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There’s a discussion going on at Racialicious about Tim Wise’s newest article, “Your Whiteness Is Showing,” a great piece that basically destroys any reasonable argument about why white feminists refuse to vote for Obama.

See, I was so furious at the behavior of many, MANY, so-called ‘progressives’ in the blogosphere. Not just at Hillary supporters around the time of her concession speech, but at Barack supporters during the same time period as well. Most of what galled me does not bear repeating here.

I thought through two drafts of this post. One was a livid diatribe, wherein I told off everybody and pointed out how stupid everyone was being and exactly why they were being so incredibly stupid. Another was a conciliatory gesture of entreaty and unity, in wich I pleaded for the common cause of social justice to remain in people’s minds before their emotions overrode rational thought. The final one basically just said, Screw you guys. I’m going home.”

That’s why I couldn’t post any of it. Luckily enough, my narcolepsy is kicking in, and I’m too tired and halucinatory to really care what anyone thinks right now. Woo-hoo!

That’s the upshot of sleeping disorders: even if you f*** up, there’s plausible deniability.




Anyway, on to the post. It’s a response of mine to the convo over at Racialicious:

I cannot believe that any true progressive would look at the current situation and do anything BUT vote for the Democratic or Green candidate, DESPITE whoever he/she picks or doesn’t pick as a running mate.

There are two parties of anry people out here in the blogosphere: those who support Hillary are willing to vote McCain or not vote to spite Obama, and those who support Barack but will vote McCain or stay home if he puts Hillary on the ticket.

I think the fact that so many people are willing to jeopardize our economy and more lives in Iraq, a failing healthcare system and a government in serious need of a fox-purging of its henhouses shows how incredibly privileged they are. It’s not like the people who will directly benefit ( or SUFFER) depending on thr outcome of this election are more important than their f***ing principles. God we swallow our pride and vote to do the most good now, when we have a decent chance, while we still have a chance. It’s not like the past two years have had a series of devastating Supreme COurt decisions on everything from Freedom of Speech to equal pay after Bush replaced two justices. It’s not as if Stevens is 88 (30 years older than Tim Russert when he died this Friday) and the other progressive three are only a few years younger. We shouldn’t care one whit, because we’re going to “take a stand!” *eyeroll*

For anyone who thinks thee is no way Obama could lose — an argument I hear from people on both extremes — I would point you to the latest gallup polls to show you that Obama’s actually losing among certain voting blocs.

That’s right: after everything, 911, Katrina, Iraq, Abu Ghraib, Guantanemo, FEMA, the wiretapping, the CIA leaks, the suppression of environmental warnings, the deregulation of nearly every agency that was doing any good against corporate interests, the callousness and arrogance with which the Bush administration has recklessly pursued the interests of the few rich and powerful…

McCain and Obama are virtually TIED.

Newsflash: Obama and Clinton? Both centrists.

Clinton? Allowed racist codespeak to taint Obama. She’s white, and people are surprised when her privilege and prejudice show?

Obama? Condescended to women during the campaign (although I personally think his posse is more to blame for the internet misogyny than he is). He’s male, and people are surprised that he calls women by demeaning nicknames?

I would vote for either of them over McCain any day of the week and twice on Sundays.

Why, you ask? Because my health care bills can’t wait another four or eight years for people to find the perfect candidate to support their principles. Because the conservatives are remarkably good at inciting fear, increasing tensions and driving their sheep to the polls in massive numbers.

Progressives operate on the assumption that everyone should treat others with respect and mind their own business. Conservatives operate on the assumption that people who disagree with them are wrong and should be criminalized, and they never take a day off. It’s remarkably easy to herd a bunch of lemmings into a line and march them off to battle (or off a cliff). Meanwhile, progressives think that they have infinite amounts of time to argue and bicker and create divisons within their ranks because, hey! They’ve got this one in the bag!

Yeah. I remember hearing that one in 2004, too.

In summary, I’m not buying it. Some of us can’t afford to wait for change until it’s convenient for others to vote for it. We need it now, before it’s too late.

Originally published at The Multiracial Muse. You can comment here or there.

folklorefanatic: (Default)

Karnythia talked about the way in which Women of Color view acts of chivalry today. The gist of her insightful post, at least in my humble opinion, is that WoC are rarely, if ever, afforded the kind of Princess and Pedestal treatment from white men that many white women find degrading and insulting — things like men holding out chaires for women, insisting to pay the check or walk her home, and yes, calling a woman a “sweetie.” Juxtaposing this, Men of Color are taught to be ever-respectful of all women, that an offer of assistance or protection does not automatically question a woman’s ability to take care of herself but shows repect and solidarity instead.

