The Sexism In The Democratic Primary

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Erica Barnett compiled just a small sample of the slurs against Clinton MADE BY DEMOCRATS, writing:

I’ve said it before–but because some Slog readers seem to still think I believe any attack on Clinton is a sexist attack, I’ll say it again: The misogyny from the media, from supposedly liberal blogger doodz, commenters on this blog, and just about everywhere during this campaign has been despicable. This kind of shit ought to be behind us: Hillary Clinton is a bitch. A big ol’ bitchy bitch. And a cunt. A “big fucking whore.” Fortunately, you can “call a woman anything.” She’s “Nurse Ratched.” She’ll castrate you if she gets a chance. She would like that. She’s a “She-Devil.” She’s a madam, and her daughter’s a whore. She’s frigid, and she can’t give head. She’s a “She-Devil.” A lesbian. A nag. When things get tough, she cries like a big dumb GIRL. In fact, she’s just that — a “little girl.” In FACT, she wants to “cry her way to the White House.” To be, ahem, “Crybaby-in-Chief.” That proves that she’s not tough enough. But she’s also not feminine enough. She’s “screechy.” She’s an “aging, resentful female.” She’s “Sister Frigidaire.” She really ought to quit running for President and stick to housework. She basically spent her entire times as First Lady going to tea parties. She’s a monster whojust won’t die. In fact, she really should just die. You can buy a urinal target with her face on it to express what you really think of her. OMG she’s got claws! She’s crazy. In fact, she’s a lunatic. She’s petty and vindictive and entitled. She’s a washed-up old hag. She’s “everybody’s first wifestanding outside probate court.” She’s a “scolding mother.” She’s shrillshrillshrill. She can’t take it when people are mean to her. She’s a “hellish housewife.” She’s Tanya Harding. She CAN’T be President, what with the mood swings and the menses.Any woman who votes for her is voting with her vagina, not her brain. Women only like Hillary because she’s a fellow Vagina-American. And because they vote with their feelings. Frankly, anyone who still thinks we need “feminine role models” should get over it and move on, already. Oh, and men who supporters are castratos in the eunuch chorus. You shouldn’t make her President because she wants it too much. She’s totally just banking on support from ugly old feminists. And she looooves to “play the victim.” She cackles! And cackles. And cackles. It’s like she’s a witch or something! She’s definitely“witchy.” And now you can buy her cackle as your ring tone. Her voice, too, is “grating”–like “fingernails on a blackboard” to “some men.” She’s hiding behind her gender. She isn’t a “convincing mom” because she’s too strident. She never did anything on her own. Her husband keeps her on a leash. She hates men. Her campaign is a “catfight.” She makes people want to kill themselves, is like a “domineering mo
ther,” and is cold. And OMG she has boobies! All of which are reasons to hate her. (And boy, could I go on.)

Oh, and if you even mention any of this, you’re either silly or a bad person.

So yeah, while I’m ready to get on the Obama welcome wagon, I’m also angry. And I’m not ready to “get over” the blatant, ugly misogyny that so many Democrats–Democrats!–have displayed throughout this campaign, thank you very fucking much.

Echidne of the Snakes explains why this is a problem for all women, observing:

The sexism is not bad, because it might hurt Hillary Clinton, just as the racism is not bad, because it might hurt Barack Obama. Not really.

That is a narrow and cramped and, dare I say it?, elitist view of what is going on, a view which revolves around the people in power and their political strategies and tactics. It is also a view which ignores the real problem altogether, this:

The sexist comments and the racist slurs are bad, because they are being washed, re-clad in Armani, presented back in high society, made to look innocent, and after all this they will be cropping up much more frequently everywhere, aimed at everyone who qualifies to be their victim. THAT’s what is bad about them.

How can I make that any stronger and clearer? It can be any of us women or any person of color or both that will suffer from the new domestication of sexist and racists taunts. Any Of Us.

I have not written about the sexism in these Democratic Primaries in order to protect Hillary Clinton. She looks fairly well equipped to protect herself. I have written about it because sexism hurts all women, all little girls, all old ladies, women everywhere.

Gah. Perhaps what I’m talking about is still totally unclear. But if you read widely on this topic on blogs you will find that even many feminists have this view that the sexism is not really deplorable, because Hillary Clinton really is a monster bitch. That the dangers of the sexism really have nothing to do with Hillary Clinton should be made much more obvious. And no, voting for someone else will not save a woman voter from that sexism that is being incubated right now.

Historiann amplifies this point, noting:

In many ways, the misogyny directed at Hillary Clinton this year–the blowback of which will probably be felt by women in all walks of life for years to come in thousands of discouraging ways–is part of an old story best documented by Bob Somerby at The Daily Howler. Somerby has been on the case of the insular corporate media since 1999, when he noticed the power of the preferred media narrative about Al Gore’s candidacy for the Presidency, and its curious imperviousness to the facts. And as Somerby points out regularly–you’ll never see or hear the media tell the truth about its own role in shaping our political and cultural discourses. (John Judis’s recent admission in The New Republic that the media hated Clinton and picked Obama as the Democratic winner is one of the few times when we’re permitted to see The Great Oz operating behind the flimsy curtain.)

And hey, guess what? Not being Hillary Clinton will not protect you. If Obama secures the nomination, the same sexism will soon find exclusive focus on Michelle Obama. She too is getting the Uppity Woman smack down. SheCodes at Black Women Vote discussed this in a general way, writing:

I could scarcely contain my rage when I visited our sister-blog, What About Our Daughters? and saw this hideous depiction of Michelle Obama — not by the Tennessee GOP this time, but by the liberal Daily Kos.

So many things flashed before my eyes — I remember my comments section several months ago, when black men and women alike asked me ‘What’s the big deal?‘ when I went apoplectic about O’Reilly’s lynching statement referring to Michelle Obama — and when people thought I was too harsh when I condemned Barack Obama for his silence concerning it.

Even up until yesterday, I had sisters telling me to calm down about attacks against Michelle Obama, with the reasoning that she is ‘fair game’. Do you all realize that ‘fair game’ is a HUNTING terminology? And that the term ‘game’ refers to ANIMALS? Please find another reference to explain your thoughts in your emails to me moving forward.

See also this post at What About Our Daughters suggesting the Supposedly Liberal Doods have lost their minds. Frankly I think that “losing their minds” is a little too charitable. They think declaring themselves liberal gives them a free pass on everything: Can’t you stupid broads take a joke from people perfectly happy for you to have reproductive freedom, perform in porn, anything you like, as long as you STFU? NO. And we will not forget nor forgive what we have read, heard and seen. I am confident that even the feminist Clinton supporters who can not bring themselves to vote for Barack Obama are not going to ignore sexism pitched at Michelle Obama, because that’s not how feminism works.

–Ann Bartow

Update: See also, via the awesome HIstoriann.

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0 Responses to The Sexism In The Democratic Primary

  1. John says:

    Thank you so much for this.

  2. chenx064 says:

    Marie Cocco wrote a good column for the Washington Post called “Misogyny I Won’t Miss”: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/05/14/AR2008051403090.html

  3. Pingback: It all comes together : Historiann : History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present

  4. Ann Bartow says:

    Chenx064 – actually blogged the Cocco article here:
    http://feministlawprofs.law.sc.edu/?p=3520
    I mostly liked it too, as noted. The question now is how we feminists persuade the Supposedly Liberal Doods to knock it off, without doing anything that benefits Republicans.

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  7. Pingback: Feminist Law Professors » Blog Archive » So Now The Sexist Hillary Bashing Susbsides And The Sexist Michelle Bashing Ramps Up