heck in this primary the person saying it would have been tarred and feathered for doing so. Also I've been around some Alfa dog females. Sen. Clinton doesn't come close.

Of course now that ya mention it, I have heard in this primary that one of the male candidates was a whimp. That's actually  saying they weren't man enough.
Please don't shoot the messenger here. I'm just telling you what I heard.

Will take a while to reply but will definately be back to this conversation. Interesting topic. Thanks.

by 12 dogs and a blog 2008-06-15 02:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Cultural Topic: Defining Sexism

Actually the first George Bush had some hormonal issues going on, and it was widely rumored that overly zealous testosterone (clinically speaking) accounted for the first invasion of Iraq.

by Petey 2008-06-15 06:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Cultural Topic: Defining Sexism

Dagnabit Petey. You went and made me laugh.

Har ha ha hahahah aha haha hahah aha ahahah  hah

oh wait.

were-

were-- you -- uh -- serious ?

snort.

must-- not-- laugh.

snerk :D

Alway love a laugh.

by 12 dogs and a blog 2008-06-15 01:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Cultural Topic: Defining Sexism

Thanks, Petey

best regards.
12 dogs

by 12 dogs and a blog 2008-06-15 01:59PM | 0 recs
Bitch

There are any number of ways for calling a person "unlikable and manipulative" that are gender-neutral.  ("Liar" comes to mind as a neat four letter alternative.)

So why drag gender into it?  Is it because female liars re unusually gifted or particularly successful at lying?  Does using a gender-specific label somehow lessen confusion?  

Save me the overly dense intellectualizing and the "I was raised the right way" disclaimer, Petey.  Bitch is a red flag word you need to remove from your vocabulary if you haven't already.

And the bedrock of any bigotted thinking is stereotyping.  The shrill ex-wife is a stereotype no different than the lazy Mexican, the Muslim terrorist or the cheap Jew.

IF you can't see that?  Read a few more books.

by grassrootsorganizer 2008-06-15 03:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Bitch

Look, I don't mind people disagreeing with me -- this is a complex, debatable cultural issue. But all these comments that paint me as irrational ("do you even read what you write??"), I think, miss the point. My perspective is thought-out, logical, and well-intentioned. There is such a thing as competing logics, and that is the basis for debate. If the other side is written off as simply idiotic or evil, then there can be no debate.

It's not helpful (for all involved) to dismiss my point of view with self-righteous, even bullying directives (like telling me I must remove a certain word from my vocabulary). You state an opinion -- that an ex-wife stereotype is akin to other offensive stereotypes. It's fine that we disagree -- I've explained in some detail why I feel the way I do -- but then you proceed to twist the knife by telling me to read more books. That's when the debate turns from constructive argumentation to purely dismissive.

Again, many of you critics leave me believing you're more interested in battling than in making any progress. Believe me, even if I am in the minority in this particular conversation, my perspective reflects the dilemma of a great many liberal-minded Americans. That, in and of itself, is no proof that this perspective is correct, but I think common sense tells us dialogue would be more helpful than endless vilification.

by Petey 2008-06-15 09:40AM | 0 recs
Re:That word that begins with "B"

"...I think common sense tells us dialogue would be more helpful than endless vilification." by Petey on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 01:40:16 PM EST

Well ya' know Petey. I agree with this statement. Having been virtually yelled at for asking a question. Being guilty of being, whisper this is so bad, being OLD. Been told I don't have a clue about what sexism is, by the 3rd generation Democrat who didn't have a clue who Carol M Braun is. Being told that folks where I'm from are racists. Matter of fact that just being from a Southern Red State meant I was beyond hope. Oh I won't even tell you what folks ASSume about Red Necks.
WEll

I'd welcome ordinary garden variety debate.

Come visit my blog Petey. We may or may not get along when it comes to issues but heck I always welcome someone who knows how to laugh and talk the figurative pants off someone .

(ah yall relax I said figurative not literal.LOL)

by 12 dogs and a blog 2008-06-15 02:13PM | 0 recs
Re:That word that begins with "B"

TTFN mydders

Back later. Have afternoon off. Going to take a hot shower and then read my novel.

Do not disturb sign on the door.

Sigh. Ya'll be good and try not to "beat up" on each other.

12 dogs.

by 12 dogs and a blog 2008-06-15 02:15PM | 0 recs
you want a constructive chat about sexism?
yet you see no problem with a member of the media stating that a POLITICAL CANDIDATE reminds them of their ex-wife?
pshaw.
by canadian gal 2008-06-14 09:05PM | 0 recs
Re: you want a constructive chat about sexism?

That's right. You're catching on.

by Petey 2008-06-14 09:22PM | 0 recs
Re: you want a constructive chat about sexism?

So if a pundit had gone on TV and claimed Obama reminded him of the guy who washes his car, you wouldn't find anything wrong with that?

by JustJennifer 2008-06-14 09:42PM | 0 recs
Re: you want a constructive chat about sexism?

That's a bad analogy. "The guy who washes my car" is not at all universally evocative. The point is the ex-wife comment actually communicated something meaningful to many people.

Now, I do think it was rather tasteless, and I do think it probably shut women out of the conversation for that moment. But part of my point is that we can't make that illegal. Men get shut out too. And that's a good thing. I mean, I'm glad that women feel comfortable enough around me sometimes to drool over George Clooney, but, as a straight male, I'm not really much of a participant at that point.

An ex-wife comment is probably going to be derogatory. But it's not anti-woman. It points to a range of complex discomfort with ex-wives. Calling Barack something like "the messiah" points toward discomfort with someone willing to, say,  put themselves on a pedestal. I don't agree with this characterization of Barack, but it's certainly evocative.  

by Petey 2008-06-14 10:19PM | 0 recs
Oh god

you have got to be kidding now, right?  Now its just life, so live with it?  Are you reading what you are writing?

by linc 2008-06-14 10:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Oh god

Even though I get the sense your purpose is to bait me, I'll try to respond. If I understand your point correctly. "Live with it"? I guess you could put it that way. There are things that tend to be more man-oriented, things that tend to be more woman-oriented, things that tend to be more musician-oriented, economist-oriented, fans-of-sex-and-the-city-oriented... whatever. Not everyone will always be included in every part of every conversation. Perfectly natural. Not a crime. Not misogyny. Not sexism.

by Petey 2008-06-14 10:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Oh god

"Even though I get the sense your purpose is to bait me, I'll try to respond. If I understand your point correctly. "Live with it"? I guess you could put it that way. There are things that tend to be more man-oriented, things that tend to be more woman-oriented, things that tend to be more musician-oriented, economist-oriented, fans-of-sex-and-the-city-oriented... whatever. Not everyone will always be included in every part of every conversation. Perfectly natural. Not a crime. Not misogyny. Not sexism. "by Petey on Sun Jun 15, 2008 at 02:57:23 AM EST

Oh Petey.

You do realize that is exactly the kind of thing that my mother's generation heard for folks telling them about "women's work" and "men's work". LOL I remember the Tshirt slogan, " A woman's place is in the House and the Senate." It's the reason why I cringed when Rep. Pelosi said she was going to clean up the house when she was made Speaker of the House. Yikes. We are talking about choices. That if a PERSON wants to be say PRESIDENT that the fact that they are a woman or a man shouldn't enter int to it.
"there's not supposed to be "woman's" and "man's" jobs  Petey. Nope. Unless you're counting being preganant as a job. :O

The question is not is it man's work or woman's work it is, "Is the PERSON qualified to do the job. Oh and when they do get the job they get, "equal pay for equal work"

I'm kind of surprised that this comment hasn't gotten more of a reaction Petey.

LOL.

Talk about baiting the field. Mercy.

by 12 dogs and a blog 2008-06-15 02:27AM | 0 recs
Re: you want a constructive chat about sexism?

"George Bush reminds every woman of her first husband" was practically a slogan during the '88 election (and was surprised to find it's been turned into an anti-George W. Bush button).

http://www.pins-buttons.com/products.asp ?pg=7

by IncognitoErgoSum 2008-06-14 09:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Cultural Topic: Defining Sexism

Had a heart breaking moment today.

