Melissa McEwan’s “For the Record”

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A very powerful post appeared at Shakesville a couple of days ago. Since I don’t think I can excerpt if effectively I’ve reposted the entire thing here. I hope Liss doesn’t mind and if she does I will remove it at her request. Here goes:

I’m not sad because Obama’s the nominee.

I’m sad because there are women at this blog, in my personal life, across this nation, and:if my inbox is any indication:across the globe, women of all races and sexualities and socio-economic classes, many of whom weren’t even Hillary Clinton supporters, many of whom voted for Obama in the primary, who have watched with horror the seething hatred directed at Hillary Clinton just because she is a woman.

(I’m not talking about legitimate criticisms of her campaign, which I have made myself. I’m not saying any criticism of Clinton is de facto sexist; it isn’t. I’m talking specifically and only about misogynist attacks, which are always unjustified and smear not just the woman at whom they are directed, but all women.)

And these women have witnessed this despicable but spectacular marriage of aggressive misogyny and their long-presumed allies’ casual indifference to it, and wondered what fucking planet they were on that dehumanizing eliminationist rhetoric, to which lefty bloggers used to object once upon a time, was now considered a legitimate campaign strategy, as long as it was aimed at a candidate those lefty bloggers didn’t like.

And these women felt, quite rightly, like feminist principles were being thrown to the wolves in a fit of political expedience.

And these women felt personally abandoned. By people they had considered allies.

And while they struggled to understand just what was happening, while they were losing their way along well-traveled paths that no longer felt familiar or welcoming, they were admonished like children to stop taking things personally. They were sneered at for playing identity politics. They were demeaned as ridiculous, overwrought, hysterics. They were called bitches and cunts. They were bullied off blogs they’d called home for years.

(But don’t take that personally.)

And now, at long last, even now, when Clinton cannot win, she is being pushed out, carelessly, rudely, with little regard for the implicit message in hustling a historic candidate off the stage and demanding her graciousness in defeat, despite offering her no graciousness in victory. Right to the end, there is a lack of respect that hurts to watch.

And I’m sad because I know there are women who are hurting. Not because their candidate lost. Clinton may not have even been their candidate. They’re hurting because misogyny hurts all women, and because they have fewer allies than they once thought.

And unlike the people (including many of these women) who are feeling the same way with regard to racism in this campaign, who are licking wounds of racist attacks even as preparations begin for the breathtakingly awesome celebration of the first ever presumptive nominee of color, ZOMG, these women do not have an equivalent wonder to celebrate. They don’t have a “despite it all.” They don’t have a step forward to point to, to say the pain was worth it.

They just have the pain.

And I’m sad because I see so little evidence of people who are willing to understand that.

–Ann Bartow [Comments to this post will be moderated even more heavy-handedly than usual. Folks in the blog roll have the absolute right to comment as they wish, but no one else does.]


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0 Responses to Melissa McEwan’s “For the Record”

  1. Thanks for posting this. I had never clicked over to Shakesville before–what a cool site. I couldn’t agree more with this post. It doesn’t matter who you supported in the primary, the level of sexism on display (a lot of it from people I’ve admired) made me cringe. I hope Hillary’s fight and the obstacles she faced will not soon be forgotten. While I think that Obama has been very gracious in victory, I know that some of his supporters have not. I hope that his supporters peddling misogyny will follow their candidate’s lead and sincerely recognize Clinton’s significant abilities and contributions.

  2. bob coley jr says:

    Believe it or not, I too wish and wait for the day when a person is just a person. I can not pretend to know the full facts of civilization’s faults and cruelties yet I can feel the shame and sadness of fractured, brutal, and mostly blind human behavior. Every day, every insult, every subliminal unconsious slur cuts from me part of my being. I fear that there will be nothing left of me by the time we get it right. Some day when we walk we’ll float and light will pour from our eyes. Untill then, if I make it, much anger and tears will join the happiness I feel with the incramental steps taken towards our true destiny as the “Crown of Creation”.