For the most part, women of color, especially black women in the U.S.A., never benefitted from the ideals of chivalric love continued past medieval times and into the Enlightenment Period. They never experienced the pampering and idealizing of “Republican Motherhood” during the Nineteenth Century that leaves a bad taste in white women’s mouths. They have been taught to be self-reliant, because most of the time, white men have treated WoC as objects, not as people. They have had to rely on men of color to play any chivalrous roles available. Women of color are far more likely to see chivalry as a sign of respect and politeness than as condescension or assertion of control.

It may not be a perfect world, but we all work with what we have, and since the playing field is so different between white women and women of color, it’s no surprise that Karnythia took a lot of flak for pointing these truths out. Some white females cannot seem to accept that ‘OMG! Chivalry isn’t always sexist!’, or at least there are differing opinions as to what constitutes sexism in the PoC community.

Discrimination doesn’t happen in a vacuum. More often than not, there are multiple prejudices at work in any given problematic situation.

Here are my two different responses at her cross-posts:

First, at the LJ Feminist Community:

I know this has already been said, but I wanted to add my two cents:

1. It’s the effect, not the intent, that matters. In this case, Obama realized that what he said, although totally innocent in his mind, could be hurtful or demeaning to women, and he made a effort to correct his behavior.

2. Men are inherently going to be sexist at times, just like white people are racist sometimes and don’t even know it. Stuff happens. It’s what you do in reaction to a problem that defines your position. Obama swiftly called up the reporter and apologized. I have a feeling he’s going to be a lot more cautious about what he says to female strangers in the future.

3. We don’t know his motivations, but we do know that he’s trying to better himself. As I’m not inside Obama’s head, I can’t say whether it’s the realization that he may have bad habits that might hurt others or the fact that everything he does is being recorded at all times that ultimately drives him, but hopefully his behavior will continue to improve.

4. Everyone should hold open the damn door for everyone. Doors are heavy, and they like to hit you in the face.

5. I am perfectly okay with anti-door discrimination.

Then on her blog post (emphasis added):

I call people ‘hon’ all of the time. So it [meaning 'sweetie'] was sexist. He bloody apologized, and he did so before the woman complained to him. THAT’S what’s important here. He didn’t become defensive and insist he did nothing wrong; he said he was sorry immediately and learned from the experience.

There’s a learning curve in the Obama camp, something that the Clinton camp is sorely lacking at this point.

This whole subject has me wondering if my Dad behaves differently towards women at his office (there are few) vs. women in public. Of course, now that he has less hair and has paled slightly since I was a child, he probably looks less threatening. But I think he said a couple of months ago that he still would debate offering to help a white woman alone in a park if some white man was harassing her, because he wouldn’t want to end up shot.

The MoC catch-22 of chivalry with a gun at your back reminds me of that line from “Mrs. Robinson”: Any way you look at this you lose.

So my final words on this? I would have been insulted. I would have probably made a snarky comment for my news report, too. But I also would have accepted a personal apology, which some feminist bloggers seem unable or unwilling to do.

To the Hillary supporters: Look. I’m not trying to minimize the crap that has happened to her during this camaign. It pisses me the hell off, too. Please don’t confuse a rebuttal of the blind outrage that I see over “Sweetiegate” as a dismissal of concerns over sexism. I was so disgusted at the mainstream media’s treatment of her leading up to Super Tuesday that I foamed at the mouth and cheered as the pundits threw up their hands and looked like idiots, the stupid paid shills. I am, however, turned off by Clinton’s efforts to taint Obama’s candidacy in order to better her own campaign. Her unwillingness to apologize when she does something wrong is HUGELY problematic to me.

Both Senators need to tell their PR people and supporters to calm the hell down and stop saying stupid things in their names. Six months ago, Democrats had this election served to them on a silver platter. How did we manage to turn it down for a brass tack?

Whose fault is that? Can we lay all of the blame at the feet of the candidates and John McCain, or does part of the problem lie with us?

Originally published at The Multiracial Muse. You can comment here or there.

folklorefanatic: (Default)
Citizens are sick of pundits telling them "ZOMG IT'S OVER!!!!1!1" and, y'know, don't like being told how to vote based solely on their age, gender, race, or religion. Gee, imagine that!

--Not that I want to make Lou Dobbs happy, mind you, but...I bet Lou Dobbs is really, really happy.


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