My liberal sister explaining to her daughters who asked why people talk about Obama and Hillary instead of Obama and Clinton.

She said its so that they know its Hillary and not Bill.  OK so far so good.

Then she says some people used to call them Billery...

This is my women's lib liberal lifelong democrat repeating GOP hit lines on the Clintons....

I am not a big womens lib guy but it struck me that women should be more self aware that that.

I will end with a better story.

Like I said I am not a big womens lib guy and have not always been a fan of Hillary and was talking about how the GOP hates her once to my GOP leaning aunt.

And she stopped me cold.  I support Hillary she is just like me we women need to stick together.  I get the same complaints from the people I work with when I do things.  People call me a battle axe behind my back etc.

by dtaylor2 2008-06-14 08:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Cultural Topic: Defining Sexism

I guess I don't understand how "Billery" is gender related. I do make a point of saying "barack" if I've said "Hillary" -- but I certainly think the genesis of "Hillary" was to differentiate her from the other famous Clinton.

(I do find it interesting that I've never seen any feminist call out Bill for using language like "That's my girl." I can only imagine the vitriol if Barack said such a thing -- like "sweetie," something I was called just the other day by a very nice female hotel worker...)

Again, I think we need to differentiate between something that simply cuts someone down (like Billary) -- whether or not it's effective or offensive -- and something that's misogynist.

by Petey 2008-06-14 09:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Cultural Topic: Defining Sexism

Perhaps you are too young to understand where Billary came from.

Bill had Hillary work on the health care and generally sold his presidency as two for the price of one.

And the GOP went ape shit

Billary is meant to indicate that Hillary was co-president and that somehow she wore the shoes or pants or some other garment the GOP held dear.

Billary has roots far more sexist than say Bill-O or tweety

by dtaylor2 2008-06-14 09:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Cultural Topic: Defining Sexism

I'm not so young. And I still see nothing whatsoever sexist about "Billary." Your deconstruction of the term seems strained.

by Petey 2008-06-14 09:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Cultural Topic: Defining Sexism

Well actually I would think that calling them anything other than Sen. Obama and Sen. Clinton might be objectionable to you. If you are trying to convey a sense of respect for the candidates and their current possitions in life.

I certainly don't call her Mrs. Clinton.

Or Sen. Obama, Mr. Obama.

Matter of respect regardless of who you support.

by 12 dogs and a blog 2008-06-15 02:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Cultural Topic: Defining Sexism

This is another topic where I think it's hard to get a good bead, because part if the intent in branding Clinton as "Hillary" wasn't simply to differentiate her from Bill Clinton.  It was to create some sense of "first name basis" (and there's ample precedent for this, "I like Ike", or,  more recently, "Dubya").

by IncognitoErgoSum 2008-06-14 09:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Cultural Topic: Defining Sexism

Or Rudy. Some candidates just seem to lend themselves to a first-name basis. I don't think Hillary would have fit into this category naturally, though -- at least early on when her persona was pretty regal. So I tend to think it was all about the other Clinton. I mean, think about it: you really couldn't call her just "Clinton" early on. It would have been too confusing.

by Petey 2008-06-14 09:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Cultural Topic: Defining Sexism

Granted, but the feminist critique of first-name use for women is that it's inherently about the diminishment of status (eg. a secretary might be called Sandra while her boss is Mr. Jones).

And here's the thing: as a general rule that's basically correct (and this is something you can apply to situations in your own life, watch who gets called by which name).

But this presidential election doesn't fit that model neatly.  When people examine the reporting from this election, what they'll discover, I suspect, it that journalists were actually quite scrupulous in referring to Hillary Clinton as, well, Senator Clinton (in part because this issue was flagged some time ago).

And in other contexts of the campaign, the "no first names" rule (which was really a product of second wave feminism) just doesn't work so well.  Political campaigns use first names to create a sense of familiarity.

And, it's just as important to acknowledge, thsoe who are opposed to a candidate will create variations to show disrespect (and some of that is legitimate).

Tricky Dick.  Slick Willy.  For the current occupant the most popular derisive name might be "Chimpy".  McBush.  Billary is one of these.

And the 2nd wave theory of names doesn't make allowances for this (and, well, I'm still not sure what to think, because this is such a part of American presidential politics it's difficult for me to imagine how anyone could make it into these ranks and not get one of these names).

by IncognitoErgoSum 2008-06-14 10:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Cultural Topic: Defining Sexism

You bring up some good points -- including, I think, the tendency for some feminists to continue insisting on the same "rules" that have been around for several decades. You don't state this explicitly, but this ties into my argument that some people have trouble recognizing changing times. Some semantic gestures had important functions at one time in the process of enlightenment. But some of us get a little stuck, I think, because they were so wedded to those rules at the time of their inception. An obtuse parallel could be "african-american." There was a time not long ago when saying "black" instead had an almost racist tone. Now "black" is generally quite acceptable.

by Petey 2008-06-14 10:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Cultural Topic: Defining Sexism

There is actually protocal.

It's not writ in stone but is pretty durn closse.

Sen. Obama, Sen.Clinton, Sen. McCain

These are the proper forms of address.

Are their slang terms sure.

But Sen. Clinton or Sen. Obama

That's a matter of protocol.

Anything else?

Would be like addressing the Pope as, "Your Holydude." That might sound funny but in protocal. No.

by 12 dogs and a blog 2008-06-15 02:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Cultural Topic: Defining Sexism

Real life example that I always think of and that has me writing Senator or Sen. Obama and Senator or Sen. Clinton.

A school teacher.

I used to cut the grass for a school teacher. Did it briefly to earn money during the summer. I loved this woman but my she did practice what she taught. This was a business transaction she told me. Proper ettique was that she was called Mrs. and I was also addressed as Mrs. She insisted that we were equals regardless of what our jobs were and as such we should treat each other with respect. One way to do such was to call each other by our proper respectful titles.
No kidding.

It's a matter of respect and equal treatment she told me.

I still remember that lesson. I'm grateful to have known her.

I feel pretty comfortable when I say that she'd have had a fit if she'd heard either side called by their slang names. So I don't. It was, no it still is, a good lesson.

by 12 dogs and a blog 2008-06-15 02:48AM | 0 recs
I think Petey put it well but I will add...

Some people refer to McCain as "McBush." There's obviously no sexism taking place in that case. It's rather giving them a reference of close association.

As is the case with Bill and Hillary Clinton. They were a tag-team duo throughout the campaign much to the dismay of certain people. Thus; "Billary."

by USArmyParatrooper 2008-06-14 09:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Cultural Topic: Defining Sexism

And the first 2 comments make the diarist's point.  Congrats.

by lockewasright 2008-06-14 08:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Cultural Topic: Defining Sexism

really?  

so can you name one instance on MSM when Obama or Edwards or any of the male candidates were called a prick as part of their political analysis of said candidate?

by colebiancardi 2008-06-14 08:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Cultural Topic: Defining Sexism

That'd be a great question if that's what I had ever claimed the media called him a prick.

by lockewasright 2008-06-14 09:18PM | 0 recs
Can you please

link to msm pundits calling Hillary a bitch?

There must be tons the way you are going on. I bet you will have a hard time finding two.

by Is This Snark 2008-06-14 09:21PM | 0 recs
right.

because in order to have a meaningful conversation about sexism, it has to include BO.  please.

by canadian gal 2008-06-14 09:00PM | 0 recs
Re: right.

This would also be a great comment if it had anything to do with mine.

by lockewasright 2008-06-14 09:19PM | 0 recs
what point?

by linc 2008-06-14 09:08PM | 0 recs
Re: what point?

Kudos linc.  You asked what I mean.  I was referring to the "You don't get it" that was common to both comments.  

Like the diarist, I have felt shut out by some of the "feminists".  I put the word feminists in quotations because I don't believe that the people who do that are helping in any way.  

There are so many facets of this that have stuck in my craw that I don't trust myself to cover all of it in a comment, but I'll try to get to some of it because I think that it is an important discussion.  I will also try to control my tendency to lash out when I finally pull the cork on stuff that I have kept bottled up.

