Women for McCain

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Comedian Katie Halper has made a compelling spoof video entitled “Women for McCain.”   It’s worth watching and sending to anyone you know who cares about women’s rights but also might be thinking about voting for McCain:

Women for McCain

– David S. Cohen

This entry was posted in Feminism and Law, Feminism and Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

0 Responses to Women for McCain

  1. lisa says:

    Dear David,

    The video was not worth watching, and definitely not worth sending to anyone. If the only thing you care about it Roe vs. Wade, then you should have been paying attention at the last debate, when both candidates said that there would be no litmus test for appointing judges. Furthermore, the courts could have easily overturned Roe Vs. Wade already if that was their intention. They have no intention of revisiting this. Actually, it was on this very site that an article was printed about a week ago that listed the reasons why Roe Vs. Wade was MORE likely to be overturned during an Obama administration then a McCain administration.

    About the rape kits, perpetuating an untruth isn’t helpful to anyone. Palin’s office was trying to get insurance to cover the kits instead of the city. She has said in her own words that she would never expect or demand a woman pay for her own rape kit. It is common practice in many places to have these funded by insurance instead of the town finances. What this would have meant is that in the case of no insurance- it WOULD be funded by some source other than the victim.

    As a feminist I support Palin enthusiastically. It is unfortunate that so many women will only support women if they hold the same beliefs as they do. If more women were involved in the House and Senate regardless of their politics, then women would have a real voice and a real support network for each other. Studies have shown that to make real change- there needs to be a minimum of 30 percent minority. Let’s just get there. Let’s actually elect some women into power positions, and quit hating women that aren’t exactly like us.

  2. fourthwave says:

    Lisa, I’m a feminist, too, but that does not mean I automatically should have to vote for a woman candidate just because she’s a woman, especially if I don’t agree with her views. Expecting women to support Sarah Palin just because she’s also a woman is actually a pretty sexist notion. So we should only vote with our gender now?

    Yes, we need more women in the government, but that shouldn’t come at the expense of the issues that we believe in. These may be different for you, and that’s your prerogative. However, I disagree with Sarah Palin on almost every level, from her anti-choice stance on abortion and the fact that she’s a proponent of abstinence-only sex education to her “tolerance” (but not support of) LGBT rights. Not to mention that I don’t support John McCain or feel he would make a good president.

    I think one of the reasons McCain chose Palin as his running mate is because he thought she might bring in women who were disgruntled that Hillary Clinton lost the Democratic Primary. Don’t get me wrong, I voted for Clinton, I think she would have been an incredible nominee, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to drop all of my political beliefs and vote for McCain-Palin now just because that’s the ticket with the woman.

  3. lisa says:

    I appreciate your logic, and your respectful tone of discourse. I do understand what you are saying. I was/am a fervent Hillary supporter as well.

    I agree that McCain picked Sarah Palin because of the sexism that Hillary experienced, and the fact that the democratic party picked their own candidate and pushed the favored candidate out of the race, and so many Hillary supporters were and are still angry. I applaud him for that. Who cares why he did it? The fact is, he acknowledged what happened, he heard us, and he did. Obama could have done the same and most likely would have won my vote.

    I have become a single issue voter in this race because this single issue of sexism has become the biggest issue there is to me. When the rampant sexism is no longer allowed in this country then other things will take precedence. I have been a life long democrat (I am 44), but I cannot reward a party and a candidate who has used sexism and stirred the pot in such an ugly and irresponsible manner. If the candidate running against the McCain/Palin ticket was a worthy candidate in my eyes, I might not feel the same way. I know Obama’s merits as a candidate are something we disagree on, and that is beside the point so I won’t go into it more.

    One of the things that I find troubling is that this is a race between McCain and Obama, and yet Sarah Palin’s views (or untruths about her views and misrepresentations of them i.e. she is for abstinence only sex education) are what women keep focusing on. Is everyone frothing at the mouth over Biden’s beliefs? At the root of the issue is that she is a woman and so must meet our liberal criteria for what a feminist and an acceptable woman is.

