“The 30 Percent Solution”

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I’d guess that most regular readers of this blog will strongly disgaree with some of the assertions in this essay, I know I do, but y’all are generally either academics or folks with an academic (by which I mean “open minded”) mind set, so you know that reading an essay you disagree with won’t kill you, and you may actually learn something, or at least think some challenging and interesting thoughts.   If you want to breath some fire in the comments here that’s fine, as long as you stick to issues and forgo personal attacks.

My personal view, as I’ve noted before, is that I think Obama will make a much better President than McCain, but I’m not a Joe Biden fan AT ALL, and I despise the myriad sexist critiques of Sarah Palin coming from both the (supposedly) Left and the Right. The blog at the above link is officially “nonpartisan” but has somewhat of an anti-Obama cant. If you aren’t able to roll with that, best not to go there.

–Ann Bartow

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0 Responses to “The 30 Percent Solution”

  1. bob coley jr says:

    My high school years were 1968-1972. ( yes, I know. This makes me a geiser to most of you.) The dicusion of “The 30 percent solution” is a valid one for me. When I view the last 37 years with an eye toward the freedoms and equality we (or some of us) expected to be forthcoming, I am sad. I wish 30 percent had come to pass way back then (in the dark ages, or the age of enlightenment, depending) It is not something I can understand. How can anyone seriosly think that equality and justice for all should be conditional or metered? Maybe 30 percent each decade of strugle? It’s for sure that a close examination of the goals of then and now, and compariitive assessment, is in order to insure we haven’t lost our focus, or worse yet, slidden backwards on some of the fundemental precepts of equality, disguised as change. Change can move in many directions, some good, some not. I am not sure putting a numerical indicator on the progress of success is all that helpful unless results of that success are measured also, maybe even more stringently.

  2. kja says:

    I am absolutely repulsed by their abandonment of reproductive rights, and on the “feminist” blogs advocating the 30 per cent solution, I’ve read quite a number of “feminist” comments that could be taken off a Focus on the Family board. Any “feminist” who would call women “selfish” for having abortions (as one of the more active commenters on Reclusive Leftist did) or suggest that women who want to limit the size of their families “hate womanhood” is not a friend of mine. Some of us don’t have the luxury of putting off reproductive rights until some undefined point in the future. But the cynical part of me thinks the Palin PUMAs know this; the number of enraged slut-shaming comments I’ve read directed at young female “Obamabots” suggests to me that their motives are not exactly pure.

    I agree that it’s not fair to criticize women who vote for a female candidate while accepting black people who vote for a black candidate, but the notion that Obama won by “race-baiting” is incredibly problematic. If Barack Obama is just another man, well, Hillary Clinton is just another white person. One perspective is not less valid than the other.

    For the record, although I’m in my twenties and don’t have children (oh noes! selfish!), I don’t read BUST, loathe pro-prostitution “feminism”, have read every non-fiction book Andrea Dworkin ever wrote, agree that many of the attacks on Palin have been sexist and uncalled for, but still think voting for the party of the religious right is a fundamentally anti-feminist act.

  3. Ann Bartow says:

    kja – I let your comment through moderation with a lot of discomfort. I understand that you disagree some of the folks at The New Agenda, and believe me, I do too – read the comments thread here: http://thenewagenda.net/2008/09/12/a-case-for-obama/
    but please stick to issues, okay?

    Violet Socks and I go back a long time (as time is calculated in Internet World at least) and I know her to be a smart, ethical and all around decent person. The same is true of many of her blog commenters. But others are, as you say, kind of hard to take, and will probably prevent The New Agenda from appealing to feminist women who support Obama.

    Nevertheless, the Thirty Percent Solution is an interesting theory, and worth considering, in my view. I have voted for Republican women in the past, and could be persuaded do it again. But, only if they are pro-choice.

  4. kja says:

    Fair enough. But isn’t the idea of the 30% Solution to vote for women regardless of their views?

    To me, voting for McCain because Palin is on the ticket seems like a triumph of symbolism over everything else. Palin is a hugely successful, politically savvy woman — yes. (Her “don’t ask me hard questions” act is no different from Dubya’s, IMO.) But so is Phyllis Schlafly — another successful woman, tremendously committed to her career (hypocritically, in her case), but no friend to me or my rights.

    I’m simply not convinced by the evidence in one Congresswoman’s book. In a way I wish I were — it would be nice to see a way out of the current impasse, where the Republicans chip away at women’s rights and the Democrats “compromise” with them again and again and again, then blackmail women with Roe. But voting for Mr. Always Pro-Life means voting for policies that bring suffering and death on young women, for a payoff that may never come. What have the Republicans said that suggests they would do anything about equal pay, sexual harassment, maternity leave? Every quotation I’ve seen from the “feminist” Palin indicates that she believes women just need to work harder and harder and harder and prove to men that they’re worthy.

  5. Ann Bartow says:

    I can’t support Palin because I disagree with her on so many things that are important to me, and because I think McCain would be a terrible President. I will vote for Obama, and continue working for Obama, and I hope very much that he wins.

    But just as Sandra Day O’Connor made life easier and better for Ruth Bader Ginsburg when she got to the Supreme Court, I think Palin would help pave the way for all other women in some respects. So maybe that’s a tiny consolation prize if McCain wins. And I have to admit, my advice to young women lawyers and young women law profs is that they will have to work much harder than their male colleagues just to be thought equal, so maybe I agree with Palin on that point, at least partly.

  6. kja says:

    Oh, for sure. I’m a 3L myself; I’ve heard my share of horror stories. I think the key difference, though, is that I don’t distinguish between what is and what should be. I’m not sure Palin does, or would; given that most social conservatives show immense hostility to affirmative action, child care programs, etc., I’m inclined to think not.

    I agree that seeing a woman VP would be a consolation, but only a consolation.

  7. kja says:

    I mean I DO distinguish between what is and what should be. Oy.