First, and sort of aside from the actual discussion of sexism, is a comment about strategy regarding bigotry in a political campaign.    To put it simply, during a campaign is not the right time to discuss discrimination any more than absolutely necessary.  Campaigns are about why should you vote for me.  Any time spent on any other topic is time spent losing.  Even if I am exactly right in pointing out that either the media or the other candidate's supporters are raging assholes, I am off topic if I do so and even if the audience agrees with me I still have not given them an affirmative reason to vote for me.  The sexists hope and pray that I will get off topic to point out what asses they are.

Now, on to the point of my earlier comment.  I am a male who believes in equal pay.  I think that dead beat dads are the scum of the earth.  I correct the "good old boys" when they make generalizations based of gender or belittle women in my presence.  I decry the characterization of professional women as castrating bitches.  I am uncompromisingly pro-choice.  I believe heartily in the value of diverse leadership that should include women and in the failure that is invited by depriving ourselves of the contributions we could enjoy if we don't have diverse leadership.  I could go on.  I have had my manhood questioned on several occasions by other men because of my views.  Still, I do not back down.

The insinuation that being female makes the views of some of the commenters on what is sexist and what isn't more valid than the diarist's views is utter bullshit. (Yes, that is the insinuation when they tell him he doesn't get it.)  There are plenty of women who would disagree with these ladies about what is sexist and what isn't.  Who is the greater authority?  It is sexist to assign more or less validity to opinions based on the gender of the person expressing the opinion,  Yes, even when women do it.

The diarist and myself are allies in pro-women politics.  Pushing us out with such comments is not only unjust, it is bad strategy.  Many hands make light work you know.  Some of Hillary's supporters became very fond of reminding Barack's supporters that he'd need their votes.  The same applies here.  I am of a mind to vote for politicians who are for equal pay, health care availability for women, choice, you name it.  Why insult me and then push me away?  If it is because once or twice we disagreed on whether an incident was sexist, well... that's absurd and intellectually lacking.

Lastly (for now anyway),  I also find some attitudes counterproductive.  If I go walking down to the basketball court in my neighborhood and find that some of my neighbors beat me to it, my best chance of getting into the game does not lie in saying: "You guys are all smelly and ugly.  Can I get in the game?"  The men are already on the basketball court.  They have been since well before 1776.  That doesn't reflect the merit of men versus women, but it sure does effect whether it makes sense to push out male allies.

by lockewasright 2008-06-14 10:01PM | 0 recs
pro-women politics? lol.

there are so many things wrong...  with your comment.  but i wont bother arguing with you save for telling you that cole and kevin are MALE and think the diarist doesnt get it.

by canadian gal 2008-06-14 10:09PM | 0 recs
Re: pro-women politics? lol.

What's wrong then?  Is it so hard to assume that maybe I don't believe in any person in american being treated any better or worse than anyone else?  Maybe I am not as immersed in the vocabulary as you, but the attitude you are displaying right now does not help our cause.  Yes, our cause.  Guess what, 2 things are true:

1.  Between your most recent comment and mine before it only one of them was intended to be inclusive.

2. Yours was not the inclusive one.

by lockewasright 2008-06-14 10:16PM | 0 recs
you need me to include you?

okay - simple.  if you want to have a honest conversation about sexism ill give you some tips....

1. stop telling people what is or isnt sexist, you're entitled to your opinion - but that doesnt mean someone else is wrong

2. stop bringing in comparisons of racism

3. stop saying that there are ulterior motives of people who claim that there was sexism in this primary

4.  stop mentioning BO in conversations about sexism

5. stop talking about sexism in the context of the democratic primary - HE WON.  

by canadian gal 2008-06-14 10:27PM | 0 recs
Re: you need me to include you?

No, you need you to include me.

When did I do item 1?

Re: Item 2,  I believe bigotry is bigotry.

When did I do item 3?

Re: Item 4, no

re: item 5.  Yes, we wouldn't want to learn from history or anything.

by lockewasright 2008-06-14 10:33PM | 0 recs
Re: you need me to include you?

This is kind of funny.

The words "sexism" and "feminism".

Sexism doesn't descriminate.LOL Sorry it sounds like one of those poster type slogans.

It's not meant that way.

It just means that sexixm is descrimination of a person because of their gender. But it doesn't declare which gender that is.

For instance, My mother, teacher, always was encouraging of men becoming teacheres as she was women. She said teaching was teaching. Females shouldn't have the market cornered on that profession any more than men should ahve it on other professions. Again, equally qualified for the job? Equally considered. Equally paid.

There are men who have been discriminated against because they wanted to participate in female dominated professions or endeavors like being primary care giver to their kids. parents, or spouse. Should be simple right. Try it. Or male nurses. Or hairstylist. Again try it.

Sexism is about the unequal treatment of both sexes. It's not a "man's" or "woman's' job. It's a "who the heck is qualified for it" job.

Men can be discriminated against too based on their gender. Thank you for bringing it up.

However. However on the seesaw of gender equality. lets not kid ourselves There is a reason that their are feminists who promote the issues of women. The chances of a female being discriminated against are still very much higher than males. i had a lovely converation with a woman who was driving a hugh truck on a road crew. She talked about how difficult it was, as a woman, to get this job. She loved this job by the way. Yet even though she could drive that truck as well as any of her male counterparts she wasn't treated equally. She worked twice as hard folks. That's not subjective.

And while we are on the subject, I wonder.

If both partners work? Who's more likely to bear the responsibility of chld rearing and household cleaning? I know you can find examples of men who do both but just antedotal evidence here? More likely it's gonna be women who bear these responsibillities. Raise hands of households where house work is just done by all? You're not included if you have a maid do it, but I'm just curious of those with maids, how many were men and not women? Why? From what I've seen all women have done is add a second job(their profession)  and switched their day job(being housewife) to a night job(again housewife) then added on the second job(their career or profession).

by 12 dogs and a blog 2008-06-15 03:17AM | 0 recs
Re: you need me to include you?

In the above

this statement:

"...Sexism is about the unequal treatment of both sexes. It's not a "man's" or "woman's' job. It's a "who the heck is qualified for it" job..."

is missing a sentence.

It should read

"...Sexism is about the unequal treatment of both sexes. It isn't about the just the unequal treatment of women. Equal treatment under the law. It's not a "man's" or "woman's' job. It's a "who the heck is qualified for it" job..."

I am sorry.

Now I'm off to bed. Will look forward to continuing this conversation.  Thank you for an opportunity to discuss.

by 12 dogs and a blog 2008-06-15 03:25AM | 0 recs
Re: pro-women politics? lol.

Also, I was talking about yours and cole's comments.  You are female, right?  That's where the insinuation comes from.

Perhaps some time you could engage in a productive manner.  Lay off of the angst.  I thought that I made it clear that I want to see the protagonists win here.  Was that language acceptable to you?  Clearly I am not allowed to fight along side you against the other side unless I use canadian gal approved verbiage.

by lockewasright 2008-06-14 10:29PM | 0 recs
Re: pro-women politics? lol.

your comment inferred that people that took issue with this diary did so because they were female.  yes - i am one but that is irrelevant.

as to productive debate, im sorry when time and again - half or more of the people in the room are saying something (see sexism) they might be on to something.  this diary claims to be sincere in asking for a honest discussion about sexism - yet makes excuses for differing standards for HRC due to the fact that she offended people with her personality or that the word bitch is okay or for strange and offensive comments about her body.  i think everyone should be open and willing to discuss this issue - but HONESTY, lack of political agenda, understanding and no HYPOCRISY are the keys to a productive discussion.  

by canadian gal 2008-06-14 10:43PM | 0 recs
Re: pro-women politics? lol.

You misunderstand my comment.  I was saying that I take issue with the "you don't get it" or the pushing away of some male allies.  I was not saying that objection to the is diary was based solely on being a female.  In fact, I have several issues with this diary.  I do, however, agree with the diarist's statement that he has felt pushed out from time to time by some "feminists" who, quite frankly, behaved toward him just as you have toward me so far.