    Did you honestly like Obama’s answer on abortion at the debate? I laughed out loud when he said that women in consultation with their families and husbands and religious leaders and doctors could come to a decision on what to do with their bodies. I don’t think most women need to hold a committee meeting to decide what to do with their own bodies. And Biden’s answer about gay marriage compared to Palin’s at the VP debate? There was no difference in their policy.

    As Lynnette Long states in her excellent article The X Factor:

    You can’t learn what it is to be a woman, unless you are one. You can’t have a government essentially devoid of women that knows what’s best for women. You can’t legislate for women, without women.

    I have a six year old daughter, and she also wrote this passage which really hit home for me:

    Yes, policy is important but who decides and delivers that policy is even more important. As Marshall McLuhan profoundly noted,”The medium is the message.”Children incorporate many of their perceptions about gender by age five. Little girls won’t understand if Sarah Palin is pro-life or pro-choice, believes in gun control or is a member of the NRA, but they will know the Vice-President of the United States of America is a girl and that alone will alter their perceptions of themselves.

    a second wave feminist

  4. bob coley jr says:

    I totaly identify with the concept that it is the mesage that counts, whoever is speaking. And the more mediums that broadcast the message the more likely the message will be heard. In this way I see the value of volume, but not to the point of ignoring what is being said. Is your masage that only being a woman is not enough for anyone to listen to you, or the only way for someone to have impact is to be part of a group of a certain size? What Lisa seems to be saying is that until the group has enough members (of a certtaiin kind) it’s message is ineffectual. If the medium is the message, then it seems that a non-gendered medium would portray the equality message. The 30 percent thing perpetuates the message of individual weakness. Not what I taught my daughters, or my son for that matter. Children’s perception of themselves as equals is the thing, not just altering it genderedly. If the perception incorporated by age 5 is us against them until we win, then nothing has changed but the players. Which for some, blind change is the goal.

    a purist believer in human rights

  5. lisa – I understand this is a deep-seated disagreement among feminists. I’m in the camp that firmly believes that policies matter most, by a long shot. If it were a close call on policies, then the “who” might tip the scales. But, when you’ve got one candidate who will probably be the most feminist President ever and another who will be just as anti-feminist as those in his party who have come before him, it’s a no-brainer. Especially when his running mate is even more anti-feminist than he is.

  6. lisa says:

    I realize I am shouting into the wind here. Part of the reason it is a deep seated disagreement among feminists is that so many women see Roe V. Wade as the only factor in women’s rights. And yet there as so many issues that involve women’s lives.

    Part of the problem is the willingness to accept whatever untruths one reads in articles or sees in youtube videos without doing any research into what the truth really is. The youtube video you posted David is an untruth as an example. McCain does not have the power to overturn Roe V. Wade, and he will not pick any judges based on their beliefs about pro-choice. And the whole rape kit story is a fallacy. It is questionable who is really the anti-feminist in the campaign. From where I stand, it is Obama. We could argue that point until we are both blue in the face, and the real point is about supporting women, so I will leave it at that.

    I met a Republican lawyer on a flight. He is a black man, and is voting for Obama. I asked him why, and he said it was a calculation of risk vs. reward. He said the risk that the policies he cares about would be changed wasn’t as great as the reward as a black citizen for breaking the barrier. I understand that. Many women feel the same way about electing a woman to the VP.

  7. fourthwave says:

    I respect your conviction, I really do, but this election isn’t just about Roe v. Wade for me. It’s also about gay rights and equal pay for equal work and the economy and health care. I think Obama’s economic plans are better, and I don’t like McCain’s malleability towards the most conservative areas of his party (for example, we all might remember that a few years ago McCain was pro-choice. What happened there?) and what I see as his pandering by choosing Sarah Palin. That said, I recognize that there are problems with Obama as well, and I really did prefer Clinton. However, Obama and Clinton’s platforms aren’t actually that different (the biggest difference, I think, is their approach to health care) and Obama still stands for the Democratic principles I believe in. As for Obama’s and/or the Party’s treatment of Clinton during the primaries, they were all pretty nasty to each other during the primaries. The sexism towards Clinton in the media was inexcusable, but I’m not convinced that it was coming specifically from the Democratic Party.