I have made it clear several times that I am on the same side of the issues as you and yet you choose to be abrasive toward me instead of having a respectful discussion.  

Disagreement, especially regarding what boils down to facets of an overall issue on which we agree, needn't be abrasive.  I find it stunningly myopic.  I have other avenues to seek out a greater understanding right here in this comment section.  Tell you what, maybe I should keep voting on the same side of the issues as you and just take my conversation to someone a little less intent on putting bullet holes in their own Nikes.

Peace to you... hopefully soon enough to avert the stroke.

by lockewasright 2008-06-14 11:12PM | 0 recs
im confused.

i take issue with this diary and somehow this is pushing you or even the diarist out of the conversation?  

if i am coming across as abrasive that is because i have heard constant denials and double-standards (for political advantage) in the blogosphere and across the media about the disgusting sexism that we have witnessed over the past months, and frankly im tired of it.

but in no way - if you're are honest and sincere in your efforts do i want you or anyone excluded and if i came across that way, i apologize.

by canadian gal 2008-06-14 11:26PM | 0 recs
Re: im confused.

Thank you.  That's very cool.

I only meant to agree with the one thing that petey said that did ring true to me.  I have felt like I have been pushed aside sometimes by virtue of my maleness alone.  Perhaps, it is because of exactly the frustration that you just expressed.  

Yes, I genuinely do believe in equality for all.  I don't think that we have honored the first 2 sentences of The Declaration of Independence yet in this country.  I think that no matter who got the nomination we were going to be one step closer.  I realize that the specifics are different and shouldn't be ignored, but at the base of it sexism and racism (or ageism or prejudice against obesity) are the same sickness imho.  Bigotry.  That's why I mentioned the 2 in conjunction earlier.

I salute you for recognizing the way I felt about our conversation and setting it back on the right path.  Thank you again.

by lockewasright 2008-06-14 11:48PM | 0 recs
Re: what point?

The diarist and myself are allies in pro-women politics.  Pushing us out with such comments is not only unjust, it is bad strategy.

I agree wholeheartedly. This has been one of my biggest concerns for some years now. I am a natural ally. If I feel dismissed and devalued, think how more "mainstream" men will feel.

I could be wrong, but I think the hardcore "feminist" reaction to this whole campaign has significantly set back the cause of feminism in this country. And that's bad for all of us.

by Petey 2008-06-14 10:09PM | 0 recs
Your point
isn't that of the diarists, imho.  


What isn't present, as you point to, within the feminist movement is a singular defining clause- but in a way, this is what makes it wonderful place for discourse... I don't think the diarist recognizes this at all, Petey has pretty much decided what is right and wrong, good and bad- this is entirely anti-feminist in my opinion, particularly when addressing sexism.
by linc 2008-06-14 10:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Your point

I have actually been struggling with this diary.  While I agree with party of what petey has had to say in the diary and comments, I also have my disagreements with some of it too.  

I also haver agreed with some parts of your comments and not with other parts.

I do appreciate that you seem willing to have a polite discussion on the matter.  I'd like to thank you for that and also say that I do not claim to be some authority.  I just genuinely believe in equality for all and want to see if we can understand each other in order to further our cause.  (by "each other" I don't mean just you and I.)

by lockewasright 2008-06-14 10:21PM | 0 recs
Insincere

completely.  I am sorry, but if you were truly interested in an open and honest conversation about sexism in American society, then you wouldn't have veiled almost your entire diary in charged language that, whether intended or not, speaks volumes about your real intention.  What I see is someone who doesn't get it and would rather lash out (quite passive aggressively) than seek a different perspective.

by linc 2008-06-14 09:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Insincere

This is a pretty vague, sweeping charge -- with no specific arguments to back up your assumptions about where I'm coming from.

But, of course, I agree I have an agenda. I think this is a tremendously important issue, deserving open and heartfelt argumentation. And yes, I think those of you who are so quick to dismiss my perspective with no attempt at empathy are unhelpful. I don't see anything passive aggressive about any of this.

by Petey 2008-06-14 09:13PM | 0 recs
Oh whatever
so tell me, if you are so interested in open/honest discussion, then why categorically dismiss certain criticisms of sexism during the primary campaign as merely commonplace?  So you, a male by self-definition, didn't find the cleavage conversation offensive- so we must dismiss it?  

Who exactly are these personalities that, as implied by your diary, drove you away from Mydd?
Why on earth can we NOT coalesce around the idea that Hillary Clinton was mistreated by the media?


You agenda is obvious and it is quite selfish-

If you are truly a child of a feminist household, whatever 'wave' it might belong in, you would recognize your own assumptions and speak to them by attempting EMPATHIZE with those you are so passively critical of.
by linc 2008-06-14 09:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Oh whatever

Honestly i'm having trouble following your train of thought. But I never claimed to not have an agenda. I've seen a (somewhat) coalescing around the meme that Hillary was the victim of a sexist media. I generally don't think that's true. And my agenda is to offer an alternate perspective for debate. Why? Because I think there's a great and harmful gulf that continues to fuel the culture wars. And I think communication (including argumentation) is the only way to possibly bridge that gulf.

I don't think this (necessarily) points to a lack of empathy on my part. I've listened openly to hardcore feminist perspectives all my life. I think now some of these perspectives are akin to Reverend Wright's -- someone else I have great empathy for, but someone who I think perhaps needs to open up to new perspectives.

by Petey 2008-06-14 09:51PM | 0 recs
Well that was fun

you asked for specifics and you could address a single one.  Good luck with your mission, Petey.

by linc 2008-06-14 09:54PM | 0 recs
couldn't not could n/t

by linc 2008-06-14 09:54PM | 0 recs
Something you said that is important

As a man, I could just say this feminist divide is none of my business. But I think male perspectives are vital now more than ever. I know many people will vehemently disagree with my perspective, but I wonder whether it's possible to have discussions about these matters without completely losing empathy for others' experiences.

When discussing discrimination the purported offending party is rarely given a real voice. For example; racism is (typically) viewed in terms of whites discriminating against blacks. In this case when whites discuss the 'Caucasian' perspective many times they (we) are closed off. "How can you possibly understand. You're white."

While it is true that we cannot completely empathize with African Americans about life in America as a black man, we can provide perspective from the other side. In reaching mutual understanding and thus; creating unity, it is imperative that both sides listen with an open mind.  

Here is an excerpt from Barack Obama's perfect union speech that I thought should have received way more attention.

In fact, a similar anger exists within segments of the white community. Most working- and middle-class white Americans don't feel that they have been particularly privileged by their race. Their experience is the immigrant experience - as far as they're concerned, no one's handed them anything, they've built it from scratch. They've worked hard all their lives, many times only to see their jobs shipped overseas or their pension dumped after a lifetime of labor. They are anxious about their futures, and feel their dreams slipping away; in an era of stagnant wages and global competition, opportunity comes to be seen as a zero sum game, in which your dreams come at my expense. So when they are told to bus their children to a school across town; when they hear that an African American is getting an advantage in landing a good job or a spot in a good college because of an injustice that they themselves never committed; when they're told that their fears about crime in urban neighborhoods are somehow prejudiced, resentment builds over time.

When Obama uttered those words I was completely stunned. As a black man he was reaching across and giving true understanding and empathy to 'the other' perspective. And in doing so he could have easily angered black voters who may passionately disagree with that point of view.

His speech wasn't just addressing two centuries of racial injustice toward blacks. It was a unifying speech in the truest sense of the word.

Now lets flip the script with sexism. As a male I cannot completely empathize with what it means to be a female in today's society. But I can provide the male perspective and both sides are equally important to achieving mutual understanding. All too often males have to walk on eggshells to even discuss the subject. Recently I stated my opinion that women should not be in the Infantry. I was told, "You just admitted to being a sexist!" Such reactionary conclusions are stonewalls to productive dialog.  

by USArmyParatrooper 2008-06-14 09:18PM | 0 recs
Just curious

but why exactly shouldn't woman be admitted into infantry?

by linc 2008-06-14 09:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Just curious

There are a few pragmatic reasons why not. I've debated this before and the debates tend to get very lengthy and involved. Do you want to tackle one issue at a time?

by USArmyParatrooper 2008-06-14 09:34PM | 0 recs
Its a pretty strong opinion

to just throw out there...

by linc 2008-06-14 09:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Its a pretty strong opinion

You HAVE to accept the fact that there are important difference between men and women.

I could cry sexism toward men when you think about it. Every branch of the military has a physical fitness test. In the Army's case it involves 2 minutes of push-ups, two minutes of sit-ups, and a timed 2 mile run.

The better you do on the test, the more points you receive toward your next promotion. In the case of Non-Commissioned Officers your score can mean the difference between an Excellence, Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory block on your NCOER.

Females have their own score table with lower standards than do men. So already all thins are not equal. I could interpret that as favoritism, but that would be silly. We recognize the differences between the genders and adjust accordingly. If we did otherwise women would be at a disadvantage for both promotions, and even being allowed to stay in the Army.

by USArmyParatrooper 2008-06-14 09:54PM | 0 recs
genetically
men are stronger than women on average- in a purely physical sense.  I would argue that the lighter standards for women in physical endurance tests are actually quite sexist... I would also suggest that a reliance on physical abilities in recruiting and placement is quite sexist...

In the modern military, there is no reason why women who qualify should not be able to serve in any role that their male counterparts are allowed to serve in- and that's it.


And, I know you know it, but rather have just not mentioned it, there are a great many areas in which women excel and men do not that are greatly beneficial to a soldier in a modern military.
by linc 2008-06-14 10:02PM | 0 recs
Re: genetically

men are stronger than women on average- in a purely physical sense.

Um, yeah. You say that dismissively as if it has no relevance.

I would argue that the lighter standards for women in physical endurance tests are actually quite sexist

So putting women in a position of extreme disadvantage over their male counterparts is NOT sexist?

I would also suggest that a reliance on physical abilities in recruiting and placement is quite sexist

Are you actually being serious right now?

In the modern military, there is no reason why women who qualify should not be able to serve in any role that their male counterparts are allowed to serve in- and that's it.

If they cannot keep up with the physical rigors of the job (which are very extreme), they do not quality.

And, I know you know it, but rather have just not mentioned it, there are a great many areas in which women excel and men do not that are greatly beneficial to a soldier in a modern military.

You know I know it? I have nothing to hide and no hidden agenda. I watched a program on the science channel talking about the differences between the male and female brain. (ON AVERAGE) it found men to be better with mathematics and women with reading. But which specific areas are you speaking to? And how do they pertain to the Infantry?

by USArmyParatrooper 2008-06-14 10:24PM | 0 recs
ugh.

I don't think I can have a conversation with you on this....  I think the entire military/industrial system should be completely dismantled and rebuilt precisely because of this sort of mentality, so its hard for me to have a conversation that involves absolutes about the importance of physical strength in the military.  

by linc 2008-06-14 10:34PM | 0 recs
Re: ugh.

I don't think I can have a conversation with you on this

Yeah, it sucks trying to debate with someone one the intricate details of their own damn job.

I think the entire military/industrial system should be completely dismantled and rebuilt precisely because of this sort of mentality

I disagree, but I appreciate you sharing your expertise on the matter.

so its hard for me to have a conversation that involves absolutes about the importance of physical strength in the military

Yeah, I mean. Why would I put so much importance on being able to run full speed up dozens of flights of stairs with an M249 Saw at the high ready, wearing body armor, a helmet and carrying 800 rounds of ammunition. And as cherry on top having to kick in and clear every single apartment in the multi-story building with nothing but a squad size element.

Oh, now I remember why. BECAUSE I'VE DONE IT. Haifa Street, Baghdad.

by USArmyParatrooper 2008-06-14 10:43PM | 0 recs
I feel absolutely terrible

that I live in a society that required you to do so.  Thanks for your services, good night.

by linc 2008-06-14 10:47PM | 0 recs
Re: I feel absolutely terrible

That was a little nastier than it needed to be and I don't see why.  

I do agree that "reach downs" in testing standards are very sexist and condescending.  I'll argue until I am blue in the face though with anyone who wants to exclude women from a chance to take the test by the same standards.

by lockewasright 2008-06-14 11:20PM | 0 recs
Re: I feel absolutely terrible

I do agree that "reach downs" in testing standards are very sexist and condescending.

Here's the problem. There is only two choices.

1: Leave the standard as-is where when have lower physical requirements.

2: Make the scores and prerequisites the same for males and females, which puts women at a big disadvantage for promotion and even eligibility to stay in the military.

by USArmyParatrooper 2008-06-14 11:59PM | 0 recs
Typo: "when" = "women"

by USArmyParatrooper 2008-06-15 12:00AM | 0 recs
Re: I feel absolutely terrible

I would have no problem with option 2 except why would a woman ever choose it given the trouble attaining advancement?  I suppose grown ups can make choices, but that's not a very appealing option.

by lockewasright 2008-06-15 12:04AM | 0 recs
Re: I feel absolutely terrible

And that's what we face. One is free to disagree but the problem is whenever someone says, "women shouldn't be in combat arms" people automatically picture some macho male chauvinist who thinks women should be barefoot in the kitchen.

There are some areas where women have been included that they previously haven't. Combat pilots, for instance. From what I've heard (I haven't seen studies) women handle extreme G-force better than men, but they have a harder time physically handling the controls at high-G. I don't know what the net result has been. But so long as they're not physically impaired from performing up to standard I have no problem with that.

And then there's other factors. General question: How do you feel about women being eligible for the draft?  

by USArmyParatrooper 2008-06-15 12:16AM | 0 recs
Re: I feel absolutely terrible

I think equal is equal... that means when it's inconvenient too.  Sign 'em up (and don't hold the door open for them when they go to the post office to mail off the form either)!

by lockewasright 2008-06-15 12:41AM | 0 recs
Re: I feel absolutely terrible

I can respect that. And I do appreciate total equality.

But the fact is men and women are NOT equal (here come the flames!). Both men and women (on average) have stronger mental aptitudes in different areas. Men are much physically stronger than women and less prone to injury. Men can pee standing up. Women can have multiple orgasms.

On that last point, women win. We got the "short" end of the stick.

by USArmyParatrooper 2008-06-15 12:59AM | 0 recs
Re: I feel absolutely terrible

We're are equal, not identical.

by lockewasright 2008-06-15 05:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Something you said that is important

Well, that does seem sexist to me (that you think women shouldn't be able to serve). But I assume it's not coming from a place of misogyny.

Your quote from Barack struck me too when he said it. Right on. I think any time we get stuck in a competition of oppressions we're headed for a dead end. And it's harmful. It fuels the culture wars to say (or imply) that women's grievances are necessarily more significant than someone else's.

Now, I generally think certain populations (like "white males") sometimes look at cases of affirmative action in a more small-minded way than is helpful. But when their strong feelings are ridiculed and dismissed they don't tend to get more open-minded!

by Petey 2008-06-14 09:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Something you said that is important

Well, that does seem sexist to me (that you think women shouldn't be able to serve).

I didn't say they shouldn't be able to serve. I said the current exemption from the Infantry is correct.

by USArmyParatrooper 2008-06-14 09:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Something you said that is important

Obviously I'm not as familiar with all the issues as you are, but, off the top of my head, it does seem like women should be asked to meet the same standards as men. That would likely mean less women would serve in infantry, but some could, right?

by Petey 2008-06-14 10:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Something you said that is important

Let's put it this way. There's been many failed case studies. For example, Canada tried a pilot program. Out of about 100 females, ONE made it through.

There is already a pre-factored in presumption of the fallout factor for males.

by USArmyParatrooper 2008-06-14 10:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Something you said that is important

Are you against females even trying to pass by the same standards?

by lockewasright 2008-06-14 11:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Something you said that is important

The thing is, tests have shown the attrition rates to be so high a sweeping inclusion becomes impossible.