    In terms of gay rights, I was very disappointed that Biden was so openly opposed to marriage in the VP debate, but he’s consistently supported gay rights in all other aspects except the marriage issue (more so than Obama, actually). And I think the gay marriage denial is political hedging (not that that makes it right), whereas with Palin I sensed a serious discomfort in her discussion of same-sex rights. She tolerates gay people? That’s like saying you tolerate African Americans. It’s a way of trying to pretend you’re open-minded while still being pretty bigoted.

    Most of my opinions on the candidates have developed from actually watching or listening to them speak and reading their policies, so I don’t feel that I’m being biased by the media. For example, Palin said that she would oppose abortion even if her own daughter was raped during the 2006 Governor debate (here’s her actual response. To me that’s an unforgivable stance (especially not even considering that her daughter might have a say), and not something the media has told me to believe. I realize it has to do with her religious convictions, and she has a right to her opinions. But I feel very strongly as well. I don’t want her opinions to be made policy (or to inflect upon policy) if she makes it to Washington, even if some might argue she is a strong female role model.

  8. Nicely said fourthwave. And I have two follow-ups of my own:

    First, the Supreme Court issue is about so much more than abortion and Roe v. Wade. It’s about employment discrimination, state-sponsored sex and race discrimination, gay rights, affirmative action, Title IX, statutes of limitations for civil rights lawsuits, etc. If I have certainty about anything in the world, it’s that a Justice appointed by Obama (or Biden) would be vastly better on these issues that all feminists should be concerned about than would a Justice appointed by McCain (or Palin). And that’s not even mentioning the lower court judges who have even more of an effect on everyday people’s lives.

    Second, here’s what John McCain had to say this weekend about picking Sarah Palin as his running mate: “She is a direct counterpoint to the liberal feminist agenda for America.” For any of us who believe in some version of what McCain labeled the “liberal feminist agenda,” doesn’t that put the nail in the coffin of supporting him and her?

  9. lisa says:

    David there is a great article on McCain’s comment over at Reclusive Leftist right now. Lots of interesting debate and disagreement about what it meant. There is a post by a woman there that explains my feelings on it better than I can express in my own words. I hope she doesn’t mind if I quote her:

    Kiuku says:
    When I think of the liberal feminist agenda, I think of women and men who think that women can attain equality through equal rights. I think of people who discuss men’s rights, often more so than women’s rights. I think of people who equate abortion rights as women’s equality as if our specific reproductive organs are what hinder our equal footing with men, instead of the society constructed by men wherein healthy reproduction is a burden. I see women’s fundamental right to control her reproduction a cause for action, but I also think that healthy reproduction, and contraceptives are really only necessary for women’s equality because the economic system and the systems men have set up are designed to make women’s normal reproduction something which needs to be controlled.

    When I think of the liberal Feminist Agenda I think of”Pink is powerful”and I think of people who believe Porn stars, dominatrixes, and strippers are empowered. When I think of the Liberal Feminist Agenda I see women and men who believe Evolutionary Psychology but think somehow that women can find power in their”ability to multitask better”or ability to”emphasize better”and people who believe men are unemotive walking apes. I see people who read Men are from Mars and women are from Venus and find it insightful.

    I see people who name themselves”grrrll”in their handles.

    I see opinions and beliefs which border dangerously on Anti-Feminism as it was defined years ago.

    I think that he realizes that the majority of feminists are lost to him anyway. He has promised to promote women and elect women to his cabinet. He pays his women staffers more than the men on average. (Obama’s female staffers make less than the men). He spoke out against the sexism against Hillary and Sarah both. Obama refuses to do so, and even promotes it with his comments and his silence.

  10. I have no reason to believe John McCain meant anything remotely related to what that poster wrote about when he said “liberal feminist agenda.” He’s talking about any feminism – he just adds the tagline “liberal” and “agenda” because it makes for a good soundbite. He’s opposed to equal pay requirements (he may do it himself, but no need for corporations to be forced to!), he’s voted against the Violence Against Women Act . . . twice, he has no clue about reproductive issues but votes the party line on them, etc. etc. Anything pro-woman is part of the “liberal feminist agenda” as he labeled it. He was not using it any sophisticated manner.