A quick google search and I found this guy's take along with facts and studies that he sites.

http://www.fredoneverything.net/MilMed.s html

The physical demands of combat arms MOS's push (males) to their maximum capacity. The physical disadvantage that women have, both from a strength and endurance standpoint, and also from a propensity toward injury cannot be ignored.

by USArmyParatrooper 2008-06-14 11:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Something you said that is important

I certainly don't propose a sweeping inclusion, but I have known some females in my life who would certainly not suffer from the drawbacks you mentioned.  Granted they are the exception, but they do exist.  What would be your opinion on such a woman trying to muster what it takes to pass the same tests men need to take?

by lockewasright 2008-06-15 12:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Something you said that is important

I have known some females in my life who would certainly not suffer from the drawbacks you mentioned.

Are you certain? Statistically they would be extremely rare exceptions.

What would be your opinion on such a woman trying to muster what it takes to pass the same tests men need to take?

The dynamics a bit more complicated than that. People choose their MOS (job) when they initially sign up, or in the case of the Marines, sometimes they're assigned after the fact. How is a female straight off the street going to be able to prove she's an anomaly?  

by USArmyParatrooper 2008-06-15 12:08AM | 0 recs
Re: Something you said that is important

Re: Yes, more important (none / 0)

Frankly, I think this "sexist" treatment is 90% horse shit and playing the victim.

CLICK FOR WOMEN'S RIGHTS!
by USArmyParatrooper on Sun Jun 08, 2008 at 08:38:23 PM CST
[ Parent | Reply to This | ]

by feelfree 2008-06-14 11:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Something you said that is important

Umm... context anyone?

That comment was strictly pertaining to the allegation of wide-sweeping sexism against Hillary Clinton. I said 90% acknowledging that 10% of it was valid.

And just today someone posted a compiled "sexism" video on Hillary Clinton. My response:
http://www.dailykos.com/comments/2008/6/ 14/175619/812/13#c13

I have to admit There was a lot more sexism that I picked up on, and I watch a lot of news. Maybe it just looks worse when it's all compiled and ran together.

I felt a few of the comments weren't really sexism, but a few of them were outrageous.

But your Roveian style attempt to sift through my posts to label me a "sexist" is EXACTLY what I was talking about. And it's quite frankly shameful.

by USArmyParatrooper 2008-06-15 12:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Something you said that is important

I am not ashamed of pointing out your hypocrisy.

I was depending on you to explain the context. I was hoping you would have come to your senses and realized you are wrong.

However the context you provided makes the sexist hole you've dug for yourself deeper.

by feelfree 2008-06-15 01:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Something you said that is important

Now, I realize you depend on your ad hominems to compensate for your lack of ability to discuss this issues... but can you try to be less obvious about it?

I expressed disagreement about whether or not specific examples of "sexism" toward HRC were, in fact, sexism. I still disagree with many of them. There's nothing hypocritical about that at all.  

And quite frankly the way you throw labels around so you can hide behind them is pathetic.

by USArmyParatrooper 2008-06-15 01:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Something you said that is important

I find it sad you refuse to acknowledge sexism  should not be tolerated. Even when confronted with the video at dkos you hedged about what you saw. You said it probably seemed worse because incidents were compiled together. Why can't you understand one sexist remark is as damaging as all those compiled in the video? You go on to say some comments were not sexism, but they were outrageous.

You and others give valuable insight into why progress will not be made within the Democratic Party and this strengthens my belief women should not support any Democrat.

by feelfree 2008-06-15 08:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Comments on Cultural Topic: Defining Sexism

A few words about some of the comments:

"Bitch" is not the analogue of "prick." That would be "c**t," a word so vile that I replace half of it with asterisks. If someone called Hillary a "c..t," can we all agree that that would be sexism?

"Billary"," despite protestations to the contrary, does have sexist overtones. By combining the two names, the inference could be (and has been) made that Hillary does not exist without her husband. I haven't heard anybody refer to "Barackchelle."

"The Clintons" is another sexist phrase, as in Obama is running against "the Clintons." Have you ever heard anybody say that Hillary was running against the "Obamas" or the "Edwardses"?

Hillary has been called a bitch on TV by Alex Castellanos (R-CNN) and many commentators chose the quote the woman at the McCain townhall meeting who asked McCain "how do we beat the bitch"?

As for women in the infantry, if they can meet the standards and have the desire, why not? There are woman firefighters, cops, truckdrivers, mechanics  and construction workers. We should be long past the times when women were not permitted to pray with men in synagogues or mosques because the men would concentrate on the women and not the prayers. (Orthodox in both the Jewish religion and Islam still practice this.)

The very fact that these kinds of things are unremarkable is proof that sexism exists in our society on both a conscious and an unconscious level.

by STUBALL 2008-06-14 09:39PM | 0 recs
see above
for the perfect retort to this diary and the 'yeah, yeah, here, here' comments that have followed it.  


Thank you STUBALL.
by linc 2008-06-14 09:44PM | 0 recs
Re: see above

You can just keep repeating that I "don't get it" if you like, but I'm here to challenge your certainty that saying things like "the Clintons" is sexist. If you insist that I am wrong on the merits, then I would at least think you'd be interested in the effect such certainty can have on mainstream Americans. If you don't care about that effect, it leaves me thinking your agenda is to continue the culture wars. My agenda is to bring them to an end. To move on. No, that's not the same thing as giving up on equality and respect for all.

by Petey 2008-06-14 09:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Comments on Cultural Topic: Defining Sexism

"Bitch" is not the analogue of "prick." That would be "c**t," a word so vile that I replace half of it with asterisks. If someone called Hillary a "c..t," can we all agree that that would be sexism?

If a pundit on a news network referred to her as a "bitch" I would say that's an extreme lack of professionalism with sexist overtones. If a regular Joe (or Jill) on the street calls her, or any female a bitch, that's no more sexist than calling a male an asshole.

"Billary"," despite protestations to the contrary, does have sexist overtones.

It expresses close association, just like saying, "McBush", which isn't sexist.

"The Clintons" is another sexist phrase, as in Obama is running against "the Clintons." Have you ever heard anybody say that Hillary was running against the "Obamas" or the "Edwardses"?

While Obama and Edwards wives had been on the campaign trail for their husbands, it wasn't anywhere near the level of Bill Clinton. And Bill is a two-term, well connected former President who's widely regarded for his political prowess. For all intensive purposes, Barack DID run against a Bill and Hillary duo.

As for women in the infantry, if they can meet the standards and have the desire, why not? There are woman firefighters, cops, truckdrivers, mechanics  and construction workers.

None of those positions are nearly as physically demanding serving in the Infantry. My wife's cousin works for a fire department in SC. The women in that department are not able to perform certain tasks, like operate the jaws of life.

by USArmyParatrooper 2008-06-14 10:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Comments on Cultural Topic: Defining Sexism

Bitch is gender specific.  Last time I checked, we all had assholes.

by grassrootsorganizer 2008-06-15 03:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Comments on Cultural Topic: Defining Sexism

"The Clintons", I'm sorry, is not a sexist usage.  If Bill Clinton weren't an ex-president of the United States, or if he had chosen not to play a large role in Hillary Clinton's campaign, this claim would make a lot more sense.  Since he did, though, this is like talking about "the Kennedys" (which no one would argue was sexist or improper).  

by IncognitoErgoSum 2008-06-14 10:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Cultural Topic: Defining Sexism

" The point of calling a woman a bitch is not to devalue her based on gender, it is to devalue her based on personality. "

- Thats not the case in many situations.

There is really no way you can find out what the true intent is.

It is very relative , although you make it sound conclusive.

It is not easy to decipher the intent of the speaker that is why using words that are based on " gender sterotypes " like " bitch " would be interpreted as some as sexist .

You have to try and find out what the intent , situation , relationship and context is.

For example a family member can use the word in a playful way and it could just be perfectly fine with the lady because she understands where he is coming from . ( lets assume a male/female relationship ).

by lori 2008-06-14 09:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Cultural Topic: Defining Sexism

You make a good point. I probably was too conclusive. I'm sure some people do use the word bitch in a sexist manner. I should have said that it's not necessarily sexist.

But your desire to decipher, to interpret, to read intent, etc, is one of the things that troubles me. Because people are so quick to read what they want to read. Just look at the poster above who has decided "the Clintons" is a sexist thing to say. I'd call that a case of hyper-reading.

by Petey 2008-06-14 10:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Cultural Topic: Defining Sexism

" But your desire to decipher, to interpret, to read intent, etc, is one of the things that troubles me. Because people are so quick to read what they want to read. Just look at the poster above who has decided "the Clintons" is a sexist thing to say. I'd call that a case of hyper-reading. "

-  If you are coming from the assumption that using words based on gender stereotypes should be acceptable in the society , then what you just said would be acceptable .

However as long as sexism is not acceptable and frawned on in society , when words are directed at a woman that is based on a gender stereotype especially from a position of an adversarial relationship , there would be many people who would/wouldn't be offended .

The only way you came to the conclusion that calling someone a bitch is to devalue her based on personality not gender is a matter of opinion and a somewhat flawed attempt at trying to decipher  the intent of the speaker. ( Although you have readily corrected the generalization ).

While you might be one that gives people the benefit of the doubt in terms of intention or you just feel sexism is an overblown issue in the society , as long as sexism is still an issue , you would be treading on dangerous grounds using those words whatever your intent is especially if you don't have a prior relationship with whom you direct it at.

However I give you credit for starting the discussion , although I disagree with everything you wrote.  

by lori 2008-06-14 10:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Cultural Topic: Defining Sexism

Your comments remind me of the split between older and younger feminists (generally speaking). There's a sense among the "elders" that we still need to tread much more carefully and sensitively and politically correctly than the "youngsters" think is important. After some period of evolution I've come to the frame of mind that insistence upon such carefulness generally does more harm than good. And, since culture is moving forward regardless, the hardcore "warriors" who are so determined to call attention to every perceived slight are increasingly sidelined and ridiculed. Which I think is too bad, but I think the blame falls mostly on their own inability to let go of that habit of "hyper-reading."

by Petey 2008-06-14 10:48PM | 0 recs
Sorry...

but you failed on this diary.

by kevin22262 2008-06-14 09:58PM | 0 recs
I agree as well.

It IS sexist to call a woman a bitch. Conversely, when a man is called a bitch, it's a verbal attempt to feminize him or equate him with what is seen as the lesser---the woman.

by slinkerwink 2008-06-14 10:15PM | 0 recs
Yes

good point!

It NEEDS TO STOP!

In a related topic, see what my g/f had to say:
http://washingtonwoman.blogspot.com/2007 /02/thank-you-gentlemen.html

by kevin22262 2008-06-14 10:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Yes

What's a g/f? Grandfather, godfather, girl Friday, girlfriend? I wish to associate myself with your comment. It does need to stop. But it will not stop until and unless it is called out every time it rears its ugly head. Case in point was the Imus incident. "Nappy headed hos" was condemned by almost everybody for being racist but only by a few for being sexist. "Nappy headed" is a pejorative but fair description of the hair of many AAs; "hos" is    hardly descriptive of even a small minority of women. "Nappy haired hos" is much more sexist than racist yet the cable programs featured all the usual AA suspects (Sharpton, Jackson, Ridley) and very few women protestors. Speaking of Imus, he refers to Obama as a "sissy boy," (per Frank Rich's NYT column today). Why would he attempt to feminize Obama if  he felt that feminization is a good thing? His preferred candidate of course is St. John of Sedona.

Until we recognize sexist comments for what they are, we will never be rid of them. The next (non-Hillary) female presidential candidate will likely encounter the same treatment albeit more subtle. The sexism exhibited by Matthews and Olbermann this cycle has, in all likelihood, eliminated them from the Meet The Press sweepstakes which will probably be won (by default) by David Gregory or Brokaw as temporary fill-in until they find a successor from outside the family.

by STUBALL 2008-06-14 10:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Yes

girlfriend.

by kevin22262 2008-06-14 10:59PM | 0 recs
Bravo!

Well said!

by kevin22262 2008-06-14 11:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Yes

I think that it is important for males to call out sexism and for caucasians to hear from other caucasians that the racism is not acceptable.  I guess I think that it has a greater impact when they hear it from "one of their own".

by lockewasright 2008-06-14 11:38PM | 0 recs
I'm an Obama supporter

but it is frustrating when male progressives don't understand how prevalent sexism is in this country. It's not hard to say that a lot of the coverage of Hillary Clinton was sexist and still contend that it was not the main reason for Hillary Clinton losing her campaign. I think that when male bloggers hear about sexism affecting Hillary Clinton's campaign, they automatically think that it's an excuse for her losing the nomination. They can't seem to acknowledge that it did have an effect on the media coverage.

There were a lot of factors to Hillary losing. Sexism was one of those factors, and it should be discussed as a general issue of what's wrong with our American society.

by slinkerwink 2008-06-14 10:58PM | 0 recs
You are spot on!

Thanks!

by kevin22262 2008-06-14 11:01PM | 0 recs
Re: I agree as well.

I have to agree.  Bitch is gender specific.  That's what makes it such an insult to a man.  It attacks his masculinity.  

Want to attack Hillary's personality?  Fine, their are a bazillion ways to attack a person's personality with nary a gender specific term.  

When I lived in the deep south I had a person try to tell me that there are good black folks and lazy welfare ni***rs.  I don't concede that all people on welfare are lazy, but if that was his idiot opinion he could have just said lazy.  When he dug out the n word and thereby specified heritage it became bigoted.  The same applies to use of the word bitch.  It is bigotry.

by lockewasright 2008-06-14 11:34PM | 0 recs
Re: I agree as well.

If a woman is extremely rude people say "what a bitch." If a man is extremely rude people say, "what an asshole."

So what makes one a sexist remark and not the other?

by USArmyParatrooper 2008-06-15 01:09AM | 0 recs
Asshole not sexist

Because people of both sexes are (and have for that matter) assholes.

by LIsoundview 2008-06-15 02:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Asshole not sexist

I'm sorry, but that's the dumbest thing I've ever heard in my life. Both are gender-based derogatory terms.

by USArmyParatrooper 2008-06-15 02:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Asshole not sexist

Not where I worked.  Asshole was used interchangeably for fools of both sexes.

by LIsoundview 2008-06-15 06:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Cultural Topic: Defining Sexism

Bottom line.  A lot of hard-core feminists seemed to have concluded that Barack was simply not qualified to be president, so, therefore, the only logical explanation for him defeating Hillary was misogyny. This line of reasoning is widespread at places like No Quarter, but it's clearly flawed because it doesn't allow for the very real sense among Barack's supporters that he is exceptionally qualified in unique ways.

Bingo.  Only I think you give too much credit to call it a "line of thinking," because it isn't that, so much, as an excuse to keep the fight going on.  Why keep a fight going after its over?  Pent up fury at losing that they still want to work out.  

That is why they aren't talking about sexism in general, or people who have been real targets of sexism, like Heather Mills, but rather focusing their ire on media figures that they blame for their candidate's loss.  If they only focused on conservative media, or just general assholes like Wolf Blitzer, I wouldnt mind, but they have been trying to focus their energy this week on people like Keith Olbermann, which pisses me off.

by Dumbo 2008-06-14 10:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Cultural Topic: Defining Sexism

If you don't get that Keith Olbermann is sexist, the entire topic is alien to you and you'll never get it. KO has a stable of regular guests none of whom, save Rachel Maddow (a lesbian and therefore a special case) are women. His "joke" about a man taking Hillary into a room and only the man coming out of the room was so well received that he apologized for it.

by STUBALL 2008-06-14 10:42PM | 0 recs
If you don't get that

KO is NOT a sexist, then you're lying to yourself for your own petty reasons.  

To be honest, I can't read what's in his heart, but the one incident you are talking about is one I addressed in another diary.  If he had been talking about anybody else but Hillary, it would have been understood correctly.  Your insistence on making it a sexist issue, though, tells us more about you than it does about him.

This is a farce, and a dishonest one at that, because you know it's bullshit but persist, like Fox News Rethuglican with his memorized talking points.  What makes it totally unacceptable, though, is that you have no point to it other than to attack somebody who did not support your candidate.  That kind of bitter pettiness tells us everything.  Your motives are transparent.

by Dumbo 2008-06-15 04:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Cultural Topic: Defining Sexism

It is worthy of discussion to debate where sexism ends and opinions of Hillary herself begins. But speaking as someone who never saw sexism until I decided to really look a second time, it did happen.

by vcalzone 2008-06-14 10:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Cultural Topic: Defining Sexism

I'd like to beg the Clinton supporters not to get in fights over this. It's been a decent weekend thus far.

by vcalzone 2008-06-14 10:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Cultural Topic: Defining Sexism

Most Clinton supporters, myself included, are more incensed by the media talking heads than Obama. Obama made a few unfortunate statements ("she's likeable enough," "the claws come out," when she's feeling down") but pundits were non-stop 24/7 on this. And I am not excluding the female pundits. With the possible exception of Tweety they were even worse.

Fear not, however. McCain's record on womens' issues is so bad that once it is broadcast he'd be lucky if his own wife (who he famously called a "c**t," votes for him. Today at a town hall he said that he would have more women in his administration that any previous president. You'd never know it from his campaign senior staff and surrogates. Except for Carly Fiorina (who destroyed Hewlett-Packard and was given $21M as a door prize) they're hard to find.

by STUBALL 2008-06-14 11:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Cultural Topic: Defining Sexism

I gotta say, as far as the "likable enough" comment, I think he got a very bad rap for that. Maybe I'm wrong, but when I look at it, it seems like he's making a joke. He has a very dry sense of humor sometimes. She seemed to take it as a joke at the time, she did a little silly "Yay" dance. I suppose this is what he meant when he said they were the only ones who knew what they went through. Because they kept trying to run a clean but tough campaign, but people were eager to turn them into enemies any way they possibly could.

But yeah, I think that's the problem. We kept hearing that it was Obama, but it wasn't until I saw all the sexist media crap back to back to back that I realized how bad it was.

by vcalzone 2008-06-15 01:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Cultural Topic: Defining Sexism

"she's likeable enough"

That was during a lighthearted portion of the debate while there were chuckles from the audience. I took it as a light-hearted jab, certainly nothing sinister.

"the claws come out"

Last week on 'The Verdict' Dan Abrams used that same "the claws come out" reference to the GOP when they announced they're going to go ugly.

"when she's feeling down"

That's reaching a little bit, but you can make the case. To me it's to the same degree as Clinton's 3 AM add. It's dark outside, the pretty blond girl is sleeping... and the camera slowly approaches this dark home in the middle of the night. Like a prowler. A case CAN be made, but it's nothing blatant.

by USArmyParatrooper 2008-06-15 01:35AM | 0 recs
First of let me say something

As I keep mentioning I am Transgender about to be Transsexual when I start my journey towards SRS surgery. I will be facing sexism and hate towards things different. I want you to remember that as I make these points.

Sexism isn't just what many keep calling it here. I believe there is sexism out here, but we have to understand the truth. If it is about Hillary Clinton running then she was able to run a race even if she didn't win. Sexism would keep a woman from being allowed to get to the point that Hillary Clinton did. That is something we can be proud of that a woman nearly won the Democratic Nom in a fair election.

Second Sexism can be used to hurt women because the over use of it will pain honest sexism in a bad light. That is the danger that is presented here is that honest cases of sexism will now be looked as just whining. Now understand that is what happens when the over use of sexism starts to playout.

I have no issue with the idea of a woman being President. I honestly believe a Woman can do just as good of a job at being President a man can. I would vote for the right woman not based on gender, but being right means that their positions agree with how I feel. You see if someone is close to how I feel I do not think gender matters.

Now let me add this I was very proud when we elected the first woman to Speaker of the House. To me that is a achievement in itself. It also gives a example of what woman can do.

Woman have come a long ways and there will always be challenges to face, but I believe that a lot has been achieved on many levels as it is. It shouldn't just be about one woman, but all women. I am not ashamed to have a woman as speaker of the House and I think it would be great to have a woman as President.

by AHiddenSaint 2008-06-14 10:48PM | 0 recs
Re: First of let me say something

WE didn't elect the first woman Speaker of the House. That was done by a vote of the House membership, a pretty exclusive club many of whom benefitted from Pelosi's campaigning and fundraising. There was also a significant measure of distrust for Steny Hoyer.

The ability of women to run for president predates their right to vote (Only took about 130 years - no sexism there). Yet no woman has ever been a major party's nominee, let alone President.

Did you consider voting for Carol Mosely Braun in the Democratic primary in 2004?

by STUBALL 2008-06-14 11:15PM | 0 recs
I wasn't paying attention to politics then

The primary was already over before I got invovled. This was my first primary to watch. I did vote in 2004 for Kerry, but I only got interested after Kerry had already been elected our Democratic nom.

My first time becoming a member of the blogsphere was at the Kerry/Edwards 04 forum. From there I started to blog at Americablog under this name. I later became a member of dailykos. My dad and I started to watch politics together during the 2004 election. That is what got me paying attention.

At the time I was watching certain MSM shows and then calling him up during commerical breaks to talk about what we just saw. We were open about our political views. I was the one that actually dragged him to vote early in 04 election. That is basically my history of when I started to pay attetion to politics. From that point on everything with me has been evolving to the point of actually volunteering and wanting to do more.

I hope that helps a little bit.

by AHiddenSaint 2008-06-14 11:25PM | 0 recs
Amusing notions

I got 3/4 of the way through the comments on this and, for the sake of my blood pressure, let the rest of them go.

I find it amusing as hell that anyone would debate the pervasiveness of sexism with a Congress that is 14% female and a handful of female governors.  When we hit 51% anywhere in this country?  Let's have that argument again.

As for the "over-sensitivity" of older females to certain red flag words and phrases -- last time I looked the men accused of making these sexist remarks in the media weren't in their 20's.  The guys saying this crap are old enough to remember when "bitch" meant "get back in the kitchen".  Hell's fucking bells, THAT'S HOW MOST OF THEM GOT THEIR JOBS.

It also slays me how anyone would think sexism WOULDN'T play a role in this primary season (so too racism) and our task is to ferret out how it did, not assume it didn't because we like the outcome.
You have GOT to be fricking kidding me that the first serious female contender for the presidency in over 200 years would be, I dunno, IMMUNE or something because, after all, we've EVOLVED so much.

If we've EVOLVED so damn much then explain the 14% female representation in Congress.  Explain the number of women on the Supreme Court.  Explain the ratio of men to women in cabinet posts, in boardrooms, in leadership roles around the world.

Then explain "Girls Gone Wild" and Barbie to me.  

by grassrootsorganizer 2008-06-15 04:00AM | 0 recs
Sadly you sound much like

some of the right wing who whine about "reverse" racism; about the right who whine that because of women and minorities and affirmative action, white men are getting cheated.
WHO holds the power, financially, politically, not just in this country but worldwide.  
Sexism against MEN??????  Are you kidding me?
Misogyny against MEN?  Are you kiddking me?

Women and minorities have been lining up BEHIND men in every way for centuries.  Suddenly because we are given the chance to compete you think we should do it without any issues because NOW the playing field is even???
So the race for opportunities has been going on for centuries, white males have gotten to line up first, run a couple thousand yards, then minority men were allowed to get into the race, THEN women,
and now we should all be thrilled and let it go.

My nephews use the same argument.  Med schools now have MORE women they say; ergo it's all fixed.
Grab a clue Petey  You and young people like you are not being realistic or fair.

by Jjc2008 2008-06-15 04:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Cultural Topic: Defining Sexism

MY's Petey? Forget all this talk of sexism, there should only be one Petey on the internet.

by Mobar 2008-06-15 06:13AM | 0 recs

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